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EFL unveils Sri Lanka’s second largest rooftop solar power plant

Nov 25 (DM) Continuing to deliver on a longstanding commitment to sustainability, EFL opened a solar power plant in Wellampitiya on 16th November.  The occasion was marked by a special ceremony attended by Deputy Minister, Ajith P. Perera as chief guest alongside top management of EFL and Expolanka Holdings Group CEO Hanif Yusoof. The Minister inaugurated the grid-connected solar PV power plant and commended EFL for taking early steps as a private sector player bringing more..

Murder of Noori estate Superintendent judgment today

Nov 25 (DM) The judgment in connection with the horrendous murder of Nihal Perera, Superintendent of Noori Tea Estate in Deraniyagala, in which former UPFA Deraniyagala Pradeshiya Sabha chairman Anil Champika alias Atha Kota and 21 others were indicted, is to be delivered today. Verdict in the case against the 22 accused is to be delivered by Avissawella High Court Judge Devika Abeyratne. more..

What did Maithri do?

Nov 25 (CT) What did Maithri do after becoming President? Two years have passed and there is nothing he has done. What Maithri does is talk only, he does not do anything. These are some of the statements everyone makes. Those who have memories of how Sri Lanka was prior to 8 January 2015 cannot say these things. The biggest thing that Maithri did after becoming President was to release and save the country from the Rajapaksa fear which had gripped the entire country. more..

Dimantha new CEO at NDB

Nov 25 (FT) Top banker Dimantha Seneviratne has been appointed the new CEO and Director of National Development Bank Plc with effect from 1 January 2017. He will be succeeding Rajendra Theagarajah who has announced his resignation effective 30 November. Dimantha is currently the CEO/Director at Pan Asia Bank, a position he took up three years ago. He was instrumental in turning around PABC and transforming it into a high performing mid-sized player in the industry.  more..

Raviraj murder case: Ex-Karuna faction, Naval intelligence officers involed in murder

Nov 25 (DN) The state witness for the prosecution in the trial in connection with the murder of former TNA MP Nadaraja Raviraj yesterday affirmed Court that the members of ex-LTTE cadres affiliated to the Karuna faction and officers attached to the Naval intelligence camp in Laundry Watta in Gangaramaya involved in committing the murder of Raviraj. The witness said he saw a red colour jeep being shot by the third accused more..

‘Dollar to hit Rs 160 mark in 2017 in the absence of economic reforms’

Nov 25 (Island) "The appreciation of the US dollar against the rupee is not due to any domestic issue because the US dollar is now appreciating internationally. This has a ripple effect for the entire world, a top economist said. 'SL rupee is expected to weaken further; it would touch more than Rs 160 to the US dollar level next year, if the govt fails to undertake fundamental economic reforms in a proper manner. Further, the balance of payment pressures coupled with external issues more..

Appeal Court issues notices on SEC, CSE, Bartleet Religare after action by investor

Nov 25 (FT) The capital market has recently seen the first writ application against the regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directly seeking to suspend or revoke the stockbroker license of a brokerage firm. This is under Section 21 of the SEC Act owing to its findings at the statutory inquiry that numerous contraventions of the provisions of the SEC Act and the Stockbroker Rules of the CSE are of a very serious nature. President of the Court of Appeal, more..

Video: Fine for overtaking from left a mistake of Minister: Gemunu

Nov 25 (DM) The decision to impose a steep fine of Rs.25,000 for overtaking a vehicle from the left side was taken by the Transport Minister mistakenly during the meeting at the Finance Ministry, Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association President Gemunu Wijeratne said. Addressing the media he said that at present no such fine existed in the charge sheet used by the traffic police and there were several issues more..

Finally…. Isipathana has a playground

Nov 25 (DN) Isipathana College, one of the finest rugby playing schools in the country finally received a playground of their own when the Henry Pedris grounds at Havelock Park was officially handed over to them by Ministers Faiszer Musthapha and Dayasiri Jayasekera yesterday. Isipathana College OBA vice president speaking of the event said, “We all as Isipathanian’s are very happy today for getting Henry Pedris as our school playgrounds which was long overdue for us. more..

Land, Police, Fiscal & Administrative powers

Nov 25 (Island) It was discussed in the Subcommittee on Centre Periphery Relations of the Constitutional Assembly that the unitary character of the constitution was an impediment to the effective functioning of the Provincial Councils and that the present constitutional framework, gives undue advantage to the centre. The list of concurrent powers to be shared by the centre and the provinces, the powers of the central govt over the formulation of national policy, more..

Proposal on Colombo Intl. Financial Centre before Cabinet in two weeks: Ravi K

Nov 25 (FT) Govt’s ambitious plan to establish an International Financial Centre (IFC) in Colombo is in the offing as it will be tabled in Cabinet within the next two weeks. “In the next week or two we will get it to Cabinet and we will ensure it through Parliament to be ratified by end of January,” Minister Ravi Karunanayake told journalists.  To establish the IFC, Govt will draw up new regulations covering banking and financial transactions, more..

SC dismisses rights petition challenging mega Cabinet

Nov 25 (FT) Supreme Court refused to grant leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition challenging the appointment of Mega Cabinet of Ministers. Petitioner Dharuna Laksiri cited President Sirisena and Attorney General as Respondents. Deputy Solicitor General Indika de Silva appeared for the AG. Laksiri said that President Sirisena, after the end of Presidential Election, had stated that he is not forming a National Govt. Laksiri maintained that Sirisena had not structured national govt. more..

Son in sub-committee, daughter-in-law in SAITM

Nov 25 (LT) It was revealed in Parliament that Minister Rajitha Senaratna’s son MP Chathura Senaratna had been a member of the committee appointed to make recommendations regarding SAITM illegal degree awarding institution. JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake revealed this information in Parliament and he added that Sarupa Manathunga, wife of Chathura Senaratna, has been admitted under registered number MF 121/F006MD77 to 6th batch of illegal degree awarding institution. more..

On top of all other perks MPs given low interest loans as well

Nov 25 (Island) In addition to duty free car permits worth as much as Rs. 44 mn, MPs have received special loan through state banks at a very low interest rate. Nagananda Kodituwakku has obtained records of 77 UNP, SLFP and TNA as well as Joint Opposition importing duty free vehicles. They had received tax exceptions ranging from Rs 30 mn to 44 mn with a TNA MP from the Northern Province being the biggest beneficiary. more..

System failure causes 2.5 hour delay at BIA

Nov 25 (DM) Computer system of the Immigration and Emigration Department at BIA- Katunayake had crashed yesterday. This had resulted in many passengers having to wait in line for hours to get their documents cleared. It was reported that the failure had originated at the head office of the department situated in Colombo. Immigration and Emigration tasks at all harbours and airports came to a standstill because of the two and a half hour long system failure that was experienced. more..

Dr. Weerasooria denies JO’s statement

Nov 25 (DN) Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria responding to the Joint Opposition’s statement against Minister Malik Samarawickrema and him on the misuse of Mahapola funds state: “I refer to the news item in the Daily News regarding the Joint Opposition making a complaint to the Bribery Commission on Mahapola against Malik Samarawickrema and myself. “I totally deny as an utter falsehood and diabolic lie that I had in any way misused or abused Mahapola funds to benefit any companies or more..

Video: Private buses to strike on 1 Dec

Nov 25 (DM) Inter-Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) warned it would launch a countrywide bus strike from Dec 1 if the govt failed to rescind the proposal to impose a fine of Rs.25,000 for traffic offences. IPPBA President Sarath Vijitha Kumara said the strike would continue for five days, if the President did not intervene in sorting out this matter. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had announced on Monday that Govt would more..

'No moves to privatize Lanka Mineral Sands'

Nov 25 (CT) The government has no intention of relinquishing its ownership of Lanka Mineral Sands, Minister of Industries Rishad Bathuideen assured Parliament yesterday. The Minister made these remarks in response to a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake during the oral questions session yesterday. MP Dissanayake charged that there had been recent reports indicating that the state owned Lanka Mineral Sands was to be privatized. more..

Five Indians arrested over kidney racket further remanded

Nov 25 (DN) Five Indian youths arrested in the investigations into a kidney racket involving Indians and Sri Lankans were ordered to be further remanded till Dec 7. Five Indians were arrested in Mannar after they escaped from the Mirihana detention camp on Nov 9. Court was informed that police were yet arrest two other suspects who fled the detention camp. Mirihana Police was conducting an investigation to ascertain as to how the detained suspects escaped from Mirihana camp. more..

Focus on new Constitution during President, TNA talks

Nov 25 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena had a special discussion with the TNA Parliamentary group led by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan in Parliament yesterday. TNA MP E. Sarawanapawan said the Opposition Leader handed over a letter signed by all 16 TNA MPs to the President during the meeting outlining their concerns on the making of new Constitution and unresolved matters affecting the people in North & East. more..

Anura S. in hot water over another case

Nov 25 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Pieris permitted the CID to record a statement from former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake for allegedly covering up evidence into an incident where two persons had been abducted by an unidentified group at Kotahena and Wellawatta areas in 2008. He ordered Superintendent of Welikada Prison that Anura Senanayake who is now in remand over the killing of Wasim Thajudeen be present before CID more..

Verdict on the Avant Garde vessel today

Nov 25 (NR) Galle Magistrates Court will today pronounce the verdict on the case filed against the Avant Garde vessel anchored at the Galle port. Galle Chief Magistrate Nilupuli Lankapura will announce the verdict today. However the verdict pertaining to the case was due to be announced on Wednesday. During the previous court hearing, Attorneys representing the Avant Garde Maritime Security Limited informed court of the opposition by their clients to accept the vessel. more..

CaFFE blows whistle on attempt to remove NIC chief for opposing racket

Nov 25 (Island) The govt had sought Cabinet approval to remove Department of Registration of Persons Commissioner General R.M.S. Sarath Kuamara for refusing to award a tender illegally to a company nominated by a minister to take photographs for the proposed electronic identity cards, Keerthi Tennakoon, Executive Director of CaFFE said. Tender board had offered the contract to company which bid Rs 40 per photograph, more..

TN fishermen upset over inauguration of church

Nov 25 (Hindu) The local fishermen, who had built the St Anthony’s Church at Katchatheevu, and the Sivaganga diocese, which used to organise pilgrimage to the islet for its annual festival, were upset that the Jaffna diocese had built a church there without their consent. “We are hurt that the Jaffna diocese which had built the new church with the help of Sri Lankan Navy, is set to inaugurate the shrine without inviting us,” fishermen leader P Sesu Raja said. more..

Sri Lanka accountants adopt new code to expose corporate crime

Nov 25 (EN) SL’s rule-setting accountants’ body has adopted new international guidelines under which finance professionals, including auditors, are obliged to report wrongdoing in companies they audit or work for, setting aside confidentiality requirements in the public interest. Institute of Chartered Accountants of SL (CA Sri Lanka) said it has decided to adopt the Responding to Non Compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR) standard, when it becomes effective more..

Govt of friends managing people's money: Mahapola well-minded says Malik

Nov 25 (FT) Not one cent of the Mahapola Trust Fund has been misappropriated, insisted Minister Malik Samarawickrama, categorically rejecting allegations by the Joint Opposition that millions of income to the fund has been lost through unethical investments. Money held by the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund, which is estimated to be about Rs. 10 billion according to Minister Samarawickrama, is managed by more..

Elimination of violence against women; Never again Noori

Nov 25 (DM) Today is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and it is significant that the Avissawella High Court will today deliver the much awaited verdict on the alleged horrors in the Noori village where a gang, reportedly backed by an area politician, allegedly tortured and raped scores of women and girls.  According to reports from the area the agony of villagers in Noori for the past decade would have been difficult to understand with newly carpeted roads and more..

The Pharma SCAM Prof. Senaka Bibile Abused and Insulted

Nov 25 (DM) Prices of a large number of drugs were surreptitiously but meticulously increased by 40-55% over the past 16 months as part of the ground work preparations for the so-called Bibile policy introduction of drug price reductions implemented by the authorities in collaboration with the Pharma Mafia. The transnational pharmaceutical industry, or Big Pharma [a name coined by the Western medical journalists] which controls the entire health services of third-world nations during late 20th more..

Ministers harbour differences on key matters

Nov 25 (DM) As the annual budget debate progresses in Parliament, govt looks engulfed in contradictions and confusions over proposals earmarked for implementation next year. In a way, it is understandable as this is a coalition govt comprising of parties with contrasting policies and approaches, even on principal matters. Contradictions among Ministers emerged once again at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. more..

CBK’s office raises concerns over rise in hate speech

Nov 25 (CG) Office for National Unity & Reconciliation (ONUR) headed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has noted with concern, the rise of hate speech in Sri Lanka in the recent past, which challenges the initiatives being taken by the Govt to heal the country after decades of bloodshed and destruction. ONUR noted that hate filled expressions and actions by groups with vested interests, resulting in demeaning, denigrating more..

Fresh controversy on Northern housing project

Nov 25 (SL) A fresh controversy has arisen on the 65,000 housing project in Jaffna with TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran telling Parliament that there was a proposal to build each house for Rs. 1 million but the Minister D. M. Swaminathan had picked a contractor to build each house for five times more. Sumanthiran further stated that earlier, the Indian govt had built houses for just Rs. 700,000 in the North and the Resettlement Ministry can more..

MRP mechanism takes away patients’ democratic right of choice

Nov 25 (ST) Why is the right of choice of the patient who is the consumer being taken away and who will be the beneficiaries of the price-control imposed on 48 drugs? These are the concerns being raised in a no-holds-barred interview by the head of a pharmaceutical company who is the only person who has come forward to discuss on record the recent Maximum Retail Price (MRP) mechanism for 48 drugs imposed by Gazette more..

NJC calls for Mahanayakes’ opinion on constitutional making process

Nov 25 (Island) National Joint Committee (NJC) called for Mahanayakes’ intervention to prevent the division of the country on ethnic lines. Member of NJC Gevindu Cumaratunga alleged that on-going parliamentary process was aimed at creating a federal state. Reports produced by six Sub Committees, particularly the one that dealt with Centre-Periphery relations had been geared to achieve separatist goals. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims joining ISIS: Did they go to peel potatoes?

Nov 25 (CT) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament, that he had to disclose that 36 Sri Lankans had left SL to join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) the most powerful Islamic terrorist organization in the world. A govt probe has unearthed substantive evidence that Muslim extremists are in SL. Muslim teachers of Islamic fundamentalism had held meetings in several leading Muslim areas. more..

Lasantha killing Army Int. men positively involved: CID

Nov 25 (CT) Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammad Sahabdeen dismissed a request for a temporary lifting of the ban imposed on Premananda Udalagama, the Army Intelligence Officer suspected of involvement in the Lasantha Wickrematunge killing, from entering Army Camps. Udalagama, who was arrested on charges of abducting the driver of late Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha, was recently released on bail but more..

Plight of Muslim child brides in Sri Lanka

Nov 25 (Dawn) When she was 14, Fathima was given in marriage by her parents. “I came home from school one day and I was told that a marriage had been arranged for me,” recalls Fathima, now 22. She is seated on the step of her bare, half-built house, overlooking agricultural landscape of Muslim majority Ampara. Fathima’s marriage lasted 3 weeks. Husband abandoned her without leaving a trace of his whereabouts. more..

'Will carry out duties according to law'

Nov 25 (DM) The law would be implemented according to the book at the Bribery Commission, the newly appointed Director General, President’s Counsel Sarath Jayamanne said today. “No one will be a suspect or a criminal, prior to the investigation just because someone appeared before the Bribery Commission. I will carry out the duties according to the law,” the new Director General said while assuming duties. more..

Noori murder: 18 sentenced to death

Nov 25 (AD) The former Chairman of Deraniyagala PS, Anil Champika alias Atha Kota, and 17 other suspects have been convicted and sentenced to death over the murder of an estate superintendent. Suspects were sentenced to death after being produced before the Avissawella High Court today. Charges had been filed against 21 suspects over the murder, however Judge Devika Abeyratne acquitted three of them. more..

We deserve Parliamentarians of better calibre

Nov 25 (CT) Sometimes no matter how hard you try, things simply do not change. Just like our politicians who are, deep down, just a bunch of teenagers, bursting with hormonal rage and sensational melodrama. Like those old habits that die hard, our parliamentarians cannot seem to find an ounce of decency and civility in their line of work. One would think that they would at least behave well at the august House, with respect to the continued traditions and rules. more..

Paranoia & Paralysis: Buddhist-Muslim tragicomedy

Nov 25 (CT) The military victory led by an overwhelmingly Sinhala-Buddhist army over the tyrannous LTTE in 2009 has, among other things, injected in the minds of certain sections of the Buddhist community that Sri Lanka belongs only to Sinhala Buddhists and others are permitted to live here only at the behest of the Buddhists. This twisted ideology which is now developing into an anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Tamil paranoia is totally contradictory not only to more..