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Basil denies having secret deal with UNP

Nov 28 (Island) Dismissing Minister Dilan Perera’s (SLFP/UPFA) recent claim that he had been collaborating with the UNP, Basil Rajapaksa has alleged that Perera is obviously having a deal with the UNP. He said on Saturday that the Rajapaksas, too, had used Dilan Perera, when they were in power. The former Minister spoke after 13 out of 14 ex- members of Minuwangoda PS and 7 out of 7 member of Minuwangoda MC joined the newly formed Sri Lanka People’s Front (SLPF). more..

Sordid SriLankan aircraft deal: Eran

Nov 28 (CT) Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne charged that the alleged Treasury Bond scam committed by this govt of which the loss is amounting to US$ 1 billion, pales into insignificance over the sordid SriLankan Airlines aircraft deal which was committed by the previous govt, costing a staggering US$ 16 Billion. He also said that if the decision to cancel the lease agreement was due to decisions related to financial more..

Private blood testing banned from Jan 1

Nov 28 (ITN) Minster Rajitha Senaratne says that legal action will be taken against hospital directors if they conduct blood tests at private laboratories, from January 1. Issuing a statement, Minister says hospitals should be digitalized to suit new technology. Blood testing from the private sector will be banned from Jan 1 for the patients admitted to hospitals. The Minister says, the govt will provide blood testing machines to the hospitals with laboratories, before the 31st of next month. more..

Tamil forcibly tattooed on student’s hand

Nov 28 (DN) Talawakelle Police are conducting investigations to arrest a group of suspects who had allegedly assaulted a grade 10 male student of Talawakelle Sumana Maha Vidyalaya and forcibly tattooed the words Tamil in English on his hand using a sharp implement on Nov 23. The incident had occurred while the student was walking back to his home in Talawakelle Housing Scheme after school along the railway line. Police said the student had not reported the incident to his parents more..

North Sri Lankan Tamils observe Great Heroes’ Day in memory of dead LTTE fighters

Nov 28 (ENS) North SL Tamils on Sunday observed Great Heroes’ Day (Maaveerar Naal) in memory of cadres of LTTE who had laid down their lives for the cause of establishing an independent Tamil Eelam. NPC members M.K. Shivajilingam, Ananthy Sasitharan, & P. Aingaranesan were among many who gathered at the Thileepan memorial in Nallur, Jaffna, to pay homage to the dead fighters. more..

72 Sugar Containers held in Port: Release only after PNB check

Nov 28 (CT) A total of 72 containers containing sugar from Brazil have been held up at the Colombo Port and will not be released till the Police Narcotics Bureau conducts a thorough inspection of the cargo. Recently, an inspection of 29 such containers, revealed a stock of over 219 kilograms of Cocaine worth Rs 3,500 million. Officials of the Police Narcotics Bureau discovered the cocaine in the ninth container. Police Narcotics Bureau has launched investigations into several containers more..

Maithri reveals Rs 3012 million went missing the day before the presidential poll

Nov 28 (CT) Even though a cheque for Rs 3,012 million had been issued on 7 January, the day prior to the Presidential Election, 8 Jan 2015, on behalf of the Matara Nilwala Scheme, President Maithripala Sirisena revealed in Galle that it is not known what happened to this money. In 2012 a sum of Rs. 1,000 million had been issued, in the name of a Chinese Company, for the Nilwala Scheme. However, not a sod of soil had been cut in the Nilwala Scheme using this sum of Rs. 3012 million, he said. more..

Prepare constitution without delay Kandy Prelates tell SLFP MPs

Nov 28 (CT) Chief Prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters said that under a govt comprising the two main political parties, new Constitution should be prepared immediately. They also said that, as mentioned initially when the present govt was established by SLFP & UNP the following matters including the abolishing of Executive Presidency and the creating of a new Constitution should be carried out at the earliest. more..

Castro is dead, his legacy lives on

Nov 28 (DM) On Nov 26, Cuba announced the death of revolutionary icon Fidel Castro at the age of 90 – one of the best-known freedom fighters. A man whose name is synonymous with freedom struggles the world over and the most successful leader of a socialist state.  Given his age and ill-health his death was to be expected. Yet, when death came to the man who survived innumerable US attempted assassinations, it still left countries of the developing world in shock, disbelief & profound sadness. more..

SL lacks progressive MPs with insight

Nov 28 (DM) PM had stated that his wife gets a higher salary than his and would not hesitate to support the proposals to increase salaries of MPs and to provide vehicles to MPs to carry out their work in their electorates. His plan to push these two issues, conflicts with the electoral mandate given to them. They had been voted to run a responsible govt. They should pursue the electorate’s interest or national interest and not selfish interest of greedy, myopic, vision-less, opportunistic MPs. more..

Constitutional reform process: Delivery of justice or deliberate manipulation?

Nov 28 (DM) In the light of the ongoing Constitutional Reform Process the Daily Mirror spoke to Laksiri Fernando, former Senior Professor in Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Colombo and Manohara De Silva PC to get their views on the agenda. Q:  Could you enlighten us on where exactly the constitution reform process of Sri Lanka stands at the moment? A: Formally, we are at the middle of more..

70 Lankans held in Rs 200m Norway scam

Nov 28 (CT) Norwegian law enforcement officials have nabbed 70 persons of Sri Lankan origin for their alleged involvement in a Rs 200 million fraud, informed sources said. The arrests have been made over the past several days after Norwegian Police sleuths carried out investigations on several persons who have been identified as garbage workers, sources said. The group had embezzled monies from a fund set up by more..

Court order on coal deal disrespected

Nov 28 (SL) Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy and Lanka Coal Company have been accused of contempt of court for disrespecting a Supreme Court directive delivered on June 24, 2016. Despite of the SC directive to Lanka Coal Company (LCC) to terminate a contract entered into with Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Pvt. Limited for the supply of coal to Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant, better known as Norochcholai more..

Deaths of two divers arouse suspicion of outdated oxygen cylinders

Nov 28 (ST) The deaths of two divers are being probed following suspicion that the Oxygen cylinders they carried may have caused poisoning. Acting Magistrate Colombo Fort, ordered that six oxygen cylinders be sent to Govt Analyst seeking a report on whether the cylinders were outdated. First diver had died when he was sent down on Nov 18 to measure a rock formation that was in the way of ships in the Modara area. more..

SL Ambassador makes request to Yemeni govt over trapped sailors

Nov 28 (NF) SL’s Ambassador to Oman, M.K. Padmanathan, has requested the govt of Yemen to assist in the freeing of 26 sailors, including nine Sri Lankans, from the clutches of Yemeni pirates. The sailors are aboard the Greek vessel Fair Appollon,  which is currently anchored at the Port of Hodeidah in Yemen. The sailors were taken hostage nearly two months ago. Director General of Merchant Shipping, Ajith Seneviratne, said more..

Sri Lanka Police University coming up in Attidiya soon

Nov 28 (DN) Plans are underway to set up a University for Sri Lanka Police in Attidiya. Arrangements are underway to obtain assistance from universities in Nottingham and Liverpool in Britain and Deakin University in Australia for the initiative. The proposed exclusive University for Sri Lanka Police will accommodate approximately 500 students including police officers as well as officers engaged in parallel professions annually. more..

People’s confidence on present govt has not diminished: President

Nov 28 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that even though numerous blames, accusations and criticisms were leveled against the Govt and the President, the confidence placed in the present Got by the public as well as electing him as the President of this country has not been changed. In that context, President emphasized that as a Govt it will fulfill its responsibilities to take forward the country. more..

MPs allowances to double soon

Nov 28 (DM) Govt was mulling an increase the office rent allowance up to Rs. 100,000 per month each on offices maintained by 225 MPs. Allowance for attending Parliament, which was now Rs. 500 would also be increased to Rs.2,500 for days of their attendance to Parliament meetings. New move has been introduced, instead of the earlier move to pay Rs.75,000 as office rent allowance and Rs.5,000 attendance allowance for comm. meetings. more..

Water Board, CPC to be regulated

Nov 28 (DN) National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWS&DB) and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) are to be regulated under Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL). National Policies & Economic Affairs Ministry Progress Report for 2016 tabled in Parliament last week said PUCSL is to be broadened and strengthened to include NWS&DB and CPC to enable more cost effective pricing for utilities. more..

Govt, JO trade fire over alleged bid to dilute Central Bank powers

Nov 28 (Island) President Sirisena has assured the Joint Opposition that he will inquire into a petition submitted by the grouping to him recently against the proposed national payment platform. Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s proposal for ICTA-led project to create a common platform to facilitate online transfers ran into a storm, with MP Bandula Gunawardena seeking Supreme Court intervention to thwart the move. more..

First overseas branch of SLPF formed in China

Nov 28 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris said that the first branch of the newly formed political party Sri Lanka People’s Front had been opened in Zem-Zem Zang area in China with the participation of Sri Lankans working there. Prof. Pieris said SL community in China had hailed the formation of the new party and more branches of the party would be opened in other countries as well. Former President Rajapaksa, who is on a visit to China with a group of party members, is due to return on Dec 1. more..

Who is former STF DIG K.L.M. Sarathchandra?

Nov 28 (CT) The POLICE stand for politeness, obedience, a listening ear, investigations, consultations, trust and maybe other meanings too. Are all these respected in today’s policing? In Sri Lanka, one cannot say that the whole of policing is in jeopardy – there are good and bad eggs. The problem in Sri Lanka is that politicians as well as the wealthiest trouble-makers manipulate the police. History has proved that this doesn’t work in the long run. The mills of GOD grind slow but sure. more..

Asoka Abeygunawardana

TNA’s diplomacy

Nov 28 (CT) An important meeting between President Sirisena and TNA MPs, led by Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan, took place in Parliament last Thursday. TNA played a tremendous role in ousting Rajapaksa regime and establishing National Unity Govt, led by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, in Jan 2015. Later, with the guidance of R. Sampanthan, TNA as the main Opposition in Parliament played a responsible role to deal with Tamil political issues more..

SL electricity demand grows 9% in Sept

Nov 28 (EN) Sri Lanka's power demand grew 9% from a year earlier to 1,197 GigaWatt hours in September 2016, faster than the 5.7% seen in September last year. In the nine months to September power generation grew 8.1% to 10,572 GWh, compared to 5.7% in 2015. Power demand is a proxy for economic activity in Sri Lanka. In September, hydro power generation was down 38% to 172 GWh. Coal power was up 110% to 539GWh, and fuel oil was up 18% to 213 GWh. more..

Galle Dialogue 2016 commenced under patronage of President

Nov 28 (PSL) International Maritime Conference, Galle Dialogue 2016, organized by the SL Navy commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, today. Representatives from 40 countries as well as 12 international organizations and experts on maritime security arel taking part in this Conference under the theme Fostering Strategic Maritime Partnerships. more..

President visits Cuban Embassy to express condolences

Nov 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Cuban Embassy in Colombo, today to express his condolences over the demise of Mr. Fidel Castro Ruz, former President of the Republic of Cuba and an iconic revolutionary of the twentieth century. President signed the Book of Condolences opened at the Embassy. The Cuban Ambassador Ms. Juana Elena Ramos Rodriguez, received the President when he arrived at the Embassy. President Sirisena expressed his condolences to more..

KLM Sarathchandra arrest not politically motivated: Sagala

Nov 28 (NR) The government says the arrest of former Special task Force Commander KLM Sarathchandra was not politically motivated. Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake speaking in Parliament on the 8th day of the Committee Stage Debate for the 2017 Budget proposal said actions taken against the former STF commander were in accordance with the law. The former STF Commander was arrested on charges of misusing state property. more..

Public sector PAYE: JO, govt. see eye to eye on one budget proposal

Nov 28 (Island) JO member Bandula Gunawardena said that in addition to MPs, several other sectors, including doctors, public sector executives, Provincial Council members as well as members of local govt bodies, too, received duty free permits to import vehicles. He was responding to Hiru correspondent who sought the JO’s response to the govt seeking a staggering Rs 791 mn rupees to provide news vehicles to 28 ministers, more..

SLFP promotional meeting in Galle without key players

Nov 28 (Island) Absence of SLFP Chief Organisers of Akmeemana and Ratgama Ramesh Pathirana and Mohan de Silva was conspicuous at the party’s inaugural promotional meeting in Galle under the auspices of President Sirsena. Instead, the party had opted for Galle District party Organiser Tisara Gunasinghe and Galle District Organiser Amarasiri Kuruwage to organise the promotional campaigns. Number of PC members belonging to the party in Galle District kept away. more..

Sri Lanka and Singapore's Surbana to start city planning JV

Nov 28 (EN) Sri Lanka and Singapore's Surbana will set up a joint venture city planning firm that will offer its services to the country and the region, head of the island's investment promotion office, Upul Jayasuirya said. The firm will come with a development plan for the water front area around Colombo's Beira Lake. "The lake will be purified and dredged and the water front will be available for development," he told the Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference. more..

No media suppression: Govt

Nov 28 (NR) Media Minister Gayantha Karunathileke says the present govt has in no engaged in media suppression. The expenditure heads of the Ministries of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Transport and Civil Aviation and Ports and Shipping is being taken up for debate today. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said a number of journalists were murdered and harassed during the black decade. more..

'Profitable state bodies now incurring losses'

Nov 28 (NR) MP Keheliya Rambukwella said a state organisation that incurred large profits during the govt of UPFA is now incurring losses. Minister Gayantha Karunathileke responded to the charge. The MP said in 2005 a profit of 21 million was generated, adding in 2013 78 million in profit was generated and in 2014 71 million rupees was recorded as profit. MP then stated during the time that discrepancies were reported, a profit of 71 million rupees was incurred. more..

Basil attempts to poach MPs as Rajapaksas trying to make a comeback

Nov 28 (CT) As President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe attempted to informally bribe MPs to continuously retain their support within the Yahapalanaya Govt by doling out various bonanzas in the guise of allowances, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has kicked off a new mission to poach MPs from the ruling coalition. Highly placed sources said that Rajapaksa has been holding talks with several MPs who are on the fence. “But, so far the discussions have only commenced, more..

Video: We have a reasonable doubt on new supplementary estimate: PHU

Nov 28 (AD) PHU Monday severely criticised the govt’s move to present a supplementary estimate to buy new vehicles. “It would be reasonable to submit a supplementary estimate to purchase fuel, stationery or to pay wages, but a supplementary estimate has been presented in order to buy vehicles, furniture and to allocate funds for foreign tours.” The supplementary estimate to purchase cars for several Ministers, more..

Sri Lanka shares hit near 8-mth low ahead of cenbank rate decision

Nov 28 (Reuters) Shares fell on Monday to a near eight-month low, ahead of central bank policy rate announcement as investors kept to the sidelines amid concerns over budget tax proposals including revisions in corporate and withholding taxes. Analysts said investors were awaiting the central bank's decision on interest rates on Tuesday. They expect the apex bank to leave rates unchanged for a fourth straight month. CSE ended 0.21% down at 6,238.87, its lowest close since April 7. more..

US Pacific Commander & Premier discuss bilateral cooperation

Nov 28 (NR) Commander of United States Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris yesterday called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The two parties during the meeting discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The US Embassy in Colombo said Admiral Harris arrived in Sri Lanka to participate in the Galle Dialogue 2016, International Maritime Conference. The Commander was also hosted for dinner by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Rush for Sri Lanka driving licence, insurance after raising fines

Nov 28 (EN) The number of applicants for driving licences and motor insurance has more than doubled since the govt announced sharp increases in traffic fines. There was an unexpected rush for obtaining driving licences as well as regularising registration documents of vehicles underscoring the large number of people who operated vehicles without valid documents. The govt will allow a one-month amnesty period more..

No arrangements for Lankan elephant Kaavan during winter

Nov 28 (Dawn) Now that winter has set in, the management of the Marghazar Zoo is worried about the fate of Kaavan, the lone elephant, who requires special arrangements during the winter months. Kaavan belongs to Sri Lanka, where the temperature does not drop below zero degrees Celsius. A letter has been moved to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to hand over the services of the elephant’s caretaker, currently working in the human resources department, more..

SL sees rapid growth of overseas tourists

Nov 28 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has seen rapid growth of overseas tourists, expecting total foreign visitors to reach 2.2 million in 2016, up 26% from 2015. Sri Lanka's Tourism Authority said that country has welcomed 1.7 million visitors as of October, a 14.6% increase compared with the same time period last year. India, China and the UK are the top three source markets for Sri Lanka. The govt recently launched several initiatives to attract international arrivals, including increasing direct flights more..