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Rs 8.1B for debt servicing

Oct 15 (CT) With outflows, mainly propelled by the Govt's foreign debt servicing costs, estimated at over US$ one billion in the three months to the year end, Rs 8.11 billion in excess liquidity was creamed off from the money market at yesterday's trading to meet this demand, data showed. This follows Rs 10.61 billion creamed off for a similar purpose the previous day (13). The required US dollars are bought from CBSL's foreign reserves so as not to cause downward pressure on the rupee, more..

China, Sri Lanka vow to enhance legislative cooperation

Oct 15 (Xinhua) Chinese top legislator Zhang Dejiang held talks with the Speaker of the SL parliament Karu Jayasuriya on Friday, calling for enhanced parliamentary cooperation between the two countries. Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, hailed the profound friendship between China and Sri Lanka, saying the Sri Lankan leaders' visits to China showed that more..

Manufacturing PMI picks up in September but series head South

Oct 15 (FT) Services and manufacturing decided to head in opposite directions in September with the PMI of the latter increasing 4.2 index points to 57.7 in September from 53.5 in August, while services sector PMI recorded 57.7 index points in September from 61.2 index points for the same period, the Central Bank said in a statement yesterday. The Manufacturing Sector PMI was 57.7 in September which is an increase of 4.2 index points from 53.5 in August 2016. more..

Probe ordered into releasing wealthy treasure hunter et al on police bail

Oct 15 (Island) Senior DIG Central Lalith Jayasinghe has ordered his senior police officers in Kandy to investigate and report into an alleged case of releasing on police bail a group of treasure hunters led by a wealthy trader with their vehicles taken into custody. The detection was made on a tip-off from villagers in Rangala. The gang was taken into custody while trying to blast a rock as they believed there was a treasure concealed underneath it. Suspects involved in treasure hunting more..

Gota hails President for slamming anti-corruption bodies

Oct 15 (FT) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has hailed President Sirisena’s fiery speech that drew sharp criticism from civil society and opposition political parties and exposed a major rift in the ruling UNF-SLFP coalition. Speaking from China, where he is attending a defence summit, powerful former official in Rajapaksa Govt said he was happy the President had finally understood the truth more..

Politicians allergic to prison cells

Oct 15 (CT) There has not been any change in the trend of politicians seeking admission to the Prison Hospital immediately after being handed a prison sentence. According to Prison Department sources, former MP and death row inmate Duminda Silva had developed a fever and has been spotted in the Prison Hospital for over a week. Another MP, NFF member Jayantha Samaraweera had also been admitted to the Welikada Prison Hospital on the first day of his incarceration. more..

Two injured in a Police shooting in Trinco

Oct 15 (CT) Two persons were injured in a Police shooting at dawn yesterday (13) at the Trincomalee Courts Junction. The victims had been admitted to Trincomalee General Hospital. One of the injured was Dilip Kumara, a resident of Kalawanchikudi, Batticaloa, and the other was a resident of Trincomalee. A Police officer who had been on duty near Trincomalee Courts had around 12:30 a.m. observed an individual being forced into a van near the Kovil located at the Courts Junction, more..

BC, CID, FCID top officials deeply offended

Oct 15 (DN) CIABOC Chairman, Justice T.B. Weerasuriya is likely to tender his resignation. He was a forthright judge during his tenure as a SC judge and also continued his work with the same diligence as CIABOC Chairman. Recent remarks by President with regard to CIABOC has extremely upset Weerasuriya and he has expressed his desire to quit his job. He had explained that his continuing in his post would be an embarrassment. more..

Germany to help SL achieve dev. goals

Oct 15 (DM) Govt of Germany will extend its full cooperation to Sri Lankan govt in its endeavours to achieve the set development goals under good governance, Ambassador of Germany to SL Juergen Morhard said. German Ambassador Morhard announced this when he met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake at the Ministry of Finance yesterday. German ambassador also stated that several top level entrepreneurs from his country were anticipating to investing in Sri Lanka more..

China donates new sanitation facility to Dalada Maligawa

Oct 15 (FT) Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang was invited to attend the handover ceremony of a new sanitation facility in Sri Lanka’s most prestigious Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The new sanitation facility, which is the largest and most advanced facility of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, was granted by China and built by China Hunan Construction Engineering Group. It includes public toilets and supporting facilities. Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara more..

Fairy Tales for the people: H’tota port and airport PPPs to fetch over $1b: PM

Oct 15 (FT) An upbeat PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves would be boosted by over $1 billion when proposed Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) for the Hambantota port and airport are wound up next month. Following PM’s visit to Beijing in April 2016, it was announced that Sri Lankan Govt had proposed debt-equity swaps for the Hambantota mega infrastructure projects. more..

Customs seizes haul of conch shells

Oct 15 (DN) Customs officials at BIA, Katunayake yesterday seized a haul of conch shells and other shells to be smuggled out of the country violating the Customs Ordinance, Fauna and Flora Ordinance and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act. An Indian national who arrived in the country for business purposes had bought these shells from persons in Hambantota and Tangalle. The suspect had told the Customs that he was planning to sell the shells back to Indian devotees for religious activities. more..

Green party is set to weed out double dealers

Oct 15 (DM) Green party has identified several members of its Diyawanna group as double dealers and the party’s whip is about to come down on them, they say. The party hierarchy has received reports that some of them are in the habit of openly criticizing the party leadership. Three to four from among the double dealers hailing from Galle, Polonnaruwa and Kalutara are already facing disciplinary action for undertaking foreign travel without the nod of the party leadership.   more..

Purawesi y2/yy unhappy with President’s recent statement on BC

Oct 15 (DN) The members of the Purawesi y2/yy condemned the statement made by President Sirisena regarding the recent action by the Bribery Commission to summon former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and three former Service Commanders to court over bribery allegations. NMSJ convener Prof Sarath Wijesooriya said during the previous regime, former Defence Secretary acted like an Executive President. more..

President leaves for India to attend BRICS Outreach Summit today

Oct 15 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for India today to attend the BRICS Outreach Summit to be held in Goa over the weekend. This will be the 8th annual BRICS summit, which will be chaired by India. BRICS is an international conference attended by the heads of state of the five member states that are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. President Sirisena, together with the heads of state of the member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for more..

Three-hour dragnet using 1000 cops captures 280 wanted people in WP

Oct 15 (Island) Police had nabbed 280 wanted criminals and other offenders during the special operation it conducted within Western Province on Thursday night. Among those taken into the custody were 80 suspects and criminals who had been evading the police though there were arrest warrants against them and around 75 drunk drivers. Around 1,000 policemen and women were deployed in the special operation that started around 11 pm on Thursday and ended at 2 am yesterday. more..

Activists demand sacking of military intelligence chief

Oct 15 (EN) Top civil society activists came out strongly against President’s  controversial remarks and demanded that he sack a top army intelligence officer to end a deepening political crisis. Professor Sarath Wijesuriya said that President Sirisena, whom they backed at Jan 2015 elections, had become a hostage of army intelligence chief, Brigadier Tuan Suresh Sallay, and accused him causing tensions within the unity govt. more..

Cataract lenses free of charge for needy people

Oct 15 (DM) Thursday Oct 13 was World Sight Day. It is the fourth year of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s global action plan and the WHO affiliated International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) encourages its members and partners to continue with the rolling theme Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014–2019. This year, the Call to Action for World Sight Day is Stronger Together.   Vision 2020, a movement which works under Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry more..

Buddha’s Dialogue on General Systems of Philosophical Opinion

Oct 15 (DM) Buddhists identify the present period as the, Gautama Samma Sambuddha, era. It is said that the appearance of a Buddha in this World is one of most extraordinary and unique events. The sublime chronicle Anguttara Nikaya, in one of its glorious phrases describe Tathagata Gautama; fully Enlightened One, as, “A unique being, an Extraordinary Man arisen in this World for the benefit of many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the World, for the Good, more..

Indo-Lanka fishing issue drags as talks loom

Oct 15 (SL) Fishermen in once war-torn Jaffna Peninsula claim that they were treated as a marginalised group by successive govts, firstly due to the terrorists activities in the area. Thavashselvam Thanushan, President of the Jaffna District Fishermen’s Society federation, says the UNP led govt came to power with a pledge, stressing the good governance policy would treat every citizen equally. more..

Gaps identified in opportunities for war affected women

Oct 15 (CG) Serious gaps have been identified in the services and opportunities available for war affected women, especially war widows including military widows and female-headed households, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) said. ONUR with the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs have embarked on an ambitious journey to promote the role of women in reconciliation. more..

Where does TNA leadership stand on Federalism and Merger ?

Oct 15 (DM) The TNA leadership has every right to take a stand on any national issue. They also have a special responsibility and the right to decide on any issue related to the Tamil people. That also carries the right to change or amend their position(s) in relation to changing situations and context. But, as a responsible leadership, they are also bound to tell the people what their new position is, on any and every issue. more..

Dialog braces for next jump in Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (DN) Axiata Group Berhad Malaysia is looking at aggressively investing in the proposed megalopolis project in Sri Lanka, its CEO, Idham Nawawi said He said that in addition to mobile and data communication they want to get involved in setting up of a payment gateway. “In addition we also want to offer 5G, smart metering, IOT (Internet of Things) and other similar services. Tracking of transport via GPS and other more..

Tax to live clean

Oct 15 (NS) Local govt authorities announced that there was a high probability of a new sewerage tax being introduced in the near future as part of the upgrading of the 91-year-old waste water system taking place under ADB funded Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project. Sewage network in the country had only a coverage of 3%, and 70% of the areas within City of Colombo are under sewerage. more..

UPFA Gen. Sec. echoes President’s views

Oct 15 (Island) UPFA General Secretary and Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said on Thursday that though a number of independent commissions had been appointed to look into corruptions, the officials of those institutions would not always be independent and they might have political agendas. He was addressing the media at the opening ceremony of a Boat Exhibition at Dikowita Fisheries Harbour. more..

Mineral sands employees up in arms

Oct 15 (SL) The Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has come under severe criticism for his attempt to make Lanka Mineral Sands Limited a cash strapped institution. Mineral Sands employees are up in arms against Minister Bathiudeen for recruiting 117 labourers as trainees subjected on casual basis last year for its Pulmudai plant although there was no such requirement. Bypassing Election Commissioner’s strict regulations, more..

Former Customs official charges delay in CITES listing of endangered reptiles

Oct 15 (ST) A delay by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) to submit a proposal to include newly discovered endangered reptiles to the CITES list (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is preventing international action against those smuggling reptile species out the country, a former Customs Deputy Director claimed. Mr. Samantha Gunasekara, more..

Ex-intelligence man admits to Lasantha killing, hangs himself

Oct 15 (Island) Investigations into the murder of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunga took a new turn with a retired sergeant major of the army intelligence unit committing suicide by hanging himself at his home in Kegalle after allegedly signing a letter admitting to the killing, police headquarters sources said. Dead sergeant major was identified as Edirisinghe Jayamanne (52), a resident of Karandupana, Kegalle. more..

Refugees’ welcome mat has holes

Oct 15 (ST) Increasing numbers of SL refugees are returning from South India but the govt has run out of money in essential programmes to help them rebuild their lives. More than 550 refugees have returned to Sri Lanka this year to date, almost 20% more than the total for last year. Most of them are settling in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Trinco and Kandy. Govt is encouraging refugees to return to their homeland but the practical more..

Funeral of Adil Bakir Markar

Oct 15 (ITN) The funeral of Late Adil Barkir Markar will take place at the Jawatta Muslim Burial Grounds tomorrow. He was 26 years old at the time of his demise. He is the son of former Minister and present Chairman of Media Centre Imitiyas Bakir Markar. Adil Bakir Markar who is an Attorney at Law was in London to follow a Postgraduate Degree in Political Science at the time of his demise. He was a Director of National Youth Services Council and Old Boy of Royal College Colombo. more..

The proposed constitution will worsen the ethnic issue

Oct 15 (CT) Although the draft of the proposed constitution is not yet available, comments made by authors indicates its fundamentals. It will be again the same old wine poured into new wineskins, especially in terms building peace sustainably. It is clear from remarks made by the PM and the M.P. Mr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, a member of the Steering Committee drafting the new constitution that the new constitution will also adhere to philosophical principles of Majoritarianism, more..

Video: Stop Intimidating Investigators – Civil Society tells Sirisena

Oct 15 (CT) Civil Society organisations which played a key role in electing President Sirisena in Jan 2015, have strongly condemned his high pitched speech at the Sathviru Sanhinda programme. Purawesi y2/yy and National Movement for a Just Society reminded Sirisena of his election manifesto and urged the allegation leveled at Bribery Commission to be withdrawn. This is besides requesting him to more..

Education Minister clarifies on Grade 5 scholarship plans

Oct 15 (AM) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam clarified a report on denying opportunity to enter popular schools through Grade 5 Scholarship, saying that his comments have been misinterpreted. Minister, speaking to a vernacular newspaper, said that a committee has been appointed to look into the possible reforms that could be made for the exam, as it has become a huge strain on the children. The committee is considering all possible changes that could more..

Athletes caught in ugly crossfire of empty words

Oct 15 (CT) Plenty of crossfire was seen between senior athletes and authorities in charge at the National Sports Festival recently, over an incident coming out of that meet held in Jaffna. The matter over spilt later and became a national issue, quite unnecessarily. The question arose regarding the confirmation of the 800-metre record set by Nimali Liyanarachchi at the meet and leading officials intervening in the matter explained how these hand timed records are ratified internationally. more..

Media Secretary dives into Sri Lanka's deepening political crisis

Oct 15 (EN) Media Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage has attempted to defuse political tensions triggered by President Maithripala Sirisena's controversial comments, but his move may have raised more questions. "A controversy has arisen following a speech by the President during an internal meeting discussing a subject within his defence ministry," Bopage said in a statement. He did not say why the President's media unit more..

'Conspirators cannot create a rift between President and PM'

Oct 15 (ITN) UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim has said that conspirators will not be able to shatter the political awareness between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. He made this reference at a media conference held at the Wattarama Purana Vihare in Kegalla. Kabir Hasheem pointed out that Opponents were suing the good governance to achieve their narrow minded goals. He pointed out that President’s statements were being exploited for opportunistic ends. more..

JSC takes tough measures to speed up cases in District and Magistrates’ Courts

Oct 15 (ST) District Courts will be required to dispose of cases pending more than 10 years within the next two years and Magistrates’ courts will have to dispose of cases pending over five years within one year. The directive has come in a circular issued by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) and will come into effect from November 01. The JSC said the measures were found to be required after taking into consideration public petitions about the law’s delays. more..

Mahamodera strike by nurses stretches to third day with no solution in sight

Oct 15 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) amidst rumours that its strike at Mahamodera hospital had led to the death of a new born infant,  warned they would continue with their strike today as well. PSUNU Administrative Secretary Dayananda Boralessa said the strike was not against the govt or the Health Ministry, but the inefficient hospital administration.  Neither the Health Minister nor the President more..

Death by hanging confirmed

Oct 15 (ITN) The postmortem conducted into the death of Sargent Major who committed suicide saying that he is responsible to the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, has found that it was a death by hanging.  Kegalla Police and the CID jointly conducted the investigations into the death.  The Sargent Major has committed suicide after writing a letter. The letter states that he murdered Lasantha Wickrematunga and he has requested to release Premananda Udalagama who is in custody. more..

'Govt saved country from Western sanctions'

Oct 15 (Island) The joint administration formed by the two major political parties had prevented the imposition of sanctions on Sri Lanka by the western powers, said Minister Lakshman Kiriella at the annual prize giving of Sri Rahula College, Katugastota. The creation of a peaceful atmosphere based on unity and reconciliation among communities, had helped the new government win the confidence and recognition of the international community, the Minister noted. more..