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Asia Rugby recognition for Malik S.

Oct 18 (CT) Asia Rugby awarded a special award to former Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) President and rugby promoter Malik Samarawickrama for his outstanding contribution for Asian rugby. This is the first time that a Sri Lankan has received such recognition from Asia Rugby. Samarawickrama has served SLRFU as Treasurer, Vice President, President and also one time Sri Lanka National Team Manager. After leaving school he joined the CR & FC. more..

Free dental checkups for Sri Lankan students in Oman

Oct 18 (TOO) More than 3,000 students from the Sri Lankan School, Muscat will receive free dental checkups at a dental awareness camp organised by Al Essa Dental Clinic. Running at the school on the 17th and 18th of October, dentists at the campwill also educate children about the importance of dental hygiene at a young age. Neel Subasinghe, the Principal of the Sri Lankan School, Muscat, told Times of Oman it was compulsory for all children in the school to visit the dentist during more..

IOM to extend assistance to Sri Lanka in training and capacity building

Oct 18 (IL) The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has expressed readiness to further enhance its assistance to Sri Lanka, by providing training and capacity building support for the Ministries of Foreign Employment and Foreign Affairs, and to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE). It was agreed to extend cooperation in areas of countering human trafficking & people smuggling operations, more..

Croc wreaks havoc on cop shop

Oct 18 (Island) Chaos reigned in at Nochchiyagama Police station with panic stricken policemen running helter-skelter after a crocodile entered the station in the wee hours of yesterday. According to police sources the crocodile entered the miscellaneous complaints section around 3.30 am and then proceeded to the Crimes Investigation Branch where it got stuck in a room. Policemen tried their level best to capture the eight-and-a-half-foot long croc, but in vain. more..

SC concludes arguments on VAT Bill

Oct 18 (DN) Supreme Court yesterday concluded arguments put forward in support and against the Bill titled, Value Added Tax (Amendment) through the Special Determination Petitions and all parties in the petition were directed to file written submissions on or before October 19. CS’s determination over the proposed Bill is to be communicated to the Speaker. Supreme Court bench comprised Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Anil Goonaratne and Justice Prasanna Jayawardena. more..

SLFP denies claim of rift between Prez & PM

Oct 18 (Island) The SLFP denied any rift between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an attempt to quell rumours after the President’s public outburst against CID, FCID and CIABOC. SLFP Treasurer and Minister S.B. Dissanayake said a section of MPs including the members of the Joint Opposition was dreaming of forming a govt by next April, but nobody could topple the present regime. more..

Prisons dump CCTV plan

Oct 18 (CT) Department of Prisons has decided to give up the idea of fixing CCTV cameras within the prisons. Previously, it had been planned to fix CCTV cameras inside the Welikada Remand and Magazine Prisons. Subsequent to quotations being called for fixing of these cameras, it was estimated that fixing of CCTV cameras in prisons will cost a sum of Rs 30 million. Media Spokesman for Prisons said that therefore the decision to fix CCTV cameras within prison premises had been shelved. more..

PM calls for innovation, technology and right skills to speed up development

Oct 18 (DM) As Sri Lanka looks to speed up its development pace to become a high income economy by 2030, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the need for innovation, technology, and having technical personnel with the right skills, to achieve the target. In a bid to leapfrog and make up for the lost opportunities, Wickremesinghe asserted that in Sri Lanka’s journey in becoming a high income economy “up-scaling” in all the spheres of technology was imperative. more..

Video: MR says surprised over President's FCID remark

Oct 18 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he was surprised to note that President Maithripala Sirisena was unaware of the action of the FCID. Addressing a religious ceremony on Sunday, he said the Executive President should be strong enough to run the country properly. “But during the past two years the govt focused only on taking revenge,” he said. He said the govt took revenge not only from him more..

‘President left after Karu returned’

Oct 18 (Island) Apropos our front-page news item yesterday CJ in charge, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Office has said that President Maithripala Sirisena left for India 14 hours after the Speaker had returned from China. Speaker’s Office said that the SL parliamentary delegation that visited China had returned to the BIA on Oct 15 at 5.50 am and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had left for Brussels on Oct 16 at 3.15 am. Therefore Speaker had returned to the country before more..

Wushu: Foreign coach to train National pool

Oct 18 (CT) At the opening ceremony of the 5th National Wushu Championship held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday, Chief Executive Officer and former President of the Wushu Federation of Sri Lanka Manel Dharmakeerthie said, "With the backing of the Minister of Sports, the Wushu Federation of Sri Lanka will appoint a foreign coach for a six-month period to train the National pool targeting a Silver or a Bronze medal at the forthcoming Asian Games." He further said, more..

Phone records wiped off device belonging to soldier who claimed he killed Lasantha

Oct 18 (DN) Police teams have found that records on the phone belonging to the soldier who killed himself last week, after claiming responsibility for the death of Lasantha Wickremetunga, have been wiped out. Police have contracted the help of the mobile phone provider, to track down records of the deleted short message service (sms) and phone conversations the retired soldier had, in the days leading up to his death. more..

Students and teachers support estate workers protest

Oct 18 (DN) Students of the Kotagala Pathana Sri Pada School in Hatton, and their teachers, joined a protest by estate workers this morning. A majority of the students at the schools are the offspring of estate workers. The students and teachers joined the estate workers in holding up placard and demanding a wage hike. Estate workers across the island have been engaged in protests for weeks on end. They are asking that Rs. 1, 000 be added to their wage. more..

Azwer lashes out at govt

Oct 18 (CT) "We view with utter dismay the shameful behaviour of the Govt of Sri Lanka to have abstained from voting for the UNESCO resolution condemning the action of Israel in unleashing violence in Al-Quds Jerusalem," General Secretary of Muslim Progressive Front and former Minister Alhaj A.H.M. Azwer said. Issuing a press communiqué he said: "This a terrible blow to the non-aligned policy followed throughout, beginning from the time of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Govt. more..

'Diaspora won’t come until new constitution'

Oct 18 (DN) Diaspora isn’t coming back to the country until such time a new constitution is implemented, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said. He said that they (Diaspora) are waiting for the implementation of the new constitution which is to be introduced shortly. He stressed on the importance of developing the agricultural, fishing and livestock sectors in its progress march towards making Sri Lanka a hub of the region. more..

Mr. President please explain

Oct 18 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena’s remark at a function held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on October 12 that the CID, FCID and the Independent Commissions are politicised, has also been politicised within hours. Many people seem to attempt to take political mileage of it. However, one has to acknowledge that the matter that the President had raised was very serious and hence the remark might have its own repercussions. This is in brief what the President said:  more..

On-your-face crony capitalism Perhaps, the President is making a point

Oct 18 (DM) There were two disturbing developments last week. First, it was President Maithripala Sirisena’s speech at an event held at the SLFI, where he expressed his displeasure and disgust at the hauling before the court of the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and three former commanders of the Navy, in a case filed by the Bribery Commission. The President’s speech sent shivers across the country, for it implied a clear departure from the pledges, more..

Hazardous Badulla smog still hugs town

Oct 18 (ST) Days after a blaze broke out in five acres of trash mounds in Badulla, the smoke billowing from the conflagration continues to be a health hazard with authorities shutting down eight schools and hospitals and govt dispensaries witnessing a rise in the number of patients. Garbage dumped here is often mixed waste, including paper, plastic containers, bottles, cans and at times electronic goods more..

Don't change provisions on National Flag, National Anthem & Buddhism: JO

Oct 18 (DM) In its proposals to the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reforms, the joint opposition (JO) has said the constitutional provisions on matters such as the National Flag (NF) and National Anthem (NA) and the status accorded to Buddhism should in no way be compromised. The JO states that sovereignty rested in the people and was inalienable according to the current constitution and should be retained unchanged. more..

'If Unitary State compromised, country’s disintegration inevitable'

Oct 18 (DM) In what appeared to be a major policy shift, Democratic Left Front stalwart joint opposition MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who once stood for self-determination, said the leftist allies had decided to advocate a Unitary State with the Provincial Council as the unit of devolution. He said it was a stance taken after he moved from the Nawa Sama Samaja Party (NSSP). Excerpts of the interview are as follows: more..

The Sri Lankan Kumarikawa in China

Oct 18 (DM) What an exciting moment it would be if you met a friend or a relative after twenty five or thirty years? Then, how about personally meeting a descendant of one of our kings who ruled the country some six hundred years ago?   During a visit to China in August we, a group of Sri Lankan journalists had that exciting experience. Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry officials had arranged an audience for us with a descendant of a SL more..

Sri Lanka ranks 87th in Hunger Index

Oct 18 (DM) Sri Lanka ranked 87th among developing countries in the Global Hunger index indicating the country had some levels of poverty and malnutrition to combat. The Index which took into account 118 developing countries, ranked three of Sri Lanka’s neighbours in lower ranks. Among the South Asian countries India ranked 97 with Afghanistan and Pakistan bringing in the rear. The GHI is calculated by taking into account more..

Joint Opposition delays launching new party till next year

Oct 18 (AM) The Joint Opposition has decided to delay the launching of the new party till early next year, political sources said. The Joint Opposition has done most of the organizational work for the new movement and had taken steps to prepare a party constitution as well. However, the leaders of the JO have now decided to wait till December and observe the moves taken by President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Finance Minister obtains proposals for budget from Ceylon Chamber

Oct 18 (LBO) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake recently met with the committee members of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to obtain their views on the upcoming Budget presentation. The discussion was chaired by Chairman of the Chamber Samantha Ranatunga and each committee member was given an opportunity to express their views on the upcoming budget and also raise sector related issues. more..

DEW dissects govt crisis

Oct 18 (Island) General Secretary of the Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera warned that the country was heading for anarchy with infighting and dissension within the govt ranks and the economy in a shambles. The witch hunt against political opponents of the powers that be was continuing at a pace. He said President Sirisena’s statement last week was the culmination of a series of contradictions within the govt ranks. more..

PUC to investigate Norochcholai malfunction

Oct 18 (NR) The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has decided to conduct an investigation into the sudden malfunction of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai. Director General Damith Kumarasinghe said the Commission hopes to uncover what led to the technical malfunction of the plant. Kumarasinghe said steps will be taken to ensure that such a situation does not arise again in future. He said the attention of the PUC hasto more..

European Council vows to regain GSP+

Oct 18 (NR) European Council President Donald Tusk has pledged the Council’s fullest support to regain the Generalized System of Preferences plus concession for Sri Lanka. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is in Brussels met with Donald Tusk yesterday. Tusk during discussions with PM said Sri Lanka’s current political and social reforms have led to the possibility of regaining the concessions. more..

ADB mulls restoring Sri Lanka wetland

Oct 18 (EN) Asian Development Bank is considering giving aid to Sri Lanka to restore a key wetland north of Colombo which could help reduce flooding, an ADB official said. The proposed project highlights the economic importance of wetlands and how ecosystems, which get degraded with urbanisation and industrial development, could be valued, said Herath Gunatilake, ADB’s Director Regional and Sustainable Development Department. “The project on urban improvements in Colombo is more..

Engagement in North brings encouraging results 

Oct 18 (CT) The furor over the the Eluga Thamil (Tamils arise) rally that took place in Jaffna last month is receding. At those protests a powerful and angry people’s movement was in evidence, led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, and organised by the Tamil People’s Council (TPC), an organisation that the Chief Minister heads. In addition, several Tamil political parties, including some constituents of the TNA participated. The demands put forward by the organizers more..

'ජනතාව රැවටීම' මහ බැංකුවේ හිටපු නි. අධිපති

Only way for rural children to enter popular schools

Oct 18 (CT) A few weeks back, the results of one of the most competitive examinations faced by children, Grade Five scholarship was released. With the release of the results multiple opinions were expressed on the examination, most of which claim for reforms. It was reported recently that the Education Ministry had appointed a committee to look into the matter and come up with recommendations. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had said that there were many reform more..

Avant Garde case: Senadhipathi seeks permission to travel abroad

Oct 18 (DM) Avant Garde Chairman, Nissanka Senadhipathi, today sought court permission to travel to Singapore for medical treatment. The motion, filed by Counsel Ajith Pathirana PC representing Senadipathi, is to be taken up on October 20. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya also noticed the Bribery Commission for its stance and requested it be presented to court when the motion is taken up once again.  Court imposed a travel ban on the suspect after more..

Plantation firms ink wage deal with unions

Oct 18 (EN) Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) have signed a new collective agreement with labour unions to increase estate worker minimum daily wages to Rs. 730, saying earnings have been linked to productivity for the first time. Workers will be paid an additional productivity incentive of Rs 25 per kilogram for green leaf harvested above the estate or divisional norm, Planters Association of Ceylon (PA) more..

Sri Lankan to take over Mihin Lanka services

Oct 18 (TOI) Sri Lankan Airlines - the national carrier of the island nation - will take over all the services of Mihin Lanka, the subsidiary of the airlines, effective from Oct 30. In a notification, the Sri Lankan Airlines stated that it would be absorbing all Mihin Lanka's routes under its extensive network and continue the services. Mihin Lanka officials in Madurai said the Madurai-Colombo flights operated by Mihin Lanka on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday would be taken over by Sri Lankan Airlines more..

Woman holds protest on mara tree

Oct 18 (DN)  A 56-year-old mother of three, Wathukanda Gamage Premalatha, who ran a wayside temporary shop made of planks at Thawaluwila, Ambantota on the Hambantota - Tangalle main road, climbed a nearby mara tree and launched a demonstration protesting against an official order to dismantle her shop. She said she had maintained this shop since 2011 as a means of livelihood and alleged that authorities acting under pressure of a powerful individual had directed more..

Sajith responds to leaked video

Oct 18 (AD) Providing a clarification with regard to a video of him recently leaked online, Minister Sajith Premadasa says that there is an unemployment issue in Hambantota and that he was merely addressing the problem and providing solutions. The leaked video shows the minister ordering his staff to write letters of recommendations to other ministries, while also instructing his staff to give labour and security jobs for people more..

Welgama’s house searched for bulletproof vehicles

Oct 18 (CG) The residence of former Minister Kumara Welgama was searched today for bulletproof vehicles owned by the govt. Officers of the police Special Investigations Unit conducted the search based on a court order. The search was carried out at Welgama’s Mathugama residence based on a complaint made that the former Minister had in his possession some bulletproof vehicles. Govt vehicles were alleged to have been kept at Welgama’s residence illegally more..

CBK intervenes following President's controversial speech

Oct 18 (AM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has intervened to bring down the tension withing good governance govt especially after the controversial speech made by President on Oct 12. Kumaratunga met with the President, PM and Minister Malik Samarawickrama in a special discussion following the speech last week, before President and PM went abroad. However, following the speech by President Sirisena, BC Director General resigned from her office. more..

Sri Lanka destroys seized bird nests destined for soup

Oct 18 (AFP) Custom officers destroyed 45 kg (99 pounds) of rare bird nests that are considered a delicacy in China and have a street value of nearly half a million dollars. The officers burnt the pile of swallows' nests confiscated mainly from passengers' airport luggage and postal parcels intended for overseas delivery over the past four years. ‘We destroyed this stock to demonstrate our commitment to protect endangered species,’ more..

Samsung Note 7 banned aboard SriLankan, Mihin

Oct 18 (DM) SriLankan Airlines today banned passengers and crew members from using and carrying Samsung Note 7 phones on board SriLankan and Mihin Lanka aircraft with immediate effect. SriLankan Airlines said the ban comes into effect subsequent to the series of incident reported on explosions of the mobile device when connected to power. “With the Airline's prime priority being the safety and well-being of passengers, the Airline took immediate action to advise the passengers more..