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Church-led protest against Port City causes chaos on Colombo-Negombo road

Oct 19 (Island) Catholic clergy assisted the Negombo police Monday evening in ending a protest at Kurana level crossing near the Negombo Town Hall on Colombo-Chilaw road. Protesters, mostly fishermen, blocked the road for several hours against the govt decision to allow dredging of sand in Negombo-Dikowita deep seas to reclaim land from the sea to build the proposed Port City. Thousands of students, office workers more..

People's Bank digitalisation: Kabir wants Committee report urgently

Oct 19 (DN) Daya Liyanage Committee probing the digitalisation of the People's Bank, is now investigating if the programme had followed the legal procurement process, State Enterprise Development Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana said. The Committee had already obtained a large number of bank data relevant to the investigation, for inspection. No sooner than a conclusion is arrived at, the Committee would submit its report to Minister Kabir Hashim for tabling in Parliament. more..

Speaker meets with Commission Heads, including CIABOC

Oct 19 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya conducted special meetings with the chairmen and members of five independent commissions - including The CIABOC, yesterday. Speaker had held separate meetings with members of CIABOC, Police Commission, National Procurement Commission, Finance Commission and Elections Commission throughout the day. CIABOC Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, who tendered her resignation on Monday, attended meeting. more..

Search for bulletproof vehicles on Welgama’s estate draws a blank

Oct 19 (Island) Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) yesterday morning descended on a 250-acre estate belonging to UPFA MP Kumara Welgama at Horawala, Matugama, claiming they had information that two bullet proof cars were hidden there. They left-empty handed after an exhaustive search. The team carried out the search for about two hours. A team headed by an ASP had carried out the search operation on a court more..

Hashim assures govt will not privatise SLIC

Oct 19 (DM) During an official visit to the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) yesterday, Minister Kabir Hashim pledged that the govt would not privatise the state-owned insurance giant. “There are many misconceptions that my Ministry is all about selling and privatising State assets. This is not the case at all and I want to assure all of you that this organization will not be privatised under this govt headed by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe,” Hashim said.  more..

Dilrukshi still in office?

Oct 19 (DM) The govt has so far not issued an official statement regarding the acceptance of the letter of resignation of Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, the director general of the CIABOC. Consequently she had visited the commission's office yesterday and continued with her official duties. An officer of a state institution who submits a letter of resignation is considered as holding his or her post until the letter is accepted by the authorities concerned. more..

CID seeks details of 30 bank A/Cs Edirisinghe Jayamanna Suicide

Oct 19 (CT) Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate gave the CID permission to obtain statements of 30 bank accounts and details of telephone conversations of the family members of the former Army Sergeant Major Edirisinghe Jayamanna, a resident of Karandupana, Kegalla, who committed suicide, leaving behind a note claiming he had killed Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. CID making submissions in Court more..

Convicted Major pays Rs 2 million to LTTE’er relatives

Oct 19 (Island) Convicted Major Wimal Wickramage, formerly attached to the Pt. Pedro Army camp yesterday paid Rs. 2,000,000 as compensation to the nearest relative of deceased LTTE suspect Robert Wellington. The money was given to the widow. The court directed the widow to take Rs. 1,000,000 and the father of the deceased to take the balance Rs. 1,000,000. Convict also paid Rs. 10,000 as a fine. Deceased was shot on or about Oct 26, 1998, when he tried to escape from an army more..

EU promises Rs. 34 billion to Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (DM) European Union announced in Brussels that it would provide a sum of Euro 210 million (Rs. 34 billion) to Sri Lanka for its development up to year 2020. A statement issued by the PM's office said this was twice as much as the aid received during the years 2007 to 2013. European Union is to provide this aid for the establishment of sustainable development, the resettlement of internally displaced persons and the development of poverty stricken areas in Sri Lanka. more..

President accepts bribery chief's resignation

Oct 19 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena informed his cabinet Tuesday that decided to accept bribery commission director general's resignation after he questioned her integrity. Maithripala Sirisena was due to make a fresh appointment shortly. During Tuesday's closed-door cabinet meeting, Sirisena sought to explain his frustration with the bribery commission headed by Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, FCID and CID. more..

Monumental deal to stop use of HFCs

Oct 19 (DM) In a monumental move in the life-or-death battle against global warming and climate change, nearly 200 countries have agreed on a legally binding deal to cut back on greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners. The deal, which includes the world’s two biggest economies and polluters, the United States and China, divides countries into three groups with different deadlines to reduce the use of factory-made hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) gases, more..

Protect Maithri for the survival of Unity Govt

Oct 19 (DM) Anti-corruption work has been given top most position after the elections, despite the many challenges ahead of us.  The President, and PM, who represents two different political parties need to be together as without a two thirds majority in Parliament many of the reforms cannot be achieved. Currently the President faces a huge problem of intra-party conflict within his party and is aware of that politically. His hands have to be strengthened. PM virtually runs the country from another more..

'People gave two major parties mandate to form govt'

Oct 19 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena’s scathing criticism of some state institutions would not break up the govt, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. He said: "There domestic disputes but they do not lead to divorce. Such problems can be sorted out through discussions. It is the same with this govt. There are things that we do not agree and are unhappy about. But we have the ability to rectify those errors and move forward" he said. more..

'I have self-confidence to perform the duties of Presidency well'

Oct 19 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a recent interview hinted about his future plans which included entering national politics if he was invited. The once-powerful Defence Secretary says he was not addicted to power but was willing to give it up when time was ripe. Q: Are you aware of the present political situation in the country? A: Although I am not directly involved in politics, I am quite aware of more..

'We should not cling to labels such as unitary or Federal'

Oct 19 (DM) MP Dr. Jayampathi Wickramaratne, who plays a pivotal role in the Constitution- making process, says he is optimistic about the process this time. In an interview Dr. Wickramaratne, who served in the drafting committee of the 2000 Constitution, he spoke about the meaningful and extensive devolution of power. Q: How far have you progressed in the Constitution-making process at the Steering Committee?   more..

Clinton to be urged to bring Sri Lankan war criminals to ICC

Oct 19 (CG) A US based Tamil diaspora group says it will urge US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to bring alleged Sri Lankan war criminals to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Tamils for Clinton, which is supporting Clinton at the Presidential elections next month, noted that so far Tamils have not seen substantial results in Sri Lanka after the latest UNHRC resolution. “Currently, about half a million displaced Tamil people more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe hits out at Good Governance Champion Sarath Wijesuriya

Oct 19 (AM) Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe hit out at NMSJ Convener Sarath Wijesuriya, challenging him to an open TV debate. Rajapakshe said that Wijesuriya has made two baseless comments on him. He has said that Rajapakshe will not let any one of the Rajapaksa family be arrested while he is Justice Minister. Also, Wijesuriya claimed that judiciary will not be independent till he is Justice Minister, more..

Ambassador resigns amid controversy over Lankan school in Qatar

Oct 19 (ST) Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Qatar has resigned from his post amid a controversy over a Sri Lankan school in Doha. Ambassador W.M. Karunadasa in a statement said he was resigning due to personal reasons. But Sri Lankan sources in Qatar said the resignation followed the dispute over the Sri Lankan school administered by an influential Sri Lankan with political connections in Sri Lanka. more..

Court extends interim injunction on film Usaviya Nihadai

Oct 19 (AD) The Colombo District Court has extended the interim injunction issued against the screening of Usaviya Nihadai (Silence in the Courts), a documentary film by award winning film director Prasanna Vithanage. The Colombo District Court issued the order, when a petition filed against the film by former Magistrate Lenin Ratnayake was taken up for hearing today. The petitioner has stated that the film is more..

Tissa Attanayake remanded in forged documents case

Oct 19 (AM) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake was remanded till Dec 5 by Colombo High Court judge Kusala Weerawardhana over the preparation of a forged document. Since he is charged for alleged propagation of racial and religious hatred under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act No 56 of 2007, bail could be granted only on special circumstances, the court observed. more..

Lasantha murder: body of the retired army officer to be exhumed

Oct 19 (AD) The body of the retired army officer who was found hanging at home with a suicide note claiming responsibility for the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge will be exhumed today. The body will be exhumed following an order issued by the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court in the presence of Kegalle Magistrate Gihan Meegahage. The body of the retired officer was found at his home in Kegalle last week, more..

Killer profits for primary dealer from bonds bought with Central Bank cash

Oct 19 (EN) Perpetual Treasuries Plc, a primary dealer in govt securities, had placed bids of tens of billions of rupees at bond auctions without funds of their own and defaulted on cash borrowed from the Central Bank, a leaked report said. Perpetual Treasuries had won bids for Rs42 billion at a controversial bond auction in March 2016 and defaulted on Rs 11 billion taken from the Central Bank, a draft investigation report more..

Taking control at home spreading wings abroad

Oct 19 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake on Monday said at a media briefing at the SLFP Headquarters that "the President had issued a statement regarding the functioning of the CID, FCID and CIABOC to clear any misunderstanding that the President was involved in a witch hunt against his opponents and was responsible for having them summoned by the CID, FCID and CIABOC." Dissanayake added that the President did not interfere in the functions of those independent bodies. more..

President instructs to find out possibility of using sea sand in building construction

Oct 19 (PMD) President Sirisena instructed the relevant officials to take necessary steps to use sea sand in constructing govt buildings in the future, after conducting further analysis regarding the technology of using sea sand in building construction works. Attention has been drawn regarding this initiative as one of the steps that Govt has taken to protect natural resources. President has given this instruction during a discussion, regarding the environmental issues prevailing more..

විගණන පනත ඇයි ප්රමාද කරන්නේ?

Shares steady at 1-month closing low

Oct 19 (Reuters) Shares ended steady at their lowest close in a month on Wednesday as investors cautiously awaited directions from next month's national budget and a flurry of corporate results. Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.02% firmer at 6,444.39, hovering at its lowest close since Sept. 20 hit in the previous session. "Everybody is waiting for the budget and (and to see) if the govt will impose capital gain tax on equities," said Hussain Gani, deputy CEO at Softlogic Securities. more..

Srilal talks down under about Lankan jumbos

Oct 19 (Island) During a recent visit to Melbourne, Srilal Miththapala, Wild Life, Nature & Elephant enthusiast, and Tourism professional of Sri Lanka, delivered a talk cum slide presentation on Elephants of Sri Lanka, The Past, Present & Future to a select, and very interested audience of members of the Waverly Senior Citizens Club, Melbourne. Srilal, who has considerable experience in watching and studying wild elephants in Sri Lanka, firstly traced the historical and strong cultural and more..

Sri Lanka to conduct feasibility studies for 5 LRTs excluded by JICA

Oct 19 (LBO) Cabinet has approved conducting of detailed feasibility studies for five remaining light railway transits (LRTs) with an estimated cost of 300 million rupees. Megapolis Ministry has initially identified 7 LRTs to be constructed in the Colombo district to cater to the transport demand while leaving provisions for further extensions. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has already agreed to conduct more..

Sri Lanka to amend IP law to give GI protection to tea, cinnamon

Oct 19 (EN) Govt is to amend its intellectual property law to give recognition to Geographical Indicators (GI) to better protect products like Ceylon tea & Ceylon cinnamon. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said GIs are names or signs associated with specific products that signify their geographical location or origin and are an asset that helps in their promotion.  Manufacturers and exporters face difficulties as there is no domestic legal framework on registration of geographical indices. more..

Need for retraction & apology by President

Oct 19 (CT) Just as pathetic as the recent repugnant public criticism of the Bribery Commission, CID and FCID by the President, is the stupidity of some Ministers who have been trying to vainly put a good face on a bad speech, as if the people of this country are fools who can’t understand spoken Sinhala and will believe anything they are told. Where millions have heard and watched the widely circulated video recordings of President’s speech for themselves, the people are not deceived. more..

'Delimitation report delayed till December'

Oct 19 (NR) Minister Faizer Mustapha says the timeframe requested by the Delimitation Commission to conduct investigations into appeals has been extended. Accordingly the deadline has been set for Dec 31, 2016. The extension was granted following a request made by the Delimitation Commission. However a statement issued by Ministry called for report on investigated appeals to be submitted prior to Dec 31. more..

Illegally captured lobsters set free

Oct 19 (CT) The nine lobsters that were captured illegally by two fishermen off the coast of Wellabada, Balapitiya were released back to the sea by the officers of the Balapitiya Life Saving Training School, which is affiliated to the Department of Coast Conservation, on 17 October. This was carried out following an order given by the Balapitiya Magistrate Rajindra Jayasuriya. The Balapitiya Magistrate also fined the two fishermen who admitted their guilt, a sum of Rs 3,000 each. more..

The history of Sri Lanka’s civil war

Oct 19 (GN) At 10.21 on the night of May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur, a town 40 kilometres south of Chennai in the large Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber who would turn out to be a member of the Tamil Tigers who were fighting for independence for the Tamil area in the neighbouring country of Sri Lanka. Gandhi was in the middle of a general election seeking to regain power for the Congress Party, of which he was leader. more..

PM calls on EU Vice President

Oct 19 (GDI) High Representative of External Action and Vice President of European Union (HR/VP) Federica Mohgerini, congratulated SL authorities for their achievements over the past 21 months and reaffirmed the European Union's continued support to the SL govt and its reform agenda, which is committed to improving governance, to fighting against corruption, to strengthening economic growth, more..

Sampanthan meets Rita Izsák-Ndiaye

Oct 19 (NR) Leader of the Opposition R Sampanthan has met with the visiting UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye. During her meeting with the Opposition Leader and representatives of the TNA the UN Rapporteur had conveyed that she gathered information from various parties pertaining to serious issues of minorities especially in coexisting in the country. She had conveyed that questionable statements were made also stemming from a long drawn conflict. more..

Missing businessman returns Refuses to reveal abductors

Oct 19 (CT) A 36-year-old Tamil businessman in Kilinochchi, who had been reported to have gone missing on 12 Oct, has returned home with internal injuries and symptoms of shock. Refusing to comment on who the culprits were and why they had abducted and subjected him to torture, K Ratheesan, father of one, chose to seek protection from Police in Kilinochchi. Ratheesan's family had lodged a complaint, with Kilinochchi Police, on 12 Oct, that he had gone missing. more..

Legal battle between two women concludes after 30 years

Oct 19 (DN) lawsuit filed by a woman charging the defendant, another woman, had broken up her marriage (consortium), concluded at the Supreme Court after a 30-year legal battle. The defendant agreed to pay Rs. 2 million in damages to the plaintiff, after reaching a settlement in the case that originated as a District Court case in 1986. The plaintiff, a resident of Ward Place, Colombo 7, filed the case more..

Divi Neguma Project now Samurdhi Project

Oct 19 (DN) Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke, said Divi Neguma project would henceforth be known as the Samurdhi Project. Responding to questioning by the media, he said the Divi Neguma Project had previously been known by the name Samurdhi, and was now simply reverting to it’s former name. The govt’s poverty alleviation programme is widely known to the public as Samurdhi. Department of Divineguma Development was established in 2013, combining Samurdhi Authority, more..

Noraichcholai repaired, no more power cuts

Oct 19 (DM) There wouldn’t be power cuts from today as the broken unit of the Noraichcholai Coal Power Plant had been repaired and was operational from this evening, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. “We were hoping to bring back the Second Phase of the Power Plant operational, while adding 300 MW of electricity to the national grid by Thursday. Due to the hard work of the engineers the power generators could be made operational earlier than we thought,” he said. more..

Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar to visit Sri Lanka this weekend

Oct 19 (ENS) Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar is to visit SL with a business delegation this weekend, to promote Indian business and investment in SL in accordance with the Narendra Modi govt’s policy of using diplomacy to promote India’s trade and investment abroad. An unstated but important aim of the visit, which is to begin on Saturday, is to compete with China, which has a large economic footprint in Sri Lanka more..