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Politicisation and political storms

Oct 22 (NS) President Sirisena last week generated a political storm by declaring that he was unhappy with state agencies that took the former Defence Secretary and three former Commanders of the Navy to court. President’s comments have been given many interpretations. In response, Director General of CIABOC, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe has already submitted her resignation. President Sirisena is not known as an impulsive politician who resorts to political rhetoric on a whim. more..


Understanding our blindspot to make peace building comprehensive

Oct 22 (SL) The young soldiers and Tamilians who sacrificed their lives to a cause that was created by a previous generation perhaps did not know the underlying politics of why they had to fight. The younger generation has taken a burden passed to them by certain political leaders that they have not seen nor heard. At the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, one could study the past life during the apartheid period and understand what had gone wrong. more..

How ancient dry zone farmers defied drought

Oct 22 (Island) In modern day Sri Lanka, whenever a prolonged drought hits the dry zone a drinking water crisis is sure to follow, impacting adversely on local community and even the national economy. In contrast, the same area, most certainly under the same climatic conditions, has had a glorious ancient past, which would not have been possible if drinking water scarcity remained a problem. Sri Lanka’s modern day efforts to overcome the problem of drought in the dry zone and recapitulate more..

Rise of the New Untouchables

Oct 22 (Island) Harijan, Child of Hari/Vishnu is a term popularized by Mahatma Gandhi for referring to Dalits, traditionally considered to be Untouchable, under the caste system in India. Thou shalt not touch them - has emerged as the new First Commandment of Nava Paalanaya or New Governance in Sri Lanka. Next Commandment is – If you plan to or have to touch them, always keep me, the President, informed. more..

Tale of two cities

Oct 22 (CT) Yaadhum Oore Yavarum Kelir which means, To us all towns are one; All men our kin. Tamil being one of the ancient languages in the world this ancient Tamil poem was rendered by Kaniyan Punkundranar, a foremost Tamil poet who lived in the Sangam period, between 300 BCE and 200 CE, in South India. Realizing the significance of the poem which emphasizes all human beings as one family, the United Nations has taken this poem as its motto. more..

Maha Oya water treatment plant inaugurated

Oct 22 (FT) The newly constructed Maha Oya Water Treatment Plant funded by the Govt of Japan was inaugurated to distribute clean water to the public after it was ceremonially handed over to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board under the patronage of President Sirisena and Ambassador of Japan to SL Kenichi Suganuma at Maha Oya on 19 Oct. Govt of Japan provided Rs. 6,300 million towards the construction of Maha Oya Water Treatment Plant in Ampara District more..

Vandersay's six-for leads SL A's series win

Oct 22 (CI) Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay took 6 for 47 in the final innings to lead Sri Lanka A to victory. West Indies A were set a target of 333 but with no one even managing a fifty, the hosts wrapped up a 138-run victory, and with it the series 2-1. The chase had begun positively with Kieran Powell, who had briefly flirted with a career in baseball, back at the top of the order and kicking things off with a 41-ball 44. more..

WiLAT SL walks for a greener tomorrow

Oct 22 (DM) Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT), the women’s forum of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), organised a walk recently under the theme Striking a balance for a greener tomorrow for the second successive year with the objective of reducing the carbon footprint in the industries they operate and to promote and encourage green practises in one’s personal lives to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. more..

Siriwardana leads SL ‘A’ in ODI series

Oct 22 (CT) The Under-19 star allrounder Shammu Ashan has been called in to the Sri Lanka 'A' Team. He is a consistent performer and got the call due to his recent form. Team will be captained by Milinda Siriwardana for the three one-day matches against the West Indies 'A' Team at Dambulla, Kurunegala and Colombo. Milinda has experience and he got his local side Badureliya that he captained to the top in the 2014/15 SLC T20 tournament. First match will be played on Monday. more..

Nine new power plants

Oct 22 (NS) With the country reeling from a crushing drought which has left millions high and dry and another breakdown of the coal power plant at Norochcholai resulting in a power crisis, govt announced that it intended to add over 750 MW to the national grid by 2020 by way of the construction of nine power plants. Power plants include three hydro power plants (Moragolla, Sithawaka and Yatiyantota which add 86 MW), more..

'Suitable person will be appointed as BC DG'

Oct 22 (DN) President will appoint a suitable and capable person as the Bribery Commission Director General, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. He made these remarks after opening the new office building complex of the Small Tea Estate Development Authority at Pelawatte, Battaramulla yesterday. “Institutions should go forward without any obstacle even if the head of the institution is changed. The Bribery Commission former Director General resigned on her own decision. more..

'Govt good enough for another 15 year'

Oct 22 (Island) Budget 2017 is focused on rapid development in the country thereby generating employment and bringing about prosperity to the lives of the people, said Minister Ravi Karunanayake. He points out that Budget 2017 will assure the 2/3 majority power of the current rule of good governance. He further said that the govt included proposals of the people from the grassroots level as well as opinions of the scholars, professionals & other stake holders in Budget more..

Mihin Lanka wants clear skies

Oct 22 (FT) Mihin Lanka employees called for greater engagement from labour authorities on the fate of over 300 employees and insisted the govt has to provide clear details on whether they would be absorbed under SriLankan or given compensation to leave organisation. Earlier this month SriLankan announced a merger with Mihin Air, which included partial absorption of their staff from the end of October. more..

Culinary students present taste of Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (BN) Where can you find a four-course gourmet meal, made with fresh, local ingredients for only $20? It sounds too good to be true, but students from the Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Palamanui, in Kailua-Kona serve up unique feasts from around the globe five times a semester. This semester, the culinary program is focusing on Asian cuisine, featuring foods from Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Korea and Japan. Last month, students prepared Sri Lankan cuisine more..

Sri Lanka does not see the blind

Oct 22 (NS) Organizations working with training the blind or visually handicapped in mobility have criticized State institutions such as the RDA, the CEB and Water Board for their apathy with regard to the prevention of road construction-related accidents of which the blind are among the victims. The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind pointed out that while these institutions dig holes in roads during the day, they leave the pit and the areas around it unprotected, thereby causing falls, potentially more..

SL needs cuts in tax exemptions: IMF

Oct 22 (FT) Straight talking IMF head in Sri Lanka Eteri Kvintradze yesterday encouraged the Govt not to falter in its measures for revenue based fiscal consolidation calling for steep cuts in tax exemptions to bring in a simplified tax policy that would attract investment. Speaking at the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Economic Association Annual Sessions she said that tax revenue in Sri Lanka is one of the lowest in the world. Despite past reforms more..

Sept Tea production crashes to 15 year low

Oct 22 (FT) Sri Lanka Tea Board has confirmed Sept 2016 tea production at 19.8 million kg, down a sharp 27% on the previous year’s figure of 27.2 million kg, is the lowest since 2001 when crop yields slipped to 17.2 million kg, observed the latest tea report from Asia Siyaka Commodities.  In 2014, September figure was a record 29 million kg and in 2013 at 25 million kg and 27 million kg the year before. High Grown production of 3.9 million kg in Sept 2016 is lowest since El-Nino year 1992 more..

Airport crackdown on illicit immigrants

Oct 22 (NS) The Department of Immigration and Emigration has pointed out the need to crackdown on illicit immigrants arriving in the country which they claim amounts to about 10 percent of entrants to the island. Controller General of Immigration and Emigration M.N. Ranasinghe said that best standards and best practices are to be applied and implemented. He added that they were working alongside other agencies such as the airline systems, the Police, the CID and more..

COPE meeting in chaos?

Oct 22 (DM) A COPE meeting which was convened yesterday to get the approval for the final report was reported to be in chaos last evening. According to one MP who is a COPE member, meeting was going on till late last evening with no compromise reached to finalise the report. Cope meeting is in chaos, utter chaos, one member said in his twitter message. Differences of opinions on COPE’s conclusion on the bond issue had more..

Allegations of reduction in education budget

Oct 22 (DN) The allocation made for education through the budget has been reduced to one percent in proportion to the GDP, Ceylon Teachers’ Union Secretary Joseph Stalin said. He said no government has reduced the allocation for education in such a manner. He added that this year’s allocations has been reduced by Rs.109 billion. Stalin made these observations at a press conference yesterday. At a separate press conference held by IUSF at the same venue, more..

Parliamentary delegation meets Palestinian FM

Oct 22 (FT) A Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation headed by Minister of Health, Dr.  Rajitha Senaratne, President of the Sri Lanka-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine Dr. Riyad Al-Malki. The delegation included members of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Bimal Rathnayake, Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana, K. Kader Masthan, S. Sivamohan, and the Representative of Sri Lanka in Palestine M. Fawzan Anver.  more..

Lasantha killing: Phone details reveal Sgt Maj was at home at the time of incident

Oct 22 (Island) The CID has found that the retired Army Intelligence Unit Sergeant Major Edirisinghe Jayammane who was found hanging from a rafter in his home recently with a suicide note confessing to the killing of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was actually at his home when the killing took place in 2009. CID investigators who continued their probe into the suicide note more..

27th IMBL Meeting held in Northern Seas

Oct 22 (SLN) The 27th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the representatives of Navies and Coast Guards of Sri Lanka and India was held onboard Indian Naval Ship Kadmatt at the Indo-Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankasanthurai today (21). The Sri Lankan delegation which was headed by the Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, was comprised of Deputy Director General of SL Coast Guard Commodore Sujeewa Perera, more..

Matthew and Kimiko win Gold on fourth day

Oct 22 (DN) Matthew Abeysinghe and Kimiko Raheem won Gold Medals on the fourth day of the South Asian Aquatic Sports Championship 2016 continued at the Sugathadasa Sports Complex yesterday. Abeysinghe won the Under 18 Boys 100 Metres Free Style event in a time of 51.26 seconds with Indias Shaly Chopra ending up second in a time of 52.32 seconds to win the Silver Medal while the Bronze Medal was won by Mafusar Rahaman of Bangladesh in a time of 53.11 seconds. more..

President blocks police cover-up of student killing

Oct 22 (EN) President Sirisena intervened directly to stop police covering up the murder of two Jaffna university student and got five police officers immediately interdicted. Shortly after police headquarters dismissed the death of two students as a fatal motorcycle accident, Sirisena got the information department to issue a fresh statement setting the record straight. "Five police officers suspected for the case have been more..

Day 2: Stormy 11 hour meeting as COPE finalises CB bond issue report

Oct 22 (FT) Pandemonium reigned inside the committee rooms of Parliament for 11 hours yesterday, as the 31-member COPE tried for a second day to finalise its report on Central Bank Treasury Bond auctions between Feb 2015 and March 2016. COPE met for the second consecutive day to try and finalise the report amid allegations that UNP MPs in parliamentary committee were seeking to change the draft to absolve former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran of wrongdoing more..

TNA condemns incident

Oct 22 (Island) The TNA has, in a media statement, condemned Friday’s incident in Jaffna, where two undergrads were killed. Full text of the statement: The TNA unequivocally condemns the incident that took place in Jaffna today, killing of 2 university students. The leader of the TNA, and The Leader of the Opposition, R Sampanthan MP met the President Maithripala Sirisena while attending an event in Trincomalee this morning and raised concerns regarding the incident. more..

COPE report holds Mahendran responsible

Oct 22 (Island) Parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE, yesterday approved its Chairman’s report holding former Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran responsible for Treasury bond scandals. Report recommends legal action against those involved in the scams and the recovery of losses from them, according to a senior COPE member. COPE met around 9.30 am in Parliament yesterday, following heated exchanges more..

A Healthy Lanka: Let the cow open the gate

Oct 22 (DM) National Unity Govt, in one of the most important moves of its sustainable development programme, has launched a three year mission for Sri Lanka to grow its own nutritious food without any Wasa Wisa from agro-chemicals or other sources.   A vital aspect of this national food programme is the revival of our once thriving dairy milk industry. Minister P. Harrison, said Japan was giving substantial aid for the revival of the fresh milk industry. more..

A desperate effort to save the day

Oct 22 (DM) President Sirisena and SLFP members within the govt are desperately engaged in a damage-control process after the President’s Oct 12 outburst that the govt’s own anti-corruption process was flawed and politicised.  The President had stated in his speech that the three anti-corruption institutions, the CID, FCID and Bribery Commission, have been acting according to political agendas and that if these institutions continued to do so, he would have to take action. more..

MP’s blood-curdling encounter in spooky General’s House

Oct 22 (DM) The General’s House, a bungalow built in close proximity to the Nuwara Eliya city during the British rule and assigned for the chiefs of the forces, is today used by the MPs as a holiday resort. Thus, MPs have the privilege of reserving rooms in this bungalow at a mere Rs. 350 per day. This building was much spoken of after a mishap recently confronted by a Kurunegala District MP. MP Nalin Bandara who yearned to more..

Witness waved hands to warn girl doomed by selfie craze

Oct 22 (ST) The station master of a small railway station off Ambalangoda walked out of his office onto the platform last Sunday just as the express train from Galle to Maradana was approaching the station. There was no scheduled stop at Padampagama station. “Usually I never come out from the station when this particular train passes by as it does not stop here and there was no requirement for me to be outside,” more..

Drug trafficking by sea has increased in recent months

Oct 22 (Island) Chairman of the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) Prof. Ravindra Fernando yesterday said there were 200,000 Cannabis (ganja) users in Sri Lanka.  Prof. Fernando said there were about 50,000 heroin addicts in the country. An extensive research would be carried out by the NDDCB to determine the exact number of drug users in the country as soon as possible, he said. more..

Line-up revealed for highly anticipated Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017

Oct 22 (Island) Following on from a very successful 2016 Festival, the Fairway Galle Literary Festival returns bigger and better running from 11th to 15th January 2017. In its eighth year now, The Festival each year raises the bar in terms of its size, scope and content. The Festival in 2017 will feature many celebrated authors, including Philippa Gregory, Katherine Boo and Christina Lamb, to name just a few. more..

CIABOC affair: Justice Minister defends Prez, lashes out at Prof. Wijesooriya

Oct 22 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena’s right to discuss matters of public importance couldn’t be challenged under any circumstances, Justice Minister Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, said. Minister Rajapakse emphasised that no one could find fault with President Maithripala Sirisena for being critical of the CIABOC. He was responding to JO MP Keheliya Rambukwella and JVP MP Vijitha Herath. more..

Sajith violates public privacy in an effort to build brand image

Oct 22 (CT) Giving scant regard to the privacy of the masses, Minister Sajith Premadasa was seen recently violating the privacy of the masses on social media by broadcasting live their personal grievances for the entire world to see. Premadasa through his official Facebook page activated the ‘live’ feed during public day on Oct 19, 2016 where he transmitted through several live feeds the issues of men and women who more..

Bond Scam: VAC to file law suit against CB Governor

Oct 22 (DM) The JVP affiliated Voice Against Corruption (VAC) said it would take legal action against Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy, former Governor Arjun Mahendran, directors of Perpetual Treasuries and some other Central Bank officials next week. VAC Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the VAC had decided to file legal action because the Governor had failed to take action against CB officials more..

SL man enslaved and sexually abused in Scotland

Oct 22 (TC) In a chilling insight into modern slavery in the city, Asha revealed how he was treated like an animal and forced to work in a bed and breakfast for just 33p an hour — while being routinely groped by his tormentor. Speaking at a press conference held by Migrant Help UK, Asha said the B&B owner had him at his mercy by threatening to expose his sexuality, which is illegal in his home country. more..

Kalpitiya OIC transferred following violent clashes

Oct 22 (AD) The OIC of the Kalpitiya Police Station has been transferred with immediate effect in the wake of the violent clashes which broke out yesterday involving fishermen in the area.  Chief Inspector Manjula Udumalagala has been transferred to the Puttalam Police Station, as ordered by the Puttalam DIG Champika Siriwardena based on the instructions of the IGP. An Inspector attached to Wanathawilluwa Police Station more..