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State toughens on eve of budget

Oct 23 (Island) The remanding of Tissa Attanayake for nearly six weeks has sent shock waves through both sides of the political divide. Attanayake was the general secretary of the UNP during what was probably the worst period in its history. All of us journalists know him as a friendly and approachable politician. It was through Attanayake and his secretary that all the Sunday political columnists got their gossip about the UNP. This was not leaked information. more..

Justice sought for Sugirdharajan

Oct 23 (SL) January has become an important month to be remembered as it is a month where most of the journalists who exposed the truth about a corrupt govt and its officials in Sri Lanka were brutally murdered and attacked. Subramaniyam Sugirdharajan is one of them who was assassinated for exposing photographs of five students who were alleged to have been murdered by the armed forces at the time. Sugirdharajan was shot dead in Trincomalee on the 24th of January 2006 for more..

Sanjay, Mathews and Kimiko win 5 Gold each

Oct 23 (ST) India with a massive haul of 121 Gold, 77 Silver and 18 Bronze – totaling 216 Medals won the overall championship at the South Asian Aquatic Championship 2016 which concluded yesterday. Six South Asian countries took part in the four day event except for Afghanistan and Bhutan. Champions India was represented by 53 swimmers who took part in 191 events. Hosts Sri Lanka was the runners-up winning 28 Gold, more..

‘Good Pvt medical education is a necessity’

Oct 23 (Island) "In Sri Lanka, for some unknown reason, thus far, good private medical education has yet to be been established … I believe its time we should be moving with the developing world, and I think that for our students too, good quality private medical education is a necessity. The primary aim of this institution, SAITM, is to provide precisely that. And in such a context, I am very happy to provide the academic leadership for such an institution". So said Profesor Deepal Weerasekera, more..

Fate has forced Vandersay to wait patiently

Oct 23 (Island) With the exit of Shane Warne, for a few years, leg-spin looked a dying art. But Pakistan’s Yasir Shah has kept cricket’s most difficult art alive. Last year, as Pakistan won in Sri Lanka after nine years, the leg-spinner took 24 wickets. He became the quickest Pakistani to take 50 wickets in Tests and became the first leg-spinner since Warne to be ranked as world’s number one bowler. He is following on the footsteps of other remarkable Pakistani leg-spinners such as more..

Swiss help to probe Sri Lanka’s Airbus deal

Oct 23 (ST) Swiss investigators are flying into Colombo next month to investigate the Airbus agreement with SriLankan Airlines as part of an international probe on allegedly corrupt deals by the France-based aircraft manufacturer.  While the govt here is independently probing whether there was any corruption in the Airbus deal with SriLankan Airlines, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) began an investigation in August to examine more..

Royal retain Noel Fernando Trophy

Oct 23 (ST) Royal College made a thorough clean-out to outsmart traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College by 50-2 and retain the T. Noel Fernando Memorial Trophy in the 43rd Royal-Thomian Regatta and 47th Boat Race on the waters of Beira Lake at the Colombo Rowing Club yesterday. Coming off with a decent record this season, the Royal rowing crew took the coveted plum for the 21st occasion after ending the Thomain dominance of five years last year. more..

Indian media group warns of impersonators

Oct 23 (CG) Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) has written to President Sirisena warning him of some impersonators who are to attend an event in Colombo. IFWJ claims a batch of some nine to ten persons, pretending to be journalists from India (impersonating as Office-bearers and members of IFWJ), are likely to participate in a conference in Colombo this week, organized by the SL Press Association, which the President is scheduled to address. more..

New Defence-Security portfolio likely

Oct 23 (CT) President is contemplating the creation of a new ministerial level position tasked with responsibility for defence and national security matters. New position is being created because of deep concerns arising out of a spate of recent allegations relating to matters of State security and the military forces. Prez had wanted a trusted person to handle these matters especially because of controversies surrounding members of security more..

SLC refuses to back charity walk

Oct 23 (CG) Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) has refused to formally support a charity walk in which former top cricketers Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardene are participating. The organisers of the Trail walk had sought the support of SLC for the latter stages of the walk but the request has been turned down. It is understood that the reason for the refusal is a rift between the SLC top management and Jayawardene. Trail 2016 is covering a distance of 670km over 28 consecutive days more..

Jayalal determined to bring glory to SL

Oct 23 (SO) Think of an active involvement in one sport or another for 45 years; active not in administration or adjudicating, but competing. Consider being a decent cricketer and soccer player and also being among the top competitors in bodybuilding, the javelin and discus events. It’s quite something isn’t it? Jayantha Jayalal is certainly quite something in terms of achievement but more so in his passion for sports. In a few days time this tall, well-built young man who will be turning 54 more..

COPE to submit two reports!

Oct 23 (CT) COPE will next week present in Parliament two reports on the controversial Central Bank Bond issues, COPE Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said. "COPE has conducted an intensive investigation into the two bond issues based on the report submitted by the Auditor General. The committee has discussed the turn of events at length during the past 16 months and compiled two reports" he said, more..

Taxpayers owe MPs a living?

Oct 23 (Island) None of our readers would have been surprised by JO MP Bandula Gunawardene’s strenuous defence of the pernicious practice MPs brazenly selling their duty free vehicle permits for millions of rupees. Gunawardene, after all, having banqueted well at the political table having served as a minister in both UNP and UPFA cabinets, is no doubt familiar with the principles of self-service. We do not know whether this was a subject that was taught in his economics tuition classes more..

CB refers pyramid scheme probes to CID, AG

Oct 23 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) after probing five entities dealing in pyramid-like bogus deposit-taking has handed these investigations over to the CID, top officials said. “The CB investigated some multi-level marketing firms that are dealing in pyramid schemes,” a CB official told the Business Times adding the most of these schemes are functioning in the south and are carrying out peculiar business models such as selling furniture, electronics, etc above the market value to customers. more..

Jaffna JMO confirms bullet hit the rider

Oct 23 (CT) Pandemonium reigned supreme at Jaffna Teaching Hospital mortuary on Friday, where bodies of the two youths, whose deaths were deemed accidental by the authorities, were lying there for further investigations. JMO confirmed that one of the students, the rider of the motorbike, had received a gunshot injury to his chest. However, till late evening on Friday, Police Dept did not mention anything about a gunshot but claimed more..

Clerk caught prioritising heart surgeries for something

Oct 23 (ST) An investigation has been launched into an incident where a clerk attached to Colombo National Hospital (CNH) obtained money to expedite a heart surgery. The clerk had allegedly taken money to jump the waiting list and give priority to a patient down the list. The clerk had got the patient to deposit the money in the clerk’s bank account. The investigation was launched following a complaint by an Army Officer warded at the CNH, who had been told by a patient in the adjoining bed that, more..

Pakistan concerned over exposure of ISI terror activity in Sri Lanka

Oct 23 (ANI) A report from Sri Lanka has exposed Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence's (ISI's) use of the island nation for promoting its terror activities worldwide, and alarm bells are ringing within the Pakistan establishment, as they see this as the end of an importation operations hub. According to Ceylon Today, the ISI has used the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its charitable wing, the Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK), as proxies to radicalise Sri Lankan Muslims. In 2004, when the tsunami struck parts of SL, more..

I am a tough administrator: Dilrukshi

Oct 23 (CT) President Sirisena publicly warned that he would take action against the CID, FCID & CIABOC for pursuing a political agenda on 12 Oct. President irately said those institutions should not operate according to any political agenda at the expense of justice. In response to this statement, then Director General of CIABOC, now Additional Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, tendered her resignation. more..

Attack on nightclub: Probe draws a blank

Oct 23 (ST) Police investigations into the attack on a nightclub in Colombo two weeks ago, where a security guard was injured and property was damaged by an unidentified group, has ended without a trace of the persons responsible for the attack. OIC Maradana Police Sarath Perera said that there was no formal complaint about the incident, and President’s office had informed they were conducting their own investigations to ascertain whether any persons connected with more..

COPE has not yet reached conclusion on bond allegations

Oct 23 (Island) The COPE has still not reached a conclusion on the Treasury Bond controversy, discussions are ongoing and the committee is due to meet on Monday morning to hopefully finalize the report, well informed sources said yesterday in the wake of diverse media reports including one that claimed that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had been held culpable. "We have not reached any agreement and conclusions," a COPE member said on condition of anonymity. more..

Oct 12 comments: President goes into damage-control mode

Oct 23 (ST) President Sirisena’s broadsides at his own UNF Govt led by PM Wickremesinghe just days ago and the resultant fallout still seemed uppermost in his mind. Within hours of his return from India last Monday where he attended a joint BRICS-BIMSTEC summit, he went into a damage control mode with some of his confidants. Present at his Paget Road residence were Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe and Susil Premajayantha, more..

Yahapalanaya saga: End of long beginning

Oct 23 (Island) Many things have happened after Jan 2015, and again after Aug 2015 –many good, more bad, and still more ugly. All were given the same pass because January 2015 was deemed a new beginning - the beginning of yahapalanaya. It has been a long beginning and we are now long last at the end of the beginning. Patience is wearing thin, not only outside the govt but also inside it. Although, bear in mind, for diametrically different reasons. More than a week ago, president bespoke to more..

The unmasking of Yahapalanaya

Oct 23 (Island) A mere five weeks after it was installed, the much publicized sanctity of the Yahapalanaya govt was sullied by the Central Bank Bond scandal. Accusations of complicity have been leveled against the then Governor of the CB, Arjuna Mahendran and, by implication, against his political patrons as well. With that inauspicious beginning, since then the integrity of the current regime has been ruthlessly questioned in relation to a number of issues. When you assume office with moral more..

Donning Rajapaksa Feathers?

Oct 23 (Island) Rajapaksas named it a Humanitarian Operation with zero-civilian-casualties. 4th Eelam War was anything but, a reality no amount of pompous proclamations or glitzy propaganda could efface. Good governance was a slogan and a promise, but not an accomplished fact. Maithri-Rani govt can sport it like a diadem, but good governance is a goal to be striven for and not a state, which once attained remains eternal. more..

Ranil chocolate impresses Belgium master

Oct 23 (ST) It was amid some political tension that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe left Sri Lanka for Belgium. His last meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena was on October 13 at the President’s Paget Road residence in Colombo. That was to clarify statements Mr. Sirisena made at a function at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) where documents for lands and houses were handed over to war heroes. more..

JO submits proposals to new Constitution

Oct 23 (ST) Joint Opposition (JO) has submitted its list of proposals to Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, tasked with drafting a new Constitution for the country. 14-point list of proposals were submitted by JO MPs Dinesh Gunawardena and Prasanna Ranatunga. Proposals insist that Articles 2 and 3 of 1978 Constitution, which affirms SL is a unitary State and notes that, Sovereignty is in the People & is inalienable, should remain, more..

Sampur suspension a Rs 40 B annual loss

Oct 23 (CT) Energy experts warn that the country runs the risk of being plunged into darkness come 2018, because of the shortsighted decisions of the govt which make this a real possibility. Energy expert Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya pointed out that national power demand had increased 10.2% between Oct 2015 and Oct 2016. "People will have to keep stocks of candles ready. He said he had given early warning for more..

Caste oppression exists among Sri Lankan Tamils but is kept under wraps

Oct 23 (ENS) Despite the existence of a unified Tamil identity, SL Tamil society is rent by caste inequalities and is dived into Oppressing and Oppressed Castes.   But issues thrown up on caste inequalities do not find expression in the public domain for a variety of reasons, campaigners for social justice and researchers say. Basically, there is a lack of awareness among the oppressed castes themselves, points out Ahilan Kadirgamar, more..

National carrier corrects misinformed facts presented at media briefing

Oct 23 (AD) The staff members of Mihin Lanka, who do not have the opportunity to join the national carrier, will be given a service severance package in alignment with specified govt guidelines, SriLankan Airlines said. So far recruitment processes have been completed for a total of 130 (out of a total of 304) employees of Mihin Lanka. This recruitment and redeployment process is expected to continue until Mihin Lanka’s closure in December, more..

CIABOC was investigating 90 politicians before DG resigned

Oct 23 (SL) CIABOC was investigating 90 politicians at the time its Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe resigned. She said that no files were closed as claimed by some politicians nor was the Commission politicised. “There are 90 politicians who are being investigated. It does not mean that I am going to close all the files. Those files are still with the investigations unit and investigations are underway. more..

Daytime runway renovation: SriLankan slashes 620 flights

Oct 23 (ST) SriLankan Airlines will have to slash a massive 620 flights off its schedule to accommodate the daytime renovation of the airport runway after agencies overrode the carrier’s request for construction to be shifted to night hours. Earlier, the airline had said more than 200 flights would be cancelled. It has now been revealed that this meant 200 flights a month–or seven flights a day. “What kills me is that my aircraft utilisation drops,” more..

Jaishankar meets Sirisena, discusses economic collaboration

Oct 23 (Hindu) Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar called on President Sirisena on Sunday and discussed potential Indo-Lanka partnerships in areas such as transport, energy and infrastructure. Mr. Jaishankar, here on an economic diplomacy initiative, is accompanied by an official delegation of top officials from public sector companies such as GAIL, NTPC, IOC and RITES. A team from Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) more..

Bond scam: UNP MPs challenge COPE finding

Oct 23 (ST) The COPE finding that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was directly responsible for a controversial Treasury bond scam in 2015 is being hotly challenged by the UNP MPs on the committee. It is learnt that the COPE report has also recommended that Mr. Mahendran and officials involved be investigated and the monies recovered from the former Governor. A UNP COPE member who said he was not authorised to more..

Old wine

Oct 23 (Island) President Sirisena is clearly unhappy. When UPFA MP Kumara Welgama’s house was raided last week in search of two state-owned vehicles, President said it was an immature act. Especially since the President has lately made some effort to demonstrate by example what political immaturity is, we have to take him at his word. This unhappiness is likely the result of being increasingly isolated in office, pressured on the one hand by voices from within the SLFP more..

Sri Lankan and American Drug Policy

Oct 23 (Island) As a prospective student of law having studied political science and international relations at SFSU I have been given the opportunity to serve a 3 month period of internship with the notable Godfrey Cooray Associates, a leading law firm in Negombo. During this time, I have been tasked with comparing the policies, codes, and approaches regarding illegal drugs in both Sri Lanka and in the US, my home country. Both nations have taken steps in an effort to curb the use more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Depression in Bay of Bengal cause of heavy rain

Oct 23 (DM) Met Department warned that several parts of the country will experience heavy rains due to the development of a depression 1,400 km Northeast of SL at the center of the Bay of Bengal. Even though, Sri Lanka was not directly affected by the developing weather heavy showers between 100 -150 mm could be expected in the South-Western part of the country, the Central hills and the Northern Province. Thundershowers would occur at time in Northern, Western, Central, Sabaragamuwa more..

3 SL fishermen stranded in Dhanushkodi

Oct 23 (TOI) Three Sri Lankan fisherman were stranded in Dhanushkodi after running out of fuel near Indian border of International Maritime Boundary Line. The fishermen R Devanesan, 26 and his brother R Arulnesan, 25 and their brother in law, V Viji, 26 from Omanthai, Kallikulam in Vavuniya in Sri Lanka started for a fishing expedition in a fiber boat on Friday. On Saturday, they ran out of fuel - kerosene - and started drifting in open sea. After drifting entire day, more..

Three COPE reports on Bond issue

Oct 23 (DM) The possibility of presenting three reports by the COPE has arisen as there are three groups of members which hold different opinions on the Bond issue, a member of the committee revealed today. Member of COPE MP Bimal Ratnayake said that one group directly holds former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran responsible for the alleged scam regarding bonds while another group of members are of the opinion that more..

Commercial Bank’s Rs 5 billion debenture issue opens on 24th Oct

Oct 23 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s second issue of debentures for 2016 opens on Monday (24). The Bank is seeking to raise Rs 5 billion with an option to increase it by a further Rs 2 billion to strengthen its Tier II capital and to raise long term funds for expansion. The Listed, Rated, Unsecured, Subordinated, Redeemable Debentures in the denomination of Rs 100 will be offered in two tenures – Type A with a five year tenure and Type B with a 10 year tenure, more..