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TNA wants impartial probe into death of Jaffna Uni students

Oct 23 (AD) The TNA has expressed its strong condemnation over the deaths of two university students in Jaffna. TNA leader R. Sampanthan has too requested the IGP and the President to conduct an unbiased investigation with respect of the incident. The incident is believed to have taken place at around 11.30pm on Thursday when the two youths were traveling on a motorcycle towards Kokuvil. The two Tamil students of the Jaffna University were allegedly shot dead on more..

Cigarette price to increase up to Rs. 55

Oct 23 (DM) The price of a cigarette is expected to be increased up to Rs.55 with the enactment of 15% VAT, according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Recently the price of a cigarette was increased by Rs.7. He pointed out that although the cigarette price was increased up to Rs.42, the use of other related products (cigar) has not been increased. Use of these products also should be reduced but, the harm caused by cigarettes more..

CID pistol used in Lasantha’s murder

Oct 23 (SL) The fresh investigation being conducted into the murder of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge has found that a pistol, which belonged to the CID was used in the crime. Investigations have found that Wickrematunge may have been stabbed with a sharp object and shot dead using a pistol. Sources at the CID said that the pistol said to have been used for the crime was linked to former DIG Vass Gunawardena. CID sources also revealed more..

SL & India navies discuss maritime security aboard Indian naval ship

Oct 23 (NR) Sri Lanka and India navies have focused on maritime security at a meeting held aboard an Indian naval ship in the mid seas. The 27th Int'l 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 Kankesanthurai. Navy officials of the two neighbouring countries discussed several issues of bilateral importance more..

UNESCO resolution: Govt. says no change in Lanka’s stance on Palestine

Oct 23 (ST) Sri Lanka chose to abstain during voting on UN Cultural Agency’s recent resolution on a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem due to the contentious wording of the text, and the decision does not signal a shift in its stand towards the Palestinian issue, Govt said. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson stated the contentious wording in the text prompted SL to abstain. “This is not something we wanted to take sides on and add to more..

‘Public will be able to claim compensation from CEB’

Oct 23 (DM) Public Utilities Commission is set to introduce a set of new laws which will allow the public to seek compensation from the CEB in instances of inefficient power distribution. Speaking at an event, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya the laws would ensure the CEB discharged its duties responsibly. He claimed that despite the Public Utilities Commission being formed 7 years ago, no laws and regulations were introduced for anything related to power and energy. more..

Motion in House to ensure UN 2030 goals are met

Oct 23 (ST) A motion signed by fourteen MPs for the setting up of a Select Committee of Parliament to look into and make recommendations to ensure that Sri Lanka achieves the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will be introduced to Parliament on Tuesday. The Motion will be moved by UPFA MP Duleep Wijesekera and has been signed by MPs Seyed Ali Moulana, Buddhika Pathirana, Lucky Jayawardana, Anura Jayarathne, S.M. Marikkar, Abdullah Mahrooff, more..

HSBC’s alleged bogus Agri-loans hoodwink Monetary Board

Oct 23 (ST) HSBC’s Sri Lanka branch allegedly passed bogus loans to agriculture sector clients, to meet a Monetary Board (MB) stipulation that 10% of the loan portfolio of all commercial banks must go towards the agriculture sector, an investigation by the Sunday Times (ST) has found. These loans were passed before the reporting date at the end of certain financial quarters, when the figures are officially conveyed to the CB. more..

2 officers injured in minor incident in Jaffna – Police Headquarters

Oct 23 (NR) The Police Headquarters says two police officers were wounded by a minor incident that occurred in Chunnakam, Jaffna. A statement issued by the Government Information Department said the incident occurred when 3 police officers attempted to placate a disturbance between the owners of a store and 6 persons who demanded ransom. Two police officers who were injured have been hospitalised. They are not in critical condition. more..

Smells of corruption & fraud

Oct 23 (CT) Committee on Public Accounts (CPA) has stressed that due to the activities of Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) not only has the audit process been hampered it could lead to various forms of corruption, fraud and other malpractices. CPA has already expressed its displeasure at the improper conduct and maintenance and the storage of DMT documents, failure to submit the necessary documents to carry out the audit process by AG and misplacement of certain documents etc. more..

Palace under police protection

Oct 23 (CT) In Sri Lanka, there are millions of homeless people. There are many who dwell in inhabitable make-shift shanties. Many houses get flooded out in heavy rains and during scorching hot weather too they suffer miserably. Many of the houses lack space and sometimes inhabitants have to take it in shifts to grab some shut-eye. Smoke from cooking in kitchen pervades the houses. There are no proper washrooms or decent facilities. more..

Fiscal reforms: An imperative for sustained growth

Oct 24 (CT) Sustained growth is normally viewed from two different angles today. One is from the point of environment and depletion of non-renewable resources. The other is from the point of a country’s ability to sustain a high economic growth based on technological advancement, infrastructure and quality of human capital. Economic growth involves the delivery of an ever increasing high volume of material goods and services to people. It requires an economy to transform natural resources into more..

Brian Senewiratne, Sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (CT) I’ve never met the author (hereafter sometimes referred to as BS), a medical doctor long settled in Australia, but have heard of his reputation as a human-rights campaigner fighting against discrimination and injustice, be they based on race, religion, caste or skin-colour. Among the recognition he has received is the Canadian Genocide Educators Award (2008). On 13 Jan 1898 Émile Zola published an open letter to the President of France accusing him of racism and injustice more..

Central Expressway: Tender process stuck

Oct 24 (SO) For a long time, the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (E03) has been touted as one of the most expensive highways Sri Lanka has built with nearly Rs. 1.8 billion spent on every kilometer of rock and rubble. The proposed Central Expressway connecting Kadawatha to Dambulla for which only the foundation has been laid, is estimated to cost a staggering Rs.4.3 billion per Km, i.e. Rs. 2.5 billion more than the E03. more..

Yahapalana blues & Prez’s right to sing it

Oct 24 (ST) No one really knows what made President Maithripala Sirisena give pubic expression to any private misgivings he may have had in the way the onslaught on corruption was carried out by the agencies assigned to that task and why he singled out the Bribery Commissioner for special mention. Had his broadside, made last Tuesday, been to pull up these agencies for their incompetence, to complain over their long delays and to lambast their choice of priority in more..

So much ado about verbal pugilistics

Oct 24 (ST) Aiyo. Before linguistic purists direct their verbal barbs in this direction may I say in mitigation that it should be known by now that this word has gained international respectability. It has entered the prestigious Oxford dictionary which surely stamps the imprimatur of acceptability and passage into common usage. How it got there and when it made the grade might be shrouded in some mystery just now. But then who cares how it got there as some politicians might say more..

'Leave children out of politics!'

Oct 24 (CT) In a recent publication of Ceylon Today (9) there was a report on the possible political tyranny overshadowing school education in Maligawatte. In response to the facts stated in that article, UNP MP Mujibur Rahman had expressed insights into the underlying issue. Q: What is the status of the proposed school development project for Dharussalam M.V under the project Nearest school is the best school? more..

Megadeals and corruption: Will the crooks ever be found

Oct 24 (FT) The advent of the Coalition govt led by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe was an endorsement by the people to prioritise anti-corruption and improve governance. Despite corruption being the main reason behind the rejection of President Rajapaksa, the Govt has yet failed to convict anyone of high level fraud. The present Govt in the meantime has taken refuge by blaming all its inefficiencies on the byproducts of the poor decisions of previous administration. more..

Taking pink ball Tests beyond experimental stage

Oct 24 (CT) Is pink ball cricket here to stay? Will it be a permanent feature of Test cricket? Is day/night the way forward? These are yet some of the unanswered questions that are being continuously explored by the authorities. I believe the idea of day night cricket played with a pink ball is a good one. Though judging by the numbers watching the game on the grounds at UAE in the recently concluded West Indies vs Pakistan first Test doesn't support it, I am sure the effect on TV audiences more..

JVP press conference

Of Presidential whiplashes and jaunts by the joint heads

Oct 24 (SO) Oh dearie me! What a blot in the copy book! The ugly black ink spot dropped by the owner of the copybook himself. Yes, yes, I speak of the President. We live in times when he himself decreed there was no need to precede his designation with Honourable or His Excellency. That’s why I mention his designation without any salutation in front. Fine man to make such a pronouncement when the former incumbent was soon encouraging substitution of Your Royal Highness for the usual appellations. more..

Tight security for Visas

Oct 24 (ST) The country is getting ready for a major sports meet Down Under where 66 athletes from the home nation are scheduled to take part. However the Embassy concerned had got word that several athletes are waiting to jump the bandwagon and, what’s more, 20 of them have been refused visas. Ninety two countries are scheduled to take part in the event. At a similar event held in 2015, 25 athletes failed to return and so this time the Visa Officer concerned is keeping a tight check on more..

1996 World Champs to tour Australia

Oct 24 (CT) Members of SL Cricket team which won the 1996 World Cup Cricket Championship have made arrangements to establish a new welfare fund for national cricketers. As another step in this programme, two exhibition cricket matches have been organized in Australia to collect money for this welfare fund. The team under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga are scheduled to play two twenty-twenty matches, one on 29 Oct at more..

Fiscal reforms imperative

Oct 24 (Island) This is the thirteenth consecutive Annual Sessions of SLEA which I am addressing as its President. Theme of these sessions is Fiscal Reforms: An Imperative for Sustained Growth. It is a spin-off from, or an offspring of, the theme of the last year’s AnnuaI Sessions, namely Policy Reforms for Sustained High Growth. Therefore, without making a long address on the overall theme itself, I will deviate from the tradition, by making some introductory remarks starting from more..

Sri Lanka: Separatists or Minorities?

Oct 24 (TD) On Oct 20, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, urged the govt of Sri Lanka not to lose momentum gained by the new administration in 2015, and show its commitment to minority rights through concrete action. “In order to achieve peaceful co-existence after the long devastating civil war, a comprehensive, well-planned and well-coordinated truth, reconciliation, healing and accountability process must take place, and it cannot be done overnight,” Izsák-Ndiaye said more..

Aussie firm to mine Titanium sands in Puttalam

Oct 24 (SO) Australia’s Iluka Resources has estimated that its Puttalam mineral sands deposit has 56 million tonnes of titanium-bearing heavy minerals, enough to support a mining operation with a life of over 20 years, its Country Manager in SL, Robert Tyler said. Iluka currently holds six mineral exploration licenses in Puttalam district and has held preliminary discussions with several ministries & agencies, more..

Wheelchair Tennis Championship: Gamini does Sri Lanka proud in Malaysia

Oct 24 (DN) SL’s wheelchair tennis supremo D. M. Gamini clinched another prestigious international title when he won the men’s singles crown at the Malaysian Open Wheelchair Tennis Championship beating a strong Thailand opponent Pee Mee Wittaya in a nerve-wracking straight set final (7/6, 7/6) as the three-day ITF Future Series tournament concluded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday. It was a closely contested final from the beginning with both players striving hard to take the lead. more..

Mendis dazzles with two records; Tharusha erases 12-year-old record

Oct 24 (CT) Promising athlete from Siddartha CC Balapitiya, Mendis Abeysekara excelled in Boys Under-15 events when he shattered two records winning both 200m and the long jump, while four girls went over the meet record mark in the U-15 shot put on day two of the 47th Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletic Championship continued at Embilipitiya yesterday. Mendis leapt 6.21m in the long jump event, to erase the record set by C. Jayarathna of 6.03m in 2014. more..

Poland sees big scope to boost economic ties with Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (FT) Poland last week stressed there was big scope for greater economic cooperation with Sri Lanka and it was time for both countries to explore their potential in tandem with improving ties. “I see a lot of potential for economic cooperation, for more trade as well as tourism,” Polish Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Joanna Wronecka told the Daily FT in her office in Warsaw. She emphasised that stability and a peaceful more..

Govt could lose Rs. 1 b if HNB private placement allowed claim analysts

Oct 24 (FT) The move by business tycoon cum shareholder Harry Jayawardena to prevent the private placement of 10% stake in HNB to the Asian Development Bank analysts claim will indeed save nearly Rs. 1 billion in immediate value for State-owned entities holding shares in the second-largest private bank. On Thursday, Jayawardena via Stassen Exports, got an interim order from the Commercial High Court restraining HNB from going ahead with an Extraordinary General Meeting more..

Mine workers demand better pay as Graphite companies fall behind globally

Oct 24 (MS) The next month, the workers exceeded their monthly target by producing 74 metric tons (81.57 short tons) of graphite, says Sunanda Fernando, secretary of the Free Employees Union at the mine. The increased risk allowance was added to each workers' July pay. Still, it's a pittance compared to what the miners at the Kahatagaha mine could be earning if Sri Lanka's graphite industry had more sophisticated technology and operated at a higher capacity. more..

Ten students of Girls’ school suspended

Oct 24 (CT) Ten GCE O/L students of a girls' school, in the Southern Province, were suspended from classes for a week after they were found to have been intoxicated on World Children's Day. They are said to have consumed 13 cans of beer between them in a Grade 11 class of the school and played havoc. Disciplinary Division of the Southern Province Education Department said the students had played havoc in the classroom more..

Sri Lankan sailor found dead in India

Oct 24 (ENS) The captain and crew of a cargo ship found one of the sailors lying dead near his cabin in a vessel anchored at Dhamra port in Odisha’s Bhadrak district on Sunday. The ship, Bedford Castle, has been here for the past two days, loading iron ore to be transported to China. Police sources said the body of Sugath D’Silva (44) was spotted by the crew members near his cabin. D’Silva, a Sri Lankan national, was a deck fitter of the ship owned by Navalmar (UK) Ltd company. more..

Dhammika to invest in two digital healthcare platforms

Oct 24 (DM) Business magnate Dhammika Perera said that he will be investing in two technological platforms to help boost the country’s health sector as a part of his charity work. “Right now, it’s very expensive for a patient to get a second opinion. So I will be bringing IBM Watson to Sri Lanka so that doctors can give a second opinion,” country’s’ richest individual said during 37th National Conference of Chartered Accountants held last week. IBM Watson, which was initially more..

Mathews injured, Herath set for late captaincy debut

Oct 24 (CI) Rangana Herath is set to become the oldest player to lead a Test team for the first time since Somachandra de Silva in 1983, after he was named captain of SL for the tour of Zimbabwe because Angelo Mathews is injured. Regular vice-captain, Dinesh Chandimal, was also unavailable for the two-Test series because of a thumb injury sustained during a domestic game, for which he had to have surgery. more..

Accessibility Rights activist Dr. Ajith Perera wins UNASL APEX Award

Oct 24 (FT) The first APEX award by the United Nations Association in Sri Lanka (UNASL) for the promotion of Accessibility Rights in Sri Lanka was presented to Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera at an event to mark 71st UN Day, organised by UNASL at the Bishop’s College auditorium. UN Resident Coordinator Una McCauley was the Chief Guest.  This award was “in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding contributions to the community, undeterred by his personal adversity, more..

Six enjoining orders issued against Seylan Bank and trust companies

Oct 24 (FT) Nine former employees of Seylan Bank Plc last week filed six separate cases in the District Court of Colombo before District Judge M.Y. Irshadeen against Seylan Bank Plc and six other trust companies, namely ESOTS, SESOT, SEYSHOP, SOTSE, SEYFEST, SEYFEST and SEYSHOP. The former employees in the six cases were represented by Counsel Nishan Premathiratne with Pravi Karunaratne, who was instructed by Sanjay Fonseka. more..

Four killed, two injured in gang style slaying

Oct 24 (DN) Four persons were killed and three critically injured following a shooting incident that took place in the Samitpura area in Mattakkuliya yesterday evening. Three persons, who sustained serious injuries have been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital. The shooting incident had taken place around 7.30 p.m. Sources said that shooting incident was a result of a clash between two rival groups, involved in heroin smuggling. more..

Editorial: COPE, Licchavis and King Kosala

Oct 24 (Island) Parliamentary standards continue to fall and space for political dissent is rapidly shrinking in spite of last year’s regime change, whose architects promised a radical departure from the past. Members of the ruling coalition are already intoxicated with power; they think they are omniscient, and always lord it over others as evident from media reports on the proceedings of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on the Central Bank bond scams. more..

Ex-LTTE cadre killed in landmine blast

Oct 24 (CT) A former LTTE cadre was killed while another sustained injuries when they were caught in a landmine explosion while entering an un-demined area. Incident had taken place in Palai yesterday. "A former LTTE cadre has died when a land mine exploded in an area un-cleared at Palai. Another person has been injured. Police have commenced investigations," govt Information Dept said. Two men were fishermen and they had been using explosives, which had been hidden by the LTTE. more..