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Jaffna deaths spark nationwide protests

Oct 25 (Hindu) Students across Sri Lankan universities protested on Monday, condemning the recent death of two Jaffna University students in alleged police shooting and demanding a fair investigation. Thousands of students took to the streets in Jaffna town, blocking A9, the main highway to the island’s north, urging speedy action against the perpetrators. CID, which began investigations on Friday, arrested five policemen in this connection, and remanded them. more..

Fireworks at COPE

Oct 25 (FT) Fireworks ensued at the meeting of the COPE yesterday, with Chairman of the oversight body stepping aside in protest against UNP members allegedly exerting undue influence on a draft report on CB Bond issue and delaying the report’s presentation to Parliament, which was initially expected today. COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti walked out of the meeting, when the committee sat for its third day of deliberations more..

Let’s not give ethnic colouring to the killing of two students

Oct 25 (DM) The death of two university students at Kokkuvil in Jaffna when they were shot at by the police when they had defied orders to stop the motorcycle they were riding is making headlines for the past several days, especially in the Tamil media. The sword attack on the two policemen on Sunday at the Chunnakam market automatically gains more weight in the belief that it is connected to the death of the two students.  However, the two incidents do not appear to be connected. more..

Urgent need to create efficient beauracracy

Oct 25 (DM) New breed of bureaucrats are obedient servants because they owe their appointments to Politicians. Public services need to be delivered with integrity, centred around citizens, and responsive to the needs, particularly the needs of the most vulnerable.  Over the last several decades, due to excessive political interference, the quality of public service and the public servants had come down drastically. How? The framers of the 1972 Constitution introduced provisions to abolish more..

Govt in crisis: Dinesh Gunawardane

Oct 25 (DM) JO MP Dinesh Gunawardane, says President Sirisena has finally realised the veracity of allegations against the FCID, CID & BC. He says the govt is in a serious crisis. Q:  How do you see the unfolding political situation in the country in the aftermath of President’s outburst? A: For the last 12 months after General Elections, people had fresh hopes as promised by UNP-led govt. more..

SriLankan changes strategy: A330s and regional focus

Oct 25 (ST) In a marked departure from the previous management’s business strategy for the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines will focus on becoming a regional carrier flying mostly narrow-bodied aircraft, CEO Suren Ratwatte said. He also admitted that finding capital to run the airline was his biggest headache; that arrangements have been made for a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for staff; and that SriLankan’s credit rating more..

Sabotage ruled out as Norochcholai breaks down again

Oct 25 (SL) CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) ruled out the possibility of sabotage as the Norochcholai coal power plant broke down once again last weekend. Breakdown led to power cuts island–wide. CEBEU President Athula Wanniarchchi said that unlike previous occasions where there was a total breakdown, they were able to do modifications to minimise a total blackout. CEB engineers said the blackouts were due ad hoc planning. more..

Jaffna Uni students’ killing: Two narratives

Oct 25 (DM) The tragic deaths of two Jaffna university students in an alleged police shooting raise disturbing questions. Police fired at the two when they were speeding away on a motorbike, allegedly ignoring orders to stop at a checkpoint.One was hit by a bullet, and lost the control of the bike, which crashed on to a wall. Police who admitted the students to hospital have now been accused of distorting evidence that more..

India may relax visa norms for 55k SL monks

Oct 25 (ET) Days after the visit of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Indian govt is examining a proposal to relax the visa regime for Buddhist monks from SL. More than 55,000 monks visit India every year on employment visa to work in monasteries at New Delhi, Dharamshala, Varanasi, Kushi Nagar & Bodh Gaya, said officials. As per the rules, monks are required to pay a visa fee of $150 for employment permit every year. more..

VAT Amendment bill in line with Constitution: Supreme Court

Oct 25 (NR) Parliament today announced that the Supreme Court has determined that the VAT Amendment Draft Bill tabled on the 4th of Oct is in line with the Constitution. The determination of the Supreme Court was announced by the Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala during the Parliamentary session this afternoon. The VAT Amendment Bill was presented before Parliament by Minister Lakshman Kiriella on the 4th of Oct. more..

Govt offices to start late to ease traffic congestion

Oct 25 (Island) The govt’s attention has been drawn to change the office hours of public sector institutions as a solution to the heavy traffic congestion in Colombo and its suburbs. Approval had been granted for a proposal to change the office hours from the current 8.15 am-4.15 pm to 9.30 am-5.30 pm. The decision had been made during a discussion among top officials of the Ministries of Transport, Megapolis and more..

High-profile committee to probe Norochcholai breakdown

Oct 25 (NR) Public Utilities Commission has appointed a high-profile three member committee to carry out an independent investigation into the sudden malfunction of Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai. Former AG and President Counsel Shibly Aziz has been appointed as the Chairman of the Committee, while the Head of Dept of Electrical Engineering RI Senaratne & Dean of Faculty of Engineering more..

AAVA claims responsibility for sword attack on Jaffna Policemen

Oct 25 (DM) A group calling themselves the AAVA Gangsters has claimed responsibility for the sword attack on two police officers in the Chunnakam market area.  Group said the incident was a retaliation for the death of two Jaffna university students who were allegedly shot the by police. Group warned the police and the public to expect such incidents in the future as retaliation against activities that were destroying culture more..

I spoke according to my conscience: Prez

Oct 25 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, said the speech he made at the SLFI with regard to the FCID action on heads of forces was drawn from his conscience. “The objective of establishing the FCID is not to mingle in matters of various companies or individuals and to interrogate them. There are several divisions in the police department to handle such matters. There is deviation from the duties assigned to FCID. more..

Cigarette price reduction: Do it right

Oct 25 (CT) President Sirisena and Health Ministry's holy crusade on cigarette consumption seems to be arriving at a flashpoint. Beyond this point, the future forks two ways; the high road which will create a more serious problem or the low road – the complete eradication of cigarette consumption from our society. If the latter comes to pass, SL will be the very first country to do so. But the latter is also a wet dream, thought up by seemingly altruistic politicians, social justice warriors and neo liberals. more..

Mixed-up priorities of anti-corruption investigations

Oct 25 (CT) If one maintains that, as a matter of principle, all corruption cases should be investigated equally, indiscriminately and without delay, it would be very difficult to argue against such a moral high ground. But the question is how such a moral principle is applied in transforming a society, after a long period of major aberrations, without allowing that society to fall back to the old situation. In the case of Sri Lanka, one accusation is that the current investigations are politically motivated more..

Ada Cartoon

SLFP wants its proposals included in budget to support it

Oct 25 (Island) General Secretary of the UPFA Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the SLFP had not decided yet whether it would vote for the budget 2017. The SLFP would vote for the budget proposals only if the govt accommodated that parties’ suggestions in the final proposals, Minister said. "We have submitted a complete report to the Finance Minister and hope that he will include them in the budget proposals. Then only we will vote for the budget 2017," he said. more..

Kahatagaha miners launch underground hunger strike

Oct 25 (DM) Some 75 workers at the Kahatagaha Graphite Mine in Dodangaslanda today launched a hunger strike 1,132 feet underground, against an alleged move by the govt to privatize the Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka limited. The workers said plans are underway to privatize the mine, SL Mineral Sands Limited and the Paranthan Chemicals in guise of restructuring the three institutions.   They said the graphite mine was making profits unlike the other two institutions and therefore, more..

Daham’s Clique Night Club attack swept under the carpet

Oct 25 (CT) Two weeks since the Clique Night club came under attack from a group led by the son of President Sirisena, Daham; it now appears that the incident has been swept under the carpet with police taking no action against any of the culprits. Despite clear CCTV footage showing officers from the Presidential Security Division (PSD) threatening the security guards at the night club, after they refused Daham Sirisena and more..

Govt justifies increased expenditure for President

Oct 25 (AM) Govt justified the increased expenditure for the President through the 2017 budget, saying that it occurred due to added responsibilities and expenses coming from Rajapaksa era. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that Rs 2,500 million is allocated for national programmes on food production, environment conservation, drug prevention, kidney disease prevention and co-ordination of Pubudamu Polonnaruwa which have come under President's office. more..

Travel ban on KP extended

Oct 25 (NR) The Court of Appeal has extended the overseas travel ban imposed on the former international leader of the LTTE Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP till the 16th of Dec. The order was issued when the petition filed by JVP MP Vijitha Herath was taken up for hearing today. The petition was filed at the Appeals Court. The petition calls for the arrest of KP including legal action against him. The petition says KP is a prominent leader of a terrorist organization. more..

Mathews sidelined by multiple leg injuries

Oct 25 (CI) Angelo Mathews has said he pulled out of the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe because an MRI scan revealed several injuries to his leg. He said the decision was taken to help him recover in time for the tour of South Africa in December. "I had about one-and-a-half months to recover and I was preparing myself to be ready for the Zimbabwe tour," Mathews, who had torn his calf during the ODIs against Australia in August more..

Destruction of Buddhist Shrines taken to SC

Oct 25 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support on January 24, 2017 the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Attorney-at-Law Dharshana Weraduwage, complaining that the state had failed to take appropriate action against the recent destruction of Buddhist Shrines in the Northern Province. According to Article 9 of the Constitution of Sri lanka the state is duty bound to protect Buddhism, the religion of the majority, the lawyer has argued. more..

SC fixes FR application of retired JMO

Oct 25 (Island) Supreme Court fixed for support on Feb 8, 2017 the fundamental rights violation application filed by Professor Ananda Samarasekera, the retired Judicial Medical Officer. He has requested the court to grant him interim relief by restraining the CID from unduly arresting him until his fundamental rights petition is finally determined by the SC. Prof. Samarasekera is being prosecuted in Colombo Magistrate’s Court on suspicion of being involved in the misplacement of bones of more..

Sri Lanka gets more generous this year

Oct 25 (DM) Sri Lanka has moved up three notches and ranked fifth in the 2016 World Giving Index (WGI) compiled by the UK based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). About 148,000 people in 140 countries were surveyed as part of the Gallup World Poll by the CAF to compile this year’s index, which looked at sub categories of number of people donating money, participation in helping a stranger and participation in volunteering time. more..

Ranil set to gag media again over bond issue

Oct 25 (CT) Hell bent on safeguarding the misdeeds of ex-Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to gag the media for a second time by raising a privilege issue in Parliament against local media. Wickremesinghe who has since coming to power in January last year, attacked the media from time to time, and threatened to even send journalists home, has ordered his wingman, Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe to raise a privilege issue in Parliament more..

Khidmat-e-Khalq- ISI's charity wing raises its ugly head in Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (OI) Sri Lanka has yet again raised concerns over the presence of ISI sponsored groups trying to radicalise Muslims in the country. Sri Lankan authorities say that the Lashkar-e-Taiba through its charitable wing, Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK) is trying to set up its base. Interestingly this is the same charitable outfit that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had set up in Maldives in 2012. A shadow organisation by the name Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq, considered to be a front for the Lashkar, more..

ACF calls for Presidential Commission on Treasury bond scam

Oct 25 (AD) The Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) today called for an independent presidential commission to investigate the two controversial Treasury bond scams following reports that there is a possibility of two separate reports by the COPE. The public, for the most part, has always seen COPE as an institution that can be relied upon to properly investigate instances of corruption in govt institutions, the ACF said in a statement.  more..

Shares recover from 12-wk low in dull trading

Oct 25 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged up on Tuesday from a 12-week closing low hit in the previous session, but trading volume slumped to a more than 2-1/2-year low as investors awaited cues from the govt budget and five-year plan as well as corporate earnings. Sri Lanka's quarterly earnings season started two weeks ago, but most of the firms listed locally reports in late October or early November. The national budget is scheduled to be presented on Nov. 10. more..

PM assures impartial probe on Jaffna killing

Oct 25 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today assured Parliament that an independent inquiry would be conducted into the deaths of the two Jaffna University students. He said investigations would be carried out in a transparent manner and highlighted the fact that the incident had come as a shock to all of them. PM was responding to a question asked by Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan on the tragedy. He demanded for an independent investigation to bring the perpetrators to book and said more..

India, Sri Lanka hold joint military exercise

Oct 25 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka are holding a joint military exercise at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa. The joint exercise is focused on enhancing inter-operability in counter terror operations. The exercise - Mitra Shakti 2016 - which started on Monday, will conclude on Nov 6. This is the fourth edition of the exercise. "The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out more..

New UNICEF representative assumes office

Oct 25 (CG) The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says Sri Lanka must invest in its children and find ever-more innovative ways to support its most vulnerable young people. Tim Sutton assumed office as the new Representative for UNICEF in Sri Lanka. Sutton presented his credentials to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Ministry of Foreign Affair.. “It is an honour and a privilege to serve the children and young people of Sri Lanka” said Mr. Sutton. more..

UNP in secret talks with TNA, seeking support to save Mahendran

Oct 25 (AM) The UNP has initiated talks with the TNA to obtain its support for the alternative COPE report, absolving former Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran from responsibility in the Central Bank bond scam. The report approved by COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti has already received the support of the JVP and the UPFA MPs of the committee, sources said. Handunnetti said that the alternative report was a blatant attempt by the UNP to save Mahendran. more..

Video: Jaffna incident: IGP admits shortcomings

Oct 25 (AD) We should admit the fact that there may have been shortcomings on the part of the police with respect of the incident in Jaffna which resulted in the deaths of two university students, IGP Pujith Jayasundara says. He also pointed out it is suspicions whether there was a situation for the officer to pull the trigger in a bid to stop the fleeing motorbike. “On the other hand, it was a serious breach of discipline that they had more..

Death sentence for Kirulapone killer

Oct 25 (DN) Ravindran Surendran, aka Bole, accused of sexual abusing a six-year-old and throwing her into the Kirulapone canal to drown, was sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court this morning. Colombo HC Judge Kusala Weerawardena said prosecutors had proven beyond reasonable doubt the accused complicity in the crime. Two other suspects arrested at the time were acquitted of charges. Six-year old Krishnamoorthy Dushyanthani who lived in the low-income area behind more..

Minister Fowzie permitted to travel overseas

Oct 25 (NR) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today granted approval for State Minister AHM Fowzie to travel overseas. The approval order was issued when the motion filed by the Minister was taken up for hearing this afternoon. Charges were filed against State Minister Fowzie by the CIABOC over the alleged misuse of state funds and vehicles during his tenure as Minister of Disaster Management while part of UPFA led govt. Accordingly he was ordered to appear before more..

Wigneswaran appeals for calm as North observes total hartal

Oct 25 (ENS) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, has appealed to the people of the province, especially the youth, to be calm as they mourn the killing of two university students by the police. In a statement released from London, CM said that while conveying his condolences to the bereaved families, he would appeal to the people not to express their anger and grief in ways which would have unpleasant consequences. more..

PAFFREL asks Asoka Pieris to submit already completed reviews of local bodies

Oct 25 (Island) The PAFFREL has requested the committee appointed to review the National Delimitation Commission Report to submit the already reviewed local govt delimitation reports to Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt to be gazetted. In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the committee appointed to review the National Delimitation Commission Report Asoka Peiris, PAFFEREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi has also requested him to more..

Jaggesar's career-best sinks Sri Lanka A

Oct 25 (CI) West Indies A's bowlers combined to pick up a 165-run win in the first unofficial ODI against Sri Lanka A in Dambulla. The win was set up by their new-ball pair of Ronsford Beaton and Delorn Johnson, whose early strikes broke the back of Sri Lanka's chase of 268. Offspinner Jon-Russ Jaggesar then accelerated Sri Lanka A's slide with wickets of the middle and lower order; he finished with career-best figures of 4 for 29 as Sri Lanka A were bowled out for 102. more..