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UNP protecting Ali Baba in bond scam: JVP

Oct 25 (DM) JVP accused UNP members in the COPE of attempting to protect Ali Baba and recommend action only against a few of the thieves involved in the bond scam. “Ali Baba and ten thieves are involved in this scam. But the UNP report does not highlight any misdemeanors of the main thief. This is what happened to the Rajapaksa regime as well. So we are not surprised about this,” COPE member Bimal Ratnayake said. more..

COPE report on Bond Scam: An appeal to the Speaker & MPs

Oct 26 (CT) Please reflect for a moment on the Oath of Office you took in entering Parliament as a member. You swore to uphold the Constitution of SL on that occasion. You are aware that by article 3 of the Constitution, the sovereignty is vested in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of govt, fundamental rights and the franchise. You are thus duty bound as persons elected by the exercise of the people’s franchise, to function as MPs and safeguard more..

All lives matter: Northern killings & North-South protest 

Oct 26 (CT) I never knew him personally but Weerasooriya of Uhumiya was my batch-mate as a first year arts student at Peradeniya. I was on campus early that morning in November 1976 when the shots, the gun smoke and the tear gas wafted through the green hills of Peradeniya. Years later when I taught at Colombo University, a student was shot dead before my eyes, outside the hostel at Havelock road. I have been both a university student activist and a university teacher. more..

'No issue in cohabitation govt'

Oct 26 (SL) With reports of a rift emerging from Govt, many fear govt may lose its stability. However, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the cohabitation govt has no rift and that they still work together very well. Karunanayake will be presenting the 2017 budget in parliament next month, and he seeks the support of the entire cohabitation govt to pass the budget. He is confident that cohabitation govt will last longer more..

The Saga of motorcyle gangs

Oct 26 (DN) In Dec, last year, the Times of India revealed that a gang of robbers on motorbikes was terrorizing the Chennai city, instilling fear among residents. Two gangsters had pushed a 40-year-old software engineer, his wife and daughter off a moving bike, and snatched the wife’s handbag while at Thiruvanmiyur. In an incident less than a day later, three men on a motorbike attacked a female entrepreneur in Tiruverkadu with knives and robbed her, as she was heading home on a scooter. more..

The tragedy of power

Oct 26 (FT) The going colours for the Coalition Govt is certainly not looking good after the recent events involving the President’s son, Royal College Colombo 7 educated Daham Sirisena, who clearly demonstrated his immaturity and boorish instincts at a posh night club in Colombo 7. Fortunately for him other events took over, burying his cowardly act for the moment. Then the COPE findings involving the conduct of another old Royalist Arjuna Mahendran reflects the greed and impunity of more..

'Be prepared for any eventuality'

Oct 26 (DN) To begin with, you are an officer with many firsts to your name, including training at National Defence University in China and 1st Director of Logistics and Director of Air Operations and with many deeming that the Air Force is a luxury during peacetime, as Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), could you speak to us on your role as Air Force Chief. Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy more..

Sri Lanka-UNP thieves and Charlie’s Angels

Oct 26 (CT) When head of the Bribery Commission Nelum Gamage, during the administration of President D.B. Wijetunga was carrying out investigations into accusations of bribery regarding a chief officer of the Railway Department and powerful figures of UNP, she received a message from DB. What DB told Nelum Gamage was to immediately halt the investigations into the chief at the Railway and the powerful UNP figures and close the files. Nelum Gamage was an honest govt official. more..

Cohabitation hiccups and transparency

Oct 26 (CT) When the SLFP and UNP agreed to form a consensual govt, they entered into a common policy programme and vowed to implement it without allowing the party differences to scuttle it. The main pillars of the unity govt are democracy, economic progress, reconciliation and transparency. Is too much of transparency bad? Is it wrong to call a spade a spade? These are the questions that arose after President Maithripala Sirisena made a rippling Statement last week. more..

Harin Fernando

Sri Lankan neuroscientist talks about benefits of tea for brain ageing

Oct 26 (TOI) Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Innovation in Biotechnology & Neuroscience, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Professor Ranil De Silva delivered a talk at Panjab University (PU) during the 8th Basic Science Colloquium. Professor Ranil De Silva delivered the talk on the topic of "Banking the brain and blood: What Sri Lanka can offer for multidisciplinary Collaborative research in Neutrigenomics and Neutraceuticals leading to Healthy brain aging". more..

The decay of Brahmins

Oct 26 (Island) Congratulations! Dear Editor, for the enlightening editorial COPE, Licchavis and King Kosala (Oct 24) educating us on many things, not the least, how our dear PM is treading the path of his uncle to become Dharmishta II. You state: "PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared umpteen times that in addressing crucial issues in Parliament and elsewhere his govt emulates the Licchavis, who in keeping with the Buddha’s advice, met, deliberated and dispersed peacefully." more..

Left-arm lovable

Oct 26 (CM) It was perfect that Rangana Herath's parents bought the family their first television shortly before Aravinda de Silva's 1984 debut, because soon de Silva was Herath's favourite player. When Aravinda is smashing sixes and fours, Herath remembers, who doesn't want to watch? There was sometimes a crowd in the house. In the lush village of Waduwawa, on the southeastern tip of more..

Editorial: Yahapalana stench

Oct 26 (Island) An internal investigation conducted by the Central Bank (CB) into Treasury bond scams has shed light on unusually huge profits made by one of the primary dealers, Perpetual Treasuries, belonging to the son-in-law of former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. A damning report put out by the Auditor General’s Department on the issue has held Mahendran accountable for the irregular bond transactions. COPE Chairman’s report has also established this fact. more..

'SL makes progress to control HIV Aids'

Oct 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has recorded a drop in HIV AIDS prevalence when compared to other South Asian countries, the Global Fund, quoted in a local media report said Tuesday. The Fund said that the program implemented in Sri Lanka this year to control HIV AIDS had reported considerable progress. A delegation led by Blanca Gil Antunano, Global Fund Portfolio Manager, South East Asia, was in Sri Lanka recently to inspect the progress of this initiative. She held discussions with more..

Hashen establishes fairytale triple records

Oct 26 (CT) The 13-year-old Hashen Abeysekara of Sidhartha MV, Balapitiya established an unprecedented third meet record to announce his fairytale entry into big time athletics, Gateway’s Sadeepa Henderson and Milinda Perera of St. Mary’s College, Chilaw bagged best athlete titles as the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship, notable for its massive participation, concluded here at Embilipitiya on Tuesday. more..

Devapriya: Women’s cricket head coach

Oct 26 (DN) SLC announced the appointment of veteran coach Hemantha Devapriya as head coach of the SL women’s national cricket team. He replaces another former wicket-keeper/batsman Lanka de Silva who held the post since last July. Devapriya holds level III qualifications from the ECB, and is a Level II Certified Coach in Sri Lanka, who’s coaching career spans over 15 years, during which time he has been the Head Coach of CCC, NCC, Fingara Cricket Academy and Bloomfield. more..

Short stint for tinted glasses

Oct 26 (DM) A week long operation inspecting vehicles with tinted or curtained front windows was launched countrywide by the police today. Traffic DIG Palitha Fernando said vehicles should have clear windows in the front of the vehicle. “The police will strictly implement this law and track down vehicles that have any kind of tinted glass or curtains in the front,” he said. "Use of tinted glasses are appended in Govt Gazette 875/08 on 16.06.1995 and 1273/28 on 31.01,2003. more..

Jaffna mourns students Gajan & Sulakshan

Oct 26 (FT) Shops and business establishments across the Jaffna town shut down yesterday in protest against the deaths of two students of the Jaffna University who were allegedly shot by police personnel in Kankesanthurai. Streets of Jaffna were deserted and transport services came to a standstill as the North mourned the deaths of Natarajan Gajan and Pounraj Sulakshan who were killed in alleged shooting. more..

Former Kandy SC president Dr Sarath Kapuwatte dies at 76

Oct 26 (DN) Kandy Sports Club have led the tributes to their former president, patron and present trustee Dr. Sarath Kapuwatte who died yesterday morning at a private nursing home aged 76 following a long illness. Kapu as he was popularly known joined the Kandy Sports Club administration scene in 1989, and rose to be its president in 1991. During his tenure Kandy SC won their first ‘A’ first division title - the Clifford Cup in 1992. He was president on 20 occasions and patron six times. more..

Muslim civil society to stage pro-Palestine protest on Friday

Oct 26 (FT) SL Muslim politicians and organisations will be staging a protest on Friday the 28th in front of the Dewatagaha Mosque in Town Hall against Sri Lanka’s decision to abstain from voting against Israel on a UNESCO resolution recently. Chairman of the mosque Reyyaz Salley said that Sri Lankan Muslims supported the present Govt with the expectation that the community would be supported and assisted. He asserted that the Govt’s move to abstain from voting was a disappointment as more..

VAT in Parliament today

Oct 26 (FT) On the eve of the VAT Amendment Bill being presented in Parliament today, Supreme Court determined that the Bill was not inconsistent with the Constitution while the Joint Opposition refused to vote for the fresh legislation. Reading the SC determination in Parliament yesterday, Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said: “I wish to announce to the House that I have received the determination of SC more..

Property demand and prices to increase

Oct 26 (CT) Demand and prices of luxury properties in Sri Lanka are expected to soar in the near future as a leading real-estate agent predicts increased purchases by high net worth individuals. According to Lamudi Sri Lanka, now is the time to invest in real estate development as Sri Lanka has become a hotspot for property investments. The real-estate agent opined that Sri Lanka was going in the right direction for real estate prosperity. In recent years, island's property market has been booming, more..

Sri Lanka seen as having capacity to absorb high and low spending tourists

Oct 26 (Island) Sri Lanka should aggressively and continuously promote the tourism sector in order to attract all categories of tourists into Sri Lanka because the country could accommodate tourists from high spenders to low spenders, a top hotelier said. "Since Sri Lanka is targeting 2.5 million tourists in 2016, attracting mixture of all types from high spenders to low spenders is important to achieve the target, CEO Laugfs Leisure Limited Roshan R Perera said. more..

JVP press conference: Bond Scam

TRAIL 2016 treks to Colombo

Oct 26 (Island) Having completed 20 days of their journey to the South of Sri Lanka amidst scorching heat, heavy rain, slippery roads, blistered feet and body aches all in the name of humanity, the amazing team of Trail Blazers along with many volunteers reached Colombo yesterday. The walkers had completed 474 Km as they had reached Galle Face Green and will continue the journey of another 196 kms until they reach Dondra Head on Nov 2. Connecting the North to the South, more..

SL universities not conducive for R&D: WB

Oct 26 (FT) Lack of research culture, industry collaborations and inadequate facilities are a major drawback to boosting research and development (R&D) in Sri Lankan universities, the latest World Bank report says. The country’s expenditure on R&D is the lowest in the region. In 2010 Sri Lanka R&D to GDP ratio was a meagre 0.16%. Out of this only 11% was spent by universities whilst the rest was spread equally between Govt research institutions and businesses. more..

Despite foreign secretary’s visit LIOC-GOSL differences over Trinco oil tanks persist

Oct 26 (ENS) Despite the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar accompanied by a high-level team from Indian Oil Corporation, differences between Lanka IOC (LIOC) and govt of SL over the Trincomalee oil storage tanks persist. The basic technical and legal issues which have been preventing the full use of the giant oil tanks remain unresolved though the tanks were handed over to LIOC, subsidiary of IOC, more..

Anti-coal lobby moots natural resources for power generation

Oct 26 (CT) Thanking the govt for its decision to revoke the Smapur Coal Power Plant, the Coalition Against Coal requested to seek natural resources to address SL's power requirements. Govt of SL cancelled the Sampur Coal Power Plant project in early September this year due to long term health impacts and repercussions to the environment in addition to certain discrepancies in Environmental Assessment Report. According to the coalition, renewable energy was much cheaper than more..

'Handunnetti’s sudden exit unnecessary'

Oct 26 (CT) Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena commenting on the COPE Chairman MP Sunil Handunnetti leaving the committee said, he did not have to walk out, or fear anything. "We (UPFA and SLFP) trust MP Handunhetti. He did not have to leave," he said. The COPE committee met at the parliamentary complex to discuss last stage amendments relating to the controversial CB Bond issue. He further added that when the COPE committee report is revealed, and presented more..

NSBM Green University Town opens today

Oct 26 (DN) Taking Sri Lanka’s education sphere to greater heights, National institute of Business Management (NSBM) Green University Town, first of its kind in South Asia, will open today at 8 30 a.m. at Homagama. This state-of-the-art university is spread over an area of 26 acres and has been designed to provide an all-round fully-fledged university experience of international caliber which also has the ability more..

'SL targets budget deficit of 4.4% for 2017'

Oct 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans on reducing it’s budget deficit to 4.4% in 2017 and curbing its total expenditure by around 10%, State Minister of Finance, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. “We propose to cut the budget deficit up to 4.4% and curb expenditure through reducing the govt expenditure and better financial management,” he said. “To increase the states income we will bring proposals to increase our export earning and also earnings from tourism. more..

11 arrested for Mattakkuliya murder: Police

Oct 26 (DM) Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) arrested eleven suspects in Ratnapura last night, including the main suspect Kudu Roshan for the Mattakkuliya quadruple murder, Police said. They said the officers attached to the CCD arrested the suspects along with firearms. Four persons were killed in the shooting in Samithpura, Mattakkuliya on Sunday and three others also sustained injuries in the incident. Police said the reason behind the shooting has not been uncovered yet more..

'Nobody pushed AG to change his findings'

Oct 26 (DM) Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva posting a comment on his Facebook account said that at no time did any of the members of COPE push AG to change his findings. Full post: Notwithstanding the practice of not speaking on matters of COPE until its report is submitted, an exception has to be made, after all what has gone on these last few days. By staying quiet we were subject to all kinds of wild allegations more..

JHU wants total crackdown on ex-LTTEers

Oct 26 (DM) JHU claimed that ex-LTTE cadres might be behind the criminal activities taking place in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and called for a total crackdown on the 12,600 of them who were released after rehabilitation. "The Govt should carry out a thorough check on all former LTTEers to determine their current circumstances and activities and arrest if found to be connected to any criminal activities," JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. more..

COPE will present a landmark report: UNP

Oct 26 (DM) COPE would present a landmark report which will hold all those responsible for the alleged bond scam culpable and call for their arrest, said Deputy Minister and COPE member Ajith P Perera at a media briefing last evening. He said the report would hold the owners and directors and others responsible for the scam, and call for their arrest. Asked whether former CB governor Arjuna Mahendran would not be held responsible, he told journalists to wait till Thursday and find out. more..

Bond scams: SLFP won’t shield perpetrators

Oct 26 (Island) State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the SLFP wouldn’t, under any circumstances, throw its weight behind those who had reaped massive profits through alleged Central Bank bond scams. A confidential Central Bank investigation concluded in Sept, 2016 that Perpetual Treasuries Ltd had recorded after-tax profit of Rs 5.1 bn for the year ending on March 31, 2016. more..

New hope for kidney patients

Oct 26 (DM) The battle against the chronic kidney disease is to be intensified with President Maithripala Sirisena promising that 40% of Sri Lanka’s people who do not have access to clean drinking water would be provided this essential need within two years. Another important factor is the campaign to persuade farmers to switch from imported, expensive and sometimes toxic agro-chemicals to organic varieties such as cow-dung fertilizer. Many soil scientists believe that more..

President Sirisena’s attempt at rebalance

Oct 26 (DM) Lenin famously identified three conditions for a revolution. The rulers should feel unable to rule in the old way. The masses should feel unable to live in the old way. There must be a split among the rulers. Sri Lankan situation shows signs that these three conditions are in, or are coming into existence.  President’s speech is but a symptom that the rulers feel that they cannot go on in the old way. It doesn’t take a military intelligence report for the President to perceive this. more..

President not their’s: Lakshman Kiriella

Oct 26 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says that equal rights of the people should be ensured through power sharing with the periphery. He says President got a mandate with the main backing of the UNP, and it should be understood by all concerned. Q:  How do you see the unfolding political situation after President Sirisena’s outburst? A: It's exciting & challenging. One must expect this because this govt consists of several parties. more..