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Video: Govt insists it has a right to criticise the media; Mangala

Oct 26 (CG) The Govt insisted that it has a right to criticise the media just as the media can be critical of the Govt. Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was exercising his rights to be critical of some media recently. He told reporters that in a vibrant democracy there needs to be a constructive debate between the media and the Govt. However he insisted that unlike in the past the Govt has more..

Hundreds of deathtraps left by lax sand miners

Oct 26 (ST) CThe hundreds of gaping pits abandoned by sand miners are death traps, authorities said, following community outrage over the deaths of two children who drowned in a pit – and the same problem exists in gem mining areas. Residents of Kochchikade, near Negombo, where the two children died after drowning on September 30 while swimming in a sand pit that had filled up with water, held a large protest last week to more..

I spoke according to my conscience: Prez

Oct 26 (DM) The recent controversial speech made by President Maithripala Sirisena has become a subject of much debate among the people. Following is a discussion held  with President and what he shared with Sunday Lankadeepa.   Q: Your controversial speech made recently has become a subject of much talk among the people of the country. Two groups have emerged opposing & supporting your views. more..

Another 40 Tamil refugees to return from TN

Oct 26 (AT) 40 SL Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, are arriving Sri Lanka under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. They are a voluntary repatriation movements on Thurssday (27), consisting 40 persons (13 families) scheduled to arrive through Sri Lankan Airlines (UL 132) from Trichy. Govt initiated action to encourage the voluntary refugee returnee programme and the current trend of increased refugee returnees more..

Outsiders creating tension in Jaffna: NPC Chairman

Oct 26 (CT) C.V.K. Sivagnanam, Chairman of NPC and Deputy General Secretary of the ITAK, claimed that "outside forces are behind the rising of tensions in the North with a beginning of a string of unscrupulous activities in the Northern Province." He hinted that these outsiders are enabled to infiltrate the North through connections there. He said this new bout of events had the signs of being preplanned and more..

TNA asks how fleeing undergrads were shot from the front

Oct 26 (Island) The TNA demanded that an investigation be conducted into the killing of two Jaffna university students to find out how the rider of the motorcycle, and not the one on the pillion, had suffered gun shot injuries if they had been fleeing. TNA leader R Sampanthan said: "On Oct 20, 2016 two Third-year students of the University of Jaffna were shot at by the Police at Kulappidi Junction, Kokkuvil. more..

Right to Information Act will be implemented with added empowerment: President

Oct 26 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena said the Right to Information Act, which was passed in Parliament within a short period since the formation of govt to protect and strengthen the people’s rights to information, will be further empowered in the future with the addition of certain provisions to it. He stressed that the policy of the govt is to facilitate the media and media personnel so as to strengthen media freedom. more..

TNA makes last minute demand for Tamil version of COPE report

Oct 26 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa told Parliament that all sessions of the COPE probing the Treasury bond scam were nothing but a drama of which the last few acts remained to be enacted. "At the end of couple of more acts, the country would be told that the COPE cannot release its report owing to technical problems and former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran would not be held responsible for more..

Video: Separate lane for buses from Dec

Oct 26 (DM) The Megapolis and Western Region Development Minister had approved the separate lane for buses during peak hours from Battaramulla to Colombo Fort from Dec 1, Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association Chairman (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeyaratne said. He said the request that he had made to the relevant authorities long time ago and it had now become a reality. We had discussed this separate bus lane issue more..


Oct 26 (CT) COPE is a legally constituted body comprising MPs elected by the Legislature itself. Other than confirming an opinion on matters of public interest vis-à-vis public enterprises including the workings of the Central Bank, it, however, has no legal powers to prosecute alleged offenders. COPE, however, has the prerogative to call-up any person, including public officials for an inquiry and also to ask for reports on any so called controversial doings involving public assets/finance. more..

Call for animal welfare: Where’s the animal welfare bill?

Oct 26 (CT) It has been years since SL has been speaking of the Animal Welfare Bill which is due to be enacted to address the short-comings of the current laws on animal welfare. However the law is still not finalized, and is heard as having a push back due to certain interests of different actors. The ongoing attempt to restructure the laws on animal cruelty in the country- the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance of 1907- has reached over a decade, though the Bill is yet to be enacted. more..

කෝප් එකට මොකද වෙලා තියෙන්නේ?

Sri Lankan shares end slightly weak, hovering close to 12-wk low

Oct 26 (Reuters) Shares ended slightly weaker on Wednesday, largely near a 12-week closing low hit earlier in the week, in dull trading as investors awaited cues from the government 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. CSE ended 0.03% or 2.08 points weaker at 6,434.89. more..

SC orders progress report on payment of compensation to victims of Uma Oya

Oct 26 (Island) SC ordered Uva Director of Agriculture to submit the completed progress report on the supply of drinking water and the granting of monetary compensation to the petitioner residents of Bandarawela, who have complained that they have been adversely affected by Uma Oya Development Project. SC, in an earlier hearing, ordered that the petitioners be compensated suitably. Farmers whose cultivation projects were badly affected are to be granted financial compensation. more..

'Govt should protect local industry and professions'

Oct 26 (DM) Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of SL at the UN in New York,  says it is important to remember that a complex and far-reaching agreement as the ETCA, will have long-term consequences for the country. He says it is absolutely vital as a result to ensure that it is right for us and that our industry and professional circles are reasonably reassured by its content. more..

Until final report, media shouldn’t disclose COPE report facts: Senasinghe

Oct 26 (AD) No one can issue directives in order to influence the COPE, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe says. “Even though the FCID, CID, and the anti-graft commission accept directives, the COPE cannot accept direction, and as well as a single member cannot submit a final report,” he added. The media should refrain from disclosing facts relating to the COPE report, until the final report is submitted to the Parliament. “Final report will be a combination of the views of all more..

His influence has failed this time round

Oct 26 (DM) By the way, the politico once said that he felt a strong inclination to function as an independent member in the council. Some govt high ups who had made discreet inquiries as to why this sporty one had suddenly gone sulky, have stumbled upon the cause: a ladylove of our man has been making an easy buck through the lucrative printing contract and political authority handling the public purse has now made a move to award this contract to another person. more..

Law and Order minister dodges spy question

Oct 26 (EN) Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake walked out of a press conference when asked about the role of the military intelligence in the on-going unrest and tensions in the Jaffna peninsula. He was present to give the police version of events leading to the killing of two Jaffna university students and the subsequent unrest. After repeating the police version that they fired in the air after the students riding a cycle more..

Sri Lanka exports marketed at SIAL Paris

Oct 26 (GDI) SIAL Paris, 2016 one of the largest consumer Fairs in Europe, convened in France from 16th to 20th Oct, attracted a large number of exporters from Sri Lankan prompting them to seek a wider market for their products mainly in the West.  More than 6,500 French and international exhibitors from 105 countries displayed their food products at SIAL Paris, ranging from ingredients to processed products, including fresh produce. On the inaugural day of exhibition Amb. Tilak Ranaviraja more..

Gemunu soft peddles bond scams

Oct 26 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday said that COPE did not have powers to take action against any corruption that had been revealed by them and therefore there was no need to hold media shows to deceive the public. He told the media that the COPE had not filed a single case against a single instance of corruption that had been unearthed by them. "COPE can only bark but cannot bite," Wijeratne said. more..

Video: NFF brandishes unofficial COPE Report

Oct 26 (DM) NFF MP and COPE member Weerakumara Dissanayake claimed he would release a report, which would hold all those responsible for the alleged bond scam if the official COPE Report was not released this week. He said that he would no longer follow the ethics of Parliament and COPE from next week if the COPE Report is not released in Parliament. “All information regarding alleged CB bond scam more..

US offers funding to strengthen civil society

Oct 26 (CG) US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announced an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support strengthening civil society in Sri Lanka. DRL is seeking proposals for programs that strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to influence and monitor the role of the govt at all levels in areas that support good governance and protect fundamental freedoms while emphasizing more..

Video: Sarana to plead guilty: Court releases him on bail

Oct 26 (DM) Former Development Board Chairman, Sarana Goonawardane, was today released on bail over two cases filed by the Bribery Commission against him for not declaring his assets and liabilities from 2005 to 2007.  Appearing before court after a notice was issued on Sept 7, suspect today said he was prepared to plead guilty to the charges when the case was taken up again. Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya releasing the suspect on a surety bail of Rs. 100,000 for each case, more..

Sri Lanka spends Rs17mn monthly on Hambantota Conference Hall

Oct 26 (LBO) Urban Development Authority is spending 17 million rupees monthly just to maintain Magam Ruhunupura International Conference Hall (MRICH). Megapolis Minister Champika Ranawaka speaking at a function said they are not getting anything in return as it is not being used. The conference hall was constructed by UDA and Korean International Corporation at a cost of US$ 15.3 million. more..

LTL wins coveted Asian Power Award 2016

Oct 26 (Island) Lakdhanavi Limited, which is the power generation arm of LTL Holdings group, has won the award for Power Utility of the Year - SL, at Asian Power Awards 2016, for the operations oftheir Yugadanavi 300 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant (known as Kerawalapitiya Power Plant). This award has been made in recognition of the company’s capability for operating a large scale power plant in an efficient and prudent manner. Asian Power Awards, considered Oscars of power industry more..

Speaker addresses IPU assembly in Geneva

Oct 26 (GDI) Leading a high-level Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation to the 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) being held from 23-27 October in Geneva, Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament addressed the General Debate yesterday. The theme of the debate was Human Rights abuses as precursors of conflict: Parliaments as early responders. SL delegation included Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, MP Vijitha Herath, MP (Mrs.) Rohini Kumari Wijeratne, more..

President opens the NSBM Green University

Oct 26 (PMD) NSBM Green University, equipped with modern facilities was declared open by President at Pitipana area in Homagama, today. Unveiled the plaque to open the university and said this would mark the beginning of a new path in education in SL. Prez emphasized importance of developing the student skills towards innovations as research and new innovatives are essential for building skilled human resource more..

Parliament approves much delayed VAT bill

Oct 26 (EN) Parliament Wednesday approved the controversial bill to amend for VAT  with 112 members voting for and 46 against. Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala told the assembly that the amendment bill was now approved and will become law as soon as Spreaker Karu Jayasuriya gives his assent. SC informed parliament Tuesday that the bill was not inconsistent with the constitution. The Rajapaksa faction of the opposition had challenged VAT bill which was once shot down because more..

Bus stoned, group of youth assaulted in Jaffna

Oct 26 (DM) It was reported that stones were hurled at a bus while several motorcycles were damaged at Anaikkottai in Karainagar last night. Manipay Police received information that a gang of unidentified men arrived on several motorcycles had attacked a group of youth with clubs and damaged their motorcycles in Anaikkottai and fled. Three youth had sustained minor injuries due to the attack, Police said. Investigations have been launched in search of the gang, according to Police. more..

Video: GSP+: Committee to look into Muslim Marriage, Divorce Act

Oct 26 (DM) A committee had been appointed to consider reforms to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act to the norms stipulated in international conventions, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said today. He said as some provisions in the Muslim Law, including the minimum age of marriage, were not in conform with the norms stipulated in international conventions, which SL was holding membership, and that it was necessary more..

Death at Weerawansa’s Hokandara house

Oct 26 (DN) 24 year old Lahiru Janith, a friend of former minister Wimal Weerawansa’s son Wibhuthi Weerawansa, was found dead at the former minister’s residence this morning. Police said Janith had visited former minister’s Hokandara home last evening and stayed overnight. When he had failed to wake up in the morning, he had been rushed to Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police is recording statements from former minister’s wife, son and Lahiru’s parents. more..

Video: Crack the whip, not jokes: JO to govt

Oct 26 (DM) Govt should comprehend the gravity of the recent violent incidents taking place in the North and act accordingly, without cracking jokes like Aava-Giya in the name of reconciliation, the Joint Opposition said today. It said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe cracked jokes in Parliament about the AAVA Gangsters which took responsibility of the sword attack on two State intelligence officers at Chunnakam, Jaffna  saying such groups came and went (Aava and Giya). more..

Health, housing, sugar, milk foods, hospitals and smart cellular phones exempt from VAT

Oct 26 (ITN) Health, Housing, Sugar, Milk foods, Hospitals and Smart mobile phones will not come under VAT. This was revealed by Minister Ravi Karunanayake presenting the VAT (Amendment) Bill to Parliament. VAT has been newly added to Posts, telephones, arrack and cigarettes. 74 items have been released from VAT. Minister said that the present Govt had to face the repercussions of the debt issue, more..

International schools will be regulated: Education Minster

Oct 26 (DN) A new mechanism will be introduced to regulate international schools, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He said this would fall under the educational reforms the govt has planned for the future. Minister said international schools would be regulated through the Sri Lanka Education Inspectorate - an institution that will be established under the new education reforms. He also emphasized the necessity of implementing new laws to enable the Education Ministry to more..

SLFP budget proposals handed over to Finance Minister

Oct 26 (ITN) The proposals of the SLFP for the 2017 Budget have been handed over to the Finance Minister. The proposals were submitted at the Finance Ministry. The proposals drafted by the SLFP on behalf of the forthcoming budget were handed over to Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Proposals had been drafted with respect to many fields including agriculture, plantations, education, rural development, small and medium scale entrepreneurship development and fisheries. more..

Sri Lankan housemaids being traded illegally in Oman

Oct 26 (TOO) Housemaids are being traded illegally by expatriate agents in an Omani town for less than OMR1,500. Agents in Sohar speak openly of skipping official govt and embassy procedures to provide expatriate women to work as housemaids in Oman. Housemaids from Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Philippines and African countries can be hired from Sohar easily either on a two-year contract or over a shorter period more..

Seeking full constitutional recognition

Oct 27 (SL) Human Rights Commission of SL has raised deep concerns over attempts made by some quarters closely associated with the current constitution-making process to prevent the inclusion of economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to education and an adequate standard of health, from the constitutional Bill of Rights as full-fledged rights for which judicial remedies are available. It has been argued that only civil and political rights should be guaranteed as more..

Laying unrest to rest

Oct 27 (DN) Unfortunately for the govt, as it went in to damage control mode last week over President Maithripala Sirisena’s comments regarding the workings of the Bribery Commission, CID and FCID, a fresh crisis erupted in the North, where two students of the Jaffna University were killed. While the fall out of the President’s remarks led to the eventual resignation of Bribery Commissioner Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, the issue is likely to end there. more..

'COPE split along two main party lines: Public betrayed'

Oct 27 (CT) As the UNP members of the COPE refused to recognize the Chairman's Report on the controversial Treasury Bond issue, COPE member JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa, spoke to Ceylon Today of the COPE splitting on party lines, and of betrayal of public expectations by the two main parties. Q: Right now the biggest investigation handled by the COPE is the one on the two controversial Treasury Bond auctions more..

Disregarded or Misunderstood Challenges: Serving a foreign agenda

Oct 27 (CT) "What we are going through now is not something which has been specifically meant for Sri Lanka only. It is nothing but our unchangeable global location which has become a strategic point in geopolitics of the western world. Naturally, they are concerned about their well being. Regionally, India is now a very powerful nation and it is a very good example for maintaining unity in spite of nationalistic tendencies within. India cannot afford to have any disruptions to peace within its borders. more..