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Sri Lankan scapegoats of global drug trafficking Mafia

Oct 3 (SL) The spectacular drug bust this summer in Colombo that uncovered 176lbs of cocaine hidden in a sugar container has now been tied to the sensational story of a British aristocrat arrested in Kenya, also on smuggling charges. This link may have exposed a worldwide pattern in which innocent commodity traders are becoming the new victims of mafia-linked drug trafficking. Ammaiappan Vasudevan – 51-year-old owner of Amro more..

Switzerland to raise migration issue with SL

Oct 3 (WI) Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga will tackle the issue of repatriating Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka when she visits the country next week. Migration will feature prominently on her trip to Sri Lanka and India. In July, the State Secretariat for Migration said it would apply more stringent criteria for granting SL nationals – mostly ethnic Tamils - refugee status. The decision was taken in light of more..

Hindu Congress stand by Wigneswaran

Oct 3 (Island) All Ceylon Hindu Congress (ACHC) has thrown its weight behind Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran now under attack for launching Rise Thamils campaign in Jaffna on Sept 24. In a special statement issued over the weekend, ACHC demands an immediate end to ongoing criticism of Wigneswaran's actions. Full text of the statement titled No communal hatred propaganda more..

Intelligence Officer smuggled to Germany

Oct 3 (SL) The Army intelligence officer, who is in custody over the murder of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge, had been in Germany at the SL Embassy, court was informed last week. Mount Lavinia Magistrate last week rejected bail to military intelligence officer Premananada Udalagama. ASP CID, B.S. Tissera told the Magistrate that the Ministry of Defence had created a post for more..

'No immediate fags price hike'

Oct 3 (CT) The govt last night assured that there will be no immediate price increase in cigarettes, thereby scotching speculation in the market that a price increase was imminent. There will be no price increase of cigarettes in the foreseeable future, Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured. On the speculation that there were no cigarettes in the market due to the belief that a stick of the premium brand would cost Rs 46 more..

Conflict of interest puts Gotabaya’s FR petition in jeopardy

Oct 3 (SL) The status of the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Supreme Court has been called into question as an unprecedented conflict of interest has emerged with regard to Rajapaksa’s legal representation. The conflict is that Romesh De Silva, P.C., appearing for Rajapaksa before the Supreme Court, also appeared for slain editor of The Sunday Leader, more..

Siyam Nikaya frowns on moves to amend Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance

Oct 3 (Island) Malwatte Chapter of the Siamese Sect (Siyam Maha Nikaya) led by Mahanayake Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera has vehemently opposed any amendments to the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance of 1931. Objections were raised by the Sangha of Malwatte when Minister Dr Wijedasa Rajapksa called on Mahanayaka Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddharatha Sumangala Thera to apprise him more..

Sri Lanka makes progress towards open society: PM

Oct 3 (RNZ) The PM of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, says there is no longer a climate of fear in his country. After decades of brutal civil war and reports of torture and extra-judicial killings, the Sri Lankan govt is trying to put the past behind it and present the country as progressive and prosperous. More than 100,000 people are believed to have died between 1983 and 2009, in the fighting between Tamil separatists and govt forces. more..

CB Governor sheds light on grave ageing problem Sri Lanka yet to fathom

Oct 3 (DM) Sri Lanka has made its demographic transition well before making the economic transition in stark contrast to many other countries which have either made those shifts in concert or in a much balanced manner, making driving the country’s economy forward an uphill task, according to CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy. Hence he argues SL could no longer leverage labour as a source for driving growth as the numbers joining the labour force have been clearly coming down. more..

Include all, tap all resources for reconciliation 

Oct 3 (CT) Sections of the polity that feel themselves to be excluded from the government’s decision making process and alliances are seeking to gain attention. In the North the Tamil People’s Council organized a largely successful protest march and rally against the failure of the govt to adequately address the problems of the war affected Tamil people and also larger political issues of concern to the Tamil polity. In the south the BBS has been organizing protests against more..

JVP press conference

Sri Lanka’s endemic bird count to go up

Oct 3 (Island) The number of Sri Lanka’s endemic birds could increase by two more new species, going up from 31 to 33 this year, sources of the Field Ornithology Group of the Department of Zoology, Colombo University said. The list of country’s endemic birds numbers 31 species and scholars have suggested that two more species be added to it. If the international scientific data recorders deem those two species to be endemic to the country, the list would be increased, FOGSL sources said. more..

Uproar in Upcountry

Oct 3 (CT) Upcountry plantation workers are up in arms for the past one week demanding a thousand rupee increase to their basic salary. In the past one week unlike in the previous agitations staged by the Upcountry plantation workers, almost all the trade unions have joined hands in demanding the pay hike. In several areas in the Upcountry the protests staged by the labour force have crippled activities in the plantation sector and according to reports the Upcountry workers are adamant this time more..

CEB proposes 5% hike to fill revenue gap

Oct 3 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run CEB has proposed a 5% tariff hike across the board, saying it was responding to a 5% gap in revenues identified by the regulator for the next six months based on the costs of the utility. According to the filed tariff, the CEB will get Rs17.78 billion in extra revenue from October 2016 to March 2017 to cover costs and returns. The regulator can disallow costs of the utility that it does not agree with. more..

JVP sends message to National Day of China

Oct 3 (LT) “Between 1937 and 1945, as many as 20 million Chinese people perished and 50 million were left homeless. In 1949 average life expectancy was 32 years and 90 % of the population lived outside cities, some in great poverty in rural areas, where purified water and electricity were rarities. CPC in 1949 started the epic challenge of reconstructing the country’s physical and human capital. Nearly seven decades later, by 2016 China had emancipated 700 million people out of poverty. more..

FCID questions Cabraal

Oct 3 (LT) It is reported that Ajith Nivard Cabraal, former Governor of Central Bank during Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is being questioned by FCID. He has been summoned to FCID to question him in connection with misappropriation of state funds on the pretext of canvassing countries to get the Commonwealth Games 2018 to be held in SL. Investigations have begun in connection with a complaint received regarding misappropriation and it is now revealed that out of Rs. 690 million more..

Conspiracy to kill me: CV

Oct 3 (DM) A conspiracy is being hatched up to assassinate me and put the blame on the LTTE, Northern Provincial CM C.V. Wigneshwaran said. He said this in the felicitation message he sent to the function of launching the book on Constitution of Sri Lanka authored by former Senior Lecturer and researcher M. Thirunavukarasu. "I denounced the building of Buddhist temples arbitrarily in Northern Province. more..

Sri Lanka looking at market orientation of the rupee CB Governor

Oct 3 (EN) Sri Lanka is moving towards a market-oriented rupee CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said, amid speculation of a policy discussion on a devaluation in recent days. "You know, we look at all the instruments," Governor Coomaraswamy said responding to a question whether devaluation had been discussed by policymakers. "As I said, right now, we are happy that the overall policy stance will get us to the targets." "We discuss all instruments at every meeting." more..

Carnegie partners with Lanka Energy to develop wave energy plants in Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (EBR) Wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy has signed a MOU with the Lanka Energy Conservation to development commercial wave and microgrid projects in Sri Lanka. Lanka Energy Conservation is an associate company of Australian outfit Perth Eco Power. As part of the MoU, the team will identify opportunities and develop pathways for commercial wave energy plants on Sri Lanka. The collaboration will also focus on potential microgrid opportunities which more..

PAC lacks authority to order police probe

Oct 3 (Island) Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Lasantha Alagiyawanna, admitted that the parliamentary watchdog committee lacked authority at least to make available its findings pertaining to massive corruption and irregularities at state institutions to law enforcement authorities. Deputy Minister Alagiyawanna said that PAC couldn't direct the police or any other institution with investigative powers to conduct probes. more..

Magistrate permits Gota to travel to China

Oct 3 (DM) Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today permitted former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to travel to China. Rajapaksa was permitted to travel between October 5 and 30 to attend a Defense Seminar. A travel ban was imposed on the suspects, including Rajapaksa on Sept 30 when they were released on bail. However, the Magistrate today lifted the ban on an additional personal surety bail of Rs. 5 million. The decision comes amidst investigations by the Bribery more..

Video: Sirisena joins Wickremesinghe in giving dubious history lessons

Oct 3 (AD) President Sirisena made a speech which contained a dubious history lesson on the creation of SL's provinces. Speaking at the conclusion of the National sports Festival in Jaffna, Sirisena said that the nine provinces were given to SL not by Sri Lankans, but by King George of England. Sirisena said that the nine provinces were created in 1833, following the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission report. However, perhaps realizing this mistake, he corrected his statement, more..

Video: Sri Lanka issued statement on SAARC at behest of India: PHU

Oct 3 (DM) India is behind Sri Lanka's statement that the atmosphere was not conducive to hold the SAARC Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, PHU said. MP Udaya Gammanpila said the tilt towards India in the statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday was a grave diplomatic error committed by the country to hurt Pakistan. “Sri Lanka already knew that the Summit will not be held after India had pulled out. more..

Fate of missing teledrama actor unknown

Oct 3 (Island) Police have so far failed to ascertain the whereabouts of teledrama actor and film star Upali Keerthisena, who went missing more than nine months ago. His family members said he had left for Anuradhapura with some friends and never returned. At the time he was wearing an expensive gold chain and police obtained a statement from one of his friends with whom the missing person had last spoken on his mobile phone. "We could not obtain any vital clues from his friend," more..

Shares hit 5-wk high; rupee edges up

Oct 3 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged up on Monday, hitting their highest in five weeks, led by blue chips as hopes of some improvement in macroeconomic fundamentals boosted investor sentiment, dealers said. Sri Lankan shares were headed for a fifth straight session of gains, with the benchmark Colombo stock index rising 0.41% to 6,561.74 as of 0642 GMT. The index touched its highest intraday level since Aug. 26. "The fiscal side seems to be really good," more..

Two Bills on Buddhist Affairs to be put off

Oct 3 (DM) The Govt today decided to shelve two pieces of legislation relating to Buddhist Affairs due to objections from the Mahanayake Theras of the various chapters. The Business Committee of Parliament met today to decide on the items to be taken up for debate this week. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the govt would indefinitely postpone the debate on the Buddhist Temporalities (Amendment) Bill and more..

Sri Lankan traditions in modern design

Oct 3 (ENS) Diligently moving her hands and interweaving the reed straws to make baskets and boxes, Geethangani Perera, one of the Sri Lankan artisans at the recently concluded Dastakari Haat, Kalakshetra, grabbed eyeballs. Joining hands with Hands of Sri Lanka, headed by Buddhi Keerisena, former chairperson of the Sri Lanka Crafts Council, the exhibition showcased the works of nine artisans which included embroidery paintings, wooden masks, reed baskets, handloom textiles, more..

Bank manager and 3 others arrested for attempted robbery

Oct 3 (DM) Four suspects including the bank manager of a state bank at Vaikkala, Wennappuwa were arrested on charges of attempted robbery. The bank manager had lodged a complaint with the Police stating that someone had attempted to break open the bank’s safe sometime between Sept 15 and 19. The suspects had disconnected the security system and entered the premises through the back door. They had then attempted to cut open the safe with a gas cutter but had failed. more..

Year 2017 will be a transformational year for building houses: President

Oct 3 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena, recalling that the year 2017 has been declared as the year for alleviation of poverty, says the proposal including the plan for building houses on this regard, will be presented to Cabinet next Tuesday. President was speaking at the occasion to vest the Sugaladevigama model village in Nuwaragala, Dimbulagala in Polonnaruwa with public today. more..

Highways interconnector construction

Oct 3 (CT) Expressways interconnection (Northern Section ii) between Colombo-Katunayake and the Southern Expressway is under way. This is constructed as a part of the outer circular road. First sections of the project had already been constructed between Kaduwela and Kadawata. The 29 km long outer circular road network links the Colombo - Matara Expressway with Colombo - Katunayake Expressway and the proposed Colombo - Kandy Expressway and will provide an orbital more..

Sri Lanka PM to visit India

Oct 3 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit. He will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday, according to the External Affairs Ministry. His visit assumes significance as India last week pulled out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit that was scheduled to to be held in Islamabad in November citing Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorism in the region. more..

Wiggy’s arise Tamil Drama continues

Oct 3 (CT) PHU is planning to stage a protest in Colombo Fort on Wednesday demanding the govt have Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran arrested. MP Udaya Gammanpila has stated that he will be handing over a written complaint to the IGP to probe an inquiry into the issue. The protest will take place with the participation of the leaders of the Joint Opposition. This protest in Colombo comes at a time more..

President joins in World Heart Day Walk

Oct 3 (PMD) A Special Walk was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena to mark the World Heart Day (2). The Walk organized by the Sri Lanka Heart Association commenced at 7 a.m. near the Viharamahedevi Park in Colombo. Today there is rapidly increasing trend in heart diseases. Adverse health and food habits are main causes for the increase in heart diseases. The goal of this year’s celebrations is to increase awareness among the public on cultivating and more..

Video: They used to call me a mighty king, now a wolf: Mahinda

Oct 3 (AD) They used to call me a mighty king before, but now (they) call me a wolf, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says. The observation was made while speaking at an event held in Weligama. Rajapaksa also charged the Government of continuing the development projects that had been launched by them, without giving credits to the former Government. “The decision to build a Green University was our idea, but now they claim it as a concept of theirs,” he added. more..

CID at SAITM on hunt for Thajudeen’s missing body parts

Oct 3 (CT) Armed with a search warrant, a team of CID officers, and forensic experts arrived at the SAITM laboratory in Malabe this afternoon to search for the missing body parts of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen. The team are currently searching for the body parts of Thajudeen, which according to the CID is at the SAITM laboratory where ex-JMO Ananda Samarasekera serves as Head of Dept of Forensic Medicine at SAITM. more..

Terrorism: All sides must be held accountable!

Oct 4 (CT) This article is an attempt to clarify misunderstandings people have from an earlier article I wrote. I have been vocal in criticizing both the LTTE and SL govt for committing egregious human rights violations. Both sides must be held accountable. Violence on both sides is unjustifiable. The LTTE has committed egregious human rights abuses such as using civilians as human shields, killing political dissidents (such as Neelan Tiruchelvam and Rajini Thiranagama), more..

Foreign Direct Investments continue to be inadequate

Oct 4 (ST) The expectation of higher amounts of foreign direct investment (FDI) remains unrealised. Foreign investment has been far below expected levels and low in comparison with other Asian countries. FDI is less than 1 per cent of the country’s GDP and much less than what countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh have been able to attract in recent years. Vietnam, a former communist country, is able to attract FDI of over 6% of her GDP. The end of the civil war in 2009 and more..

'Tamils fed up with TNA leadership'

Oct 4 (SL) EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran claims that the recent Ezhuga Thamil rally that CM of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran organised with a march from the opposite of the Nallur Hindu Temple as well as from Jaffna University was a rousing success. In an interview, he said that the success of the rally clearly indicates that the Tamil people in the North were fed up with the TNA leadership. more..

Port city, sand mining, fishing & The protest

Oct 4 (CT) Govt sources inform that construction work on Colombo Port City (CPC) now baptized by our PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as International Financial City (IFC) will resume in October. Distressed local Fishermen now inform that the destructive sand mining by the Chinese have already begun. This project was publicly opposed by the incumbent President and PM while they were in opposition. Reason given by then leader of opposition and now PM during his election more..

Double standards? Oh no, we’re British

Oct 4 (ST) Less than two months ago the Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombed a hospital in Yemen killing 11 persons and wounding 19 others. It was a hospital that was being assisted by the reputed French organisation Médecins Sans Frontière. Reports say the air attacks are increasingly targeting places normally used by civilians. The previous week coalition aircraft bombed a food factory and a school. Earlier in May, British media reports said that a British-manufactured cluster-bomb more..