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Progressive constitution needed to prevent repeat of war

Oct 28 (CT) The shooting of two Jaffna Uni students is a tragedy just waiting to happen. During the last few years tension between the armed forces and the general public was on the rise. Reluctance of the armed forces to release occupied lands belonging to Tamil people and failure to dismantle the numerous army camps in built up areas even after the war ended 7 years ago led to friction and despair. It is claimed the two students failed to stop at the check point when ordered to do so. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Jaffna’s crime wave

Oct 28 (CT) Yesterday's lead story of this newspaper highlighted the rise of an allegedly armed criminal gang in the North by the name of AAVA. It further alleged that the AAVA Group was, recently, responsible for assaulting two State intelligence officers in the North. The report added that this gang was mobile and its members riding on motorbikes were also involved in acts of extortion. The article said that the criminal gang was recruiting to its ranks, unemployed youth. more..

SL inflation higher in 2017: World Bank

Oct 28 (EN) Sri Lanka’s inflation will increase this year and the next although the economy’s stability in the short term has improved with recent policy corrections, the World Bank said. Its latest Sri Lanka Development Update – a half-yearly report on SL economy and its prospects – said SL’s GDP growth will remain unchanged in 2016 and grow marginally over 5% in 2017. Growth will be driven by public and private investment, including the resumption of postponed FDI, tourism and more..

PM's involvement in Bond Scam reveled

CTB buses sabotaged by private rivals for not supporting their strike

Oct 28 (Island) Private bus operators have stopped operations on the Kandy, Pujapitiya and Ankumbura route and an organised group is damaging the state-owned buses that ply on those routes. Regional Manager of the Kandy SLTB H.M.W. Abeyratne said that at least eight SLTB North Depot buses on Pujapitiya-Kandy road had been forced to stop operating on those routes as their tyres have suffered damage to to nails etc placed on roads. Regional Manager Abeyratne said that more..

Forward COPE report to AG for action: PM

Oct 28 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said COPE report which held former CB governor Arjuna Mahendran responsible for the bond scam be forwarded to the Attorney General for him to act upon. “Let’s send the report to AG so that he can take appropriate action," he said. “The COPE report had referred to a scam at the Central Bank which is under my preview but I don't mind. This is actually a victory for the yahapalana govt which is committed towards strengthening Parliament." more..

Prasad overlooked by SLC

Oct 28 (DM) Despite a remarkable year of cricket in 2015, seamer Dhammika Prasad received probably the unkindest cut from his employer Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) when he was overlooked for an annual contract for the 2016/2017 period after a spate of injuries kept him out of cricket for over a year. In 2015 he took 38 wickets in eight matches at an impressive average of 22.92 his best year in international cricket. more..

Inappropriately dressed MP leaves chambers

Oct 28 (DM) Badulla District MP Aravindh Kumar who was wearing a dark orange shirt in Parliament was cautioned about his attire by the employees who were on duty inside the chambers yesterday. Parliamentary sources said the employees had cautioned him saying, Sir your attire could cause an issue. Then the MP apparently left the chambers. However Serjeant-at-Arms Anil Samarasekara said no one, including he and his deputy, had ordered the MP to leave the chambers. more..

Sri Lankan shares edge down in dull trading

Oct 28 (Reuters) Shares ended weaker on Friday in thin trading, hovering near a 12-week closing low hit earlier in the week, as the PM's plan for improving the investment climate failed to bring cheer to the market. Sri Lanka will introduce concessions on investments and a lower tax regime in its budget to boost faltering investment, generate jobs and remove obstacles to growth for start-up companies, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an economic policy statement on Thursday. more..

Port Scam next?: Sri Lanka to sell 80% of Hambantota port to Chinese firm

Oct 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will sell to a Chinese company 80% of a $1.5-billion port in its south, where China has also been offered an investment zone, in a bid to cut the country's debt burden, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The move follows an offer made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during a visit to China in April, to swap equity in SL infrastructure projects against some of the $8 billion in debt Sri Lanka owes to China. more..

Raviraj murder trial to be conducted before a jury

Oct 28 (Island) Colombo HC Judge Manilal Waidyathilake granted permission for holding the trial in respect of the killing of MP Nadarajah Raviraj and his bodyguard sergeant Lakshman Lokuwella before a special jury. The case is to be called again on Oct 31, to name the members of this special jury. The High Court Judge made the aforesaid order in response to a request by Senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya and the Defence Counsel. more..

Man arrested for sexually abusing air hostess

Oct 28 (DM) A man was arrested today on charges of sexually abusing an air hostess at her residence in Kalapaluwawa, Rajagiriya, the Welikada Police said. They said the preliminary investigations had revealed that he was working at a construction site next door and had forcibly entered the house about 11.p.m. when the 32-year-old was asleep in her room. Police said the man had threatened to kill her if she screamed for help. He had fled the scene when someone had knocked at the door. more..

Canada court hears testimony from Lankan asylum seeker

Oct 28 (G&M) A man who travelled to Canada on a migrant ship 6 years ago says he paid $5,000 to board and was desperate to get on the boat. Dhushandh Gandhi testified at a human-smuggling case in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday. Kunarobinson Christhurajah, Lesly Emmanuel, Nadarajah Mahendran and T Rajaratnam have each been charged under Immigration & Refugee Protection Act more..

Archbishop thanks all...

Oct 28 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has thanked all stakeholders for the proactive way in which they discussed the grievances of the fishermen and the finding a solution acceptable to all. Following is the text of the statement issued by the Archbishop: On behalf of the Fishing Community in the Western Province, I wish to express a word of thanks to President, PM, Minister Champika Ranawaka, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Ministers and more..

Ageing population on the rise

Oct 28 (CT) Sri Lanka's insurance industry has much potential to increase penetration according to a senior insurer, who claimed that the country had the largest ageing population in the region. Launching the new corporate identity of Softlogic Group's insurance arm, Softlogic Life, Managing Director Iftikar Ahamed highlighted that life insurance penetration in Sri Lanka was below the regional average of 1.8%. Life insurance penetration in Sri Lanka was a mere 0.48%, more..

COPE Report: JVP asks AG to intervene

Oct 28 (NR) JVP called on the govt to forward the report compiled by the COPE on the Central Bank Bond Issuance to the Attorney General. Leader of JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said Attorney General must consider the findings of the committee and take prompt action. The report compiled by the committee was tabled before Parliament this morning. COPE has found the former governor of CB Arjun Mahendran more..

JO calls for COPE report debate

Oct 28 (NR) The Joint Opposition (JO) has called for a debate on the report of the COPE pertaining to the Treasury bond issue. JO MP Dinesh Gunewardene called on the Prime Minister to hold a special debate on report prior to the Budget debate. Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella taking the floor said the party leaders will convene for a meeting to decide on the debate. The Minister said a date will announced for the debate claiming the govt is not afraid to holding debates. more..

Budget 2017 expectations, unrealistic or achievable?

Oct 28 (LBO) Gearing for the new budget in a few weeks time, Minister Ravi Karunanayake is optimistic about Budget 2017. An equity buyout for Hambantota port is on the cards, and the second IMF tranche will be back on track, although continued support for SriLankan Airlines is likely, he said. The previous budget was created during an experimental stage, but he is positive that there will be no hiccups in new budget. But the main concern among many is newly passed VAT/NBT act. more..

Parliamentary panel seeks legal action against former Central Bank Governor

Oct 28 (ENS) COPE on Friday recommended legal action against former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran and other officials for being involved in controversial bond issues. Sunil Handunnetti, Chairman of COPE, presenting the report to Parliament said that evidence brought before the committee indicated that Mahendran was directly responsible for the bond issue and that legal action should be taken against him and more..

Health Ministry will investigate non-availability of drugs

Oct 28 (DN) Health Ministry will commence investigation into complaints on the non-availability of 48 drugs that are expected to be sold at reduced prices. Ministry sources said Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala has ordered health officials to begin the investigation. This investigation will be in addition to the investigation carried out by National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to find out if the drugs available in the market are of high quality. more..

Youth's death; Wimal rejects comments on social media

Oct 28 (DM) Rejecting the comments made on social media against his family in connection with the death of a youth, who was a close family friend, MP Wimal Weerawansa said it was appalling to note that his political rivals were trying to score points through such an unfortunate tragedy. In a Facebook post Mr. Weerawansa stated that the youth Lahiru Janith, was his neighbor and a close friend of his son and was a frequent visitor to his house. “He was at my place on the day of his death more..

Fonterra boosts local dairy industry

Oct 28 (CT) Fonterra Brands SL, the dairy co-operative behind Anchor, has invested Rs 12 million to enhance the quality of local milk supply by equipping its milk chilling centres around the country with the most advanced milk-fingerprinting technology to analyse milk composition. Introduced to Sri Lanka for the first time, this breakthrough technology called MilkoScreen provides extremely accurate more..

Norochcholai 3rd unit to be added to the grid

Oct 28 (NR) The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy says the third generator of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai will be added to the national grid on Tuesday. Speaking during a media briefing, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said at present only two generators are in operation following the transmission fault reported on the 15th of Oct. The Minister said the Lakvijaya Power Plant delivers 600 megawatt of power to the national grid at present. more..

Many major irrigation projects will be initiated in next few months: President

Oct 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena stated that our country always achieved victories through major irrigation projects and marking a dawn of a new era in the agricultural sector of our country, the works of many major irrigation projects will be initiated in the next few months. He made these remarks participating in the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Mahaweli Engineering Society, held under the patronage of President Sirisena at Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian more..

Video: COPE recommends legal action against Arjuna Mahendran over bond scam

Oct 28 (AD) The special COPE report on CB bond issue was presented to the Parliament by the Chairman of the COPE MP Sunil Handunnetti, a short while ago. The 55-page COPE report recommends that former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran should be held directly responsible over the bond transaction and that legal action should be taken against him and responsible individuals. more..

A hopeful path forward

Oct 29 (DN) In Jan and Aug 2007, COPE published two reports highlighting corruption of very high magnitude in 16 state institutions. On Aug 31, 2007, then Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara referred the two COPE reports to CIABOC for investigation and to initiate legal action. This was done in compliance with a Resolution adopted unanimously by Parliament. However, as the Bribery Commission commenced investigations, the Police Officers involved in investigations were transferred. more..

Casteism Vs. Social Justice

Oct 29 (DN) Some analysts and commentators have sought to explain the term Pancama as members of five specific castes. But it does not mean five castes but refers a fifth Varna which lay outside the four identified Varnas, comprising toiling people, a people who were effectively slaves. Researchers have established that this is the true meaning of Pancama. We learn that, historically, these depressed Pancama people have been subjected to severe oppression, treated as untouchable more..

Railways is a service like health and education: Unionist

Oct 29 (CT) This week Trade Union talk, is about the Railways; a popular mode of transport for many. Ceylon Today interviewed Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando. During the interview, he claimed that it appears that there are efforts to privatize the Railway in stages. Q: Budget 2017 is around the corner. Appropriation Bill has already been presented. more..

Good Governance could be torpedoed from volatile North!

Oct 29 (CT) NPC Chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam who has been thorough in his knowledge about Jaffna and is in a position to read the pulse of the people in the present situation in the region, unlike other Tamil politicians who were shuttling between the North and the South when the Peninsula was entangled in the dark period, has pointed out the involvement of outside elements behind the present disturbing conditions in the North. The untimely deaths of two university students last week more..

Northern developments may hamper devolution of power

Oct 29 (NS) The recent statements made by northern province chief minister Vigneswaran, Pongu Thamil rally, the sword attack on two state intelligence officers for which the responsibility has been claimed by Aavagroup, an incident where a police officer was attacked with a bottle while he was trying to control a crowd and other acts of violence, all seem to be happening unfortunately at a time most crucial to the Tamil community In the aftermath of a bitter war a new govt is in power with more..

Sivan Senai’s stand: Let Hindus remain Hindu

Oct 29 (CT) One of the main organizers of the newly established Hindu organization Sivan Senai, M. Satchithananthan, when asked about rumours that the organization is being backed by India's Research and Analysis Wing(RAW) he said, earlier the CIA of America and the MI5 of England was similarly connected to organizations, now it is the trend to talk about RAW. I think as we cannot be linked with ISIS, CIA more..

Sri Lanka in Tentacles of political crises

Oct 29 (CT) This is particularly indispensable because a govt alone cannot be allowed to decide to either enter into or decide to keep out of bilateral, multilateral or international pacts, understandings and treaties, which have within themselves facets that can at a later date undermine the nation's sovereignty including all its legitimate rights. I say legitimate rights because what might appear to be a right can very often be simply a perceived privilege that if and when more..

Never too late to learn in politics

Oct 29 (NS) Still recovering from the aftereffects of President’s speech regarding BC and the subsequent resignation of Commissioner Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe, govt this week encountered another hurdle: controversy surrounding the sale of Treasury Bonds. Focus of attention in this instance is a company linked to son-in-law of former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran which made profits amounting to over five billion of rupees, allegedly through the sale of these bonds. more..

PM's involvement in Bond Scam exposed

Sri Lankan national held while trying to fly using Indian passport

Oct 29 (TOI) A Sri Lankan national was arrested in Madurai while trying to fly to SL using an Indian passport, which he managed to get by forging documents, on Friday. Immigration officials, who had suspicions about him, handed him over to the police. Inquiries revealed that the man had stayed in Karnataka for several years. He was arrested the first time he tried to fly using the passport. Based on a complaint from immigration officials, a case was registered under passport act & foreigner act. more..

COPE, COPE and COPE all the way

Oct 29 (Island) COPE is almost everywhere; it sounds like the new theme song of Good Governance, or did someone call it Yahapaalanaya. One does feel sorry for COPE Chairman, Mr. Handunetti, had to do a rapid scoop out of COPE, with the pressure brought on him by the Green Elephants in the Committee, who had a special love for the former Governor of CB – Arjuna Mahendran. It looks like COPE Report, which has somehow been presented in Parliament, without any more..

Bribery in fishing net

Oct 29 (NS) In a startling revelation, Ministry of Fisheries admitted that departmental inspectors and law enforcement officials were obtaining bribes for the release of fishermen and their equipment taken into custody for illegal fishing. This shocking revelation comes in the wake of a recent protest campaign turned violent in Kalpitiya with clashes that eventually required the deployment of STF personnel to quell the unrest. more..

Zimbabwe bid to start winning Streak in 100th Test

Oct 29 (Island) Zimbabwe hope to make a bright start under new coach Heath Streak when they mark their 100th Test in the opening game of a two-match series against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club on Saturday. Streak was handed the Zimbabwe reins two weeks ago as a long-term replacement for Dav Whatmore, who was sacked by Zimbabwe Cricket at the end of May. A former Zimbabwe captain who played 65 Tests, Streak’s appointment has given the team much-needed structure ahead of series, more..

Jeevan Mendis signs for Derbyshire as overseas player

Oct 29 (PA) Derbyshire have signed Sri Lanka all-rounder Jeevan Mendis as their overseas player for the first half of next season. The 33-year-old, who has represented his country on 70 occasions in limited-overs cricket, will be available for the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup. Mendis will make way for South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir after the Champions Trophy in June. "Jeevan is another highly experienced international spin bowler more..