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Good Governance could be torpedoed from volatile North!

Oct 29 (CT) NPV 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..

CBSL Bond money will be retrieved: Amaraweera

Oct 29 (NR) Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Development Mahinda Amaraweera says steps will be taken to retrieve money from those responsible for Central bank bond controversy. Minister said the govt will take steps in the near future to see that the funds are retrieved. Minister Amaraweera said the investigation into the issue proved beyond doubt that the former Central Bank governor was in fact involved in the Central bank bond issuance. more..

Kahatagaha graphite mine workers end protest

Oct 29 (DN) The protest against the privatisation of the Kahatagaha graphite mine ended yesterday after the protesters were assured that the govt has not taken any decision to privatise the mine. Industry and Commerce State Minister Champika Premadasa met the protesters who were fasting for three days, 1,132 feet underground against the alleged privatisation of the mine. While discussing with the protesters, State Minister, more..

North will receive equal allocation- Akila Viraj

Oct 29 (NR) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says resources allocated for the education of the country would be distributed equally for the North and East. Minister of Education said that in the event North was not looked after properly in the past, the govt would rectify those issues and ensure that they are treated equally. Minister stressed that there would be a huge revolutionary change in education sector within next two to three-years. more..

War history should be added to syllabus: MR

Oct 29 (DM) Books written on war history such as War Heroes Killed in Action by Retd. General Gerry De Silva and Road to Nandikadal by Major General Kamal Gunaratne should be named as recommended books for the school syllabi, former president Rajapaksa said. He said this while delivering a speech at the book launch of War Heroes Killed in Action which was held at the BMICH last evening. He said commitments, sufferings, travails & tribulations of tri-forces more..

JVP Press Conference

Ministry overturns Cabinet’s award to State-owned Co.

Oct 29 (ST) A large portion of the Rs 90 million tender for the supply and delivery of fishing nets has been awarded to several private companies, contrary to Cabinet decision to award the tender solely, to a Treasury-owned company. A joint Cabinet note was submitted to Cabinet by Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera and D.M. Swaminathan in August this year, as per a decision to purchase the fishnet products from the 100% Treasury-owned company, North Sea Ltd, for the benefit more..

Salary hikes: First judges, then MPs

Oct 29 (ST) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has given notice of a motion to Parliament to revise the salaries of the Chief Justice, Puisne Judges, President and Judges of the Court of Appeal in five phases from January this year to January 2020. The notice was placed on the Addendum to the Order Book of Parliament this week. The increase of the salaries and allowances of judicial officers will have a direct impact on the salaries of MPs because such increases are linked. more..

Here they come — three more foundations

Oct 29 (ST) The trend of setting up foundations in the name of MPs and former MPs will continue in Parliament this week with three new bills scheduled to be introduced in the House on Tuesday. They include the Bill to incorporate the Maithripala Sirisena Lakdaru Diriya Foundation. It will be introduced by UPFA MP Malith Jayathilake. The other two bills are to incorporate the Saravanapavan Foundation and more..

100 dead turtles washed ashore

Oct 29 (CT) Kasun Tharanga of the Wildlife Department, who is in charge of the Hikkaduwa Park said about 100 dead turtles had washed ashore on the beaches from Panadura to Weligama in the course of this month. This specific stretch is a protected area under Fauna & Flora Protection Ordinance. These turtles, being surface breathers, die when they get entangled in huge fishing nets and can't break loose to get to the surface for a gulp of oxygen once every 45 minutes. more..

Rs 70M bullet- proof jeep hidden in Batti

Oct 29 (CT) FCID took into custody a bullet-proof jeep valued over Rs 70 million, which had been kept under wraps in a garage in Batticaloa. FCID sources said they were currently looking into the likelihood that this vehicle had been provided by the then Presidential Secretariat as part of the security arrangements for a former Eastern Province Chief Minister during the last regime. FCID sources said they will submit details of the vehicle when they file action in Court shortly. more..

No separate lanes for buses: Police

Oct 29 (DM) Director of Police Traffic Division in Colombo, said that no discussions were held so far with regard to a decision about a separate lane for buses during peak hours from Battaramulla to Colombo Fort from Dec 1, in a bid to reduce the extreme traffic congestion in the area. However, LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeyaratne said recently that Minister Champika Ranawaka had approved the regulation more..

SL aims for top 70 in Doing Business by 2020

Oct 29 (EN) Sri Lanka aims to be among the top 70 countries ranked in the World Bank’s doing business index in four years, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. The govt plans to create a positive investment climate that will generate jobs an remove hurdles that stand in the way of achieving growth for business start-ups, he told parliament in a policy speech. “The processes of starting a business, getting construction permits, electricity connections and bank credit, registering property, more..

Ex-soldier arrested for alleged abuse of airhostess

Oct 29 (DN) An ex-soldier who broke into a room and allegedly sexually abusing an airhostess was arrested by police on Thursday in Welikada. 34-year-old suspect, an army deserter who worked as a labourer at a construction site next to the woman’s house was to be produced in court. Suspect is a resident of Moronthuduwa, Kalutara. Incident occurred when the woman, an air hostess, who lived alone in a rented house at Kalapaluwawa in Welikada returned home after duty. more..

Sri Lanka aims to reduce drug supply and use to minimum by 2020

Oct 29 (AD) Minister Sagala Ratnayake says SL govt believes that the most effective approach to the illegal drug problem would comprise of comprehensive, balanced and coordinated strategy. “Our ultimate goal should be to make the Indian Ocean a drug free zone,” he said, addressing high level meeting of interior Security & Internal Affairs Ministers of Indian ocean region to counter drug trafficking more..

Six inmates escape from Dalupotha Prison

Oct 29 (AD) Six inmates have escaped from the Dalupotha Open Prison Camp in Negombo, Department of Prisons said. The suspects who managed to escape this morning were arrested on minor charges such as heroin possession and burglaries. The escape had taken place at around 4am today and that their information has been provided to relevant police stations. He stated that a special operation has been launched to track down and apprehend the escapees. more..

President’s Deepavali Message

Oct 29 (GDI) Deepavali symbolizes the light that illuminates the path for the humankind to overcome the darkness of ignorance, evil and fear; discover the truth, attain victory and enlightenment. I see the opportunity we secured after ending the three-decade long conflict and the lifting of the dark shadow cast over the society provides us with the prospect of taking our country from darkness to light through meaningful reconciliation. The ardent desire of all of us on this important day of Deepavali more..

Baby delivered and tumour removed in single operation

Oct 29 (ST) It is a moment of tenderness between mother and baby. S.D. Kanchana Lakmali, 34, holds her baby-daughter close, just a week-old and yet to be named, and looks into her bright little eyes. Unexpected was this pregnancy, so many long years after the birth of her older son and daughter who are 19 and 16 years old. But Kanchana is thankful, for she believes that it is this newborn who helped save her life. more..

Bid to clear canned fish unfit for human consumption foiled

Oct 29 (Island) Customs have thwarted an attempt by a leading fish importer to clear a container load of Mackerel unfit for human consumption. Customs official said they were inquiring into the possibility of the suspect receiving a special payment from the foreign supplier to import the consignment. Official declined to name the importer before the conclusion of the inquiry. However, official asserted that the suspect had brought in the consignment knowing the fish weren’t edible. more..

Ranjan dodges signing COPE report

Oct 29 (CT) It is learnt that Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare Ranjan Ramanayake, who is a member of COPE, had not signed the report tabled in Parliament yesterday by the new committee which probed the TB scam. The COPE comprises 26 MPs. Of that number, only the Deputy Minister in question had failed to sign the report into the Bond scam. Ramanayake stated that he had only returned to the country on 27 October, after visiting Japan. more..

SL 31st in the Youth Development Index

Oct 29 (NR) Sri Lanka has been ranked 31st in the latest Global Youth Development Index compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the countries’ prospects for young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres. YDI is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure multi-dimensional progress on youth development in 183 countries, including 49 of the 53 Commonwealth countries. more..

COPE’s many plus points

Oct 30 (SO) Our Parliament seems to have done its primary duty by the Constitution of the Republic: an important oversight body, COPE has successfully concluded its probe in CB bond issue and submitted a unanimous report to the House after months of division, bitter wrangling, and histrionics. Most importantly, the report is not a cover-up or glossing over of the issue: surely the largest single case of maladministration and possible misappropriation in our State finance establishment to date. more..

Wanted: A democratic opposition

Oct 30 (SO) Sri Lanka was on the brink of political instability last week following the incident that took place at a Jaffna security check-point at dead of night where two Tamil university students met with their deaths. The disaster potential to the country was immense when considering the three decade long conflict of the security forces with the terrorist organisation. The incident on Oct 20 resulted in a volatile situation that could have set the country aflame but fortunately mature and more..

Jaffna students’ death: Unravelling mystery

Oct 30 (SO) The deaths of two Jaffna uni students, Sulakshan & Kajan, allegedly in a Police shooting still remains a mystery for the people in Jaffna as Police and human rights groups are still in the process of conducting investigations into the students’ death to give a clear picture about the incident that triggered a sense of uneasiness among Northern community for the first time after end of war in 2009. more..

Take a bow Mr. Handunnetti!

Oct 30 (CT) Forces with vested interests which have overtly tried to smother the integrity with which Sunil Handunnetti has quit himself as Chairman of the COPE may or may not prevail in further attempts to get ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran out of a damning COPE report. The singular fact that stands out in this whole exercise is that up to this point a democratically appointed Parliamentary Committee has, to an appreciable extent, proved that there still are men of integrity, though pathetically few, more..

CB probe: Unified COPE report stumps JO alarmists

Oct 30 (SO) Ending months of speculation, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, in his capacity as the Chairman of COPE, presented the Committee’s special report to Parliament, on Friday. Although many believed that the presentation of the COPE report would be characterised with dissent, proceedings were calm and peaceful. Handunnetti, in his speech, explained the recommendations made by the committee and reasons for them. All MPs representing the House praised the JVP MP’s efforts more..

'ETCA strategically important to India at this juncture'

Oct 30 (CT) Professor Rohan Samarajeewa was a member of the Intergovernmental Joint Study Group on the India-SL Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in the year 2003 and chaired the GATS Advisory Committee of the Department of Commerce, Sri Lanka (2002-2004). He expressed his views on the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). more..

Corruption and political agendas

Oct 30 (ST) For the third consecutive week, the issue of corruption came to the fore of public debate. President fired the first salvo referring to the politicization of the Govt’s anti-corruption drive. His remarks caused consternation within the ranks of his National Unity Govt, especially the main coalition partner, the UNP. The President was being accused of trying to politicize the process himself by sending smoke signals that he was unhappy with the manner in which his own SLFP ministers were more..

Looking over your shoulder

Oct 30 (ST) My dear Mahendran, I thought of writing to you, although I am not sure where to send this letter to because some are saying you have taken wing to Singapore, which is your home country anyway. I hope you do return to our shores because there is a lot of unfinished business here, as you may have heard in recent days. Now, I am no expert on banking or economics and the only bond I was interested in until recently was James Bond and his movies but now everyone on the street more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Heart-warming comments and not coping with COPE

Oct 30 (SO) Oh dearie, dearie me! How I stretch and relax and feel good! You will ask what’s with the Cat? Why isn’t she spitting venom this Sunday morning? It’s because she is relaxed. Did she have a caterwauling tumble the night before, rooftop or elsewhere? Sadly no! Then why, pray, the high spirits? Because she knows there is good in this ole Island of hers - paradise to some, hell to others, but SL to all. Everyone is not like attempting-to- be-suave Wimal Weera speaking so deliberately more..

Muslim Personal Laws reforms: On or not?

Oct 30 (GV) In announcing the decisions made by the Cabinet of Ministers last Wednesday, the Govt spokesperson has stated, amongst others, that the Cabinet has decided to appoint a Sub-Committee of Ministers to study and recommend reforms to the Muslim law in Sri Lanka, with a view to bringing it in line with Sri Lanka’s international human rights treaty obligations. In the absence of any clarification as to what is the status of the Committee appointed by the Minister of Justice in 2009, more..

Maithri warns NGOs as Aava sends ripples of fear in North

Oct 30 (CT) President and PM were seen in the same frame last Friday as the duo took part in National Deepavali Festival 2016 held at Temple Trees. This was amidst speculations that things may have turned sour between the two with President Sirisena bashing Bribery Commission and other law enforcing authorities of acting in an arbitrary manner ignoring him. Hours before, COPE issued its report on the controversial Bond more..

Herath first bowler to lead SL in 33 years

Oct 30 (Island) On Saturday, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath became the 14th man to lead Sri Lanka in Test cricket. It was accidental and unexpected, but highly deserving for one of the most loyal servants of Sri Lankan cricket. Some of the all time greats of our cricket like Roshan Mahanama, Asaka Gurusinghe, Chaminda Vaas and Thilan Samaraweera were all earmarked as captaincy material, but faded away having never got the opportunity to lead the country. more..

More doors more confusions

Oct 30 (NS) Over the past seven years, the Northern Province had seen a facelift in terms of infrastructure development and new businesses coming into the region thanks to the peaceful environment. Areas such as Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu which faced the brunt of the war in its final stages are gradually getting back to shape. There were minor hiccups in the region, owing to threats and reports of regrouping of LTTE during which security was tightened. more..

Perera's rapid 110 headlines SL's dominance

Oct 30 (CI) Kusal Perera preyed on a sub-par bowling effort, a docile Harare surface and sloppy fielding to hammer his maiden Test ton, a 121-ball 110, as Sri Lanka racked up 317 for 4 against Zimbabwe on the first day. Perera, batting at No. 3, signalled his aggressive approach from the outset. Two wild swings early in his innings, one of which took the outside edge, didn't alter his tactics. He plundered a tiring bowling attack for 15 fours more..

Cricketers’ pay dispute leaves a smoking gun

Oct 30 (NS) An annual pay dispute which has been a common occurrence among SL cricketers and their masters in recent years ended in yet another stalemate behind closed doors and as usual local media was blamed and made a convenient scapegoat over charges of misreporting the revolt. It marked a culmination where SL cricketers, no longer the patriotic boys of int'l cricket or its poor cousins, decided to stake their claims as professionals in an establishment tainted with corruption more..

SLRFU, SLSRFA agree on joint committee

Oct 30 (CT) SL Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) joined hands with the SL School Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) in order to develop the country's schools rugby during a meeting held at the SLRFU. They decided to appoint a Joint Committee which includes members from both the SLRFU and SLSRFA. Representing SLRFU in the committee are its President Asanga Seneviratne, Secretary Nazim Mohamed, Vice-President Lasitha Gunaratne, Fazal Mohamed & Rohan Gunarathne, more..

Walking harder than scoring runs for Mahela

Oct 30 (ST) His feet hurt but Mahela Jayawardene is more than happy to walk the entire length of Sri Lanka – 670 kilometres – as part of Trail 2016, a charity walkathon that is not only raising money for a cancer hospital but is more importantly seen as a giant step in the reconciliation process between Sinhalese and Tamil. 28-day odyssey from the Northern-most tip of SL, Point Pedro in Jaffna down to Southern Dondra Head near Matara, more..

Niluka, Thilini win shuttle nationals

Oct 30 (CT) Top seeds Niluka Karunaratne and Thilini Hendahewa clinched the Men's and Women's titles respectively at the National Badminton Championships which concluded at the Welagedera Stadium in Kurunegala yesterday. Karunaratne defeated his younger brother Chamika in the Men's final 21-14, 21-10 while Hendahewa outplayed third seed Kavindi Ishadika 21-14, 21-15. However, Niluka and his brother Diluka suffered a major setback in Men's doubles final when more..