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Chance find of water plant by Lankan honours Free Education father

Sept 7 (ST) It was a chance discovery. Looking for freshwater fish, crabs and shrimps in an icy-cold dola in Sinharaja’s unique mist-mantled Morningside Forest Reserve, what they found was a different water plant instead. “This freshwater aquatic plant was different though it was definitely from the kekatiya (Aponogetonaceae) family,” says Anusha de Silva, President of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Madura, Galle, more..

Govt agreed with foreign company to outsource tax collection: JVP

Sept 7 (DM) Govt has already signed an agreement with Hong Kong McKenzie Company Ltd. to outsource tax collection, JVP MP Vijitha Herath charged yesterday. He told Parliament that the fees to be paid to the Hong Kong McKenzie Company for its services have already been agreed upon. “The govt has not learned a lesson from the privatisation of estate companies and had gone to privatise tax collection" he said while highlighting that more..

Second level leadership needed soon: RW

Sept 7 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told the UNP that someone from the second level leadership should take over the party before long. “I was the leader of the party when it celebrated its 50th anniversary and now when it celebrates the 70th anniversary. But I will not be the leader by the time the party celebrates its 80th anniversary,” he had told the UNP working committee last evening. more..

Maj. Gen denies Moon’s genocide claims

Sept 7 (Island) Former General Officer Commanding elite 53 Division Maj. General (retd) Kamal Gunaratne, whose troops killed LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and some of the latter’s top lieutenants during the final confrontation on the morning of May 19, 2009 has strongly disputed UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s comparison of Vanni offensive with cases of genocide in Ruwanda and Serbia in the 1990s. more..

Accountability issues not the focus of KDU yet

Sept 7 (Island) Deputy Vice Chancellor Maj. Gen. J.R. Kulathunga said that he would bring to the notice of relevant authorities valid issues raised by The Island in respect of examination of accountability issues. He said that such issues wouldn’t be the focus of the 9th edition of the International Research Conference of General Sir John Kotelawela Defence University to be held on Sept 8 and 9. more..

Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera’s death: No reason for suspicion

Sept 7 (DN) The five-member expert panel appointed to look into the death of Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera concluded there was no necessity to conduct a postmortem into the Thera's death. Final report on their findings was handed over to Colombo Chief Magistrate today. Chief Magistrate appointed expert panel after Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera complained to CID that the death of Sobitha Thera in Singapore was suspicious. more..

Govt says UN Chief didn’t referred to a massacre in Sri Lanka

Sept 7 (DM) As the Joint Opposition condemned the statement that had been made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that he has said there had been a massacre in Sri Lanka, the govt argued that Mr. Ban had not made such a statement. The argument came up in Parliament yesterday when the Joint Opposition moved an adjournment motion to condemn the statement issued by UN Chief at the end of his SL visit. more..

'Local rapper’s concert performance disgusting'

Sept 7 (FP) An incident at a musical concert involving local rapper Kaizer Kaiz has been making the rounds in Social Media in recent days. Videos purported to be from a public concert is said to show the rapper getting the audience involved in singing along profanity with him. Chairman of Sri Lankan Singers' Association (SLASA), Keerthi Pasquel made a complaint to the Kohuwala Police regarding the incident. According to Mr. Pasquel he first came across the video on Facebook, more..

SLBC and Media Secretary Bopage at loggerheads

Sept 7 (CT) The SLBC is seeking legal advice to ascertain if Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage was in line when he ordered for the cancellation of the monthly Board meeting this week. SLBC Board has sought legal advice to determine if Bopage had the necessary authority to cancel the meeting which was to be held on Sept 5. In a letter addressed to SLBC Chairman Nanda Muruttettuwegama, Bopage ordered for more..

ප්රියන්ත ජයකොඩි හා බැසිල් ප්රනාන්දු

Sri Lankan shares fall to near one-month low

Sept 7 (Reuters) Shares ended down on Monday while turnover slumped to its lowest in six weeks as investors stayed on the sidelines, stockbrokers said. Colombo stock index ended 0.24% weaker at 6,523.47, its lowest close since Aug. 12. The bourse fell 0.2% last week, posting its second straight weekly loss. Foreign investors, who have been net sellers of shares to the tune of 2.93 billion rupees so far this year, bought a net 47 million rupees worth of shares on Monday. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils not linked, says JVP

Sept 7 (DM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who condemned the assault on SL High Commissioner in Malaysia, said in Parliament that there was no nexus between offenders and the SL Tamils in the north, and it should be understood. Associating himself with the remarks by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that the activists responsible for the assault were not Sri Lankans, Mr. Dissanayake said Tamil people in the north of SL declined to heed extremism at the last Presidential Election. more..

Mihin Lanka to stop flying

Sept 7 (EN) State-run Mihin Lanka, a loss-making budget carrier created by one of ex-President Rajapaksa's close associates with people's money, will be absorbed into SriLankan Airlines, a full service carrier. SriLankan Chairman Ajith Dias said govt go ahead is awaited for the proposal to merge the operations of the two airlines. Mihin Lanka operates four leased short-haul aircraft, with SriLankan pilots operating them, and more..

Of ajectives, understandng and voilence

Sept 7 (CT) Known as the Transatlantic Horace, that intellectual Josef Brodsky once said, "What concerns me is that man, unable to articulate, to express himself adequately, reverts to action. As the vocabulary of action is limited, as it were, to his body, he is bound to act violently, extending his vocabulary with a weapon where there should have been an adjective." And the old Jewish saying has it thus: "There are none so blind that having eyes do not yet see, nor having ears, still hear not". more..

Sri Lanka says no accord with India to modernize Palali Airport

Sept 7 (LBO) Govt told Parliament today that there is no agreement signed with the Indian government or with an Indian Company to modernize the Palali Airport in Jaffna. PM however, said that the Airport Authority of India has carried out a feasibility study on the Palali airport. He said the approval and observation of the Cabinet and the AG is not needed for a feasibility study. “The govt including the relevant ministries were fully aware of that feasibility study,” Wickremesinghe emphasized. more..

Video: Attack on envoy; conspiracy to dilute SLFP anniversary: JHU

Sept 7 (DM) The JHU alleged that the assault on Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Ibrahim Ansar at Kuala Lumpur on Sunday could be a conspiracy to divert public attention from the SLFP 65th anniversary celebrations. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that the envoy was attacked while walking to the airport unaccompanied by any of his personal security officers. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Arrival at crunch time

Sept 7 (CT) Most Air Lines lose money. State owned beasts among them lose more. Quite apart from its accumulated losses of nearly Rupees 107 Billion there is something else that is wrong with Sri Lankan Airlines. Successive regimes have resorted to offer a seat on the Board of the National Carrier to a very special type of people. They come from the entitlement class. Those selected are the Cognoscenti drawn from the corporate world who have access to the sanctum sanctorum of, more..

Video: Weerawansa’s brother re-remanded

Sept 7 (DM) Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa's brother Sarath Weerawansa, who was arrested by the FCID under the Public Property Act for allegedly causing a loss of Rs.10.5 million to the Govt, was ordered to be remanded till Sept 21 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. He was arrested on charges of misusing a govt vehicle attached to the Presidential Secretariat and obtaining fuel allowance from the Housing and Construction Ministry illegally. He was arrested on Sept 1 by the FCID. more..

President launches Surya Bala Sangramaya

Sept 7 (PMD) President Sirisena launched the public power generating program Surya Bala Sangramaya which introduces solar power for 1000000 houses, today (6). President inaugurated operation of the program by lighting his official residence with solar power. This program which is operated to make the country self-sufficient in power is being implemented with the participation of Ministry of Power & Renewable Energy, more..

Facebook IGP arrested

Sept 7 (DM) A man, who impersonated the Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara on Facebook and deceived a number of women, was arrested on Monday by the CID. The suspect, a Sri Lankan living in New Zealand was arrested at the BIA when he arrived in the country. The CID commenced investigations after a woman from Kandy lodged a complaint with the police in July against the suspect. The suspect was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and remanded till Sept 8. more..

Sri Lanka joins Davos of Asia

Sept 7 (DN) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen represented Sri Lanka at the Pangkor International Development Dialogue (PIDD), Davos of Asia in Ipoh, Malaysia yesterday. Among the more than 1000 participants this year is 2006 Nobel Prize winner, Grameen Bank founder Professor Muhammad Yunus. Minister Bathiudeen, showcased Sri Lanka to the event participants and said that the Pangkor event comes at a time when Sri Lanka enters a period of major economic and more..

LG polls likely to be held in Feb.'17

Sept 7 (DM) The much anticipated local govt polls will be held in February next year provided the delimitation committee submits its final report to the Local Govt and Provincial Councils Ministry at least by October, Subject Minister Faizer Mustapha said. He told the media he had given a two-month extension to the five-member delimitation committee chaired by retired senior public servant Asoka Peiris to complete the work. more..

Video: Anura Senanayake and Sumith Perera further remanded

Sept 7 (AD) Former Senior DIG, Anura Senanayake, and former Narahenpita Crimes OIC, Sumith Perera, who were arrested in connection with the murder of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, have been further remanded till Sept 21 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. When the case was taken up today, the state attorney said that the phone calls made to and from the Presidential Palace on the day of the murder are also being investigated. He said that these investigations have uncovered a connection more..

SriLankan Airlines call centre to be run by Malaysia's Scicom

Sept 7 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said its global call centre has been upgraded, with operations being handed over to Scicom, a Malaysia-based firm that is already servicing companies in Sri Lanka. The call centre will make it easier for customers and frequent flyer program members to get service, Chairman Ajith Dias said. In addition to Sinhala, Tamil and English speaking agents, the call centre will also have Mandarin language support, as Chinese customers are on the rise. more..

Modi to visit Sri Lanka in 2017

Sept 7 (Hindu) Indian PM Narendra Modi will visit Sri Lanka in May 2017. He will inaugurate a hospital the country and also participate in an event at Colombo. The events will be held around Vesak festival, one of the most important Buddhist festivals celebrated in Sri Lanka. The hospital is being built -- with Indian assistance -- in Hatton, that is home to the Tamils of recent Indian origin who work largely in SL’s famed tea estates. more..

Senanayake sanctioned for Warner send-off

Sept 7 (CC) Sri Lanka off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake has been fined for a send-off of Australia skipper David Warner in the Twenty20 clash in Pallekele. Warner had blasted his way to a quick-fire 28 runs before he was bowled attempting a conventional sweep against Senanayake, who had cleverly taken some pace off the ball. Senanayake was clearly seen on television footage to mouth two choice words in Warner's direction as the batsman started his walk to the pavilion. more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan organise another Single Country Exhibition

Sept 7 (DT) After the successful response of the Single Country Exhibition at Colombo, Sri Lanka in Jan, 2016, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is organising another Single Country Exhibition at Colombo, Sri Lanka in Jan, 2017. “The event will be organised at the BMICH from Jan 13-15, 2017,” TDAP sources told APP on Tuesday The recent exhibition at Sri Lanka was a huge success as all companies had received tremendous response of SL buyers and visitors. more..

President participates in a ceremony to commend sportsmen

Sept 7 (PMD) A ceremony to commend sportsmen and sportswomen as well as coaches was held today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the auditorium of the Sports Ministry. A review about the progress of one year of the Sports Ministry and its vision was also made at this occasion. President officially named the new auditorium of the Sports Ministry as Duncan White Auditorium at this occasion. more..

Sri Lanka CDS signs MoU with Pakistani counterpart

Sept 7 (LBO) Central Depository Systems (CDS), a fully owned subsidiary of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), has signed a MoU to strengthen cooperation on mutual development and knowledge sharing with the Central Depository Company of Pakistan. “MoU indicates the continued commitment of the CDS to enhance cooperation within depositories and clearing institutions in the Asian region, especially with those representing neighboring countries,” Vajira Kulatilaka, more..

Video: Missing businessman found, arrested in Haldummulla

Sept 7 (AD) A businessman from Bandaragama who was reported missing after visiting Trincomalee for a gold auction at a state bank has been arrested while in hiding in the Haldummulla area. Mohamed Nasrin, 35, had travelled to Trincomalee from Atulugama in Bandaragama with four others and was reported missing on Monday. The businessman’s father had lodged a complaint with police claiming that his son had disappeared. The complaint also states that Nasrin, who had stayed at a hotel in Kanthale more..

Anti-Muslim sentiment foils Sri Lanka’s bid to tap into global halal market

Sept 7 (AT) SL is unable to take advantage of the ever expanding trillion dollar global halal market because of its failure to address the anti-Muslim and anti-halal sentiments being spread by racial Buddhist groups. First, the Muslim community in the island nation is suffering discrimination, according to UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Second, although SL wants to tap into the $2.3 trillion worth halal market more..

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom calls on President

Sept 7 (PMD) Ethiopia Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, who called on President Sirisena today congratulated the President for his commitment to endorse Sustainable Development Goals. He emphasised the historic and traditional cordial relations Ethiopia has with SL and thanked the President for opening an Embassy in his country to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries. He thanked President for showing leadership in preventive healthcare reforms more..

Production of asbestos to be banned in Sri Lanka from 2024

Sept 7 (CG) Cabinet approval has been obtained to ban the production of asbestos from January 2024. Govt said that asbestos is used for many products in Sri Lanka, including roofing sheets, floor tiles, cement pipes, brake pads of vehicles, papers, and ropes. About 80% of asbestos imported to Sri Lanka are used for roofing sheet production. Since 1987 importation of blue asbestos (Crocidolite) has been prohibited as it was identified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO), and more..

Sri Lankan refugees helped Edward Snowden escape from Hong Kong

Sept 7 (NP) The tall, lanky American dressed in all black looked familiar. But Ajith, a 44-year-old Sri Lankan refugee seeking asylum in Hong Kong figured the nervous-looking man with the red-rimmed eyes fidgeting in the darkness outside the UN building in the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon was a U.S. army dodger. Summoned by his immigration lawyer in the late evening of June 10, 2013, Ajith (last names of the refugees more..

Sri Lanka’s denial: Surest guarantee of further genocide

Sept 8 (CT) Genocide does not happen overnight. It involves certain processes that take time. Those concerned about the occurrence and re-occurrence of genocide and seriously committed to its prevention, analysed ten stages. These unfold one after another, unless preventative measures possible at each stage are not put in place. As the stages develop they presuppose that the previous ones have happened. However, they can happen simultaneously. more..

A new book on negativity & nihilism in Sri Lankan consciousness

Sept 8 (CT) There is something deeply negative and nihilist imbedded into the Sri Lanka consciousness. By Sri Lankan consciousness I mean the consciousness of all Sri Lankans, whether they are from the majority Sinhala community or the Tamil or other minority communities. What is common to all is a deep negativity inherited from the far distant past. In my recent book on Asoka’s policy of Dhamma and democratic values, I trace this negativity to the influence of an Indian philosopher named more..

Elephant corridors: to open or not to open?

Sept 8 (SO) SL has thousands of years of history with elephants; people used to worship them, use them for heavy work, charge opponents in battles, or parade Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha in peraheras. Some also have been killing them for their tusks, a practice that began during colonization, and continues till today. In return, elephants attack us. During nightfall, when we are most vulnerable, they attack villages. more..

Haj: Demonstration of universal brotherhood

Sept 8 (DN) Once a year, millions of Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allah. The pilgrim population visiting Mecca during this period was surveyed in 1980 as being two million and as predicted by analysts has grown exponentially by over 10% per year since then. Despite restrictions, it is believed that a record crowd of nearly four million is expected to gather in the hills of Arafath on Sept 11. more..

The Andrew Jayamanne we lost

Sept 8 (DN) Cameramen have a habit of yielding to the director. That’s natural. The director reigns, after all, and owing to that everyone or everything that comes under his purview must, as a matter of course, give way to what he wants. There are of course times when this isn’t the case, when the agency of an editor, photographer, or even actor prevails over the ultimate auteur of a film so much that when we see it, we see those little, little details that could only have come from them. more..

'What the govt doing now is begging'

Sept 8 (SL) JVP Politburo Member Wasantha Samarasinghe says the UNP-SLFP led govt is trying to sell the country’s natural resources, education, and every other thing possible. He added, “Rajapaksa administration was defeated because of their corrupt practices and wrong economic policies. Now the thieves of the two camps had joined together, especially to target the education system of the country. more..