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Sordid saga of Wayamba Environmental Authority ended by Sirisena?

Sept 9 (Island) A website reported a recent incident which had simply gone over the heads of the mainline media; President Sirisena had pulled up the Director of the controversial Wayamba Environmental Authority and after questioning him on the period he had served in that position and other matters, ordered the Chief Minister to transfer him out. The incident highlighted by the aforesaid website is not simply a case of a provincial more..

Editorial: A solution burning in the sky

Sept 9 (Island) The govt has embarked on an ambitious project to tap solar energy as part of its strategy to avert a looming power crisis. Addressing the media at the SL Foundation, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said, the other day, that the govt project, Surya Bala Sangramaya, would convert one million rooftops to solar power plants and the CEB would buy the extra solar power generated by each and every household. This kind of strategic planning is long overdue. more..

What has Sri Lanka netball really achieved?

Sept 9 (CT) Minister of Sports, Dayasiri Jayasekara on revealed that all arrangements have been made to provide a lump sum to the National Netball Team that finished second in the Asian Netball Championship held in Thailand a few weeks ago. According to the Minister all squad members are to be handed Rs 150 000 each while the controversial Head Coach Deepthi Alwis is set to be given Rs 450 000. Ever since Alwis took over the SL National Team has lost more matches than won more..

Sri Lanka tourist sector perturbed over high rates at tourist visit sites

Sept 9 (ST) Sri Lanka’s private-driven tourism industry has urged the authorities to improve facilities at local sites frequented by tourists where entry rates have sharply risen. While the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has promised to intervene, the agency says that since these sites don’t come under the SLTDA it can request but not direct changes. SL Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) President said that more..

Sri Lanka women under spotlight in Azerbaijan Chess Olympiad

Sept 9 (Island) If you had the Sri Lankan Women in your fantasy Olympiad chess team, you’re probably doing pretty well in your office pool. They were one of the very few women’s underdogs to score any games in the first round, losing 2.5-1.5 to a heavily-favored Greek squad. Then they went on to win the next two rounds. SL went 4-0 against Costa Rica and 2.5-1.5 against Albania. Today (8), in the longest match of the round, after almost six hours they netted a dramatic 2-2 tie with Bolivia. more..

Sri Lanka not being vibrantly promoted as a tourist destination in Thailand

Sept 9 (Island) Sri Lanka is a great tourist destination in the region but Thai tourists know very little about the country. Therefore, a lot can be done through the Thai media, especially newspapers, to promote Sri Lanka among Thai tourists by the local authorities, Thailand's ambassador to Sri Lanka said. "More than 70,000 Sri Lankan tourists visit Thailand every year because, much publicity is being given in the Sri Lankan media, especially newspapers and magazines, to Thailand. more..

JO urges govt to intervene to settle Labour Dept. strike

Sept 9 (Island) JO urged govt to intervene to end the strike by Labour Department staff as that would affect the country’s work force numbering around 4.5 million. Minister Lakshman Kiriella told the House that he would keep the Labour Minister informed of the Opposition’s demand. JO member Dinesh Gunawardena, making this request, said Labour Department officials had commenced a strike against restructuring of their institution. more..

Sumithrayo to mark World Suicide Prevention Day with public program

Sept 9 (FT) World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people commit suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. The tragic ripple effect means that there are many, many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has tried to take his or her own life. And this is happening in spite of the fact that suicide is preventable. Connect, Communicate, Care is the theme of more..

Govt to obtain intelligentsia’s active participation for sustainable development

Sept 9 (Island) The intelligentsia of the country has a vital and big role to play in the current govt’s effort of nation building task and economic resurgence, Minister Ravi Karunanayake says. He points out that such a journey would bring sustainable development in the country. He stated this at a seminar organized on Citizens’ Engagement in the Budgetary Process – 2017 held at the Miloda Academy in Colombo today (7). A group of professors and lecturers representing 12 universities in the country more..

BC files action against Aluthgamage

Sept 9 (DM) The Bribery Commission today filed action against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for allegedly using state funds to import game boards worth over Rs.53.1 million to be distributed in the run up to the 2015 Presidential Election campaign. Commission filed charges against the former Minister and Storekeeper of Sports Ministry Nishantha Gunasekara at Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court more..

Ethiopian Foreign Minister calls on President

Sept 9 (FT) Ethiopia Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, who called on President Sirisena, 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 the President for showing leadership in preventive healthcare reforms more..

Doctors remove Iron rods from rating's thigh

Sept 9 (DM) Iron rods which had penetrated both thighs of a Naval rating were successfully removed by a team of medical officers of the Hambantota General Hospital after a 45-minute surgical operation, Hambantota Hospital Director Dr Sumith Manathunga said. The rating while alighting from a bus on the Kataragama depot road had accidentally fallen into a roadside pit for the laying of pipelines and the iron rods placed inside the pit had pierced his thighs. more..

'Moon’s remarks improved image overseas'

Sept 9 (Island) Acting Foreign Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said that there was no requirement to seek a clarification from the UN in respect of certain comments attributed to UNSG Ban Ki-moon in Colombo. The Deputy Minister emphasized that he had explained in parliament on Tuesday that UNSG hadn’t said anything that ruined Sri Lanka’s image, undermined its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. more..

Dassanayake appointed USA national coach

Sept 9 (DN) Former SL and Canada wicketkeeper-batsman Pubudu Dassanayake has been appointed USA’s coach by ICC Americas. The ICC regional body also appointed Eric Parthen as the new Project Manager to oversee the strategic plan to grow cricket in the USA. “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to coach USA, especially at what is an exciting time for USA cricket,” Dassanayake said. “I believe there is a great deal of talent here; it will just require hard work from more..

Central Bank to participate in Int'l Book Fair

Sept 9 (CBSL) The concept knowledge is power is embraced wholeheartedly in today’s world. No matter how advanced electronic and digital media is, the demand for printed books as a source of knowledge and information has still not reduced in present times. Bearing this in mind, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) will be participating in the Colombo International Book Fair this year as well. CBSL believes that this would be beneficial to all those who seek to enrich their knowledge more..

Udayanga issued ordinary passport: Minister

Sept 9 (CT) Minister S.B. Navinna, informed Parliament yesterday that diplomatic passports issued to former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga and his wife had been cancelled and they had been issued normal passports. The Minister said the change to ordinary passports had been effected prior to a Court order being issued against the couple and that had there been a Court order prior to that, such more..

Maldives looks to broaden trade links with SL

Sept 9 (FT) Maldivian High Commissioner in SL Zahiya Zareer invited SL firms to invest in development projects in Maldives. “We are opening big projects for International bidding, such as airport development, housing, hospitals and renewable power projects,” she said during a meeting with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held early this week. “Even now there are big SL companies operating in Maldives and we would like other interesting companies to bid for various projects,” more..

Chief Incumbent stabbed over land dispute

Sept 9 (DN) The Chief Incumbent of Sella Kataragama Walliguhawa Temple, Ven. Rambukwelle Sanghananda Thera was admitted to Kataragama hospital last evening with stab wounds, police said. The thera was reportedly assaulted in the head with a knife or a similar instrument by a resident in the same area. The incident had taken place over a land dispute. The suspect, a man about the age of 45, had allegedly assaulted the monk over a land dispute. more..

COPE divided on bond scam probe

Sept 9 (CT) COPE yesterday concluded its investigations into the Central Bank Bond scam, with its members expressing divided opinions on various issues which were probed. Subsequently, COPE Chief JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti ordered publication of the COPE probe report which will be tabled in Parliament on 13 Oct. Although CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy also appeared before COPE yesterday, more..

Lalith Weerathunga gives statement

Sept 9 (CT) Former President's Secretary Lalith Weerathunga appeared before the PRECIFAC, to respond to allegations of malpractices in the Postal Department in the immediate run-up to the 2015 presidential election. He had made a statement to the Commission concerning malpractices involved in the catering for an event at the Postal Department. He said the event had been held specifically for the employees of the head office of Postal Department and the Stamps Bureau. more..

Six year old girl found killed and buried

Sept 9 (DM) The body of a 6-year-old Vedda girl who is believed to have been murdered was found buried in the jungle near Neelankeni in Sampur today. According to police, the girl was living with her grandmother in a Vedda village and had gone missing last morning when she was reportedly playing with a 17-year-old boy from the neighbourhood. Soon after the girl’s disappearance the residents had alerted the police and a search operation had been launched. more..

Death for Duminda!

Sept 9 (FT) The high profile Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder trial came to a dramatic end yesterday, with ex-MP Duminda Silva, a close ally of former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa being sentenced to death for the murder of the SLFP politico by the Colombo High Court yesterday. A three judge bench of the High Court issued death sentences on Silva and four others when the verdict was delivered on more..

'Probably VAT will come with next budget'

Sept 9 (Island) State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday said Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill which was held up due to a court order would come again most probably with the next budget. According to government sources the budget 2017 would be presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Nov 10. Answering a query at the weekly press briefing, Yapa said the SLFP would not back the divestiture of any profitable public venture. more..

CICT brings one of the largest ships afloat to Colombo

Sept 9 (FT) One of the largest ships afloat is expected to call on Sri Lanka for the first time, setting a new benchmark and record for the Port of Colombo, terminal operator CICT announced. The company said it had secured a commitment for a scheduled service by the Panama registered MSC Maya, at 19,224 teus, the largest container ship to ever berth in Colombo. 395.49 metre (1,297 foot) vessel is expected at the Colombo South Terminal managed by CICT on Friday 16th Sept, more..

Going back to Rajapakse era: Monitoring mechanism to prevent abuse of news

Sept 9 (DM) Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana said that govt would set up a Monitoring Mechanism for news broadcast and publications in the print and electronic media under the proposed Press Commission to prevent the abuse of news in print and electronic media. He added that the new measure would not anyway attempt to control or dictate to media personnel or media establishments on the media but to more..

Fiat Justitia

Sept 9 (DM) After President Sirisena and National Govt assumed office last year with the pledge to bring to justice those responsible for political killings or abductions, fraud or corruption -- Colombo’s High Court yesterday gave the first major verdict in one such case. By a 2 to 1 majority verdict, a three-judge bench of Colombo High Court after a trial-atbar sentenced to death the former controversial MP Duminda Silva and four others for the murder of former presidential advisor Bharatha more..

President vows to continue NU Govt. amid growing challenges

Sept 9 (DM) President Sirisena appeared to have earned the wrath of the rank and file of SLFP when he, in his address at the public function in Matara last month to mark the first anniversary of the National Unity Govt, said the current system of governance could not be jolted under any circumstances for another five years. It did not get with the hardcore SLFPers looking for a govt of their own, casting aside the UNP. Tone and tenor of President’s speech at the SLFP Convention more..

Dambulla cave temple: The untold story

Sept 9 (DM) Anyone who travels along the Kandy – Jaffna highway, may be able to view the picturesque scene of the Dambulla rock and the cave temple which are considered as iconic landmarks which addsprestige to the ancient city. It has stood there majestically for generations, depicting the Buddhist Culture, values and the beauty of SL heritage. Dambulla Cave Temple is also known as Golden Temple of Dambulla, more..

LCC Coal procurement questioned

Sept 9 (SL) CEB powerful trade union, the CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) strongly believes that the role played by Lanka Coal Company (LCC) in coal procurement is meaningless when considering their mishaps and wrong decisions which led to issues in the power sector. Thus, they welcomed the Power and Renewable Ministry Secretary‘s decision to give the CEB more powers over LCC, especially in the final say. more..

NEC chief accused of helping govt strategy to put off local polls

Sept 9 (Island) The Joint Opposition accused the National Election Commission (NEC) of cooperating with the govt to put off LG polls. Former Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, MP alleged that the govt was pursuing a strategy to delay local govt polls with the support of the NEC. He blamed Chairman of NEC, Mahinda Deshapriya of not taking tangible measures to hold long delayed polls. He urged Deshapriya to intervene more..

Canny engineer turned moonshine into duty-free scotch

Sept 9 (ST) “Scotch whisky” usually selling at more than Rs. 5,000 was being offered to buyers at Rs. 2,000 on the pretext that they were getting it at duty-free prices while in reality they were getting kasippu mixed with essence and colouring. Police nabbed the mastermind while he was busy making more fake whisky to be sold to customers unfamiliar with real scotch. The racket was unearthed after a tip-off to Special Crimes unit at Peliyagoda more..

Double standards irk domestic air operators

Sept 9 (DN) Sri Lanka’s domestic aviation industry is facing a tremendous problem due to the step motherly treatment extended to them by the authorities. Local operators claim that Heli Tours operated by the Air Force is being offered many concessions by the govt and due to this private domestic airline operators cannot compete with them. “There are two standards; one for state (Air Force) and second for private operators more..

Sri Lanka to adopt chip card system

Sept 9 (LBO) SL is looking at completely adopting the more secure and efficient chip card system before the end of next year. This will be among several other initiatives lined up for implementing in the coming years under the 2020 road map for developing a national payment system in SL. Dharmasiri Kumaratunge, director of Central Bank, said there are still financial institutions that use old technologies for cards. more..

Ban welcomes Sri Lanka’s commitment to peacekeeping

Sept 9 (CG) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the pledges and commitments made by Sri Lanka to the UN peacekeeping operations. He appreciated the commitment made by Sri Lanka when he spoke at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London. He expresses his gratitude to the UK for hosting the important event, which built on historic 2015 Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping. more..

High-income economic status in next two decades: PM

Sept 9 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, that Sri Lanka planned to achieve the status of a high income economy, in the next two decades. "The rapid economic development required to achieve this goal depends on innovation and the promotion of science and technology," he said. The PM said the Ministry of Science and Technology has the lead role in ensuring and establishing a strong science and technology more..

Ex-Tigers undergo medical examination

Sept 9 (DN) 26 rehabilitated LTTE cadres participated in the first stage of the medical examination held in five districts to find out whether they have been injected with poisonous substances when they were rehabilitated. The medical exam was organised by the Northern Province Health Ministry. Among the 26 ex-cadres who participated, 9 were from Northern district, 7 from Killinochchi district, 7 from Mullaitivu district more..

Two men charged with assaulting SL envoy

Sept 9 (TS) Two men have pleaded not guilty to assaulting SL’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Ibrahim Sahib Ansar at the KLIA. Businessman A. Kalaimughilan, 26, and taxi driver V. Balamurugan, 32, were charged at the Sepang Sessions Court here with rioting and causing injuries to the victim. Charge was read under Section 147 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum two years' jail or a fine or both. more..

CEBEU are untouchables

Sept 9 (CT) State-owned CEB cannot be touched even with a barge pole, inferred Minister Daya Gamage on Wednesday. Gamage was responding to a question asked by a reporter when he was asked as to why he was scared of trade unions? "CEB can blackout the whole country, then we will become unpopular," the Minister in reply had said. What he didn't say, but the insinuation of his statement was the power wielded by the CEB Engineers' Union (CEBEU) which is virtually more..

True beginning of the Rajapaksa fall

Sept 9 (CT) January 8th was not really the date of the fall from grace of Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President of Sri Lanka. That marked, no doubt, his electoral defeat. But his false image never died. It continued with the “Mahinda Sulanga” phenomenon. Leaders fall only when their public images fall. With the verdict of the Bharatha Lakshman murder case delivered on 8th September 2016 the tragic fall of that image of the former Sri Lankan dictator begins. Former Mahinda Rajapaksa’s and Gotabaya more..

Same old circus; different clowns