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More parties line up with JO to oppose govt

Sept 13 (Island) Seven more political parties have joined forces with the Joint Opposition to fight against the govt. Agreement had been reached during discussions between former MP Basil Rajapaksa and representatives of seven parties, recently. Accordingly the Liberal Party, Kandurata Janatha Party, Eksath Lanka Podu Jana Party, Sri Lanka Green Party, Eksath Lanka Maha Sabha, Pragathisheeli Peramuna and Muslim Ulema Party had agreed to join with the Joint Opposition, more..

No coal power plant in Sampur: Ministry

Sept 13 (ENS) Govt on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it is opting out of the India-SL Joint Venture to set up a coal-fired 500 MW power at Sampur in the Eastern Province. The ill-fated JV between the CEB and the NTPC of India has been on the drawing board since 2006 and has faced many challenges in the past ten years. SL govt’s decision to abandon coal as the fuel is in line with the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt’s policy of more..

Devotees flock to venerate Buddha’s footprint stone

Sept 13 (Island) Devotees from far and wide are flocking to view a stone slab with the Buddha’s footprint carved thereon found from a homestead at Kudahalmillewa at Maningamuwa, Elayapaththuwa in Anuradhapura. The stone slab of two and half feet square was found on Saturday by the owner of the land Gayan Sampath accidentally while he was attempting to remove a stone jutting out from the ground as his children got hurt by it. "I fixed a swing in front of my house for the children. more..

Chandrika an agent in conspiracy to split SLFP: Vasu

Sept 13 (AD) Leader of DLF MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara says that the leader of the SLFP participating in the UNP convention as the chief guest shows the harmony existing between the two parties. However, this harmony has become the cause for the splitting of the SLFP, he told reporters. He charged that in a way former President Chaindrika Kumaratunga is also an agent in this conspiracy to split the SLFP. He said that the Local Govt election is expected to be held soon more..

Sri Lanka's 2016 fiscal deficit goal challenging despite H1 success: Economists

Sept 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka fiscal deficit goal for 2016 would still be challenging despite a better-than-expected performance in the first half by the coalition govt due to possible populist policies ahead of local elections next year, economists said. The island-nation's fiscal deficit was 328.3 billion rupees in Jan-June, almost half of this year's target of 659 billion rupees or 5.4% of the GDP, latest finance ministry data showed. more..

Ratnapura shooting: Premalal Jayasekera, six others indicted

Sept 13 (DM) Ratnapura District MP Premalal Jayasekera and six others were indicted by the Attorney General in the Ratnapura Provincial High Court on charges of killing Shantha Dodangoda and injuring two others in a shooting incident while they were decorating the venue for a propaganda rally. The rally was to be attended by the then common opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena during last year's election campaign. The case was postponed to Nov 7 more..

SL misses Paralympic medal by 3 seconds

Sept 13 (AM) Sri Lanka missed a historic Paralympic medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics by three seconds. Taking part in the men's T 42-47 100m relay, the Sri Lankans came fifth, recording a time of 47.12 seconds. However, the USA team, which had won the race, was disqualified, and Sri Lankans ended up at 4th place. Germany won the race with a time of 40.82 seconds and host nation Brazil came second with a time of 42.04 seconds followed by Japan at 44.16 seconds. more..

90 Sri Lankan refugees return from TN

Sept 13 (CG) A group of 90 individuals who fled to TN, India during the conflict period arrived in Sri Lanka today through the voluntary repatriation programme facilitated by the UN Refugee Agency. The refugee returnees, who arrived at the BIA today, were welcomed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, V. Sivagnanasothy and more..

Yes, the Sinhalese have their origins in Bengal, Odisha

Sept 13 (IE) When three years back, a Sri Lankan envoy sought Indian support on the basis of the claim that the Sinhalese people are descendents of Bengalis and Odias, there was an upsurge of perplexity and outrage among large sections of the Indian population. However, subsequent research has shown that the Sinhalese, who make up about 75 per cent of the Sri Lankan population might very well have descended from inhabitants of ancient East India. more..

First flag pinned on President, marking flag week of National Prisoners’ Day

Sept 13 (PMD) The first flag to launch the Flag Week to mark the National Prisoners’ Day which falls on September 12, was pinned on President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence, today. The Chairman of the Prisoner’s Welfare Association, P.A. Kiriwandeniya pinned the flag on President Maithripala Sirisena. The Prisoner’s Welfare Association organized this event annually to raise funds for the welfare of the prisoners and their family members. more..

Video: Impose special tax of Rs.20 on cigarette to cover VAT shortfall : JO

Sept 13 (DM) The joint opposition today asked President to impose a special tax of Rs.20 on a cigarette with immediate effect so that the govt could earn a revenue of Rs.82 billion. MP Bandula Gunawardena said that this proposal should be implemented in addition to the current tax on alcohol and tobacco products because some of the finance ministry bigwigs were not prepared to increase the prevailing tax structure on these products. more..

MV Ceylon Princess rescues group aboard vessel in distress

Sept 13 (NF) MV Ceylon Princess, a ship belonging to Sri Lanka, has rescued a group of people aboard a vessel in distress. The rescue operation took place when MV Ceylon Princess, belonging to the Ceylon Shipping Corporation was bound for South Africa, to transport a stock of coal for the Lakvijaya Power Plant. Ceylon Shipping Corporation states that while the ship was sailing in close proximity to Mauritius, it engaged in aiding a distressed coastguard vessel belonging to that country. more..

UN Chief’s visit to Sri Lanka does little to address struggles of those awaiting justice

Sept 13 (TW) Madushka De Silva disappeared on Sept 2, 2013 in Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese-Buddhist heartland in the North Central Province. The third anniversary of his disappearance coincided with Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to the country. On that day, the UN secretary general was so close, and yet so far from De Silva’s wife, Mauri Inoka. While Inoka, along with about 12 activists, was confronting a hostile police on the streets of Colombo, who claimed to be concerned more..

U.S. Ambassador's Fund helps preserve Sri Lankan ritual dances

Sept 13 (USE) As part of continued U.S. support for the preservation of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage, the Embassy of the United States of America has awarded a grant to the University of Peradeniya to document and preserve four traditional ritual dance forms and related crafts. “We are proud to partner with the University of Peradeniya in its mission to safeguard the rich diversity of cultural practices across SL,” more..

SL Navy snaps fishing nets of TN fishermen

Sept 13 (PTI) More than 3,000 fishermen from this island were forced to return on Tuesday without catch after Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly snapped the fishing nets of 50 mechanised boats near Katchatheevu. The fishermen had put out to sea in 536 mechanised boats yesterday and were fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Strait when Sri Lankan Naval men rounded up nearly 50 boats, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told reporters here. more..

England women confirm Sri Lanka ODI tour

Sept 13 (CI) England women will conclude their busiest-ever year of international cricket by taking on Sri Lanka in the final round of ICC Women's Championship in November. The three-match ODI series was today confirmed by the England & Wales Cricket Board, and will take place at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Nov 12, 15 and 17. England are currently third on 19 points in the Championship standings, which serve as the qualification tournament for the 2017 World Cup, more..

Cabinet approves VAT increase

Sept 13 (LBO) Cabinet has approved the VAT increase in principle as required by the Supreme Court judgment, State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. Supreme Court issued an interim order in July preventing the govt from implementing the 4% VAT increase until the consent of the cabinet and Parliament is taken. “Today, the cabinet has approved VAT increase in principle as required Supreme Court” he said. more..

TB spreading in Colombo: CMC

Sept 13 (DM) Tuberculosis (TB) which is an airborne disease is spreading in some parts of Colombo City, CMC's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijemuni said. The areas most affected were Colombo North and Maligawatte. “There has been 20 reported cases from these areas this year which is far more than last year,” he said. “Our health officers are educating people in these areas on the precaution they need to take and have also conducted clinics together with officials of the Health Ministry,” more..

Remove obstacles and hold local govt elections: JVP

Sept 13 (LT) As the President has already promised to hold the local govt elections at the beginning of next year all obstacles that would prevent holding an election should be removed and all issues regarding holding local govt elections should be solved states the JVP. The General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said authorities should take immediate steps to solve issues regarding the Local Govt Act and the delimitation process and added that his party has already had discussions more..

Don’t unnecessarily alarm people on Constitution: Mahanayake tells Wimal

Sept 13 (DM) Causing unnecessary fear among the people on the Constitutional proposals and then saying tall tales is unacceptable and unhealthy, the Siyam Nikaye Malwatta Chapter Mahanayake Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera told MP Wimal Weerawansa today. This had transpired when NFF members including Mr. Weerawansa met the Mahanayakea at Asgiriya Malwatu Maha Viharaya in Kandy more..

Colombo International Financial City; A money laundering hub?

Sept 14 (CT) The controversial Chinese funded Colombo Port City project has been re-christened also without public consultation as Colombo International Financial City to establish an offshore financial centre as the centerpiece of the re-claimed land adjoining the Galle Face Green. It is said to “fill the vacuum between Singapore and Dubai” and touted as a “major income earner and an employment provider for SL”. This is all well and good if the country like Singapore has a pool more..

Fear of ETCA: Is it Davids fearing to fight Goliaths?

Sept 14 (CT) Malcolm Gladwell’s 2013 book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants is about how small fellows should fight with big fellows for a decisive win at the end. Big fellows are naturally feared by small fellows. Given a chance, a small fellow would avert confronting a big fellow. If there is no alternative, he would fight a big fellow, but with a shaken mind and trembling limbs. But Gladwell has shown that this need not be the case. more..

Experts, Govt, fight over CKDu vs. CINAC

Sept 14 (SO) The deadly kidney disease which has afflicted over 70,000 while its cause remains a mystery, now seems to have lost its tentative name – CKDu. A recent news story of a medical research team of foreign and local nephrologists renaming the officially accepted medical term, Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin (CKDu), has brought mixed reactions from the medical community. more..

Wayside eateries

Sept 14 (CT) Many residents in the City of Colombo are people from faraway places; and those who travel regularly or occasionally to and from Colombo have to waste lot of their time on the road because of traffic. Most people use public transport for long distance travel, even though some may have their own vehicles. When you buy a bus ticket, for a ride on the bus, you become a prisoner of the bus driver and the conductor during the journey. One cannot decide on anything. more..

Useless efforts at reforms

Sept 14 (CT) Much of this series has been about my personal travels, and the slow but steady dissolution of the world I had known. To dwell only on these would however give a misleading impression of what occupied me most during the years from 2012, when I began to realize that my efforts to promote reform were getting nowhere. But that realization took time to crystallize and, in the period when I continued in Parliament on the government side, I tried hard to effect some changes. more..

'Democracy has been established'

Sept 14 (SL) JVP Provincial Councillor and National Organiser of ACFF/ACPU Namal Karunaratne claims that the only positive measure that the good governance regime has taken was to establish democracy in the country, which was lost during the past era. He said, however, the western countries and organisations manipulate the regime, and the govt is just following the instructions of these manipulators. more..

Ranil says Obama’s pivot will not do

Sept 14 (ST) Some 15 months or so ago the SL Foreign Ministry hastened to clarify a remark that foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera was reported to have made in an interview with Japan’s largest broadcasting establishment NHK. It had to do with SL’s foreign policy under the new govt. NHK said: “Sri Lanka’s foreign minister says the country will review its China-dependent foreign policy and boost ties with other nations.” NHK interview was reproduced in some local media. more..

Surgeon at War

Sept 14 (DN) That came to pass on Dec 11, 1986. Nihal, a youth attached to Police STF, was travelling by train without incident. The train almost passed Welikanda, bordering the eastern province. Suddenly the whole world turned upside down before Nihal. Boom, it popped up just next to his ears. He felt a sudden pressure. Before he could fathom the nature of it, Nihal was drowned in a pool of his own blood; squirming in pain. It was a gunshot. Its origin is clear: LTTE, quite active more..

Tillakaratne Dilshan

BASL’s attempt to undermine the Supreme Court and Parliament

Sept 14 (Island) It has been reported in the press that the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) will be filing papers in the Supreme Court, seeking a revision of the apex court’s judgment in the landmark 2006 case Nallaratnam Singarasa v. The Attorney General, popularly known as the Singarasa case. Secretary of BASL Amal Randeniya confirmed this when contacted by this writer. BASL’s proposed action will have far reaching implications for SL and the public should be made aware of more..

Editorial: Yahapalana kick

Sept 14 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has recently lamented an increase in the consumption of beer among women over the years. His disappointment is understandable. He has evinced a keen interest in creating a sober Sri Lanka and his unwavering commitment to that cause should be appreciated by one and all. President Sirisena, as the Health Minister of the Rajapaksa govt, took on the powerful tobacco and alcohol companies against numerous odds. more..

Ban’s visit draws mixed reactions

Sept 14 (SL) UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s recent SL visit has become a topic of much discussion in the local political arena Moon, holds the office of Secretary General of the UNO, which is the leading int'l organisation that looks into the welfare of 194 nations in the world. Recently he arrived in SL to examine the progress of the country’s human rights record reconciliation and reform. Official visit has mainly focused on more..

Getting a bang out of Ban’s visit?

Sept 14 (Island) The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s impromptu remarks in the course of a lecture at Colombo Hilton on the eve of his departure from Sri Lanka after an official visit (Sept 2, 2016) comparing the Sri Lankan civil war to the genocidal conflicts in Rwanda and Srebrenica (in 1994 and 1995 respectively) exposed, for the umpteenth time during his two terms in the post, his petty self-interest driven personal hypocrisy as an agent of western imperialism; more..

Colombo’s quest for peace after long war

Sept 14 (DP) A shift in focus from the use of hard power to soft power on global issues, is a feather in the cap of the Sri Lanka Army. The Lankan country is fast moving towards peace and stability, and is without an enemy. This month, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) held its annual defence seminar in Colombo, shifting focus from the use of hard power — in which alongwith the Navy and the Air Force, it excelled, though at some cost — to soft power on global issues. Lest we forget, the SLA defeated more..

Four new meet records on opening day

Sept 14 (DN) Four new meet records were set up and one equalled on the first day of the Ritzbury powered 86th Sir John Tarbet Senior Athletics Championship yesterday. First record was set up by Arunodaya College, Jaffna’s Napthali Jason who cleared 4.56 metres in U-18 Boys Pole Vault final which was followed by the new meet record for the Boys U-20 Discus Throw final with Malinda Madushanka of St Rita’s College, Thaldeka more..

Tribute to army hero on home turf

Sept 14 (TT) Simdega district administration paid rich tributes to its son John Britto Kido who laid down his life fighting against LTTE rebels in Sri Lanka 27 years ago on this day. Simdega deputy commissioner Vijoy Kumar Singh announced naming the new sports stadium in Simdega after Kido and developing the martyr's native village Pindatangar, 15km from district headquarters, into a model one. The DC felicitated Kido's elderly parents Karlus and Vernadet Kido, and offered more..

Cost of SL’s foreign borrowings expected to rise if US Fed. Reserve hikes interest rates

Sept 14 (Island) The global economy will go through tremendous economic pressure if the US Federal Reserve Bank hikes its interest rates. This would impact SL because the cost of borrowings would considerably increase, Professor of Economics, Uni of Colombo, Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne said. He said that the US and European Union countries are still going through an economic recession but Sri Lanka will not have major issues if the govt limits foreign borrowings to a great extent. more..

Well planned programmes will be implemented in next year for Buddhism: Prez

Sept 14 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says the next year will be planned as a year for implementation of well planned programmes for promotion of Buddhism. “Dharma Prachraka programmes will be implemented from the next year under the guidance and advice of Maha Sangha including the Tri Nikayas’ Sanga Nayaka Theros with the aim of making Sri Lanka as the Centre of Theravada Buddhism”, he said. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket Scorers break new ground

Sept 14 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket Scorers will celebrate their 15th anniversary on a grand scale with an awards night based on similar lines as the ICC and SLC award nights at the Sasakawa Hall, Colpetty on Sept 30 commencing 6.30 pm. The awards night is going to be a unique one in the annals of cricket scoring in Sri Lanka for it is the first time an event of this nature is going to take place where the role of a cricket scorer will be recognized in addition to other roles. more..

SL the authorities don’t want you to see

Sept 14 (AI) To natter to politicians about human rights you need to head to their stalking ground…Party conferences. It is like a festival for political anoraks where we all queue up to see our favourite acts. However, this year among the many meetings, prawn vol-au-vents and receptions I was blown away by how human rights concerns can easily be pushed aside over a nice glass of wine (which I presumed was) paid for by Sri Lankan govt. Before Conferences this year I watched, more..