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Duminda Silva sold me lunch packets: Prof. Wijesuriya

Sept 16 (DN) Purawesi Balaya stalwart Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya said former MP Duminda Silva sold him lunch packets, before becoming one of the wealthiest politicians in the country. "I have bought lunch packets from Duminda Silva, in Battaramulla, several years ago. His family ran a boutique. Silva somehow entered into politics and became one of the wealthiest politicians in the country. Where did this money come from? Duminda Silva's case speaks volumes of SL's dirty political system" more..

Why did a boys' school tell women what to wear?

Sept 16 (BBC) A poster outside a SL boys' school telling women what to wear is generating heated debate on social media. BBC's Ayeshea Perera explains why people in Colombo are so outraged. At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a page from a cheap fashion magazine. The poster on display outside St Joseph's College, Colombo has no text of any sort. Instead it shows 16 pictures of women in a variety of outfits, more..

PM hits out at doctors demanding popular schools

Sept 16 (CT) PM stated that govt does not consider one career path to be more important than another, just as much as it does not recognize that one individual is more privileged than another. "We do not attach special privileges to any special individual nor do we recognize a certain career path to be more important than another," he said in a posting on his Facebook wall. However, he said he did acknowledge fact that SL citizens had the greater right to enjoying first fruits of development. more..

Bribery Comm. presents its report to Prez

Sept 16 (SLBC) The annual report of the bribery or corruption allegations investigation commission was presented to president Sirisena. The report was presented to the president at the President's official residence by Chairman of the Commission former Justice T.B. Weerasooriya. Director general of the commission Dilrukshi Dias and retired SSP Neville Guruge were also present at the event. Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi who assumed duties as the Commander of Air Force more..

Docs vacate Isurupaya on court order

Sept 16 (DN) The govt medical officers, who laid siege on the Education Ministry Auditorium demanding that their children be admitted to popular schools, were ordered to vacate the premises, by an order from the Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court. The doctors, who remained the whole Wednesday at the Education Ministry, left Isurupaya after receiving the court order. Court order was announced by police to the doctors. more..

Work harder and promote religious unity

Sept 16 (DM) Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, chief priest of the Gnagaramaya temple, has urged Sri Lankans to work hard, honestly and with commitment in whatever they do and to be ready to work even ten hours a day with fewer holidays. In his weekly article published in our sister papers, the enterprising monk who is better known as Podi Hamuduruwo says there is no alternative to hard and honest work with only lazy or lethargic people having time for idle talk, gossip or slander. more..

Unnecessary fear and tall-tales about constitutional reform

Sept 16 (DM) Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter of the Siyam Nikaya, the Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera was spot on about proposals to change the constitution. The Venerable Thera is reported to have observed the following: ‘Causing unnecessary fear among the people on the Constitutional proposals and then saying tall tales is unacceptable and unhealthy.” Correct. This observation had been made to a NFF delegation which included Wimal Weerawansa. more..

Mineral sands deal to benefit politicians

Sept 16 (SL) Despite having made profits and being in the process of contributing towards the National Treasury, the govt’s decision to privatize Lanka Mineral Sands Limited and Pranthan Chemicals in the guise of going for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) has raised concerns among the higher officials of the Ministry of Industries and Commerce. The reason behind the move to go for a public-private partnership was not to protect more..

Docs put off countrywide strike by one week

Sept 16 (Island) GMOA decided to call off a planned countrywide strike next week after Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne pledged to discuss the issue of 200 doctors’ children being denied school admission with Education Minister, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. GMOA Ex- Co member Dr Nalinda Herath said evening that the discussions with Health Minister had been fruitful as he had pledged to take up the matter with Kariyawasam. more..

Sri Lanka to continue issuing on-arrival visas to Bangladeshis

Sept 16 (DS) Sri Lanka has backtracked from its decision to stop issuing on-arrival visas for Bangladesh citizens amid diplomatic tension between the two South Asian nations. The Sri Lankan govt today announced that it will withdraw its plan and continue issuing the previous facilities. “Necessary instruction has been given to withdraw the landing endorsements immediately,” said Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva. more..

‘Duminda led gang involved in violence that day’

Sept 16 (ST) The shooting incident leading to the murder of Bharatha Lakshman and three others was sparked off due to the actions of former MP Duminda Silva who gave leadership to the group involved in violence on the day of the provincial council elections, the judgment sentencing five persons to death over the incident, said. High Court Judges Padmini Ranawaka & M.C.B.S. Moraes more..

‘Army now holds 10,000 acres down from 38,000 acres’

Sept 16 (Island) In the wake of outgoing UNSG Ban Ki-moon calling for a further reduction of Jaffna peninsula based Army deployments, the military said that the fighting strength there had been substantially reduced along with gradual releasing of land held for security purposes. Process commenced in Oct 2010 about 18 months after the successful conclusion of Vanni offensive. Military brought the war to an end in May 2009. more..

Video: PM was a puppet in previous regime: SLFP

Sept 16 (DM) SLFP Minister Wijith Wijayamuni Zoysa said that it was the former president Rajapaksa who governed the country using executive powers sidelining the premier and going against democratic values. He made these remarks in response to a statement made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the country should be governed either by the President or the PM without contradicting each other. more..

Sri Lanka says it has significantly benefited by engaging with UN Systems

Sept 16 (ENS) Sri Lanka told the 33 rd. session of the UN UNHRC on Thursday, that constructive engagement with the Special Procedures and the UN system as a whole has benefitted SL significantly, and it looks forward to continuing the engagement. “We believe that engagement with the UN system and the Human Rights Mechanisms is in the best interest of the people of our country, to obtain advice and views, and also expertise more..

SL Parliament and U.S. House Democracy Partnership launch collaboration agreement

Sept 16 (SLE) Sri Lanka Parliament and the House Democracy Partnership of the U.S. House of Representatives launched a Collaboration Agreement to strengthen partnership between the two legislatures today (14), in Washington D.C. The Agreement was signed by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Representative Peter J. Roskam, Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership on behalf of the SL Parliament more..

Coal to renewable energy transition costly

Sept 16 (DN) CEB engineers are of view that a complete shift from coal to renewable energy will cause substantial additional cost, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. He said his ministry responsibly pays attention to the views of the CEB Engineers’ Association, as they have a lot of experience and knowledge in the field. “It is the govt’s policy to minimize the use of coal power, into account the environmental impact. more..

RTI Commission awaits prez approval

Sept 16 (Island) The Constitutional Council has recommended Prof. Savithri Goonasekera, attorney-at-law Kishali Pinto Jayawardena, former judge Salim Marsoof, former Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary Neil Rupasinghe and Prof. N. Sivakumaran as members of the proposed Right to Information (RTI) Commission, authoritative sources said. The names had been submitted to President Sirisena more..

Austerty, hiding behind debt crisis!

Sept 16 (CT) Recently, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that Budget 2017 will be presented to Parliament on 10 Nov. This budget is crucial for the government as well as to the public due to multiple reasons. At the moment, the got is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. On one hand it has to meet the targets provided by the IMF and on the other hand the expectation of the public has to be met from the upcoming budget. To put it in simple terms, the budget is nothing, but managing more..

Chandrika’s call for federalism

Sept 16 (CT) One must thank Chandrika for letting the cat out of the bag. In her recent address to the national secretariat for national reconciliation she has called for a federal, semi-secular constitution. I shall bypass the issue of semi-secularism and the role of Buddhism in the Constitution because it has been quite adequately dealt with, not by a Sinhala Buddhist extremist, but precisely by the senior-most member of the Catholic clergy on the island, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. more..

විශේෂඥ මනෝ වෛද්žය උදේන ආටිගල

Avant Garde: Court tells CID to submit final report on Oct.5

Sept 16 (DM) Galle Chief Magistrate Nilupuli Lankapura today directed the CID to submit to Court on Oct. 5 the final report on its investigation into the Avant Garde controversy. Further action was to be decided based on the report. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Captain of Avant Garde was further remanded till Sept 30. The Counsel who appeared for the Avant Garde Shipping Company said an order should be given regarding the ship without further delay because the ship was decaying and more..

Spiritual realm knows no gender difference

Sept 16 (DM) O Gotami, said the Blessed One, “perform a miracle in order to answer the misconceptions of those badly informed men who do not recognize the spiritual abilities of women.” Out of four Poya days, which falls during the rainy retreat, the Binara is of much significance. On Binara Full moon Poya Day, the Bhikkhuni Order was established. During this period, the Sangha observe the Disciplinary Code laid down by the Buddha by spending most of their time in meditation. more..

No big change in amended VAT Bill: JVP

Sept 16 (DM) The amended VAT Bill which the Govt assured was being prepared with the people's well-being in mind is almost similar to the Bill introduced some months ago, with the only difference being the few changes made to mitigate protests by traders, JVP said. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the Govt had not removed the VAT imposed on essential commodities, on healthcare and telecommunication despite mounting protests more..

Aspects of Buddhism as I understand them

Sept 16 (DM) When I was small, my grandfather would read and explain poems to me. One day, we were both having a nice time doing poetry, when a mosquito landed on my little arm. My immediate reaction was to swat it. However, my grandfather held my hand and said don’t… meaning not to kill the mosquito. Because of that little act of restraint in the midst of my irritation at the mosquito, I learned a profound lesson. All beings desire to live. No being desires to die. more..

WPC Chief Secretary transferred

Sept 16 (CT) Jayanthi Wijetunga, who was serving as the Chief Secretary of Western Provincial Council (WPC), has been transferred as a Ministry Secretary with immediate effect. Chief Minister of the Western Province Isuru Devapriya has sent a letter with his signature to President Sirisena recommending under the Provincial Council Act No. 42 of 1987, Clause 31 that Daya Senerath, who is a special grade officer of the SLAS, be appointed to fill a post of Ministry Secretary. more..

Police chief ticked off over insulting minister

Sept 16 (EN) IGP Pujith Jayasundara has been ticked off by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe over two incidents where he is alleged to have embarrassed political authorities. Jayasundara, who was appointed in April by a divided Constitutional Council, was called in for a meetig with some of his senior officers to Temple Trees residence on Wednesday for a pep-talk. PM was irked over the omitting of minister more..

Iranian woman arrested at BIA

Sept 16 (CT) An Iranian national was arrested at the BIA in Katunayake on Wednesday, with Rs 11 million in foreign currency and jewellery worth Rs 1.5 million. The woman was waiting to board Doha bound flight QR 657, Customs Media Spokesman, Dharmasena Kahandawa said. He said the foreign currency found in the woman's possession have been identified as US Dollars, Euros, Canadian Dollars, Iran Riyals, Saudi and Oman Riyals, Indian Rupees and UAE Dhirams. more..

Video: Hambantota youth remanded

Sept 16 (DM) The 22-year-old youth who was reported missing while in the custody of the Hambantota Police but was later found in Dickwella was remanded till Sept 21 by Hambantota Magistrate Manjula Karunaratne today. The missing youth was found at a temple in Dickwella yesterday and was taken to the official residence of the Magistrate at around 2. 30 am this morning by the police. Two police sergeants and two police constables were interdicted over the incident. more..

Sri Lanka charges steep tax on brown sugar

Sept 16 (EN) Sri Lanka has raised a tax on white sugar to 2 rupees per kilogram, while brown sugar will be charged a tax of 15 rupees. The taxes had been raised by midnight gazette. Often Finance Ministry does not even inform the people that import taxes have been raised. In SL the native rulers who took control of a taxation system set up by British colonial rule raise taxes at midnight while citizens are sleeping, without prior discussion more..

Textured Jersey officials meet fund managers in US

Sept 16 (EN) Senior executives from Textured Jersey Plc, a fabric maker based in SL are meeting international investment funds in a non-deal road show arranged by a US equities broker. Moiz Rehmanjee COO for Commercial and Rodney Arland, COO for Marketing/Business Development to discuss growth strategies and acquisitions, including an India based unit. “Institutional investor interest in Asian emerging markets is especially focused on high-quality companies and more..

PM wants to determine if political hand behind disappearance of youth

Sept 16 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered the intelligence unit to determine whether any political group is behind the disappearance of the youth in Bandagiriya, Hambantota. Sources said he had told IGP Pujitha Jayasundara to direct the intelligence officers to carry out an investigation to determine whether any political force was behind the disappearance. PM and the govt are reported to be of the opinion that the disappearance has been organized to put more..

Public to grade Police stations

Sept 16 (CT) The public will be allowed to grade the country's Police stations in a scheme that will be rolled out before the year end. This was said by Chairman of National Police Commission (NPC), emeritus Professor Siri Hettige at a function at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). 'People will have the opportunity to audit a Police station,' he said. Policemen serving in 'good' Police stations will be rewarded, while more..

UPFA seeks alliance with Tamil parties

Sept 16 (CT) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, UPFA General Secretary, confirmed that the UPFA has had several discussions with political parties from the North, aimed at forging alliances with the UPFA. Minister Amaraweera, who is also the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, announced this at a media briefing at his ministry. Declining to name any of the political parties from the North with which he claims the UPFA had initiated talks, he said the discussions had been fruitful. more..

Curative Medical Specialists: Retirement extended to 63?

Sept 16 (CT) Cabinet approved a proposal to extend the age of compulsory retirement of experienced specialist medical officers in curative medicine up to 63 years given the dearth of such specialists, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. "There are 1,164 vacancies for specialist doctors in hospitals around the island. Filling these vacancies under the current method takes a long time" he said. Minister Rajitha Senaratne has proposed an extension of the compulsory age more..

BBC journalist wins unfair dismissal appeal

Sept 16 (PG) BBC World Service journalist who claims he was sacked for favouring coverage about the plight of SL Tamils has won an appeal and successfully argued that he was unfairly dismissed. Chandana Bandara lost his job on 15 August 2014 after he declined to put a story out on the BBC Sinhala service website about the birth of Prince George. He decided not to prioritise the royal birth story, partly – he said – more..

Navy installs Water Treatment (RO) Plant in Polpithigama

Sept 16 (MoD) SL Navy had installed another water treatment (RO) plant under its community welfare project at Koruwewa Mahanama Maha Vidyalaya in Polpithigama. RO plant will fulfill the drinking water requirements of the children of the school and the area residents. RO plant, built with the expertise of the Navy's Research and Development unit with sponsorship of Firefly Mission of Singapore Institute will benefit the area residents where already 45 renal disease patients have been identified. more..

Anandasangare urges President to release political prisoners

Sept 16 (CG) TULF Secretary General V Anandasangaree has written to President Sirisena urging him to release all political prisoners. Anandasangaree said he doe not see any justifiable reason for their prolonged detention when it is clear that if charged for any specific offence hey could have by this time served the full period of sentence and gone free. “Once again I reiterate that immediate action should be taken in respect of the release of the Political Prisoners detained more..

India okay with setting up LNG-fired power plant in SL, but warns Colombo about pitfalls

Sept 16 (ENS) India has told Sri Lanka that it can help put up a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-fired power plant as desired by Sri Lanka at Sampur or any other location, But at the same time, it has conveyed to it the need to ponder over the pitfalls in switching over from coal to LNG. This will be conveyed at a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) which might be held in October either here or in New Delhi, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka cycling: monkeys, ancient ruins and fine teas

Sept 16 (WA) Dinner plate-sized footprints? Check. Warm, basketball-sized lumps of dung? Check. “Yep, we’re definitely on an elephant’s trail,” confirms my guide Pete. Many people go to Sri Lanka specifically to see elephants; there are about 3000 in the wild. But when you’re cycling around the island’s interior, a 3m-tall Elephas maximus — 5 tonnes of unpredictability — is not something you really want to encounter. We’ve had an elephant-alert drill for what to do if more..

Sri Lanka manufacturing, services PMI expands in August

Sept 16 (EN) SL's purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing and services expanded in Aug 2016 with expectations for activities in the former indicating an improvement for next three months. Manufacturing Sector PMI, based on a survey of large companies located in the Western province, increased to 53.5 in Aug, up 2.9 index points from July 2016. “Increase in August was fuelled by the improvements observed in New Orders, Employment and Production Indices,” more..