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Customs Superintendents continue strike

Sept 21 (DN) Only 25% of Customs declarations were cleared yesterday as Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents at SL Customs continued their strike for the second day. SL Customs Spokesperson, said work at Customs had slowed down considerably with several unions choosing to Work to Rule since Monday. “Normally, we would clear 800 Customs Declarations a day but yesterday we could only manage 200 and more..

Suspects arrested under PTA to be offered rehabilitation

Sept 21 (CG) The Govt has decided to offer rehabilitation to some suspects arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The Ministry of Resettlement and Rehabilitation said that the rehabilitation offer is being made to 23 of 96 suspects arrested over alleged links to the LTTE. Minister D.M. Swaminathan has spoken to the Attorney General to amend the indictments of 23 of the suspects. The 23 pending cases and trials under the PTA that are before the High Court will more..

Prez hands over instrument of ratification to Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Sept 21 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena handed over the instruments pertaining to entry into force of Paris Agreement on Climate Change to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today at the UN General Assembly, being held in New York. Following that, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Paris Agreement has galvanized engagement of the UN engagement in fighting climate change at the highest level. US Secretary of State John Kerry described this more..

Video: Expecting response to UN chief’s comments from President: Dullas

Sept 21 (AD) SLFP members representing the Joint Opposition today strongly rejected President Sirisena’s participation and the speech delivered by him at the 70th anniversary celebration as the leader of the SLFP. UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma urged the President and other leaders of the SLFP not to give a hand to the elephant and to take the elephant goad (Henduwa) to the hand. more..

Video: Mahinda trying to split own party is karma: Harin

Sept 21 (AD) Minister Harin Fernando says that former President Rajapaksa is the leader in destroying political parties who attempted to the split both the JVP and UNP and that it is karma that in the end he is now part of an attempt to destroy his own party. “He tried to split the JVP. He tried to split the UNP. In the end look what Mahinda Rajapaksa is trying to do today.” “He is trying to destroy the SLFP by forming a new party,” he told reporters in Colombo. more..

2 brothers, sister of H'tota youth remanded

Sept 21 (AD) Three family members including two brothers and a sister of the youth who escaped while in police custody in Hambantota have been remanded until 30 Sept. Suspects were arrested on charges of allegedly misleading police by giving false evidence with respect of the disappearance of their younger brother and harboring him. The suspects were remanded after being produced before the Hambantota Magistrate this morning. Youth, G.G. Gayashan, was initially arrested more..

'It was impossible to avoid accident'

Sept 21 (DM) Giving evidence at the inquest held into the death of a motorcyclist at Kirillawala, who was struck by a car driven by SL cricket team's fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara. He said that he was driving home from Gampaha in his car, when he saw something emerge from the middle island of the road and strike his vehicle. He said he had attempted to turn to the left and then applied his brakes. more..

A Reflection on conflicts in Sri Lanka

Sept 22 (GV) We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we make this reflection, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects, to their Elders both past and present. We, individuals who grew up in the south of Sri Lanka, are grateful to the Uniting Church for providing us with this opportunity to reflect upon the conflicts that have taken place in that island. Given time constraints we will not deal with the wider socio-economic factors, more..

The View from Madinah

Sept 22 (GV) Around the debris of triumphantly post-war Sri Lanka, new research is churned out, state grant money proffered and secured, and security expert careers built around jihadi headlines, veil puns, and paradoxically hyper(de)racinated definitions of terrorism. We are forever post-911. Polite liberals plead proportionality in the surveillenace of Muslims – not too much, but just enough. History falls to the wayside as lucractive theories reign about the many Muslims who more..

'Public fed-up with both parties'

Sept 22 (SL) JVP WPC member Sunil Watagala says UNP and SLFP both, having governed the country at various times, have failed to address the people’s issues. He charges that they have both engaged in politics for personal gain. He said the investigations into the affairs of corrupt politicians are being delayed simply to safeguard the ministers within the unity govt. “We asked them to establish a separate court to hear the cases more..

Editorial: Polls Phobia

Sept 22 (Island) A group of SLFP local govt (LG) politicians loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa staged a protest in Colombo on Tuesday, demanding that the much-delayed mini polls be held forthwith. They raked the govt over the coals for postponing the elections on some flimsy pretext for political reasons. President Maithripala Sirisena is in a quandary. He succeeded in forming a joint administration with the UNP after being elected last year. Following the general election more..

Choose the educated, chase the robbers

Sept 22 (DN) Former President Chandrika Kumarathunga, Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, convened a forum for Constitutional Reforms Deliberations on September 13. The participants were MPs, professionals, academicians and civil society activists, about 140 in number. All distinguished invitees and the forum hosting members, including the chairperson, were punctual in presence and hence the speech-making and more..

'Chandrika key decision maker in govt'

Sept 22 (CT) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila, believes that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is the key decision maker of the present govt. He added that her statement pertaining to a federal semi secular Constitution for SL carries an enormous weight which dwarfs the contradictory comments made by President and PM who assured the public that the Constitution will not a be a on Federal model. more..

Insolence of office and PET scanner

Sept 22 (CT) Some stories make it to the news, others don't. Some milestones are covered, others not. And some needs are prioritized, others not. Like the Cancer Hospital at Maharagama, one can add. You know the story: No PET scanner, the only alternative being provided at a high price at private hospitals. You know what happened: someone came, started a project, and earned about Rs 200 million through a foundation he'd started to order and instal the scanner at Maharagama. more..

Making of a President

Sept 22 (CT) The author of Making of the President, Theodore White unites a novelist's knack of dramatization and a historian's sense of significance with a synthesizing skill that grasps the reader by the lapels. The third book in Theodore H. White's landmark series, The Making of the President gives a compelling account of the turbulent 1968 presidential campaign, the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and election of Richard Nixon. White made history with more..

Kamal Gunaratne

Smartphones to monitor malnourished children!

Sept 22 (ST) In my column of Sept 2015 I presented a scenario where health care workers in the field will be using smartphones to monitor patients in the future. This lead to a flurry of Internet chatter questioning when this would really happen and whether it is really possible in Sri Lanka. Well folks, we are on our way there. Within a year of that article we now have 600 midwives in Polonnaruwa, Matale, and Nuwara Eliya districts using smartphones to monitor malnourished children more..

Harin’s All Blacks jersey sold for over five million

Sept 22 (Island) A New Zealand All Blacks jersey, personally signed by players from the 2015 Rugby World Cup champion team was auctioned by Harin Fernando MP, during the Sri Lanka Super 7s, and was snapped up for Rs. 5.1 million by an undisclosed buyer. The proceeds from the auction will be forwarded for the development of rugby at Isipathana College, Colombo. Isipathana won the Rugby League and Knockout this year. All Blacks jersey was presented by New Zealand PM more..

Migrant workers optimistic of their right to franchise

Sept 22 (DN) SL Migrant workers who contribute to the majority of our foreign exchange earnings over the years have been disenfranchised with very little say in how govts use their money. Close to 3 million Sri Lankans work and live abroad. This number thus can be a crucial vote base at any election. Five months ago, the Parliamentary sessions in April, unanimously appointed a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to more..

Let Commodore Ajith Boyagoda live in peace

Sept 22 (Island) Though I had heard of Ajith Boyagoda as the Navy officer who was held in captivity by the LTTE terrorists for eight years, I only met him recently. First, when he walked into the News 1st office to hand over his book A Long Watch: War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka, beautifully written by Sunila Galappatti. I got a feeling of sadness as I spoke to the bearded former Navy officer. For a moment I thought he was in his own lost world, pushed away by more..

Green card regime for brain gain

Sept 22 (DN) Finance Minister will present the next budget of the Govt soon, trimming debts, enhancing income, supporting benefits to people, spurring private and public sector growth with enhanced foreign direct investments. An elephant in the room we hope would finally see the attention it deserves is the immense potential of Sri Lankans overseas with skilled hands and brains, immense goodwill and resources who can contribute significantly to the wealth and productivity of our country. more..

Tea caught in the perfect storm?

Sept 22 (FT) Tea continues to be caught in a perfect storm with both production and US dollar earnings continuing to plummet, according to tea brokers, who have pointed out that earnings in the first eight months of 2016 have dropped to the lowest point since 2007 and leaf weight hitting a seven-year low. Sri Lanka exported 25.1 million kilograms in August this year, up 19% from last year’s figure of 21.1 million kilograms. more..

National Sports Festival in North for first time

Sept 22 (DN) Sri Lanka will hold the first ever National Sports Festival in the North when the 42nd National Sports Festival will be held from Sept 30 to October 2 at Durayappah Stadium in Jaffna amidst the govt's full patronage. After eradicating the 30-year-old war, the new Sri Lankan govt has decided to hold the national sports festival in the northern region, which had been devastated by the terrorists. The four-day national festival will kick off on Sept 30 at 3pm with the participation of Speaker more..

‘CIMA accountants essential for public sector jobs in Sri Lanka’

Sept 22 (Island) CIMA global president Andrew Miskin said that since the world's problems are growing more and more complex it is the need of the hour to recruit CIMA accountants for public sector jobs. "Our members keep up with global trends and the world is changing at a more complex pace. Therefore, decision making should be done more carefully and effectively to face global challenges. Our members are placed in an ideal position for such decision making, Miskin said. more..

Vehicle importers expect tax structure to remain

Sept 22 (DN) Motor vehicle registrations has come down by 60% and tax income to coffers from vehicle imports has fallen short of govt expectations, Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (VIAL) said. Although there is speculation that the prices of imported vehicles may be affected from govt’s second budget scheduled to be presented on Nov 10, VIAL says they expect no change in the prices of vehicles. more..

India anchors SL confidence in Colombo port

Sept 22 (FT) Indian Govt yesterday sought to reassure Sri Lanka that India’s burgeoning investment on developing its ports will pose no threat to the Port of Colombo, noting they have urged Indian companies to invest in the expansion of the Colombo Harbour. “There is a fear that once India develops its infrastructures and, particularly, ports in the eastern and western coasts, they will prove to have a detrimental impact on the Colombo Port. I do not believe that will happen,” more..

Gamer.LK takes eSports to schools

Sept 22 (DN) After successfully conducting inter-university and mercantile eSports Championships, Gamer.LK is introducing the first inter-school eSports championship in Sri Lanka. Dialog Gaming Inter-School eSports Championship is open to both govt and private schools, and will see teams from over 20 schools in the country compete for the prestigious championship trophy. Organised with the intention of bringing out the positives of structured competitive video games, more..

Monthly allowance for Saalawa residents extended for 3 months

Sept 22 (FT) The monthly allowance pledged to residents of Saalawa would be continued for another three months, Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured. The relevant Cabinet paper would be presented jointly with Disaster Management Ministry soon. Earlier, it has been decided to pay each affected family an allowance of Rs. 50,000 for three months. Compensation was paid for the households who completely lost their residences more..

Paralympic medal winner Priyantha felicitated

Sept 22 (DN) Sri Lanka's Paralymic medal winner at the 2016 Rio Para Games, Dinesh Priyantha Herath was feted at a grand felicitation ceremony with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo last night. Priyantha, who won a bronze medal in the F46 category of the Javelin Throw, brought Sri Lanka's second Paralympic medal, after Pradeep Sanjaya won a bronze medal in 400m in the 2012 London Summer Games. more..

'Sri Lanka must change bankruptcy laws'

Sept 22 (DN) Sri Lanka should change bankruptcy laws in order to attract more foreign investors, Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute of International Relations Executive Director Dinusha Panditharatne said. Speaking at LBR LBO Infrastructure Summit 2016 themed Realising The Transformative Power of The Western Region Development: Opportunities and Challenges at Cinnamon Grand, she said this will also help to better Sri Lanka’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Index. more..

PM backs better salaries to attract top talent

Sept 22 (FT) Govt moved a motion to increase the monthly allowances of the independent commissions with the hope of attracting qualified and capable individuals to these positions. The motion was moved by PM, who proposed that the heads of the commissions and their members would have telephone and fuel allowances and receive a vehicle for both official and private use. Salary of the Director-General (DG) of Bribery Commission more..

French Travel Congress to be held in SL

Sept 22 (FT) In an effort to grow arrivals from France, Govt will support a key conference in Colombo where an estimated 500 representatives of outbound travel agents are expected to attend to boost Sri Lanka’s presence in the travel market. Govt has given top priority to the JEV Congress that is to be held in Colombo from 31 Oct to 4 Nov. Les Journées des Entrepreneurs du Voyages (JEV) formally known as SNAV represents more than 1,400 tourism enterprises in France, more..

Malik meets with WEDF organizers

Sept 22 (Island) Minister Malik Samarawickrama together with the CEO of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) Mrs. Indira Malwatte met with the organizing committee and sub committee members, as well as sponsors and partners for a progress review meeting of the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) 2016. "This is one of the biggest events the new govt has undertaken," Minister stated, "And we are well on track to making it an exceptional global conference." more..

Ban hails Sri Lanka’s deepening efforts to heal war wounds

Sept 22 (FT) UN Chief Ban Ki-moon hailed SL’s deepening efforts to heal the wounds of war, in his final opening address to UNGA in New York yesterday. Opening the 71st Session of the UNGA on Tuesday, UN Secretary General used Myanmar and SL as states in now in transformation from conflict and political turmoil. “In Myanmar, the transition has entered a promising new phase. In SL, post war healing efforts have deepened,” more..

Poultry farmers given assistance to increase chicken production

Sept 22 (DN) Minister P. Harrison highlighted the importance of increasing chicken production and assured assistance will be provided to over 800,000 local poultry farmers to increase the expected target. Harrison made these remarks at a well attended forum, represented by local and foreign experts on Poultry Science. The forum was conducted under the theme Sustainable Poultry- Current and future challenges by Sri Lanka Branch of the World's Poultry Science Association. more..

SL Navy discusses strengthening maritime partnership with US Navy

Sept 22 (SLN) Commander of Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne who is presently at Newport, Rhode Island, in the US attending the 22nd International Seapower Symposium (ISS) from 21st to 23rd Sept met Admiral John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) of the US Navy and Admiral Scott Swift, Commander US Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT). Commander of Navy held discussions with CNO and COMPACFLT mainly pertaining to further improving ties between more..

COPE member blows whistle on another scam

Sept 22 (Island) A member of the anti-corruption parliamentary watchdog committee, UPFA MP Weerakumara Dissanayake alleged that there was an ongoing move to categorize a large stock of rice declared unfit for human consumption under questionable circumstances as animal feed. MP claimed that it was being done so as to sell the stock as animal feed. He alleged that a national crime was being committed by govt. more..

Fonseka – Wimal in verbal tirade

Sept 22 (CT) An intense argument broke, out between MP Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and JO MP Wimal Weerawansa, over allegations made by the former claiming that Weerawansa had illegally transferred a land worth Rs 300 million, through a deed, as a gift to his wife. Following Fonseka's allegations, Weerawansa demanded that Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala remove Fonseka's statements from the Hansard records. Deputy Speaker responded that while Weerawansa more..

8 districts have become hotter

Sept 22 (CT) Director General of the Department of Meteorology, Lalith Chandrapala, said the daytime temperature in eight districts of the island has increased above the average rate. "It is the Southwest monsoon that is in effect now. Then the temperature in the Northeast areas of the island increases. However, except for minor showers here and there, the Southwest monsoon is not active these days. This is the reason for the increase in temperature," he said. more..

GMOA returns Education Minister’s fire

Sept 22 (Island) GMOA responded to a recent statement made by Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam that he had upset a process that had worked for 12 years. Spokesman, Samantha Ananda accused the Minister of making derogatory comments about GMOA office bearers, union members and their children. He said GMOA was contemplating legal action against Minister Kariyawasam for violating the rights of doctors’ children to education. more..