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John Kerry re-assures fullest support to SL

Sept 22 (PMD) US Secretary of State John Kerry says the govt of the United States highly appreciates and admires the direction of the new govt of Sri Lanka, and extended every possible assistance towards the country. He said so when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the sidelines of the UNGA, being held in UN Head Quarters in New York today (21). President Sirisena said that the current govt of Sri Lanka continues the path towards economic progress and reconciliation. more..

FUTA against proposed educational reforms

Sept 22 (CT) The FUTA says it will not accept Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam's statement regarding new educational reforms, which are being drafted. Kariyawasam said last Tuesday that effective year 2018 all students will be allowed to follow G.C.E. A/L classes pending release of results in the O/L Exam. Former President of FUTA, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that this new educational reform is unacceptable and is a grave injustice to every party involved in it. more..

Video: President's speech at the UNGA

Sept 22 (IL) I am extremely happy to take part in this 71st Session of UNGA. I wish to bring to the notice of Your Excellencies the current situation in my country. I have been in power for the last 15 months. There are many problems in my country. We have, in recent months, taken many important steps for socio-economic transformation. Before I came to power, people in my country were living in fear and I ended that period and made more..

The democracy deficits within

Sept 22 (DM) Politics is about power. Rhetoric is frill. Objection on grounds of morality, unconstitutionality, illegality etc., with chest-beating to accompany the uttering of terms such as good governance, democracy, accountability and transparency, amounts to necessary drivel. Indeed over-uttering has a way of not just devaluing the relevant notion but even of prompting cynicism. In the worst case scenario it can even come to mean the exact opposite. more..

The Lady in the well: I thirst

Sept 22 (DM) In our sister paper the Lankadeepa and below our Editorial today we published a picture that would break even the hardest hearts and bring tears. The picture shows a Polonnaruwa mother at the bottom of a well, with a small ladder - a rope, a mammoty and a bucket apparently trying to cut deeper and get some precious drinking water for the survival of her family. If this picture does not prompt us to stop wasting water then it may be a case of being insensitive if not senseless. more..

SriLankan Airlines averts major crisis

Sept 22 (SL) SriLankan Airlines and The Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka were involved in a tug-of-war last week over the decision to conduct breathalyzer tests on pilots. The issue threatened to seriously affect passenger flights of SriLankan Airlines. However a solution was later reached. The breathalyzer test on pilots of SL before entry into the aircraft will be carried out by trained medical officers rather than the security officers at the entry, more..

Uduvil school crisis: Bishop pledges impartial probe into student attacks

Sept 22 (FT) Head of Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI), Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah has promised an impartial inquiry into allegations of attacks against students demanding an extension of service for a retiring headmistress at an elite girl’s school in Jaffna. Uduvil Girls’ College, a private school managed by JDCSI has been in the eye of a storm since the beginning of this month, after past pupils, more..

People’s Bank Tender blunder exposed in Parliament

Sept 22 (CT) Minister Kabeer Hashim yesterday accepted in Parliament, as fact, the exposures made by Ceylon Today and Mawbima newspapers alleging that the management of the People's Bank (PB) had consented to close invitation to tender for the digitization process of the PB in five days. The minister was responding to the statement made by Dinesh Gunwardena, under Standing Order 23 (2), thereby confirming it. more..

Travails of a war-torn people

Sept 22 (Hindu) On Sept 21, 2013, tens of thousands of Tamils living in SL’s heavily-militarised North decisively voted in the long-delayed provincial elections. They had waited for two and a half decades to make their voices heard and elect their own govt. Despite promise of development and election handouts from then President Rajapaksa, they gave TNA a massive mandate, with C.V. Wigneswaran becoming the Chief Minister. more..

High costs slowing push toward solar energy

Sept 22 (Reuters) An ambitious plan by the Sri Lankan govt to outfit 100,000 homes with solar panels, to turn them into power producers for the national grid, may be too expensive for many families to afford, experts warn. Sri Lanka’s govt this month launched a battle for solar energy that aims to add 220 megawatts of clean power to the country’s energy grid by 2020, or about 10% of the country’s current daily electricity demand. more..

Private security firm driver suspected of stealing Rs. 6 million

Sept 22 (ST) A driver who worked for a security firm that transported money for a leading private bank has been arrested for allegedly stealing Rs 6.6 million from money intended for deposit at teller machines, apparently because he wanted to settle divorce claims, police said. Explaining the robbery, Narahenpita Crimes Division Chief Inspector (CI) A.M.P.A.R. Amarapola, said, the 25 year-old driver from Eppawala, more..

SL Muslim women demand repeal of highly discriminatory Art 16 (1) of constitution

Sept 22 (ENS) Sri Lankan Muslim women are demanding the repeal of Art 16 (1) of the constitution because it allows discrimination against them negating recent advances in the concept of women’s rights. Art 16 allows about 600 existing laws to continue irrespective of changes in the constitutional structure of the country. This may be necessary to ensure stability and continuity in the social order. But giving a further lease of more..

Video: Ramith arrested over accident

Sept 22 (DM) Cricketer Ramith Rambukkwella had been arrested over a motor accident on the Independence Avenue in Colombo early this morning, the Police said. The Police said that they suspect the cricketer to be drunk at the time of the incident and he had been taken in for a medical test. No one had been injured in the accident, according to Police. Cricketer Nuwan Kulasekera was arrested earlier this week more..

NEC-JO talks on LG polls end inconclusively

Sept 22 (Island) Talks between National Election Commission (NEC) and Joint Opposition to pave the way for long overdue LG polls ended at the Election Secretariat yesterday, inconclusively, with the former asserting that it lacked the required power to hold elections. However, the JO strongly took a contrary view pointing out that there was absolutely no legal impediment in taking necessary measures to hold LG polls. more..

Govt points finger at JVP for on-going Labour Dept. strike

Sept 22 (Island) The ongoing strike launched by the Labour officers countrywide was backed by the JVP trade union of the department, Minister of Labour W.D.J. Seneviratne said. He said the trade union concerned had never came for discussions with any minister. Seneviratne said the govt was not in a position to meet the strikers’ demand for a pay hike, which, he said, had to be approved by the relevant state institutions. more..

The dog of war: Letter to Major General Kamal Gunaratne

Sept 22 (CT) Dear Sir, Having gone through a period of self-induced hibernation for almost a year, let me first thank you for being that person who made me pick up my pen again. Though I have chosen not to read your book due to your stoic silence in the last 7 years and assuming it was your solo effort, let me also congratulate you on your first attempt in the literary world. But before I delve deeper, let me start with the following questions: 1. Why did you even bother writing a book if more..

Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, top port operators bid for Sri Lanka terminal

Sept 22 (EN) Seven consortia, made up of the largest shipping lines in the world including Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, teaming up with top operators and SL-based firms, have expressed interest in building a $400 million container terminal in Colombo. Maersk, the world's largest container shipping line by capacity; APM Terminals with John Keells and india's Concor; Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the second largest; and Terminal Investments Ltd are among those who have more..

ආචාර්ය පෘතිවිරාජ් ප්රනාන්දු

Sri Lankan shares rise on blue chips; foreign outflow hits 7-mth high

Sept 22 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks hit a one-week closing high on Thursday, led by blue chips as investors picked up beaten down counters, even as foreign investor outflow touched a seven-month high, mainly due to selling in shares of National Development Bank. The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.21% higher at 6,464.94, its highest close since Sept.15. "Index turned green today with sudden buying interest in blue chip counters," said Dimantha Mathew, more..

Drug price reducing formula to be announced tomorrow

Sept 22 (DN) The formula of reducing drug prices will be announced during the 39th Prof. Senaka Bibile commemoration to be held on Sept 23 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute Auditorium, Media Secretary to the Health Minister Nipun Ekanayake said. The commemoration will be held under the patronage of Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. The Prof. Senaka Bibile Commemoration lecture will be delivered by Prof. Priyadharshani Galappaththi of the Colombo Medical Faculty. more..

Uma Oya project leaves people parched

Sept 22 (CT) People living in the areas coming under the Ella Pradeshiya Sabha, are undergoing severe difficulties due to the Uma Oya Multipurpose Project. They blamed the authorities for the lack of drinking water, caused by the construction of the Project and engaged in a peaceful protest opposite the Pradeshiya Sabha yesterday. More than 300 people from the villages of Heel Oya, Thennewatte, Boralanda, more..

Electricity is a right

Sept 22 (CT) On Tuesday this newspaper carried an article quoting the power regulator which said that the country may face power cuts in another two years time from now, if the State owned CEB's low cost generation plan in respect of the institution of such power generation plants during the period 2017-2020 is not implemented. These proposed plants are essentially to be run by low cost thermal and hydro power, it's said. This warning from the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka more..

Robbing jewellery shop: CCD to arrest SI, two others

Sept 22 (DN) Colombo Crime Division (CCD) commenced a search operation to arrest a police Sub Inspector and two other suspects in connection with an incident where 3.703 kg of gold worth more than Rs. 21 million was robbed from a shop in Aduruppu Weediya on Saturday. The incident occurred at around 2.30 p.m. on Saturday when the main suspect, the police SI and other two entered the jewellery shop posing as Gem and Jewellery Authority officers and handcuffed more..

EU top court advised to drop LTTE from terror list

Sept 22 (WSJ) An adviser to European Union’s top court said Hamas and the Tamil Tigers should be taken off the EU’s terror list, because the bloc’s govts failed to present sufficient evidence that the groups participated in terrorist attacks. The opinion of the European Court of Justice’s advocate general isn’t binding on the court’s judges. However, if confirmed, it would settle a years long court battle between more..

Video: Duminda Silva files appeal

Sept 22 (AD) Former UPFA MP Duminda Silva who was sentenced to death over the murder of former Presidential Advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra has filed an appeal at Supreme Court calling for his release. A lawyer who appeared on behalf of the former MP had filed the appeal with the Registrar Office at the Colombo High Court this afternoon. Earlier, three convicted individuals in the case, Anura de Mel, Chaminda Jayanath and Sarath Bandara had also filed appeals on 20 Sept. more..

SAITM says…

Sept 22 (DM) SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said that their records do not reveal that any specimen of the late Wasim Thajudeen had been sent to the institution. The full statement: With reference to recent reports, SAITM wishes to clarify that specimens received by the institution have been taken over, after following the due and established process and are documented, supervised and certified by the relevant authority. SAITM has no authority or role in the issuing of them. more..

Sri Lanka launches Techno City as part of Megapolis development project

Sept 22 (ENS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, today launched the first phase of the construction of Techno City in the outskirts of the national capital, which will be the technological hub of the ambitious multi-billion dollar Western Province Megapolis project. PM said that the Techno City, along with the Financial City in the Center of Colombo, will exploit Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean region to secure FDI more..

Sri Lanka in link with Singapore to keep tabs on shady deals

Sept 22 (EN) Financial Intelligence Unit of Central Bank linked up with Singapore's suspicious transactions reporting office to share information on money laundering and terrorist financing. "Money laundering and terrorist financing are internationally connected financial crimes that could threaten the stability of the global economic and financial system," CB said. "Therefore, a global coordination among financial intelligence authorities is essential to fight against money laundering and more..

Sri Lanka a reliable, quality supplier of value added goods: Minister Bathiudeen

Sept 22 (GDI) “Sri Lanka has done well to expand its trade from historical commodities to value-added products. Despite being a small player in global trade, SL has positioned itself as a reliable and quality supplier of value added goods” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen recently in Nanning, China. Minister was addressing SL Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotional Program held on the side-lines of CAEXPO13 at Nanning Int'l Convention & Exhibition Centre in Nanning. more..

Taranjit Sandhu appointed India's envoy to Sri Lanka

Sept 22 (ANI) The govt has appointed Taranjit Singh Sandhu as the next High Commissioner of India to the Sri Lanka. A Ministry of External Affairs statement said that Mr. Sandhu, a 1988 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is expected to take up his new assignment shortly. Mr. Sandhu was born on January 23, 1963. He did his schooling at The Lawrence School, Sanwar (HP) and graduated with History (Honours) from more..

SL seeks to enhance relations with Korea

Sept 22 (CG) Minister Malik Samarawickrama underscored Sri Lanka’s interest to further strengthen economic relations with Korea, at a meeting with the Korean Deputy PM and Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoo Il-ho. Minister strongly welcomed more Korean investment in Sri Lanka’s growing economy, taking advantage of the island nation’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean with access to markets and value chains in the Indian sub-continent, Europe, Middle East & Africa. more..

TN fishermen chased away by SL navy

Sept 22 (PTI) More than 200 fishermen from Rameswaram island were forced to return without their catch after they were allegedly chased away by the SL naval personnel for fishing off Katchatheevu islet. The incident occurred last evening when the fishermen, who had set out in 50 boats, were fishing near Katchatheevu, Rameswaram Fishermen's Association President P Sesuraja said adding SL authorities had warned them against fishing in their territorial waters before driving them off. more..

NOC elections next year?

Sept 22 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said that he had taken necessary steps to make sure that National Olympic Committee (NOC) could go in for an election next year. NOC has not held their AGM for many years with the same office-bearers heading the posts despite huge criticism. He also said he is taking necessary steps to form a different committee to handle competitions other than the Olympic Games or events organized by IOC. more..

Video: Mahindananda further remanded

Sept 22 (AD) MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was arrested by CID over money laundering charges, has been further remanded till Sept 27 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Aluthgamage, who was the former sports minister, was arrested by CID on Sept 15. He was arrested on charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after a statement was recorded from him. The CID is investigating a complaint lodged against him by Wasantha Samarasinghe, Convenor of VAC. more..

PM visits Colombo International Book Fair

Sept 22 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe today (21) visited the Colombo International Book Fair. PM secured membership of the My Book Club, launched under the guidance of the ITN. PM who arrived at the Colombo International Book Fair at the BMICH visited the stalls at the Fair and made inquiries from the members of the Boom Publishers Association. They informed the PM the BMICH premises lacked the space required for the holding of a Book Exhibition. more..

NBT amendment bill in accordance with constitution: SC

Sept 22 (AD) The Speaker has informed Parliament that Supreme Court has deliberated the amend bill on the Nation Building Tax is in accordance with the constitution. NBT is payable by every person (individual, Company, body of persons) or partnership who imports any article (other than any excepted article and any article in the personal baggage) into Sri Lanka, or carries on the business of manufacturing of any article other than more..

Video: Pavithra reveals plans of JO for Oct 8

Sept 22 (AD) The much awaited new force of the people of the Joint Opposition will come to light as of October 08 from Ratnapura, UPFA MP Pavithra Wanniarachchi says. The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon. She went on to say that a rally will also be held in Ratnapura on the same day. The observation was made while responding to a question from a reporter about the formation of a new party. more..

Video: Ramith on bail; to appear before court

Sept 22 (DM) Cricketer Ramith Rambukwella who was arrested earlier this morning following a road accident has been released on police bail. He will be appeared before the Colombo Magistrate later. Rambukwella was arrested by the police following the accident occurred near Independence Avenue in Colombo 7 in wee hours of this morning. According to police, Rambukwella was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. more..

'They did their duty by the country'

Sept 22 (CT) Maj Gen Kamal Gunaratne said that he wishes former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka good luck in his venture to chronicle his memoirs of war in a book he intends launching sometime in the future. Commenting on scope and objectives in writing the book he said "I did not write my book expecting anything in return. I did not expect to make money out of it nor did I have any ulterior motives more..

Will Yoshitha get to travel to Melbourne?

Sept 22 (ITN) Colombo High Court has decided to take up for consideration on the 28th of this month a request made by Yoshitha Rajapaksa seeking permission to travel abroad. Yoshitha Rajapaksa is already barred from foreign travel following investigations are in place with respect to alleged financial fraud said to have taken place at CSN Channel. He has sought permission to travel to Australia for a month for surgery in his foot. Yoshitha Rajapaksa through his lawyers has informed more..