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Driving smoothly with corruption

Sept 23 (DM) Department of Motor Traffic in Werahera, popularly known as RMV, has been one of the main destinations visited by many individuals with a dream of obtaining a driver’s licence. But lately, there have been rumours about bribing activities that have been going on within and outside the premises. In an attempt to shed light on this issue, Dailymirror herewith exposes certain observations made during an attempt to more..

'Govt to set up five technology universities this year'

Sept 23 (DN) The govt would set up five Technology Universities this year, said Leader of the House and Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella, adding that 1,800 students are to be recruited to the five universities. He made these observations yesterday, in response to a query made by MEP MP Sisira Jayakody, during his speech joining the Second Reading debate on the Universities (Amendment) Bill. more..

Corruption claims hover over Lankaputhra appointment

Sept 23 (SL) The credibility of the Good Governance administration that pledged to act on those who are involved in bribery or corruption is now fast diminishing as the govt has failed to take action against those who are involved in corrupt activities. It is now understood that the corrupt are well protected by the govt and are even in the process of securing high posts in govt despite having concrete evidence against them more..

‘CBK, pro-LTTE Diaspora taking common stand’

Sept 23 (Island) Outgoing UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s call at the 71st Sessions of the UNGA for a ‘new union’ in post-war Sri Lanka has seriously disturbed the SLFP-led Joint Opposition. Top JO spokesman and Matara District MP Dallas Alahapperuma asserted that that there couldn’t be any justification in comparing Sri Lanka with Myanmar. MP Alahapperuma was addressing the media on Wednesday. more..

Rs. 1,800 b revenue expected from next budget proposals

Sept 23 (DN) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that it has been estimated to gain a revenue Rs. 1,800 billion from the next budget proposal. “The next budget will be based on the theme of alleviating poverty,” he said. He added that special attention has been drawn on reducing the budget deficit to 5.5 - 5.6 range. He was addressing a media conference yesterday along with a few other senior politicians of the SLFP. more..

Malaria: The hard-won battle must not be lost

Sept 23 (ST) What felled the mighty ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura? Was it foreign invasions or did the ancients and their kings abandon their homes and palaces because they could not face the onslaught of swarms of tiny mosquitoes, bearing with them deadly malaria? Or were they both? The answer lies buried in the sands of time, but more than 2,000 years later, Sri Lanka has been able to battle and defeat these mosquitoes, more..

Akila, GMOA battle continues

Sept 23 (Island) The GMOA warned it would resort to any form of trade union action against the baseless probe by sections of the govt against its President Dr Anuruddha Padeniya and Ex Co members. GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen de Zoysa said two salient decisions had been taken during a General Committee meeting held yesterday. There were several moves by certain sections of the govt to intimidate the union following more..

SLC reverse controversial clause after COPE probe

Sept 23 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to reverse a controversial clause in the Articles of Association of Cricket Aid (Guarantee) Ltd giving its signatories life-membership of this newly-formed charity arm of SLC. The matter came to light when the Parliamentary Watchdog COPE questioned it, leading to an order from the Sports Minister to reverse section 6.1. more..

'Techno City will spearhead huge increase in GDP'

Sept 23 (DM) Innovative technology was the only way to increase GDP, and the Techno City, which was to be built soon at a cost of nearly Rs. 20 billion, would play a major role in achieving this goal, Minister Champika Ranawaka emphasized. “Usually, we need to invest 4.5% of GDP to achieve a 1% increase in GDP. But if we invest that amount in innovations, we can increase the GDP in a much more effective manner. more..

PM optimistic more SL experts will return

Sept 23 (DM) A number of Sri Lankan experts, including academics and professionals, who left the country had returned recently and more experts would hopefully follow them in the near future, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Addressing a ceremony held to launch the construction of Techno City at Mahahena in Homagama, PM said he had invited Sri Lankan experts to return, not alone, but with their colleagues. more..

Digital economy

Sept 23 (CT) Digital poverty, digital govt, uncollateralized loans and virtual businesses were four key takes delivered by the CEO of the State-owned Information and Communication Technology Agency, Muhunthan Canagey at a function organized by the National Chamber of Commerce, yesterday. He claimed that digital poverty was worse than economic poverty, because the person who was tech. savvy was one step ahead of the pack, thereby racing ahead economically due to more..

Lankan driver accused of molesting woman in Kuwait

Sept 23 (ATO) A Sri Lankan expatriate was arrested for touching a Kuwaiti woman inappropriately even though he claimed that he was just giving her a handshake as a way of greeting her. According to security sources, the Kuwaiti woman lodged a complaint at Saad Al-Abdullah Police Station against her neighbor’s SL driver, accusing him of touching her inappropriately and running away. After the suspect was arrested and questioned, he said he had only given her a handshake to greet her. more..

අමාත්žය පාඨලී චම්පික

Australia take 3-0 lead after SL implode

Sept 23 (CI) Australia Women capitalised on another batting implosion from Sri Lanka Women to march to a nine-wicket win in the third ODI in Colombo, taking a 3-0 lead in the series with one game left. The template of the match followed the first ODI of the series, in which Sri Lanka were bowled out for 76 well before the scheduled innings break. Unlike that game, however, on Friday they got off to a promising start after being put in to bat by Australia. Openers Prasadani Weerakkody and Nipuni Hansika more..

New Senior DIG Central and Uva provinces

Sept 23 (Island) A senior officer of the Police Service Lalith Jayasinghe yesterday assumed duties as the new Senior DIG of Central and Uva Provinces. Jayasinghe will operate from the Kandy office of the Senior DIG. He graduated from the University of Sri J'pura and obtained a postgraduate degree in Management. He has been in the police service for nearly thirty years. He has also received higher education and training in several higher educational institutions overseas, more..

TNA welcomes offer to rehabilitate 23 political prisoners

Sept 23 (CG) The TNA has welcomed the announcement by the Govt that a further 23 political prisoners will be released through the process of rehabilitation. The TNA says the move is in keeping with the promise given to the Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan and TNA Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran at a meeting held at Temple Trees on the Aug 26, 2016 with Ministers Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, more..

Video shows mother severely beating 6yr-old

Sept 23 (DM) A video showing a 38-year-old mother severely beating her 6-year-old daughter at Kopai in Jaffna had been uploaded to a social media website by one of their neighbors. She is reported to have punished the child for refusing to take a bath. Kopai Police arrested the mother and produced her before Acting Jaffna Magistrate today. He directed the police to have the child examined by the Judicial Medical Officer and obtain a medical report on her health condition. more..

Video: PRECIFAC concludes probe on Hambantota Port ceremony

Sept 23 (AD) PRECIFAC has concluded its investigations regarding alleged financial irregularities in Karadiyawara Mangalaya, the inauguration ceremony of the Hambantota Port. A spokesman said that the relevant report on the investigation is scheduled to be presented to President Sirisena. Former Chairman of SLPA Priyath Bandu Wickrama & actor Jackson Anthony arrived at the commission today in order to give statements in connection with investigation. more..

Sri Lanka bans schools from imposing dress codes on parents

Sept 23 (BBC) Schools in Sri Lanka have been banned from imposing dress codes on parents, after one put up a poster dictating appropriate dress for women. The notice, displayed at an elite private school, said that saris and loose dresses were allowed but skirts and sleeveless tops were not. Rules prompted complaints from parents and sparked an outcry online. Several SL schools have been known to turn away parents more..

Shares up for third straight session

Sept 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks edged up for a third straight session on Friday posting a more than one week closing high, led by gains in large cap shares amid investor appetite for stocks that took a hit earlier in the week due to a proposed tax increase. The IMF said on Friday that Sri Lanka's govt, which has failed to raise taxes as promised when it received a $1.5 billion loan from the lender in June, needs to implement a tax reform package without delay. more..

On the concepts of Federalism & Secularism

Sept 23 (CT) It is simply amazing how the very mention of these concepts in an open discourse on constitutional reform would immediately trigger frenzied, robotic responses from learned professors and self-appointed pundits. The response from Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka to Madam Chandrika’s remarks on the subject is instinctual, political and vituperative, and deliberately distorted and misleading. His argument has three main points. First, that federalism inherently contains more..

IMF staff concludes visit to Sri Lanka to discuss progress of economic program

Sept 23 (IMF) A staff team from the IMF led by Jaewoo Lee visited Colombo during Sept 13-23, to hold discussions on the first review of the Sri Lankan authorities’ economic program that is being supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The program aims to support the authorities’ ambitious reform agenda to put public finances on a sustainable footing and create space for its social and development program. more..

Facebook Pages of convicts updated while in prison: Hirunika

Sept 23 (AM) Hirunika Premachandra has raised the question as to how a the Facebook Pages of two convicts are being updated after they were sentenced to death for the murder of her father. Through her Facebook page, she asks how the Facebook pages of convicts are updated while they are in prison. “Without laptops or smartphones how do they access Facebook?” Premachandra asked. She also raises the possibility that someone else might be updating pages from outside. more..

Basil, PB appears before PRECIFAC

Sept 23 (AM) Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Secretary to the Finance Ministry Dr. P.B. Jayasundara arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) today to record a statement. They were summoned on allegations of misusing flights carried out by the Air Force during the regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

On new health index, Sri Lanka ranks 79/188

Sept 23 (IE) A new index developed to assess each country’s achievement on a range of health indicators ranks Sri Lanka at 79 in a list of 188 countries. The first global analysis that assesses countries on sustainable development goal (SDG) health performance was launched at a special event at the UNGA Wednesday and published online in The Lancet. Study by an international collaboration on more..

CIFL awaits response from German investor for bailout

Sept 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s troubled Central Investment and Finance Company says they are awaiting a response from a prospective German investor indicating their future plan of action to revive CIFL. Company said they submitted all clarifications to the investor delegation who visited the island recently. A high level delegation from Vandell Financial Services arrived in Sri Lanka last week to discuss opportunities of investing in the troubled finance company. more..

Didn't write off any amount owed by Avant Garde: Ruwan

Sept 23 (DM) Ministry of Defense did not decide to write off Rs 200 million out of the total of Rs. 853 million which the Avant Garde Company owed Rakna Lanka (which is owned by the ministry), Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told Parliament. He made this remark in response to an allegation made by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake to this effect during the oral question session. “My ministry has not decided to write off any amount owed by the Avant Garde more..

More Sri Lankan refuges to return from India

Sept 23 (Xinhua) Another group of 76 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees currently living in South India are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka under a UN facilitated voluntary repatriation program, SL govt said. The refugees will arrive in two batches on Thursday, one consisting 41 persons and the other 35 persons. Minister D.M. Swaminathan had a discussion with the UN refuges agency UNHCR and facilitated the process more..

President misses an opportunity at the UN

Sept 23 (TD) Sri Lanka’s Maithripala Sirisena spoke at the UN on Wednesday. Mr. Sirisena touched on economic development, poverty, drugs and more. It was a brief speech. However, Mr. Sirisena could have at least attempted to make a clear, articulate case for the most important aspects of the coalition govt’s reform agenda, especially transitional justice. Regrettably, the president failed to do that. For example, here’s an area that deserved more attention: more..

CMC denies any plan to remove newsstands

Sept 23 (Island) CMC said that the news appearing in some newspapers that it was planning to remove newspaper stands in the city was false. Municipal Commissioner V.K.A. Anura said on the contrary the decision taken by the CMC was to build pavements in a systematic manner and make it more convenient for the public and it was being done at a great cost. The municipality would not allow anyone to operate trade stalls obstructing the movement of the public and also those which would more..

Prices of 47 essential drugs reduced

Sept 23 (AD) Prices of 47 essential drugs have been reduced under the first phase of the National Drug Policy, Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that initially these 47 drugs including those used by heart and diabetic patients will be reduced and that more prices will be slashed later. Once the Gazette on reduced prices of medicine is issued, pharmaceutical companies will not be allowed to revise the CIF prices. more..

Tamil prisoners in SL go on hunger strike

Sept 23 (PTI) Some 20 Tamil political prisoners held in Sri Lanka have gone on a hunger strike protesting against their detention, prison officials said. The prisoners, currently lodged in north central Anuradhapura prison have been on a hunger strike demanding their release since Wednesday, they said. They demand that if their cases are being further delayed, the cases must be transferred to the court in the northern towns of Vavuniya and Jaffna which are Tamil- dominated. more..

Customs officers end work-to-rule campaign

Sept 23 (AD) Customs offices have decided to call off their work-to-rule campaign with immediate effect, following assurance of a meeting with Minister Ravi Karunanayake. He has agreed to a discussion on Sept 27 and therefore the trade union action was suspended, convenor of Customs Trade Union Alliance said. Work-to-rule campaign was launched by the Customs Trade Union Alliance on Monday demanding the withdrawal of the proposed new Customs Ordinance Draft Bill. more..

JO outlines the mess Finance Ministry has created in three vital govt deparments

Sept 23 (Island) MP Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday told Parliament that due to arbitrary policies of the govt the Customs, Inland Revenue and Excise Departments were underperforming. He said the govt had to stop interfering in those departments. Gunawardena said the govt was not willing to amend the Customs Ordinance as suggested by its officers and now it had decided to recall the retired Customs officers to perform more..

Small businesses offer Sri Lanka’s war-weary a second chance at life

Sept 23 (USAID) In 2009, 20 years after fleeing the conflict between Sri Lanka and the separatist Tamil Tigers, 59-year-old Subramaniam Yogadas and his family returned to his coastal village in the Eastern district of Trincomalee. They had been refugees in India and the end of the conflict allowed them to rejoin their few surviving relatives. Amaranthé Bay, a small luxury hotel poised between a lagoon and the sea, offered a bright new beginning for him and his family of six, which includes a disabled child. more..

ADB to give Sri Lanka US$ 24.2 million for transport feasibility studies

Sept 23 (LBO) Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Sri Lanka prepare studies and designs for new road, railway, and port projects to assure the islands transport system is ready to support economic growth in the medium term. “With US$ 24.42 million in ADB technical assistance, Road Development Authority will formulate an expressway development program and prepare priority projects, such as a port access road to link the Colombo port area to the highway network,” the Bank said. more..

Video: World’s endorsement of SL’s achievements a great incentive: President

Sept 23 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that the world leaders have commended Sri Lanka on the achievements of the last 18 months and that is a great incentive, encouragement and a blessing for Sri Lanka. He said this while briefing media on his discussions with several Heads of State and other leaders at the Loews Regency Hotel in New York. He said that even during the last UNGA, he met these leaders, but more..

Dear Mr. Obama, Please lift the ban on LTTE

Sept 24 (CT) Dear Mr. Obama, The continued, unfair and unjust labelling of the Tamil Tigers cannot stand. Please lift the ban on the LTTE. In the light of the opinion given by the advocate general to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to remove LTTE from the European Union’s (EU’s) terror list, I am appealithe ng to you, to give credence to that advice and act – it should now be accepted the continued unfair and unjust labelling of the Tamil Tigers cannot stand. more..

The Rajasingam legacy: A quest for quality

Sept 24 (CT) After nightfall on 21st Sept 1989, Rajasingam Master called on his bicycle at my mother’s home quite unexpectedly and delivered his pithy message, Rajini has been shot. His voice showed no evident emotion. After a brief exchange of words, he turned back. That was the man; stoic, incorruptible, who lived by his strong sense of duty. Master, his wife Mahila Acca, and their daughters were familiar to us from childhood days in the St. James’ Church choir. more..

Sri Lanka's first local air pilot

Sept 24 (SO) Vasantha de Silva, was a female I almost met by chance. She was introduced to me as a VIP. Huh, I exclaimed, not much acquainted with that species. Then, I was told, she is the widow of the late IGP, Indra de Silva. More VIP connections to follow, she is the daughter of Lanka's first local air pilot, name Paulis. One would expect sky flying characters like him to hail from Colombo 3 or 7 where usually the elite more..