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Fraud at Sevanagala Divi Neguma Bank

Sept 26 (DN) An alleged fraud involving nearly Rs. 3 million committed by certain officers attached to the Sevanagala Divi Neguma Bank has been uncovered, Sevanagala Divisional Secretary Chandana Lokuhewage said. He said he uncovered this alleged fraud following investigations carried out by visiting the homes several Divi Neguma beneficiary families on confidential information provided by them. Officers attached to Sevanagala Divi Neguma Bank did not extend more..

Govt wallowing in someone else’s mud

Sept 26 (CT) Convener of NMSJ Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya said, "Though we did not disclose the developments to the media, we maintained a constant dialogue with the relevant decision makers on the govt reforms". Q: NMSJ broke its silence last week during the meeting you had with President Sirisena along with other 45 civil movements that spearheaded the change of govt in 2015. What forced you to make this move? more..

Boteju begins campaign on winning note

Sept 26 (ST) Defending national snooker champion Susantha Boteju of Sea Endless began his campaign of the 64th National Snooker Championship which got underway at the Billiards and Snooker Association headquarters billiards at Sugathadasa Hotel in Colombo on a winning note. Boteju who formerly represented the YMCA underwent some anxious moments before pulling off a 4-2 win over M. Akeel of AAC in the seven frame first round encounter. more..

Hong Kong proves Lanka’s nemesis again

Sept 26 (DN) Sri Lanka led by Danushka Ranjan lost again for the second consecutive time to Asian number two ranked Hong Kong by 36 points (6 tries, 3 conversions) to nil in the Cup Championship final of the Asian Rugby Sevens Series 2nd Leg played at the Namdong Asia rugby stadium in South Korea yesterday. The Sri Lankan tuskers did not have any answers to the Hong Kong onslaught going down without a fight. Hong Kong also won the 1st leg Cup championship as well. more..

The govt wants to regulate E-Commerce

Sept 26 (RE) Recently, it was announced that the Sri Lankan govt wants to introduce regulations for the local E-Commerce industry. Now Sri Lanka is a country that relies on exporting various goods and services to generate income. Among this income is what we as a country has managed to propagate through the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. In fact, we had a look at the annual report more..

Ajith C. Perera adjudged The Unsung Hero

Sept 26 (DN) The Sri Lankan of the Year awards held on Friday were designed as an exhaustive, rigorous and credible platform to recognise and honour individuals and groups whose dedication, commitment, efforts and achievements in their chosen fields have far reaching influence on the country, positively impacting the local community and helping to profile Sri Lanka among the international community. Winners were nominated across multiple categories such as more..

Arjuna Herath on top IFAC committee

Sept 26 (ST) Following a rigorous nominations process, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) this week announced the appointments of three outstanding members of the global accountancy profession to lead important committees supporting the profession across the world: Monica Foerster as Chair of the Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Committee; Arjuna Herath as Chair of Professional Accountancy Organisation (PAO) Development Committee; more..

FR against vandalising Buddha statues fixed for support

Sept 26 (DN) The Fundamental Rights petition filed seeking an Interim Order directing the Law and Order Minister to take immediate action to investigate incidents of vandalising Buddha statues in the Northern Province, is to be taken up for support on Sept 30 in the Supreme Court. The petition was filed by Dharshana Weraduwage. The petitioner also sought an order directing Buddha Sasana Minister to take immediate action by more..

Body of sailor who shot himself handed over to wife

Sept 26 (DN) The body of a sailor who shot himself inside the Trincomalee Navy Camp on Friday was released to his wife on Saturday by police, as directed by Trincomalee Additional Magistrate M. Fernando. The incident occurred on Friday around 10 a.m. when Anura Nishantha Kumara Debehepuwa, a sailor attached to Trincomalee Camp shot himself with his official weapon. The body was sent to the Trincomalee Hospital morgue after the magisterial inquiry. more..

Pathfinder meets representatives of Communist Party of China

Sept 26 (FT) A visiting delegation representing the Communist Party of China (CPC) met with officials of the Pathfinder Foundation with a view to discussing current issues of mutual interest to both institutions. Dr. Chai Shangjin, Counsellor Senior Researcher of the International Department of the CPC, led the Chinese delegation. He was accompanied by Dr. Wang Liyong, Director Strategy Research Division, Yu Kaixi, and Fu Chun, Assistant Secretaries of the International Department of more..

Much awaited Rs.800mn tourism promotional campaign further delayed

Sept 26 (DM) Despite currently having the best environment to promote tourists into Sri Lanka, the launch of the Rs. 800 million tourism promotions campaign has been postponed again at least till next January, in view of administrative delays experienced in the tender process. “It may be next January. There is lot of paperwork, and a big process,” Tourism Development Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa said recently. more..

Heart surgeries put off

Sept 26 (DN) All heart surgeries will have to be postponed from tomorrow due to a continuous strike by pulmonary therapists, Pulmonary Therapists’ Association President Mangala Jayasinghe said. He said the strike would be launched focusing on four demands including issues over payment of overtime allowances and special duty allowances. Jayasinghe said the government should take the responsibility of having to postpone heart surgeries. Over 10,000 heart patients are already on the waiting list more..

Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations  

Sept 26 (DT) Pakistan and Sri Lanka are two important countries of the region and quite appreciably enjoy very cordial and friendly relations, and extending cooperation to each other in different sectors. Both the countries are keen to further strengthen existing relations through frequent exchange of delegations at varying levels. Existing friendly relations and cooperation in different sectors were discussed at some length when Sri Lankan High Commissioner Major General more..

Sri Lanka seeks investors for Paranthan Chemicals, Kahatagaha Mines

Sept 26 (ST) Sri Lanka is seeking investors for Paranthan Chemical Company and Kahatagaha Graphite Mines under Public Private Partnership (PPP) and has called for Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to resurrect these units, a senior Industry and Commerce Ministry official confirmed.  Northern-based Paranthan Chemical Company (previously Paranthan Chemical Corporation) is to be revitalised with the construction of more..

Top panel to speak on corruption and malpractices tomorrow

Sept 26 (FT) A top panel comprising politicians, professionals and activists will tackle the status of corruption and malpractice in the country and how they can be reduced, at a forum tomorrow. Titled The Law, Ethics and Compliance: The solution to corruption and malpractice, the forum will be held at Hotel Galadari from 5.30 p.m.  The expert panel will comprise Bribery Commission Director General Dilrukshi Wickremasinghe, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, more..

Legal battle fought by a private company to save our forests

Sept 26 (FT) One of Sri Lanka’s most important natural environmental assets is our forests. Responsibility of sustaining this wonderful natural heritage for the benefit of the present and future generations does not lie with the govt only but with every right thinking person in this country. Impact of diminishing forest cover is already being felt in our country. We have experienced in the recent past frequent prolonged droughts and high intensity rainfalls resulting in flooding & landslides. more..

Video: 'Real SLFPers will form a govt under Maithri's leadership'

Sept 26 (DM) Despite obstacles, the real SLFP members would go ahead with the plans to form a govt under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirsena, UPFA Secretary and Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera said today. He said him and President Sirisena, who is also the Chairman of the SLFP, are still making their utmost effort to unite all the parties in the future plans to form a SLFP govt. more..

Video: No new party on Oct 8: MR

Sept 26 (DM) While ruling out plans of the Joint Opposition to form a new political party, former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that it is the people who should decide on the establishment of a new party. He said this as a response to the media after attending a religious event held in Urapola Temple in Pilimathalawa. “The rally of the Joint Opposition which will be held on October 8 is not about the formation of a new party,” he said. more..

PRECIFAC to grill Aluthgamage

Sept 26 (FT) The anti-corruption commission will grill former Sports Minister and MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage on Thursday over the alleged misuse of State funds and abuse of power pertaining to the procurement of lands in Nawalapitiya belonging to the Sri Lanka Railways Department (SLRD). A loss of Rs. 33.3 million has been incurred by the Govt due to the establishment of the Mahindananada Aluthgamage Foundation on a 79.5-perch land belonging to the SLRD. more..

'Sri Lanka constitutional death trap must be opposed'

Sept 26 (PTI) Describing Sri Lanka's current constitutional reform move as a death trap, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today appealed to the public to oppose the ongoing process that could reinstate a federal Tamil state. "People must be aware of this move. There are federal plans in this to divide the country. The place of Buddhism also is to be diluted," Rajapaksa told reporters in the central district town of Pilimatalawa. more..

Damage control bid leads to another round of adverse publicity

Sept 26 (DM) There seem to be many who appear to believe that politics would be quite dry and drab sans the element of love and romance to enliven it. Perhaps a believer in this concept created a sensation in political circles and the public domain recently when he planted on the Facebook several compromising pictures showing a young couple - a handsome politico from Uva and a comely star from the silver screen in intimate postures. Of course, the young politico had to face the wrath of more..

Former Defence Secy. says won't contest presidential election

Sept 26 (DN) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that he would not contest any forthcoming Presidential election. He said that he faced many problems because of the rumours that he was planning to contest the next Presidential election. He was speaking to the media after meeting the Mahanayake Theros of Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters in Kandy yesterday. Rajapaksa said that he rendered a great service to the country as a Military Office for twenty years and more..

65 members of bankrupt CPC to take wing for Russia

Sept 26 (DN) While the Central Provincial Council is engulfed in a grave financial crisis, a group of council members from the governing UPFA and the opposition and several officials are billed to take wing on a sojourn in Russia in two separate batches on the pretext of a study tour. First batch among them including 28 council members including the council secretary are due to leave for Russia tomorrow. A letter requesting the release of more..

With friends like these, who needs enemies

Sept 26 (DM) In March 2011 a simple pro-democracy protest rally shook the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Crude mishandling of a simple protest saw the conflict spiral out of control and turn into a hydra headed monster. Today sectarianism divides the country internally, diverse international and regional forces fight to protect their interests in Syria, while a hapless civilian population is are caught in the cross-fire of forces fighting proxy wars for different causes. more..

How effective is Parliament?

Sept 26 (DM) Parliaments in the past few decades have been weak, ineffective and neglected. Modernization and reforms in Parliament therefore are long overdue. In order to achieve a tangible progress, may I say, good governance should be built by developing quality institutions. Parliament, which was simply an appendage of the executive, became a rubber stamp. A political analyst has said that “It is accountability which is fundamental to a democratic system”. more..

Gold worth Rs 30m, Rs 100,000 cash heist

Sept 26 (ST) A robber gang of four, led by a Sub Inspector (SI) with two army deserter accomplices and another person, claiming to be officials from a Foreign Bureau checking on Indian nationals working illegally as goldsmiths in jewellery shops, got away with 3.7 kg of gold worth nearly Rs 30 million and Rs 100,000 in cash. The SI was an Intelligence Officer attached to a police unit in the outskirts of Colombo. more..

Great support for Second Chamber

Sept 26 (DN) Almost all parties are now in agreement that there must be a bicameral legislature under the new Constitution, sources of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly said. The proposal is to have a Second Chamber comprising of 5 Councillors from each of the 9 Provincial Councils and 5 to 10 members elected by Parliament. Member of the Steering Committee confirmed that there is great support for a 2nd Chamber. more..

FCID hands tied on allegations against Dela

Sept 26 (SL) The highly controversial Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa continues to enjoy what could be termed as unwritten immunity because of the lackadaisical approach of the officials of AG’s Department in charge of handling the file No. CR5/27/2015. This file contains the findings submitted to the AG’s Department for legal opinion by the FCID, which carried out extensive investigations more..

Corrupt probing Currupt: Explanation called from 25 UNP MPs on foreign travel

Sept 26 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella, on Saturday sent show cause letters to 25 UNP MPs on the instructions of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, for travelling overseas without informing the party hierarchy. MPs leaving the country are required to obtain prior approval from the Prime Minister and Chairman of the party. Of the 30 MPs who had travelled overseas during the same period only five had obtained approval. more..

'Country heading towards Feb referendum in keeping with Geneva agenda'

Sept 26 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister and top Joint Opposition spokesman Prof. G. L. Peiris said that the country was heading towards a controversial referendum to approve a new Constitution. Prof. Peiris asserted that the proposed referendum was likely to be held in Feb, 2017. He alleged that UNP-SLFP coalition had been working in unison with UNHRC to bring in a new Constitution. more..

Arise ye Sri Lankans should’ve been the rallying call: Mano

Sept 26 (CT) The organizers of the Eluka Tamil (Arise Tamils!) festival, held in Jaffna on Saturday, should really have called it the Arise, Sri Lankans, Minister Mano Ganesan said. "The demonstration was organized to transmit a message to the country and to the people in South. They have strived to emphasize the fact that the aspirations of the Tamil community when electing this Govt have not been fulfilled to date. more..

Body of Lasantha Wickrematunge to be exhumed tomorrow

Sept 26 (TG) The body of a celebrated Sri Lankan journalist gunned down in the final months of the country’s brutal civil war in 2009 will be exhumed on Tuesday as part of a fresh investigation into his death. Lasantha Wickrematunge’s grave in Colombo has been under armed guard since the new autopsy was announced earlier in September, two months after a military intelligence official was arrested in connection with the killing of more..

No LG polls this year: EC

Sept 26 (DM) Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya ruled out the possibility of conducting Local Govt elections before the end of this year. However, he said he could take steps for conducting it before April New Year, if the Govt addressed legal shortcomings this year. He said the delimitation process had to be completed in addition to ironing out lacunas in the present Local Govt law for the polls to be conducted. more..

Getting harassed by IMF: Ravi

Sept 26 (DM) The IMF appears to be hounding Minister Ravi Karunanayake in the wake of multiple blunders in attempting to pass the VAT Bill, increasing the taxation rates in recent months. “We have another 55 days for the budget, and as the Finance Minister, I get harassed, by nobody else than the IMF,” Minister told a recent forum in Colombo. An IMF mission which was in the country last week said more..

IMF wants VAT bill in parliament soon

Sept 26 (DM) The IMF had asked the govt to expedite the legislative process pertaining to VAT amendments, and stressed that any delay in doing so could lead to the postponement of the disbursement of the second tranche of the US $ 1.5 billion three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) entered into with the govt in June. Making the parting remarks after concluding the first review of SL govt’s economic programme more..

Uncle Sam’s coulrophobia

Sept 26 (Island) These are bad times for the US. It has managed to protect its nerve centres from terrorist strikes, but it has had to contend with micro terror attacks like pressure cooker bombs, shooting and stabbing incidents. As if its gnawing fear of terrorist attacks and the unfortunate Hobson's choice awaiting it at the next presidential polls with the prospect of having to elect one of the two hopelessly bad candidates in the fray were not enough the US is now troubled by clowns, of all people. more..

'Public-private partnerships in trade and investment essential'

Sept 26 (Island) "The govt should promote private-public partnerships in trade and investment activities to get into the global value chain, which is the need of the hour to become a competitive economy, Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said. "The govt cannot do business alone and private-public partnerships are the ideal model to promote trade and investment to be a part of the global value chain, which will put the country into a more competitive position in the global arena, more..

ජෙසිකා, ග්රේස්, ජෝයි

Wiggy’s wake up call

Sept 26 (CT) A huge public rally, led by Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran with the participation of nearly ten thousand people, was held in Jaffna last Saturday. Wake up Tamils (Ezhuka Thamizh) was the theme of the mammoth rally and it was considered to be the biggest so far to be held in Jaffna with the end of the civil war and the establishment of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). The rally which was led by the Northern Chief Minister was backed mainly by the TPC more..

SriLankan Airlines starts flights to Lahore

Sept 26 (EN) SriLankan Airlines said it will start services between Lahore, the second largest metropolitan area in Pakistan, and Colombo from 27th Sept, enhancing its focus on the Asia and Middle East region. The service will be twice-weekly for the first month of operation with flights on Tuesday and Thursday, a statement said. Flights will be increased to thrice-weekly starting from 30th Oct with a change to flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. more..