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Video: Ranjan loses temper, hits camera

Sept 28 (DM) A heated argument between Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and a journalist from the electronic media ended up with the former hitting a video camera at a media briefing. Incident flared up when the deputy minister was about to after the briefing. Argument which began during the media briefing continued even after it. Mr Ramanayake accused the journalist of making a false allegation more..

Browns Agriculture empowers farmers

Sept 28 (DN) A ceremony was held at the Mahaweli Buddhi Mandapaya in Embilipitiya recently organised by Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority and under the patronage of President Sirisena, to award winners of the Mahaweli Maha Goviya and Best Mahaweli Farmer Organization competitions. This was conducted with the aim of aiding a sustainable conservation of country’s irrigation system through organic farming & efficient water management in Mahaweli Farming Community. more..

Two PCs killed in crash

Sept 28 (DN) Two police constables astride a motorcycle were killed when they crashed into a container carrier in Katana on Monday night. Constables Keerthi Munasinghe, 46, a father of two and Mahesh Chandradasak, 28, died in the incident. They were attached to the Katana Police. Munasinghe was a resident of Kaduwela while Chandradasak was from Katuwana. The incident occurred around 10.20 p.m. when the two were traveling on the motorcycle along Divulapitiya more..

Police want complaint to probe tapping of senior judge’s phone

Sept 28 (Island) DIG Law and Discipline Ajith Rohana said with regard to the alleged tapping of telephones of a senior judge by the police that no complaint had been received. "We cannot launch an investigation without a complaint though the newspapers have highlighted the issue." Veteran lawyer Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, has complained to the Bar Council that CID allegedly tapped the phones more..

Public raises Rs. 2 mn as compensation on behalf of army officer

Sept 28 (Island) Ajith Prasanna paid a glowing tribute to those who had helped retired Gemunu Watch officer Maj. Wimal Wickramage to raise funds in the wake of Colombo High Court Judge directing him to pay Rs. 2 mn to the closest living relative of an LTTE suspect killed while attempting to escape from the custody of the Army in 1998. Judge on Aug 31 imposed two years RI suspended for 10 years on Wickramage who had shot dead an LTTE suspect trying to escape from the Pt. Pedro Camp. more..

Indian Cotton mills explore Colombo storage facility

Sept 28 (Hindu) Textile mills in the southern states, especially those in Tamil Nadu, are exploring the possibility of having space at a port yard in Colombo for storage of cotton sourced from different countries so that it can be shipped to the mills here. A seven-member delegation will visit Sri Lanka in the first week of October at the invitation of the Colombo Port in this regard. India is expected to import over 20 lakh bales of cotton this year (Oct 2015 to Sept 2016) and the volume could go up more..

Sri Lanka slips in global competitiveness ranking; India best performer

Sept 28 (FT) Sri Lanka has slipped three positions to languish at number 71 in the latest ranking of global competitiveness by the World Economic Forum whilst neighbouring giant India has emerged as the best performer. The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016/17 identified Sri Lanka as the most advanced economy in the South Asian region but noted the country has slipped three positions to 71st out of 138 countries more..

Bopage comes under fire from ACF

Sept 28 (CT) Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) has written to the committee on high posts stating that the Secretary on the Ministry of Media, Nimal Bopage, is not suited to hold this important post. "He has a number of allegations levelled against him and even COPE has made scathing remarks of him," said Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, advisor to ACF. "Bopage is said to be using his position as the Secretary to the Media Ministry to thwart the investigations against him. more..

Sajin before FCID

Sept 28 (CT) FCID recorded a statement from former MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena in connection with a property allegedly owned by him in Mount Lavinia valued at over Rs 150 million. He was summoned last morning following a complaint received alleging that the property that was owned by the former MP had been bought by another person. FCID had recorded a statement from Gunawardena on the manner in which the land had been first mortgaged to a bank and more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge’s body exhumed amidst tight police cordon, media shutout

Sept 28 (FT) The body of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was exhumed for a fresh autopsy yesterday, nearly eight years after he was brutally slain on the streets of the capital at the height of the war. Swarms of police personnel hovered over the gravesite in a corner of the Borella Cemetery which was in lockdown during the exhumation process which concluded at noon. White and blue tents were erected in front of more..

Special raid unit established to rein in illegal excavations

Sept 28 (ITN) A Special Raid Unit has been established on the instructions of the President to rein in illegal excavations. A special Police team has been affiliated to this Unit which is operative from today. The Unit will be operating round the clock. The attention of the President has been drawn to the harm done to the environment following illegal excavations that are being carried out including the violation of the conditions mentioned in the permit. President gave instructions to the IGP and more..

National Mosquito Control Week begins

Sept 28 (ITN) National Mosquito Control Week commenced today (27). It covers the entire island. The Week will be operative until Monday (3). Launch of the National Mosquito Control Week took place in Colombo as well as in Jaffna. Mosquito Control week is being mooted on the instructions of Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Presidential Task Force and the National Dengue Control Unit are playing a leading role in this programme. Launch in Colombo took place near the Dematagoda Prison grounds. more..

'There’s no time frame for signing ETCA'

Sept 28 (ENS) India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India has not given any time frame for negotiating an Economic & Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), although the SL govt would like it to be signed by December this year. She told the media after talks with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Malik Samarawickrama and other ministers, that ETCA will have to be negotiated in great detail, more..

Eluga Thamil is a Distraction, not a help to resolve National Question

Sept 28 (DM) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran is under fire both from North and the South over Saturday’s mass protest held in Jaffna under the slogan Eluga Thamil or Rise up Tamils organized by Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC) headed by Wigneswaran. Although he was pressing for the resolution of several reasonable demands along with certain unrealistic ones, he had given a highly nationalistic colour to the event leading many including Tamils to call it a racist move. more..

Dress code for parents: How incongruous!

Sept 28 (DM) It seems Principals of some public and private schools are enforcing morality as over zealously as Mullahs in Tehran. A few elite schools have been enforcing a strict dress code on mothers, who drop off their children at schools. On one instance, a notice had been pasted at the entrance of a private school dictating as to which attires that parents could wear when coming to school to pick up their kids. Sarees and loose garments are permitted; skirts and sleeveless tops are not. more..

New laws sought to protect elephants at peraheras

Sept 28 (SL) The recent fatal attack on a woman by an elephant in a Peraheras in Ratnapura grabbed the attention of the media and animal rights activists and has opened the debate as to whether elephants must be used for such events as the animal can get restless and kill people in the crowd. When there is a fatal accident by an elephant attack it gets media attention. But there are several incidents which were not reported as more..

Kiriella accuses Rajapaksa of trying to get political mileage out of ethnic issue

Sept 28 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella lashed out at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claiming he was still using the ethnic problem to gain political mileage. Kiriella was addressing the launching of road development project held at the Sucharithagama Junction in Anuradhapura on Sunday. Sixty roads will be carpeted in 21 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the Anuradhapura District at a cost of Rs. 6609 Million. more..

GMOA to submit proposals for National Policy on education

Sept 28 (Island) GMOA said it would submit a set of proposals outlining the need for a long term National Policy on Education to President Sirisena during their meeting with him today. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen de Zoysa said his union had assessed the situation which had arisen regarding schooling facilities for approximately 300 doctors’ children and the ensuing friction between the union and Education Minister, more..

Hundreds walk miles for water as drought bites

Sept 28 (ST) The severe drought prevailing in at least five provinces, including the North Central region, is forcing hundreds of people to walk several kilometers daily to fetch drinking water or look for bathing places. In Polonnaruwa, one of the worst-affected areas, the drought has hit more than 34,000 people. Communities in Monaragala, Ampara, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, and Hambantota more..

'Govt coffers could muster Rs. 82 billion annually by imposing special tax on fags'

Sept 28 (Island) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena yesterday said 1,004,100 cigarettes were manufactured in the country annually and if the govt imposed a Special Trade Commodities tax of Rs. 20 per cigarette, the state coffers would collect Rs. 82 billion. Even if the consumption was half the amount still the govt would be up on the deal. "This amount would be more than sufficient to bridge the budget deficit," he said. more..

SLC to slash player fees

Sept 28 (DM) The National cricketers are in for a substantial pay-cut in their contract fees as well as on match-fees as their paymaster - Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) prepares a performance based pay-packet for the ensuing year. Instead, players will receive a significant increase in individual performance bonus and win bonus - a strategy the SLC is keen to implement to encourage better performances of players. more..

GMOA after monopoly: SAITM

Sept 28 (DM) Ms. Himali Jayatilake – Deputy Chairperson of the SAITM explains why the controversial private medical university has to be protected and promoted. Q: Your critic number one, the GMOA and the ‘Centre Against Private Medical Colleges’ charge that the SAITM chairman Dr. Neville Fernando and its Board of Directors had committed fraud in establishing the SAITM by providing false information. more..

Sri Lanka holds rates as past hikes curb credit boom

Sept 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Central bank held its key policy interest rates steady on Wednesday, a widely expected decision that analysts say suggested policy makers were keen to support a slowing economy even as they kept a tight leash on rampant credit growth. Central Bank, left the standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) and the standing lending facility rate (SLFR) at 7% and 8.5%, respectively. more..

Public to be informed of state institutions summoned by COPA

Sept 28 (DN) State institutions to be summoned before the Committee would be notified in advance to the public in the near future through the Parliament website, the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna said. He said this step has been taken to obtain people’s ideas and proposals on the state institutions being summoned. “In this way, the whistle blowers inside those institutions, more..

Biyagama EPZ experiencing severe difficulties due to erratic water supply

Sept 28 (Island) Biyagama Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is experiencing severe difficulties due to an erratic water supply. Factories had been compelled to buy water from private suppliers almost on a daily basis. Trouble started about ten days back, sources said, adding that the private water suppliers had jacked up prices, thereby further aggravating the woes of industrialists. Sources acknowledged that the BoI had been helpful more..

Shares post 3-wk closing high as banks gain on rate decision

Sept 28 (Reuters) Stocks closed higher on Wednesday, hitting a more than three-week closing high, led by gains in banking stocks after the central bank held the key monetary policy rates steady. The central bank's widely expected decision earlier on Wednesday to hold the rates steady suggested that policy makers were keen to support a slowing economy even as they kept a tight leash on rampant credit growth. Treasury bill yields fell for the second session at Wednesday's auction. more..

President’s UN Speech: Some reflections on the narrative & emphasis on buddhism

Sept 28 (CT) There were several merits in the President’s speech to the 71st UN General Assembly sessions on the 22nd Sept, highlighting the enormous development challenges that the country is facing and outlining the initiatives that the govt is taking and/or intends to take. What seems to have escaped the attention of the critics or observers is his emphasis on social democratic policies, whatever he meant. This is the first time that such an emphasis was made, more..

හෘදය වස්තු රෝග විශේෂඥ වෛද්ය නිමාලි ප්රනාන්දු

Govt to launch national mass media academy

Sept 28 (Island) The govt was not satisfied with the current teaching at journalism training schools, including such faculties in Sri Lankan universities, Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Karunaratne Paranavithana said. He said there were several media training schools and faculties in the country, but their output was not up to standard to join media organisation. "Journalism is a practical subject, but university faculties are focusing only on the academic side," he said. more..

JR’s creation in flames

Sept 28 (CT) Yesterday, this newspaper reported that two British constitutional experts were in town this week to help the govt to formulate a new Constitution. A new Constitution has been in the pipeline since the advent of the new Unity Govt comprising President Maithripala Sirisena from the UPFA/SLFP coalition and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe from the UNF/UNP coalition, last year. As reported on a daily on its 11 Dec 2015 issue, which, quoting Wickremesinghe, more..

Video: Govt only keen to exhume bodies, survey lands: Namal

Sept 28 (DM) MP Namal Rajapaksa said today the biggest problem for the govt was the extent of my grandmother’s land and not the hardships faced by the drought affected people in Hambantota and Polonnaruwa or the possibility of the IMF loan being turned down because of the failure to implement the VAT increase. He told journalists after being present at the surveying of the land owned by Yoshitha Rajapaksa in Dehiwala adding that more..

AG given time top file amended charge sheet against Gnanasara Thera

Sept 28 (Island) Court of Appeal gave the Attorney General time till Oct 13, to file an amended charge sheet for the application of Contempt of Court, against Venerable Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera. The complaint of contempt had been made under Article 105(3), by the Magistrate of Homagama claiming that on Jan 25, 2015, Thera by words and gestures made in open court, committed the offence of contempt. The thera disturbed the Magistrate’s Court by speaking out of turn, more..

State land to encourage fruit exports

Sept 28 (EN) Govt plans to give fruit and vegetable exporters access to land owned by state plantations in a bid to increase supply which has become a constraint in increasing earnings, a senior official said. Export Development Board (EDB) is trying to get unused land owned by the state-run Janatha Estate Development Board for cultivation, its chairperson Indira Malwatte said. “EDB has just had a dialog with JEDB and we are trying to use their unutilized and underutilized land,” she said. more..

People’s Bank protest a flop

Sept 28 (CT) Out of a total strength of 17,000 members, including pensioners, of the Peoples Bank, only about 300 attended the protest that was organized and staged in the Fort yesterday, by the suddenly formed People's Bank Rescue Front. The protest was staged against the media, which exposed the bank's expenditure fraud, involving a whopping Rs 700 million on a digitization project, according to several officers of more..

MP Jayantha Samaraweera arrested

Sept 28 (AD) UPFA MP Jayantha Samaraweera has been arrested by the FCID, a short while ago. The Kalutara District MP, who is a member of the NFF, was arrested after he appeared before to give a statement regarding alleged misuse of govt vehicles.  He was arrested in connection with an ongoing probe into the misuse of Presidential Secretariat vehicles in the Presidential Election campaign in 2015. The FCID is investigating a complaint that 13 private vehicles hired by more..

Video: Chanuka, 4 others re-remanded

Sept 28 (DM) Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Chanuka and four others, who were arrested by the FCID on charges of misusing Rs.4.2 billion in govt funds were re-remanded till September 30 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. The FCID told Court that the suspects had misused the funds belonging to the Central Bank and the CEB Employees Provident Fund by investing the funds in Govt Securities through a company named Entrust Securities, which is headed by the suspects. more..

Video: Drafting of new constitution is a fraud

Sept 28 (AD) Former foreign minister G.L. Peiris charged that the drafting of a new constitution by the Yahapalana (Good Governance) govt is a fraud. He said that a new Constitution is not necessary when the existing constitution can be amended.He claimed that the govt is fulfilling the demands of various extremists under the guise of drafting a new constitution. Former Minister Professor Tissa Vitharana, who also spoke more..

Political justice is not enough to rebuild SL

Sept 28 (TRF) The civil war that raged for 26 years in Sri Lanka was always about more than political grievances. The politics were rooted in economic and social disenfranchisement of the Tamil minority by the Sinhala majority. A govt policy adopted in the mid-1950s that declared Sinhala to be the country’s only official language may have been the spark that started the fire, but the impact over decades was a systemic marginalization in all sectors of politics and the economy that fueled Tamil grievances more..

A forklift driver with a Test cap

Sept 28 (CI) When Tillakaratne Dilshan played his final international matches this month, special attention was being paid by a forklift driver in Melbourne's western suburbs. It drew his interest not because he was Australian and Dilshan was playing against Australia, but because he was a Sri Lankan for whom the moment had personal significance. His name is Indika Gallage, and last century he and Dilshan shared an international debut. The year was 1999. Sri Lanka had just completed more..

'SL govts have been suspicious of NGOs'

Sept 28 (AD) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says that govts in Sri Lanka have been very suspicious of NGOs and in the past decade the country has seen not only suspicion but “hatred” being sown towards the international community.  “That is no more. That has ended,” she said addressing an event held at the BMICH in Colombo today, on Zero Hunger which is one of 17 Global Goals that make up 2030 Agenda more..