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Court permits Yoshitha to travel abroad

Sept 28 (AD) Colombo High Court granted permission to Yoshitha Rajapaksa to leave the country for one month to receive medical treatment. Rajapaksa, who was released on bail after being arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, had requested through his attorneys the release of his passport which was handed over to Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court.  According to the request, Yoshitha Rajapaksa requires surgery on his foot and therefore needs to travel overseas. more..

Video: MR's ex security chief released on bail

Sept 28 (DM) Former Chief Security Officer of former President Rajapaksa, Neville Wanniarachchi, had been released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate in five cases filed by the Bribery Commission. Commission charged of not revealing his assets and liabilities from 2010 to 2015 and filed five cases separately for each year. He appeared in court on a notice issued earlier by the magistrate over the allegations. Subsequently, suspect was released on cash bail of Rs. 10,000 more..

Video: CV's protest confirms northern people given equal rights

Sept 28 (DM) UNP MP Mijibur Rahaman said that the protest had confirmed that the people in the Northern are being given equal rights.  “Northern people did not have the right to protests in the past but today they have been given that right. This is why the Northern Province CM had taken to the streets without fear” he said.   Further, he said there are no more abductions and killings in the North now. more..

CB Governor says 2Q growth should be higher than 2.6%

Sept 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s second quarter economic growth for this year should be higher than the published 2.6%, Central Bank Governor said. Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that he would expect it to be higher than the current figure, once it gets revised. “If you look at proxies for growth like availability of cement for the construction sector, electricity consumption and credit growth, economic growth may not have slowed down as much as 2.6%,” Governor said. more..

CPJ welcomes new probe into murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga

Sept 28 (CPJ) Police exhumed the body of slain journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga as part of a new investigation into his death in 2009, according to news reports. A Sri Lankan judge this month granted permission for the police to exhume the editor's body due to contradictory post-mortem reports--two months after a military intelligence officer was arrested in connection with the killing, according to news reports. President Maithripala Sirisena, elected in January 2015, has pledged to more..

Govt to present evidence against LTTE being removed from terrorist list

Sept 28 (Island) The govt will present evidence to thwart attempts being made to get the LTTE removed from the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations. "We will tell the EU why it should keep the LTTE on the list of terrorist organisations. We will advance reasons to justify the decision to maintain the LTTE on the terrorist list," Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in New York last week on the sidelines of a media briefing by more..

Kumar, Roshan to rescue of disabled kids

Sept 28 (CT) Project Ayathi that includes construction of a special multipurpose retail outlet has been opened for the specific purpose of making available to children with special learning and physical disabilities, items of special importance to them with the objective of enabling them to enjoy a better quality of life. Well known cricketers Roshan Mahanama and Kumar Sangakkara have been appointed trustees of this project. Professor Nilanthi De Silva, Dean of Medical Faculty of more..

Uncovering the mystery of journalist's death

Sept 28 (TA) Before they came to kill him, Lasantha Wickrematunge wrote a 2,500-word story about how he was glad to be labeled a traitor, and happy to join the ranks of Sri Lanka’s dead journalists. Wickrematunge was killed as the country’s decades-long civil war neared its final months. For much of the 25-year fight between the govt and Tamil Tiger separatists, Wickrematunge criticized the govt for killing its own citizens, and he founded the country’s most anti-establishment newspaper, more..

'RTI should be open to each and everyone'

Sept 28 (GDI) Right to Information (RTI) should be open to each and every one, as Sri Lanka is a country where the democracy, freedom, human rights are natured and ensured, said President Sirisena.  He made these remarks addressing the International Conference on RTI held today in Colombo parallel to the International RTI Day. The event was organized by Department of Govt Information in collaboration with more..

The man who put Sri Lanka on cricket map

Sept 28 (DS) I want us to raise our standards to be able to compete with Australia. This is a very achievable objective if we can close the gap between domestic and international cricket. As I have said before, we have the talent here in Sri Lanka. We have top coaches and most of these are employed overseas. So this shows we have talented coaches in Sri Lanka. What I’d like to see is this talent being developed. And, in addition, we have to encourage more first-class cricketers more..

He laughed all the way back home from the Customs

Sept 28 (DM) Despite the firm commitment of the Big Boss to the Matata-titha temperance campaign, there are a few lesser mortals in yahapalanaya who are bent on minting money by racketeering in the booze trade. This story is about the exploits of a powerful politico belonging to the aforesaid category. A large shipment of ethanol consigned to a company owned by a close pal of this politico that had arrived in the city harbour was duly sent to a Customs warehouse recently. more..

Partners in Crime: Perpetual Treasuries records over Rs.5bn profit

Sept 28 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries, the controversial primary dealer connected to the family of the former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, has made an after-tax profit of Rs.5.1 billion for the year ended in March 31, 2016, increasing from Rs.959.5 million recorded a year ago, the financial results showed. The performance was purely due to the Rs.5.2 billion net capital gains made by way of trading financial assets more..

Climate change, animal welfare & buddhism

Sept 29 (CT) Teachings of Lord Buddha found in core Buddhist doctrine such as the Dhammapada, recognize the symbiotic connection between human activities and nature, advocating the harmonious co-existence of all sentient including eco-systems and humanity. As exemplified in the life of Lord Buddha himself, his journey as Bodhisattva until the epitome of attaining the supreme state of Nibbana under the shelter of a tree, highlights the untenable historic connection Buddhism shares with nature. more..

The transformation of SL & The Indian ocean

Sept 29 (CT) Following the 2015 elections and change in political leadership, Sri Lanka is experiencing major policy shifts at the national, regional and international levels. The confluence of these shifts has significant political, economic and cultural implications for the island as well as the Indian Ocean region. In a seeming return to the dominant minority position they enjoyed during the British colonial period, Tamil elites have been appointed to some of the highest positions more..

Mannar wind farm where migratory birds landfall

Sept 29 (SO) In July this year the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUSL) created serious concern among the public when it was announced that Sri Lanka is now moving towards a major power crisis if appropriate action is not taken by 2018. PUSL warning the CEB had said that under drought conditions and even with planned plant additions, Sri Lanka is set to face energy capacity shortages in 2018 and beyond. more..

What was in the secret note Biswal gave when Maithri-Kerry discussed?

Sept 29 (CT) An incident of curiosity took place during the meeting between the Secretary of State of USA John Kerry and President Maithripala Sirisena in New York America. Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal who participated in this meeting, sent a note to John Kerry. Kerry who read the note asked Maithri about the situation of the UNP-SLFP National Govt. If Maithri had a doubt as to why Nisha Biswal sent a note to Kerry requesting him to ask about the National Govt, more..

RTI: A reality check

Sept 29 (GV) Sept 28 is the global Right to Information Day – a day of added significance to Sri Lankans this year since the country passed its own Right to Information Act – now hailed by the Centre for Law and Democracy as the 9th best in the world, the strongest among the new countries to enact RTI legislature. Yet ensuring a culture of transparency and openness goes beyond simply enacting legislature. While there have been groups actively working to educate MPs on RTI more..

'Moderates will be proved right ultimately'

Sept 29 (CT) NPC Chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam commenting on the Ezhuga Thamizh (Arise Tamils) procession said, there is nothing fresh in the demands that have been proposed or raised at the rally that was recently held in the North. "At this juncture such a rally is unnecessary. I, personally, on these grounds, would not have taken part in the rally, even if I was in Jaffna. I don't see anything new in this procession. more..

At war again on Nandikadal?

Sept 29 (DN) While the Sinhala-Buddhist elements in the South were all excited about Gunaratne’s book, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran ruffled a lot of feathers by organising a protest march titled Elagu Tamil, in Jaffna, over the weekend. The rally was organised by the Tamil People’s Council, led by Vigneswaran. Several other hardcore members of the TNA and other Tamil organisations were also present at the event, showing their solidarity with the cause. more..

Beats from Berklee

Sept 29 (DN) Coming from a family deeply rooted in music it is no wonder that Sanchitha Wickremesooriya chose music as his career. However the dynamic youth did not limit his musical talents to singing alone. He turned it into an entrepreneurship by establishing a venue, The Sooriya Village where all forms of art are celebrated. “I promote any type of music and any form of art. I believe that there is nothing called Sri Lankan music as such. Nothing in the world is original. more..

Karunarathna Paranawithana

Karu at 76: Always for his fellow-citizens and the nation

Sept 29 (Island) Much can be written about any individual who has lived 76 years.  A lot happens over a period of 76 years after all.  However, most lives are marked by fairly common routines in pursuit of quite unremarkable goals and their achievement.  On the other hand there are a few who are so productive and the way they conduct themselves are rare that it is difficult to capture their lives with a few hundred words.  Frankly, it is hard to begin and harder to select more..

Editorial: Beggars’ at-home

Sept 29 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has become a spoilsport of sorts for some politicians. Troubled by colossal amounts of public funds being spent on politicians’ foreign junkets, he has ordered that the Central Provincial (CP) Council members’ tour of Russia scheduled for mid October be cancelled forthwith. He has asked CP Governor Niluka Ekanayake to explain why councillors are allowed to see the world without his permission in this manner. more..

Scrapping Coal Power: Is it a must?

Sept 29 (SL) Subject of coal power plants has been widely discussed in public. The much anticipated Norochcholai coal power plant was not able to perform up to its expectations as it faced countless technical problems and breakdowns. The proposed coal power plant in Sampur faced strong objections by residents in the area, finally bringing the project to a halt. Accordingly govt has decided not to approve any more coal power plants more..

Sri Lanka to support India’s efforts to curb areca imports

Sept 29 (Hindu) Indian govt has got Sri Lanka’s support in its efforts to curb import of arecanut. During her visit to SL, Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman got an assurance from SL in this regard. Sitharaman said in two tweets on Tuesday evening that she raised the issue of import of arecanut into India under rules of origin with Sri Lankan govt. Welcoming this, sources in Campco (Central Arecanut and Cocoa Processing and Marketing Cooperative) Ltd told more..

Unbeaten WP South Outer meet formidable WP Central

Sept 29 (Island) The formidable Western Province Central will meet the unbeaten Western Province South Outer today and tomorrow, in the Sri Lanka Cricket conducted Under-15 inter provincial tournament final at the SSC ground. WP Central, captained by Dharmapala College, Kottawa spinner Miranga Wickramage lost just one match on their way to the final and are brimming with confidence after ousting the strong Southern Province by 69 runs in the semi-final. more..

Lankan Women cricketers’ plight: Less cricket little rewards

Sept 29 (DN) Sri Lanka Women cricketers head coach Lanka de Silva was critical of the country’s domestic format that allowed only a maximum of five matches a season for a woman cricketer. “How can you compete with countries like Australia, England and NZ when you play so little cricket, where is the exposure and the experience,” De Silva questioned. One of the main reasons for SL Women’s 0-4 defeat in the ODI series more..

Sri Lanka ship agents demand time bound Customs inquiries

Sept 29 (EN) SL’s Customs should have time limits for completing inquiries into detained cargo in order to reduce costs and speed up shipments, an official representing ship agents said. Iqram Cuttilan, Treasurer of Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) said their members faced difficulties pertaining to detention of uncleared cargo. “Some of our members had containers kept for as long as seven years for Customs inquiries,” he told a forum on the proposed new Customs law. more..

Video: Four months concessionary period to register motorcycles

Sept 29 (DM) Cabinet approval was received to grant a concessionary period of four months from Oct 2016 to Jan 2017 to register motorcycles that had not yet been registered or licensed by their owners to date, the Motor Traffic Department said today. The four months concessionary period would begin on October 3 and be valid till January 3 to facilitate the owners of motorcycles who had still not registered their vehicles with the Department of Motor Traffic. more..

SuwaSariya ambulance service launches in Colombo District

Sept 29 (FT) Taking another step in India-assisted SuwaSariya 1990 emergency ambulance service, Govt launched a new batch of medical technical officers and ambulances which will be used for the emergency health requirements of the citizens of Colombo. Emergency ambulance service was launched last July for the first time in Sri Lanka to serve Western and Southern Provinces, with services now available in Hambantota, more..

Monetary Policy Review: Sept 2016

Sept 29 (Island) According to the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), Sri Lankan economy is provisionally estimated to have grown by 2.6%, year-on-year, during the second quarter of 2016 compared to the growth of 7% recorded in the same period of 2015. Meanwhile, growth in the first quarter 2016 was revised to 5.2%. In the second quarter of 2016, Services related activities grew by 4.9% while Industry related activities recorded a moderate expansion of 2.2%. more..

Bail condition relaxed on Vass Gunawardena

Sept 29 (DM) The High Court relaxed former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena’s bail conditions on consideration of a revision application filed by him in court pleading to relax the bail conditions. Senior Counsel Anuja Premaratna appearing with Attorneys Nayana Dissanayake and Eromi Jayaratne on behalf of Sajin Vaas Gunawardena submitted that his client had adhered to the bail conditions imposed on him when releasing his client on bail by the High Court. Counsel Premaratna further submitted that more..

Govt targets 4 million tourists and $ 10 billion earnings by 2020

Sept 29 (FT) Having earned $ 2.2 billion in the first eight months of 2016, Govt yesterday advocated an ambitious target of four million tourists and $ 10 billion in earnings by 2020, which is about three times the current revenue, terming it pragmatic and calling for a strategic public private partnership for development. In remarks at the Tourism Leaders Summit and International Research Symposium – 2016, organised by more..

All Party Conference planned after the receipt of the delimitation report

Sept 29 (ITN) Minister Faizer Mustapha has said that an All Party Conference will be convened after the receipt of the amended delimitation report. He said that the report is due to be handed over to the Minister by the 15th of next month. Minister Faizer Mustapha pointed out that the consent of all parties would be received for the delimitation report at the All Party Conference. He said that all parties expressed their objections to the delimitation report released earlier. more..

Jaffna employers ignoring EPF, ETF and labour contracts

Sept 29 (DN) Sri Lanka is one of the rare developing countries in the region that has had in place, by law, a pension and social safety net for workers. These two funds are called EPF and ETF, and employers are statutorily obligated to contribute to both. The study in Jaffna revealed that for more than two-thirds of workers, their employers are not paying into the funds. This was disclosed by a recent study conducted by the Solidarity Center titled, Workers in Post-Civil War Jaffna. more..

Ezhuka Tamil rally in Jaffna: Govt's attempts to stop protesters didn't work

Sept 29 (CT) Some papers reported that thousands of Tamils from across the North-East participated in the Rise Up Tamil rally in Jaffna held recently. The rally, which was organized by PLOTE, EPRLF and others, was not violent but raised awareness about key issues of concern for the Tamil people. On the same day there was a Colombo seminar where leading Leftists participated to highlight the new chapter on more..

JO announces its next rally in Ratnapura

Sept 29 (FT) Joint Opposition yesterday officially confirmed its next public rally would be on 8 Oct at 3 p.m. in Ratnapura. MP Wimal Weerawansa said the rally would be led by former President Rajapaksa and would also feature other leaders of the Joint Opposition. Weerawansa added that the rally was against what he said was the Govt’s attempt to betray the sovereignty of the country. “We wanted to remove this deceitful Govt to install a patriotic Govt in the country. more..

SC defers Tiran Alles case to Oct 5

Sept 29 (FT) As the Bench is not properly constituted, Supreme Court yesterday deferred to be mentioned on 5 Oct the fundamental rights petition filed by Tiran Alles seeking to prevent his arrest. Bench comprised Justices Anil Goonereratne and Prasanna Jayawardane.  Petitioner Tiran Alles in his petition seeks for the Court to issue an Interim Order preventing his arrest as he was an owner of a newspaper company and a close associate of the former President.  more..

BOC’s modernised Money and Banking Museum opens

Sept 29 (DN) Bank of Ceylon opened a museum at it's head office at Echelon Square in Colombo. Establishment of Bank of Ceylon in 1939 ushered in a new era in the economic history of this country. Prior to this, though there were banks established in the country, average Ceylonese did not have access to modern banking services. A wealthy and privileged few had access to those foreign banks and the majority did not. more..

Former principal, teacher ordered to pay compensation

Sept 29 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the former principal of Mahanama College and a teacher to personally pay a sum of Rs.100,000 each as compensation to a lady teacher. The Bench comprised Chief Justice K.Sripavan, Justice Upali Abeyratne and Justice Anil Goonaratne. The order follows a fundamental rights petition filed by Manohari Pelaketiya, a graduate teacher serving as a teacher of Eastern Music at Mahanama College, Colombo 3. more..