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Sri Lankan army vows to do its utmost to protect country's unity

Sept 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka Army said it is prepared to do what it must in order to protect the unity of the country and national interests. Army Commander Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva said that the army is also committed to protect the public at all costs. Commander expressed these views when asked about comments made recently by the Chief Minister of Tamil dominated North, C.V. Wigneswaran which was seen as a threat to the unity in the country. more..

BASL too opposes proposed amendment to criminal procedure code

Sept 29 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has, in a recent letter to the President Sirisena, expressed its grave concern over the proposal amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, depriving arrested suspects of immediate and prompt access to lawyers. BASL wants the president to withdraw the Bill. BASL letter, dated Sept 22, reads: "A Bill has been published in the Gazette on the 12th of Aug, proposing to amend more..

2,500 Carat Blue for auction abroad

Sept 29 (CT) National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) has decided to auction at an international venue a 2,500 carat blue sapphire which was discovered on an onion farm at Aluthwewa, Polonnaruwa recently. NGJA sources said that a 2016 Gem Dealers Licence has already been issued to J. Bamunuge, from Polonnaruwa, who had discovered the valuable gemstone. Bamunuge says "After the Mawbima newspaper exposed the story related to the discovery of this gemstone, more..

New dress code for pregnant teachers?

Sept 29 (CT) Attention of Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has been focused on allowing pregnant teachers to wear a convenient dress to school. As it is compulsory that teachers wear the sari to school, even after they become pregnant they have to wear it. He has considered the inconvenience as teachers have pointed out to the minister that it would be better for the child as well as the mothers, if teachers are permitted to dress in comfortable clothing when they report for more..

Computer literacy up to 27%

Sept 29 (CT) A National Survey says computer literacy in Sri Lanka has increased from 16.1% in 2006/07 to 27.1% in 2015. Urban sector shows the highest computer literacy rate (39.2%) while computer literacy in rural and estate sectors are 25.5% and 9% respectively. Computer literacy among males is 29.1% with women scoring 25.3%. On the basis of age group literacy ratings, 15 to 19 yr-olds rated highest at 58.7% literacy level. more..

President calls for transparency in NGOs

Sept 29 (Island) Non-governmental organisations must be transparent, President Maithripala Sirisena said. Addressing the Inaugural Sessions of the International Conference on Right to Information Day 2016 at Hilton Colombo Residences, the President said information about public institutions was available to people under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The President said some NGOs had overstepped their limits and become a hindrance to state machinery. more..

US based BlackRock shows interest in Srilankan airlines: Minister

Sept 29 (LBO) Two global investment managers, US based BlackRock and TPG Capital, have shown interest in crisis-hit SriLankan Airlines which is looking for a partner,. “BlackRock and TPG Capital, two global investment management firms are among the interested parties in addition to some Chinese airlines,” minister of International Trade and Development Strategies Malik Samarawickrama, said. “We (govt) will have to takeover the debt only and give as no one will take it with it.” more..

Sri Lanka targeting 5% growth and single digit inflation

Sept 29 (Island) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the govt intends to keep the economic growth at five percent and inflation at single digits to maintain economic stability. "In the second quarter of 2016 the economic growth registered 2.6% due to floods and drought conditions of that period and we see a pick up in the third and fourth quarters of the year. Second quarter growth did not go down to expected levels more..

Five vital factors to decide on drug imports

Sept 29 (DM) Last Tuesday, the  in our editorial quoted Senaka Bibile policy experts as saying that the Health Minister’s announcement on September 23 giving maximum retail prices of 47 drugs was largely irrational and not scientific. They said Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s announcement appeared to be more of a political gimmick and was not likely to help in achieving Prof. Senaka Bibile’s goal of providing quality drugs to the people at affordable prices. more..

Failure of the NPC

Sept 29 (DM) ‘It has merely been a talk shop with resolutions and statements. Its notorious genocide resolution a month after regime change in Colombo last year, apparently passed to mobilise international actors, in effect polarised the country and undermined the new political space for reconciliation. “The sad reality is that the NPC has lost its credibility with the local population.” So writes Ahilan Kadirgamar, a writer of no mean credentials and reputation. more..

SF’s take on his critics in the Army

Sept 29 (DM) Taking credit for the outcome of the war is continuing and with the launch of a book by Maj. Gen. Kamal Guneratne recently, the war victory has once again taken centrestage. In reply to our queries about Maj. Gen. Guneratne’s war effort as narrated in his book, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, who was the Army Commander at that time, had this to share with us. Q: Victory has many sons, so they say. more..

Alleged fraud at Central Bank should be probed externally: Governor

Sept 29 (EN) Sri Lanka's new Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said he is putting in systems to boost transparency and focussing his energies on having independent monetary policy and effective regulation and any probes should be conducted externally. "Let me look forward first, we are trying to put in place systems and processes which will (a) be more suitable for our system," Coomaraswamy told reporters. more..

ETCA talks accelerated amidst concerns by local exporters

Sept 29 (DM) The relative lull over the debate on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India was broken with the two-day visit of India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss it.   The visit preceded an interactive session between the local stakeholders and the Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry. Primarily exporters doing business with India put forth their views. more..

Factory-waste burning rampant around homes

Sept 29 (ST) The illegal burning of factory waste is common, with little or no action against offenders causing pollution hazards, investigations have found following the recent case of an establishment at Padiliyathuduwa Road, Wattala, where discarded sponges are collected and set on fire. Residents in the area said that twice a day workers at the storage unit set fire to piles of discarded packets of sponges. “They start burning around 6pm and more..

Inputs of all needed to reach goal towards Zero hunger: Chandrika

Sept 29 (DN) A new structure should be designed to bring in a wide segment including the NGOs, international institutions and civil society to make the Zero Hunger and Improved Nutrition programme a success,  Lead Convener and Chair, South Asia Policy and Research Institute and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said. She made these observations delivering the keynote address during the inauguration ceremony of more..

New HC Chitranganee Wagiswara presents credentials to Indian President

Sept 29 (LBO) High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Chitranganee Wagiswara presented credentials to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapathi Bhawan in New Delhi on Monday. Meeting the President of India after presenting the Credentials, Mrs. Wagiswara conveyed the greetings of the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to the President of India. She said that she is honoured to take up more..

Dengue control week gets underway amidst spike in cases

Sept 29 (Island) Health Ministry claimed that 22,928 places had been inspected throughout the country on the first day of the National mosquito control week which commenced on Tuesday. 956 had been issued with warning notices, while legal action had been instituted against 56. Steps had been taken to inspect 15,519 places in Colombo alone. 60 of the places had contained mosquito larvae and the owners of 1,331 places more..

BASL warns of action against errant websites, media

Sept 29 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) told the media yesterday that two Courts of Appeal judges were being defamed by some websites. It said it would resort to legal action against those web publications. The BASL said the these two Court of Appeal Judges, one or two Court Judges and three or four Magistrates were being referred to by the local media disrespectfully. The BASL officials said if the media belittled the judiciary, more..

‘Several countries offer SL continued assistance to reduce its debt burden'

Sept 29 (Island) Several powerful countries officially announced that they will extend their fullest cooperation to minimize the debt burden of Sri Lanka. Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the United States, Germany, France and the UK conveyed this message of the respective countries when the top diplomats met Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake at the Ministry of Finance on Sept 27. more..

Outrage as school tells mothers how to dress

Sept 29 (SL) A poster displayed outside the school gate of what women should wear when entering the school premises has caused a heated argument among the female parents and the public. Adding to that there were posts in the social media condemning the move by the school management. St. Joseph’s College Colombo had recently put up a poster instructing women what to wear and what not to wear when entering the school premises. more..

Good Day for Justice

Sept 29 (CT) Former Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge's death brought about a new age in Sri Lankan journalism. There is no doubt about it. Writers, reporters, editors and journalists witnessed an epiphany in Wickramatunge's death and brought about the free media struggle of the country, of which we have become a part. After seven-and-a-half-years of Wickramatunge's unsolved death, the current govt has been able to successfully arrest suspects in the incident under a plausible more..

The appalling decline in national unity, good governance & sustainable dev. process

Sept 29 (CT) The national elections held last year focussed mainly on the deteriorated governing system and did not raise subjective matters aggravating the protracted ethnic issue, which has caused enormous losses to the people and the nation since independence. Unfortunately, some opposed to National Unity govt seem keen on treading along the old nationally divisive path, fuelling the ethnic issue for their own political benefit. They also seem to be keen on ousting more..

ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ හේමන්ත වර්ණකුලසූරිය

Shares end at near one-month closing high

Sept 29 (Reuters) Stocks on Thursday posted a third straight session of gains to end at a near one-month closing high, led by gains in financial stocks, a day after yields in T-bills dropped. Colombo Stock Exchange ended up 0.25%, or 15.98 points, at 6,528.30, its highest close since Sept 2. CB's widely expected decision 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. more..

Nurses protest at Mahamodara hospital

Sept 29 (Island) Nurses of the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital staged a two hour protest urging Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne to take immediate action to rectify a nurses issue which had cropped up after a nurse who had received a one month’s foreign training on ICU service had been transferred to a separate unit on her return. President of the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thera said that nurse J.P. Rupa Ranjini, an ICU nurse at more..

Video: SLFP asks Wigneswaran to withdraw statements

Sept 29 (DM) SLFP today while condemning Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran’s Eluga Thamil campaign, asked him to withdraw the statements made by him and called on the TNA to take disciplinary action regarding the matter. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva who is also a Senior Vice President of SLFP said that statements made by Mr. Wigneswaran have made them rethink about powers that should be devolved to CMs. more..

Govt urged to heed the voice from the North and answer allegations

Sept 29 (Island) The National Peace Council (NPC) has urged the govt to answer all allegations directed at the ongoing post-war national reconciliation process. The following is the full text of the NPC statement: "The protest march and mass rally organized by the Tamil People’s Council in Jaffna has been criticized by the govt and generated misgivings in the rest of the polity.  The TNA, which is the main Tamil party in North has disavowed the protest.  more..

Husbands asked to persuade wives to check for breast cancer

Sept 29 (DN) It is the responsibility of all husbands to encourage their wives to get themselves examined and tested for breast cancer and other forms of cancer such as cervical cancer etc. They should accompany them while visiting over 900 Suwanaari Saayana (Well Women Clinics) located countrywide which offer free screening, Consultant Oncologists attached to Maharagama Cancer Hospital said. They said that early detection saves lives and offer long survival rate. more..

Residential garbage must be segregated from November

Sept 29 (AD) The Ministry of Local Govt and Provincial Councils today said that all the Municipal Councils in the country have decided to refrain from collecting garbage unless they are segregated from Nov 1. The agreement was reached during discussion held this morning with the participation of Minister of Local Govt and Provincial Councils, Faiszer Musthapha, Secretary of the Ministry, Kamal Padmasiri, all the Municipal Commissioners more..

Lasantha killing: MIU officer re-remanded

Sept 29 (DM) Warrant Officer attached to the army intelligence unit who was arrested in connection with assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge has been further remanded until Oct 13.  Suspect was remanded after being produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court today.  Army officer was arrested on charges of alleged abduction, unlawful detention and questioning of an individual, who was the driver of Wickrematunge’s vehicle at the time of the assassination. more..

Mahindananda slams Ranjan, Ananda

Sept 29 (CT) JO MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage filed cases against UNP Minister Ranjan Ramanayake and UNP MP Ananda Aluthgamage respectively in the Gangodawila District Court demanding an aggregate sum of Rs 1 billion as compensation for alleged defamation of character by the two respondents. Former Minister of Sports has accused the two UNP MPs of having claimed in the course of a joint news conference, that a Defender vehicle spotted at his MP's residence more..

Video: Ravi denies reports on gazette discrepancies

Sept 29 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake denied reports of discrepancies in the gazette notification pertaining to the VAT amendment. Quoting a statement from govt printer, he said the gazette was never printed before putting the proposal to the Cabinet as alleged by MP Bandula Gunawardene. A gazette notification is usually issued on a Friday while supplements are issued thereafter till the following Friday. more..

Video: Galle Cricket Association Chairman killing: suspects arrested

Sept 29 (AD) Three individuals including the main suspect have been arrested in connection with the murder of Galle Cricket Association Chairman Halambage Premasiri. The suspects were arrested by a policemen team attached to the Ambalangoda police last evening. A T-56 firearm, a 9mm pistol and live ammunition have also been seized from the possession of the suspects, an official said. They will be produced before the Ambalangoda Magistrate today. more..

BBS to stage protest against Wigneswaran in Vavuniya

Sept 29 (CG) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is to stage a protest in Vavuniya tomorrow against Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. The BBS said that the protest will be staged to express opposition to the recent statements reportedly made by Wigneswaran. BBS General Secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero is to lead the protest. The BBS said that the protest will look to draw attention to the need to protect the minority Sinhalese community in the North. more..

Sri Lanka Design Festival to focus on disruptive innovation

Sept 29 (JS) Disruption, reinvention and transformation will be the key themes of this year's Sri Lanka Design Festival, which aims to map out innovative shifts that could affect the course of the country's apparel industry. Taking place from 3-6 November at the Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Centre in Colombo, the event, which is now in its seventh year, will host a number of forums delivering insight into creative disruption and more..

SL construction sector boom seen reviving

Sept 29 (EN) Sri Lanka’s construction industry is expected to do well in the next few years given increasing homeownership affordability, big govt infrastructure projects and rising demand for high-rises, stock brokers First Capital Equities said. Growth in the sector slowed down in 2015 after the new govt halted some big infrastructure projects, pending reviews of their costs and environmental impact. “Infrastructure being one the main driving forces of the construction sector, more..

High Court overrules Wele Suda’s objections

Sept 29 (DN) Colombo High Court today rejected preliminary objections raised on behalf of three accused including Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda and his wife  over an indictment filed against them by the Attorney General under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The AG had filed indictments against three accused for laundering black money to the tune of Rs. 190 million rupee in 2006, under 57 charges that come under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. more..

Karunaratne, Thirimanne in SL A squad

Sept 29 (CI) Sri Lanka batsman Dimuth Karunaratne has been named captain of the A team for the first two four-day games at home against West Indies A. Lahiru Thirimanne, who was omitted for the Tests as well as limited-overs series against Australia, found a place in the 15-member squad. Thirimanne has not played competitive cricket since the Lord's Test in June. Karunaratne, meanwhile, is coming off an underwhelming more..

Commander of the Navy meets Nisha Biswal

Sept 29 (AD) Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, who is currently on an official visit to the United States, met the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, at the US Department of State and held discussions on matters which are mutually beneficial. Commander of the Navy also met Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Manpreet Anand, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, more..

CID tells court probe underway on drone over Lasantha’s grave

Sept 29 (CG) CID informed the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court today that it has launched an investigation over a drone which was used to take images of the exhumation of the remains of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga. CID briefed Mount Lavinia Magistrate on the exhumation which was carried out on Tuesday and other matters related to the ongoing investigations. On a request made by the family of the late Wickrematunga the media was not allowed to enter Borella more..