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President’s website Hack: The Full Story

Sept 4 (CT) President Sirisena's official website suffered two cyber attacks on two consecutive days by a group of individuals who identified themselves as The Sri Lankan Youth. The first attack sent shock waves across the public. And, after the second attack the next day, Police took the matter seriously and launched investigations to apprehend the perpetrators. In what seemed like really good police work, more..

Hong Kong spoils a Tusker party

Sept 4 (ST) Hong Kong spoilt a possible Sri Lankan party after the hosts survived to record a 22-17 victory in the Cup final of the First Leg of the Asian Sevens Rugby Series ended at the Hong Kong Football Stadium yesterday. The cynosure was on Sri Lanka in the Cup championship final after the Tuskers overcame a tough China unit 19-17 in the semi-final stage. Despite losing to Hong Kong in the Pool encounter 0-22, Sri Lanka dished out their true potential but unforced errors more..

Tharanga likely to be included in the middle order: Chandimal

Sept 4 (ST) Lankan stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal said that they are mindful that a victory in tomorrow’s game would spur the Lankan cricket fan base in spite of the series loss and that they would do everything within their powers to win the game when the Lankans take on Australia in their final ODI at Pallekelle Stadium. Chandimal said “We somewhat lost the plot when especially George Bailey and Mathew Wade used the reverse shot extensively during the limited overs series. more..

ADB to help prepare national port master plan

Sept 4 (SO) Asian Development Bank has approved assistance to prepare a National Port Master Plan (NPMP) for Sri Lanka, covering all ports and connected urban and industrial activity as well as multimodal links. The master plan is financed by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. A key element of the plan will be restructuring the SL Ports Authority, to make it more efficient and better able to compete with int'l port operators, more..

Lanka IOC mulls expanding Trinco bunkering operations

Sept 4 (Island) Sri Lanka’s IOC, a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, is to expand their existing bunkering operations at Trinco port as the prospects for this business line are promising, particularly given the strategic positioning of the port and its significant potential for growth. Trincomalee is the world’s 5th best natural harbour and provides an excellent opportunity to meet the bunker need of the vessels operating on the Bay of Bengal – Western Countries shipping route. more..

Malabe Community commends service of SAITM and NFTH

Sept 4 (Island) "The aspirations of all parents in this country is to ensure that their children receive a good education. However, since the state, owing to pressure of limited resources and lack of adequate facilities, is unable at present to fulfill such obligations, parents are therefore compelled and strive to provide education for their children via institutions such as SAITM in Malabe". So said Venerable Katoyawe Sumangala Thero, Chief Incumbent of Sri Abhaya Samadhi Buddhist more..

Chinese JF-17s for Sri Lanka ?

Sept 4 (Island) Amidst China offering to sell JF 17s to SL, it has launched an accelerated drive to manufacture aircraft engines and gas turbines. Programme was kick started in Beijing last week with the establishment of Aero Engine Corporation aimed at eliminating China’s heavy dependence on Russian engines in the manufacture of fighter jets. Launch comes close on the heels of China expressing an interest in selling J-17s more..

Dilhani strikes Gold

Sept 4 (CT) Dilhani Lekamge sealed the Gold Medal in Women's javelin throw final with an effort of 56.52 metres at the Mokpo Int'l Throwing Meet held at South Korea yesterday. Lekamge who had a personal best of 56.92m won the Gold Medal in this event while overcoming many renowned throwers in the region. Lekamge, who trains under veteran Throwing Coach A.J. Rodrigo, had earlier defeated the former Olympian and Asian Championship Silver Medallist Nadeeka Lakmali twice this year. more..

Lankan cricket at Dalada Maligawa

Sept 4 (ST) SL Cricket Team visited Sri Dalada Maligawa headed by President of SLC Thilanga Sumathipala. The team was received by Sri Dalada Maligawa officials and offered white jasmine flowers to be offered at the Sacred Tooth Relic in the inner shrine room. The Service monks at the inner shrine room blessed the cricket team and tied Prith Nool for a successful competition. Picture shows the team inside the Sri Dalada Maligawa with flowers in their hands to enter the inner shrine room. more..

Norochcholai Eco licence withheld

Sept 4 (SO) Renewal of Environmental Protection License (EPL) for the Lak Vijaya Power Plant in Norochcholai for this year has been delayed following the Central Environment Authority (CEA) taking over the assessments from North Western Environment Protection Authority due to environmental concerns. “Since Norochcholai Power Plant is a national project, a decision was reached for CEA to review, monitor and make more..

Sri Lanka to participate in UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Confab in London

Sept 4 (Island) A Sri Lankan minister and a group of high-ranking military officials are billed to attend the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference on September 8 at Lancaster House in London. The confab is organised by the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence together with the United Nations and ministers of the USA, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Rwanda & Uruguay. After a successful inaugural meeting on more..

Dismissed Mackwoods’ staff to resort to union action

Sept 4 (ST) The ongoing drama at Mackwoods Ltd took a different turn last week when some 60 workers were fired and the management allegedly taking steps to dissolve the company, disgruntled employees, seeking union action. Eleven employees have resisted an ex-gratia payment of three months. Some of these workers said that they are already in the process of filing action through their Ceylon Mercantile Union. “The management said that the termination was triggered by more..

Loans for govt corruption: World Bank warns govt on Audit Bill: Will scrap US$ 100m loan

Sept 4 (CT) The World Bank has warned the govt that it will scrap the US$ 100 million loan facility now in the pipeline for Sri Lanka unless the Audit Bill is tabled without delay in Parliament and approved by the legislature. Leslie Kojima, Senior Financial Management Officer of the World Bank for the South Asian Region has discussed the matter with several senior officers of the Auditor General's Department last Friday. more..

NLB suspends contract of lottery ticket printer found wanting

Sept 4 (ST) The National Lotteries Board (NLB) has launched an investigation into an error in printing a Lot of lottery tickets undertaken by a private company that had been involved in it for the past 20 years. NLB Chairperson Shyamila Perera said the said company has been printing five types of lottery tickets and only recently it has come to light there were discrepancies in the tickets, including security features printed. Initial investigations revealed the said company did not have all the necessary more..

UN Chief gives top post to his IPKF son-in-law

Sept 4 (ST) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who deemed it fit to sermonize to Sri Lanka during his visit this week, is under fire for appointing his son-in-law, Siddharth Chatterjee, as UN Coordinator for East Africa last week. Mr. Ban is reported to have signed his appointment letter, according to media reports. They had called it a “textbook case of nepotism”.Mr Chatterjee served as a major in the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) while stationed in the North of Sri Lanka. more..

Gota charged by Bribery Commission soon after meeting President Sirisena

Sept 4 (ST) Bill to enforce the enhanced VAT will be introduced in Parliament later this month. Ministers examined a cabinet memorandum, prelude to the presentation of a new Bill by Minister Ravi Karunanayake. It will conform to the SC ruling on a similar previous Bill that it did not signify to Parliament approval as required by law. In an earlier order, SC ruled that the way the VAT was introduced was illegal. more..

Flipside of smart cities

Sept 4 (Island) My column last week touched on the extremely problematic MoU between the Govt of Sri Lanka and a well-known Chinese telecom company, known to have sold sophisticated surveillance equipment to the Rajapaksa regime. Despite disturbing recent revelations in the mainstream media that have gone unquestioned in Parliament, a high-profile visit by Sri Lanka’s PM to the company’s Shenzhen headquarters resulted in an MoU that invited the company, inter alia, more..

Sri Lanka cannot but be Quixotic

Sept 4 (Island) To read learned economists both able and unable (pun intended), political commentators and much of the English language press is to be exposed to a tirade of "they should do this, they should do that, why do they not do the third?" All splendid stuff IF only we lived on another planet. But then IF my aunty had those round things she would be my uncle! This is not an excuse for every bungle and blunder of the R&S regime; I will give you examples to show that more..

Docs complain of witch hunt against oncologists who refused to administer ...

Sept 4 (Island) Health Ministry has been accused of, what medical sources described as a witch hunt against govt doctors who have refused to use a new controversial Russian drug procured to treat patients suffering from breast cancer. Oncologists have declined to administer a drug, which they said was a "nondescript product with questions lingering over its safety and efficacy". Doctors said that the govt authorities have more..

US$ 2 mn plus in forex earnings from veg and fruit exports

Sept 4 (Island) Country Director, ILO Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Donglin Li said the revised recommendation 71 of the ILO on Employment and Decent work for Peace and Resilience was supported by the Labour Ministry and the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC). Australian Govt also extended its support. Building on these experiences, ILO in Sri Lanka implemented Local Empowerment through Economic Development (LEED) project more..

No end to stone-throwing menace

Sept 4 (CT) North Central Province Assistant Director of Education K.L. Pushpakumara, a resident of Anuradhapura, was travelling back home from Colombo on 3 August. He boarded the Vavuniya-bound train from Colombo Fort and settled in a corner seat hoping for a safe journey. But, unfortunately, he was hit on the head with a stone thrown at the train in Kelaniya. He succumbed to his injuries four days later. more..

New Constitution: 5 reports ready, 1 late

Sept 4 (SO) Five subcommittees out of the six delving into key areas of the new Constitution, have already submitted their final reports. Sub committee on Public Finance, headed by MP Bandula Gunawardena is expected to submit its final report within this week. Their mandate was to make recommendations on how the new Constitution should take shape in respect of the particular subject areas they were asked to review. more..

Police exclusively for public service: Prez

Sept 4 (SO) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized that the Police is an institution that protects the common people, but not the Government or politicians. “When we focus our attention regarding the past few decades of our country, there are many facts and evidence of how some politicians used the Police for themselves as well as how closely some Police officers associated with the politicians”, the President said. more..

Making a clean breast of crime

Sept 4 (CT) The mystery of textile trader Mohammed Sulaiman's death is now resolved. The killers had no more chance to hide the truth. They have confessed to the crime and are now repenting. Sulaiman was abducted in the night of Aug 21 Aug as he was returning home from a party. On his way, he called his wife and asked if she would come to have dinner outside. He asked her to bring food and wait until he came. more..

Army no longer stockpile big consignments of ordnance in single location: Commander

Sept 4 (Island) With lessons learned from the devastating Salawa ammunition dump explosion last June, the Sri Lanka military no longer stockpile big consignments of ordnance in a single location to avert a recurrence. "We generally adhere to international benchmark standards in storing military hardware, and the Salawa blast was a very unfortunate incident", Army Commander, Crishanthe De Silva said. more..

SL Army contingent invited for UN Peacekeeping in Mali

Sept 4 (ST) A battalion of officers and men from the Sri Lanka Army have been invited to join the UN Peacekeeping Force for operations in the northern areas of the West African nation of Mali. A batch of 500 troops will leave first and the rest will fly thereafter. Mali with a land area of more than 1.2 million square kilometres is the eighth largest country in the African continent. A senior Foreign Ministry source told more..

Yahapalanaya: Minister's daughter on a foreign trip using public money

Sept 4 (ST) This is a story that will shock Sri Lankans who believe in good governance or yahapalanaya with the advent of the present Govt. Sri Lanka joined China as a Country Partner in its Silk Road Int'l Tourism Expo 2016 from August 26 to 28. The event was part of “One belt, One Road” project initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was being held in Xian, an ancient capital to 14 dynasties. more..

Frantic talks at Finance Ministry but issue of mass resignations unresolved

Sept 4 (ST) Despite two frantic rounds of discussions between the Treasury Secretary and Finance Ministry officials to tackle problem of the officials’ refusal to sit on dozens of boards of state agencies, issue remained unresolved at the end of the week. At least 80 officials last week sent in resignation letters en-masse, stepping down as ex-officio members of directors & tender boards of public institutions. more..

Urgent action needed to restore the dignity and respect of the Buddha Sasana

Sept 4 (Island) Negative images of unruly monks as portrayed by the mass media globally, is causing consternation among Buddhists all over the world. Here in SL, we regularly see on TV examples of a lack of disciplineand unruly behaviour by so called Buddhist monks. This is made even worse by the foul language used by these same unruly persons. Although the vast majority of Buddhist monks obey Vinaya rules, Buddhism gets a bad name as a consequence of this problem, which seems to more..

In the Way of Resistance’: Mervyn De Silva and the SLFP

Sept 4 (Island) Radhika Coomaraswamy tellingly observes that Mervyn de Silva was the greatest journalist that Sri Lanka ever produced. (Introduction: A Tribute to Mervyn de Silva, Crisis Commentaries: Selected Political Writings of Mervyn de Silva, ICES, Colombo, 2001). In a serendipitous synchronicity, Mervyn de Silva’s birthday, Sept 5th, was separated by only a few days from that of the political party he supported and was identified with but never joined—the SLFP, more..

Ada Cartoon

Hayleys Advantis supports US military ship call in Sri Lanka

Sept 4 (EN) Advantis Marine, a unit of Sri Lanka's Hayleys Advantis said it had provided logistics support for a US military ship that called at the island, providing supplies and moving crew. USS Frank Cable, a submarine support ship serving US fleets in Asia and the Pacific called at Colombo from August 29 to Sept 01 with over 500 crew who were also given shore leave. "…[W]e worked in tandem with all stakeholders including the American Embassy in Colombo, SL Navy, more..

Several Joint Opposition MPs to defect to govt

Sept 4 (AM) Several SLFP MPs of the Joint Opposition are likely to join govt following the SLFP party convention today. These SLFP MPs have been disillusioned by the manner in which certain non-SLFP MPs of the JO have referred to the Bandaranaike Principles. Most notable of these comments was the one made by PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila that Bandaranaike principle was to break away from a party if the party was acting in an unpatriotic manner. more..

Video: Buddhist monk assaulted in Malaysia at anti-Rajapaksa protest

Sept 4 (FMT) Chief monk of SL Buddhist temple in Sentul was assaulted by a small group among demonstrators conducting a protest against former president Rajapaksa who is visiting Malaysia. The group of about 50 people had gathered in front of Putra World Trade Centre to protest against Rajapaksa’s attendance at an int'l conference of Asian political parties. Protesters went to the Sentul temple when rumours of more..

'JO’s move would weaken party fabric'

Sept 4 (SO) SLFP General Secretary and Minister Duminda Dissanayake said, the decision by the SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition (JO) to boycott today’s SLFP Convention is a deliberate attempt at rendering the SLFPers helpless and create internal conflicts within the party. This is not a move to strengthen the party, but rather, to weaken its fabric. The SLFPers at grassroots level will have no difficulty in distinguishing who is sincere in safeguarding the party and its policies- more..

Criminal gang arrested from Vavuniya

Sept 4 (ITN) The Vavuniya Police have apprehended seven suspects said to be involved in many crimes and robberies. The court has remanded them until the 13th of this month. The Police following a tip off receive succeeded in rounding up these suspects following the conduct of a special operation. It has been revealed that this gang had been involved in many crimes and robberies in the Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mankulam and Perigalkulam areas. more..

Health minister to visit Qatar in October

Sept 4 (TP) Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne will visit Doha in October. The two-day visit is aimed at seeking opportunities for collaboration with Qatar’s health sector. Sri Lanka is also looking forward to build on existing partnerships with Qatar in areas such as trade and investment and oil and gas sector. “The health sector is very advanced in Qatar from which Sri Lanka can benefit. Minister’s visit will mark a beginning in more..

Trade agreements reform us: Harsha

Sept 4 (CT) The value of a trade agreement is that it helps us to make the necessary reforms to remain competitive. This was said by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva at the AGM of the Industrial Association of SL, which was held at a leading Colombo hotel on Thursday. What Sri Lanka's exports need is to link up with global supply chains. "We shouldn't be beholden to various interest groups when we go in for reforms," de Silva, an economist by profession, said. more..

Attempt to tarnish war heroes’ image

Sept 4 (CT) We discussed international factors which compelled the govt to set up the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) in the first article and the legality of the Act in the second in this series of articles on the OMP. The focus of this article is on the provisions of the OMP Act. The OMP Act has empowered the officers of the OMP to enter any place at any time without a warrant and also take possession of anything. Hence, the officers can enter any Army camp including more..

SL High Commissioner in Malaysia assaulted

Sept 4 (DM) SL High Commissioner to Malaysia and the Second Secretary were reported to have been mobbed by a group of protesters at Kuala Lampur airport in Malaysia today when they arrived at the airport to send off MP Dinesh Gunawardena who was on a visit to the country with former President Rajapaksa. Former Minister Johnston Fernando said the attack was carried out by a group of LTTE sympathizers, more..