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Chrishmal Warnasuriya

UNP victims of violence to be paid compensation soon

Aug 16 (Island) Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Ministry yesterday said that Cabinet approval would be obtained next week to pay compensation to families of UNPers killed due to political violence. Ministry said that 1,500 victims had been identified and the Rehabilitation Authority was in the process of making necessary arrangements to compensate them for their suffering. The govt would first provide compensation to those who had suffered more..

Navy arrests 9 persons for causing destruction to fish breeding grounds

Aug 16 (SLN) Naval personnel deployed onboard Inshore Patrol Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command with the assistance of the Coastguard took into custody nine persons along with four Fibre Glass Dinghies (FGDs) for causing destruction to fish breeding grounds and illegal fishing in the seas north-east of Point Pedro today (15). The Navy and the Coastguard sprang into action upon observation that the suspects, under the guise of traditional fishing, were in actuality trapping cuttlefish more..

Central Bank seeks clarity from ICTA on National Payment Platform

Aug 16 (LBO) Central Bank says they are still awaiting a response regarding concerns raised regarding the National Payment Platform (NPP) from ICTA. The CBSL requested more information about NPP when it was presented in 2016 and a request was made in order to gather details on system development, operation manuals, system security, compliance with system standards and the external system audit framework, more..

'Constitution does not allow special court'

Aug 16 (DM) Amid pressure from his colleagues, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is reported to have ruled out the possibility of setting up a separate court to hear and dispense with cases of fraud and corruption involving members of the previous regime. Cabinet discussed what was described as inordinate delay in filing cases against them. The minister is reported to have told the Cabinet that a separate court could not be set up because of Constitutional restrictions. more..

Lady’s message ends his intransigence

Aug 16 (DM) A former controversial Purohita, at the very outset looked set to hold on to his portfolio come hell or high water despite mounting pressure to resign with grace.  Even his own party bigwigs had told him in no uncertain terms to go - and the sooner he quit, the better for his own health and that of the party. However, the purohita stood pat unmoved by appeals and pressures to resign until the last moment. In fact, he told his friends and well-wishers whom he suddenly invited home more..

Sri Lanka rulers to slash freedoms of tea, rubber, coconut land owners

Aug 16 (EN) Cabinet had approved a proposal to further restrict the freedoms of owners of tea, rubber and coconut land, to do what they wish with their own property. According existing law owners of coconut land of 04 acres and, tea, or rubber estates greater 20 acres have to get permission from Rubber and Coconut Estates (Control and Fragmentation) Board. Minister Navin Dissanayake had proposed further restricting more..

Bond scams: CIABOC awaits PCoI findings to act

Aug 16 (EN) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has ruled out a fresh inquiry into alleged Central Bank-Perpetual Treasuries bond scams until a 3-member Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) made its recommendations to President Sirisena later this year. Minister and UPFA Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera complained to the Bribery Commission soon after the massive racket came to light in early 2015though progress of the inquiry was slow. more..

2017 Grade Five Scholarship Examinations to be held on Sunday

Aug 16 (DN) The 2017 Grade Five Scholarship Examination will be held on Aug 20 (Sunday) at 3,014 Examination Centres Island wide for 356,728 candidates. 28,000 invigilators will be deployed for exam duties. Examination, which consists of two text papers will commence at 9.30 a.m. Candidates will be given 45 minutes to answer the first paper and an hour and 15 minutes will be given to the second paper. The first paper which commences at 9.30 am will proceed until 10.15am. more..

As rural Sri Lanka dries out, young farmers look for new job options

Aug 16 (Reuters) Scorched by a 10-month drought that has killed crops and reduced residents to buying trucked-in water, Adigama's young people are voting with their feet. At least 150 youth have left this agricultural village since the drought began, looking for jobs in the country's cities, or overseas, village officials say. Few are expected to come back, even when the rains end. "If they get the lowest paying job overseas, more..

Uma Oya project had destroyed nearly 600 tons of paddy and veggies lost

Aug 16 (CT) The controversial Uma Oya Multipurpose Project had destroyed nearly 600 metric tons of paddy and vegetables this year, environmentalists claim. "This is only an estimate of the farm lands that were destroyed directly due to the construction of tanks for the Uma Oya Project. Although the govt estimated that the damage was 300 metric tons, our research indicated that it is 600 metric tons and it's the accurate figure," claimed Chinthaka Rajapakse of more..

Inland Revenue Bill will be taken up for debate next week

Aug 16 (DN) Inland Revenue Bill is scheduled to be taken up for debate in Parliament next week. A full day debate has been facilitated on the Bill on August 25 from 11.30am to 7.30pm. Govt will move further amendments to the Bill at its committee stage. Supreme Court determined that several clauses in the Inland Revenue Bill were inconsistent with the Constitution. Govt said it would duly amend the problematic clauses as per the determination of the Supreme Court.  more..

Minister defends lackluster SL cricketers

Aug 16 (AD) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara expressed his views when questioned on the dire situation SL cricket team has fallen to stating that, in his belief there is no better side the SLC can currently field as the Test team for SL. He stated that he had held discussions with the players and management of the team yesterday to determine a permanent solution to avoid a repetition of the series of bad performances over the past year. more..

Many plans to develop temples: PM

Aug 16 (GDI) Govt has taken many steps to develop the temples and the National Govt under the patronage of President Sirisena will take these activities forward, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He made these remarks at a ceremony held to grant funds to 150 Rajamaha Viharas at Temple Trees yesterday. He said this is the first step in conserving the Rajamaha Viharas. Temples in remote areas will not be able to survive if they are not provided funds and the govt is dedicated for that, he said. more..

Bid to buy media outfit through a proxy?

Aug 16 (DM) A story coming down the grapevine says that a Malaysian investor set to buy a leading media institution in the country is here now to negotiate the deal. However, a very high political authority who smelled a rat about the mega dollar deal in the offing has deployed intelligence sleuths to find out whether there is more to it than meets the eye, they say. By the way, a story that went viral a few months ago said the media institution in question was about to change hands, more..

Police chief in trouble over meditation rage

Aug 16 (EN) Police chief has triggered calls for his resignation  after footage emerged showing him assaulting an employee who refused to participate in mandatory morning meditation sessions. Leaked CCTV video showed IGP Pujith Jayasundara grabbing a lift operator by the collar and making threatening gestures after he did not join the regulation mindfulness meditation at police headquarters. more..

Launching ceremony of NSB iSaver under President’s patronage

Aug 16 (PMD) The launching ceremony of the NSB iSaver saving method, jointly created by the National Savings Bank and the Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel with the aim of further increasing the saving habits of the Sri Lankans, utilizing the modern communication technology, was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the premises of the National Savings Bank Head Office in Colombo, today.  The NSB iSaver is a novel experience in the field of digitization and more..

Amendment bill to introduce driver’s demerit point system

Aug 16 (AD) Cabinet has approved a proposal to publish in gazette the bill for amending relevant articles of the Motor Traffic Act, including a Driver’s Demerit Points System, and table it in parliament for approval. Legal Draftsmen has drafted an amendment bill for amending relevant articles and schedule No II of the Motor Traffic Act to make provisions on transferring the authority of practically implementing Driver’s demerit point system, to magistrates and police officers, more..

Concessionary period to pay annual luxury tax for new vehicles

Aug 16 (LBO) Transport Ministry is to declare a three month concessionary period from Sept to Nov for payment of arrears on annual taxes for luxury, semi-luxury and semi-luxury dual purpose vehicles. As per the Finance Act No 16 of 1995, an annual tax should be paid by the registered owner of the vehicle for seven years since its initial registration. First installment of these taxes is charged with the first registration of vehicle more..

Displeased with govt actions Supporters stage Satyagraha

Aug 16 (CT) Hundreds of civil society activists, who supported the present Govt to come to power in 2015, yesterday staged a silent satyagraha to show their displeasure with the way in which the Government functions at the moment. Stayagraha was held opposite Viharamahadevi Park, Colombo. Several civil society organizations, including the Purawesi Balaya participated. Addressing the gathering, Chulananda Samaranayake, an organizer, stressed that the Govt is cheating more..

PC polls postponement decision hangs in the balance

Aug 16 (Island) Amidst speculation that the Cabinet was to take a decision on holding elections to all Provincial Councils early next year, the matter had not been raised at yesterday’s meeting presided over by President Sirisena, sources said. They said it was the SLFP that wanted polls to the Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils, which would be completing their terms later this year postponed, but some SLFP MPs and Ministers who were officially more..

Video: Samurdhi report rejected; another being prepared: SB

Aug 16 (DM) Report on 2.3 million Samurdhi recipients had been rejected after a meeting held at the ministry today, Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He said ministry was collecting information on Samurdhi recipients, who were entitled to receive Samurdhi benefits. “It was a 17-page questionnaire. It included six main criteria and 29 sub criteria. All collected data had to be digitized. During the process of digitizing the data, more..

The politics of persuasion: An evaluation

Aug 17 (CT) Although, it is just over eight years since the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE was brought to an end, the root cause that gave rise to the brutal war remains unresolved. Nor has been there any progress in addressing the consequences of the armed conflict. Significant parts of the Tamil homeland are under army occupation; an investigation to identify the perpetrators of war crimes is yet to commence and Tamil political prisoners more..

Ravi K’s case must not be taken in isolation

Aug 17 (CT) When wheels of change begin to turn, it does not care who stands in between. The brashness and bluster, which is usually associated with change, alone could consume into oblivion those who dare challenge change. Or for that matter, a mere whisper of change could send intense ripples on a placid pool of civil service and those who pretend to be servants, but who in fact are masters of evil. Only those who have a discriminating mind could withstand the fury more..

SL’s first heart transplant for a new life

Aug 17 (SO) It’s been four weeks since a team of senior doctors from Sri Lanka made medical history, by performing the first ever heart transplant in the country, 50 years after the world’s first cardiac transplant in 1967. However, if not for the painstaking dedication of one person, this historical event would not have been possible this soon. Dr. Anil Abeywickrama who gave leadership to the entire mission, since the setting up of more..

Three Hearty Cheers to Hangover!

Aug 17 (Island) I stayed an eventful three months at Hangover Hostels at Kinross Avenue. Made some friends for life and we continue to stay in touch. There was Ally Simpson from Canada a bit of a Charlize Theron to me. A wonderful girl/woman who loves tattoos. She even got a tattoo in Sinhala before she left and it read Ei Neththe (Why Not). People at Hangover will not forget Ally because of Ally’s Wall at Hangover . She painted the long wall and added colour to it. more..

Anura Tennekoon’s impeccable technique

Aug 17 (DN) ANURA TENNEKOON was in a class of his own: stylish, elegant and graceful. He stood tall and scored a lot of runs during the Pre-Test cricket era and did his school, S.Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, his club Sinhalese Sports Club and then his Country Sri Lanka proud. A right handed batsman, he wielded the straightest of bats when at the wicket and safeguarded his wicket as though his life depended on it. He jealously guarded his wicket, made bowlers work hard for his prized scalp more..

'Zero support for Justice Minister within UNP'

Aug 17 (CT) Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, said UNP will come to a decision about Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe over his reluctance to establish a corruption court. Perera, a senior UNPer, had been sparring with fellow UNPer Rajapakshe on establishing a corruption court, when the matter reached fever pitch last week leading to UNP backbenchers pushing for a no-confidence motion against Rajapakshe. more..

Drought fury hits Puttalam

Aug 17 (CT) The prevailing drought in many parts of the country has forced a large number of people to live under depressive conditions and the situation in Puttalam is no better from the rest of the affected areas. Drought has hit the Puttalam District with a devastating force with residents hard pressed on several fronts as the water resources have slowly dried up destroying farms, chena cultivations and even inland fishing. Some 95% of the water resources in the Puttalam District more..

30% of Dengue patients are children

Aug 17 (SL) Approximately 30% of dengue patients are children between the years of 5 -19 years, according to National Dengue Control Unit of the Ministry of Health (MoH). Sri Lanka is reporting an increased number of dengue cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. From 1 Jan to 28 July 2017, Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine reported 110, 372 cases of dengue. 301 deaths from dengue have been reported for the year 2017. more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe

The road to school: Access to education in the plantation sector

Aug 17 (GV) For children living in Spring Valley estate, close to Badulla, the day begins at 5:30 am, when they begin to get ready for the bus to school. The bus leaves at 6:20 am and travels for 3 kilometres. From there, it’s another 2 km walk to the Spring Valley Tamil Maha Vidyalaya. The Vice Principal says a few of the children walk the entire way – a journey of around one and a half hours. This is still better than plight of schoolchildren attending Old Peacock Tamil Vidyalayam, Gampola, more..

Has our cricket hit rock bottom or was India too strong?

Aug 17 (DN) The recently concluded three-Test series between India and Sri Lanka left two things in mind – was India too strong for Sri Lanka or has Sri Lanka’s cricket at international hit rock bottom? India no doubt came to Sri Lanka as the number one ranked Test side and at the end of the three matches proved what a worthy crown they wore by making a clean sweep of the series 3-0. Last year Australia also came to SL ranked as the number one Test team but ended up losing the series 0-3. more..

Time to rise against corrupt politicians: It's all about THEM and not about the PEOPLE

Aug 17 (Island) The President and the Prime Minister must also hold to account the minister who justified violence against striking unions, thus undermining govt obligations to ensure law and order, and to protect citizens against violence by private actors. It is ironic that politicians undermine the administration of justice, while stating publicly that they will continue to hold office until they are convicted by a court of law. more..

Editorial: Dramas and Boru Shows

Aug 17 (Island) Ordinary people may be without wherewithal to dull the pangs of hunger, but they have enough and more free entertainment––circus without paan or bread. Unfolding dramatic events on the political front have created a theatre festival atmosphere of sorts in the country. The main political drama which ended in Jan. 2015 had the trappings of a Shakespearean play. Replete with palace intrigue, conspiracies and betrayal, it was like Julius Caesar albeit with a different ending. more..

SLT operating profits up 2% to Rs.37.4b

Aug 17 (CT) During the six months ending 30 June 2017, Sri Lanka Telecom reported Rs 37.4 billion in revenue with a 2% year on year growth, while maintaining a nominal growth of 1% in operating costs. Group EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) was reported at Rs 11 billion with a 4% increase compared to the same period last year. EBITDA margin remained at 29%. As a result of the continuous expansions, the group depreciation and amortization more..

Thilanga promises Provincial Tournament

Aug 17 (Island) Under fire SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala has promised to implement the Inter-Provincial Tournament, however, he was firm on being not ready to do anything that will harm the interest of the member clubs. Before Sumathipala’s election, SL’s top domestic cricket tournament comprised two tiers, but only the 14 teams in Tier ‘A’ had First Class status. However, since Sumathipala came into power, he granted First Class more..

Over 10,000 expected for Colombo Marathon

Aug 17 (DN) Lanka Sportreizen, Sri Lanka's best known tour operator and organizer of Colombo Marathon expects over 10,000 runners from various countries for the 17th LSR Colombo Marathon which will be worked off on October 8. This event is included in the Sports Ministry's calendar and also supported by Tourism Ministry, Law & Order and Southern Development Ministry, Education Ministry, Western Provincial Council, SriLankan Airlines, Athletic Association of SL, relevant PSs, more..

Angelo expects to bowl in ODIs

Aug 17 (CT) Former SL skipper Angelo Mathews, who did not bowl due to injury, will bowl during the upcoming ODI series, believes skipper Upul Tharanga, who will lead the SL team for the first time after SLC appointed him skipper after several temporary appointments. Mathews, who suffered from an injury in England, did not bowl even though he was part of the team after that. Tharanga also said he is confident the team will forget about the Test results and will focus on winning ODIs. more..

Sanath sees the folly in injuries

Aug 17 (ST) Brushing aside allegations that they changed players to the whims and fancies, Chairman of cricket selectors, Sanath Jayasuriya said a higher rate of injuries to the players during the last 14 months was a major stumbling block to stick to a plan. Following last Sunday’s 2nd Test defeat, batting maestro Aravinda de Silva joined scores of others in calling for a consistent selection policy. Sangakkara & Sidath Wettimuny, more..