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Property development prospects in Sri Lanka railway upgrade

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s railway and urban development authorities are to work together to include property development, known as transit-oriented development, in a planned modernisation and electrification of suburban rail. Railway department was in talks with Urban Development Authority on transit-oriented development or TOD, integrating rail and commercial development schemes. “We are having talks with UDA on transit oriented rail operations” more..

Video: JO to bring no-faith motion against Rajitha

Aug 17 (DM) The JO charged that a no-faith motion should be brought against Minister Rajitha Senaratne with regard to SAITM issue. JO member Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that Minister Senaratne had not solved the SAITM issue despite having the sole authority to do so. “Minister Senaratne is responsible for the entire blunder which has taken place in the State universities and medical sector in the country with regard to SAITM,” more..

Father, son killed, 3 injured in Pitagaldeniya

Aug 17 (DM) A father and his son had been killed while the mother and two female passengers were seriously injured when the car they were travelling in veered off the road and plunged into the Gurugoda Oya early last morning near the Pitagaldeniya Bridge on the Kegalle –Avissaswella Road, the Police said. The injured were admitted to the Kegalle General Hospital in critical condition. The deceased were identified as Abeyratne  Karunatilleka (57) and his son Dushmantha Karunatilleka (32). more..

Seelaratana Thera's writ petition fixed

Aug 17 (DN) The Court of Appeal has held that a writ petition filed by Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana Thera seeking an order preventing authorities from taking further steps in the procurement process relating to the development of a 300 MW combined cycle power plant at Kerawalapitiya cannot be dismissed in limine.  Therefore, Court of Appeal (President) L.T.B. Dehideniya fixed the matter for support for notice.  President's Counsel Rumesh de Silva with Counsel Harith de Mel and more..

No govt has harassed opposition’s families like Yamapalayana: Mahinda

Aug 17 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the Yamapalanaya is engaged in a desperate attempt to deflect public attention by hauling members of his family to the CID and FCID, as their corruption comes to light in dramatic and unexpected ways. Issuing a media release in light of the recent incidents involving his family members, he said that the “extent of the panic in Yamapalana Govt is evident in the shrill more..

Yahapalanaya has made A'pura farmers survive on lotus yam: MR

Aug 17 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently urged the people to join hands with Joint Opposition (JO), to protect the SLFP, which, he said, had been betrayed by a group of leaders seeking political expediency. Rajapaksa was speaking after attending an alms giving ceremony at the residence of MP Janaka Bandara Tennakoon in Matale. Former president was taken to the MP’s residence in a colourful motorcade consisting of many cars and about 2,000 motorcycles. more..

Eastern University closed indefinitely

Aug 17 (DM) Vantharumoolai and Batticaloa campuses of the Eastern University had been closed indefinitely from today due to an unsettled condition prevailing at the University, Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr. K. E. Karunakaran said. All students had been asked by the University to leave the campus by noon tomorrow. The students in all hostels were asked to vacate their rooms and handover their keys to the respective wardens or sub-wardens on departure. A tense situation prevailed at more..

I know my Maths: Laksman Yapa

Aug 17 (DM) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said he knows his mathematics and he has served as a bank employee for 7 years before coming to politics and therefore, no one must try to teach him maths or figures of trillions or millions. Minister said he still maintains that CB Bank bond scam has caused a revenue loss of rupees one trillion to Sri Lanka in the next 30 years if remedial measures were not taken. more..

Amunugama asks people to elect educated, competent persons as MPs

Aug 17 (Island) Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama after opening a new road in the Galagedera electorate urged people to elect educated and competent persons to Parliament. Dr. Amunugama warned that the corrupt should not be supported merely because they were relations, neighbours and had other personal connections. Dr. Amunugama opened the new road connecting Girihagama and Galagedara via Kopiwatta. Road was constructed at a cost of Rs. 2 million. more..

SC to hear govt on conspiracy to make bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi

Aug 17 (Hindu) Supreme Court on Thursday decided to hear the govt on the conspiracy and making of the belt bomb that killed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. The court is considering the plea by one of the convicts in the case, A.G. Perarivalan, who was found guilty of supplying a nine-volt battery for the bomb. Perarivalan has suggested a larger conspiracy behind the assassination. His counsel, advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, has more..

Cricket: Sri Lanka transition grinds to halt at India roadblock

Aug 17 (Reuters) Two years have passed since Sri Lanka bid farewell to the last of their batting greats yet the South Asian side appears no nearer to ending what has been a difficult period of transition. When the brilliant Kumar Sangakkara followed the equally prolific Mahela Jayawardene into retirement in 2015, even the most optimistic Sri Lankan fans acknowledged the void they left was simply too big to be filled overnight. more..

Clear vision and unity key for Sri Lanka’s family businesses

Aug 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s family business continuity will depend on their ability to have a clear vision and retaining family unity, business leader Shiromal Cooray said. “The failure to articulate the vision of the business in writing can be especially problematic as a company transitions from the 1st generation to the 2nd because the underlying goals are no longer as clear as they once were,” said Cooray, managing director of family owned Jetwing Travels. Cooray was speaking an event held to highlight more..

Tamil Nadu pushes for ferry service with SL

Aug 17 (TOI) Six years after ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo was suspended, Tamil Nadu is making fresh efforts to re-establish sea links with Sri Lanka. The state govt recently wrote to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to facilitate voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees and to take steps to resume the ferry service between both countries, say sources. A meeting was initially scheduled to be held between officials in MEA, directorate general of more..

Tax concessions for local entrepreneurs

Aug 17 (DN) The Govt today rolling out a relief package for local entrepreneurs announced the withdrawal of Telecomm Levy on Internet data and duty reductions on single cabs, mini trucks and motorcycles below the engine capacity of 150cc.   Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced that the 10% Telecom Levy on Internet data would be completely removed from Sept 1. Samaraweera, addressing a press more..

Eastern University accommodation issues

Aug 18 (CT) The issues at the Eastern University raises many fundamental question in the administration of  a University in Sri Lanka its policy and Autonomy of the Universities. It is not far in history that the Universities had a policy of not giving hostels to students but promoting  admission to the closest university to overcome such problem. It was recently that the Ministry had announced that they will give 100% accommodation to all students by 2018. more..

How we got to where we are

Aug 18 (CT) The democratic process is premised on the idea that we don’t owe our representatives anything, except the gratitude that we must pay through taxes and other levies to maintain public services. It’s a two-way street: you pay to keep those services and they run the country through what we pay. Nothing that goes beyond this can be considered as gratitude. What goes beyond can hence only be considered as servility. Servility of the most nauseating, ridiculous sort. more..

When a resplendent chariot of faith kindles devotion

Aug 18 (ST) As cries of Haro Hara permeate the Jaffna landscape, lotus and rose petals cascade on statues of Lord Murugan also referred to as Skanda or God Shanmuhar seated with his consorts Valli and Deiveyani on a throne of intricate artistry. The 50 foot-tall golden-hued Chariot or Ther receives the idols within the outer courtyard (prakaram) of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (temple) and with several groups of musicians and more..

Transport professionals endorse railway modernization and electrification

Aug 18 (ST) Railway electrification in Sri Lanka has been mooted over several decades by transport professionals and engineers alike. In recent times, the CoMTRans study, funded by JICA also endorsed railway electrification, followed by a validation study by the University of Moratuwa in 2015 which even recommended the possibility of new railway lines to be electrified such as from Kelaniya to Kosgama. The Megapolis Transport Plan also confirmed electrification. more..

Fight for your Right

Aug 18 (DN) The control of information is something the elite always does, American novelist Tom Clancy once told a reporter. If you can control information, you can control people. I suspect that these words, said over two decades ago in my home country, would resonate with many here in Sri Lanka. For years, the govt has thrived as a basically closed system. An advisor to the UNP told me recently that since the island’s independence from the British in 1948, no matter what govet is in power, more..

'No taxes on EPF withdrawals'

Aug 18 (CT) Minister of Labour, Labour Relations and Sabaragamuwa Development, John (WDJ) Seneviratne, said yesterday the proposed taxes on EPF withdrawals will not be implemented following his informing Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera that there was strong resistance. He also stressed that the government will take a policy decision to relax laws on the Glyphosate usage in tea estates, more..

Editorial: Cricket Collapse

Aug 18 (Island) Some Sri Lankans seem to think their national sport is politics. They cannot be faulted in that it is a kind of game which basically involves jumping, running, jabbing, somersaulting and wrestling. Others mistakenly believe that it is cricket, which they have a fetish for. But, paradoxical as it may sound, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is apparently doing its damnedest to help give the country’s national sport, volleyball, its due place. The best way to enthrone volleyball is to dethrone cricket, more..

New Constitution: Do beneficiaries want it?

Aug 18 (CT) "It is a fact that the expected new constitution is meant to satisfy the beneficiaries. But in this case are the Tamil people in Sri Lanka the real beneficiaries as indicated? The Tamil people in Sri Lanka have the same problems their Counterparts – the Sinhalese have. What they need is to have a peaceful life. Life becomes meaningful only when it is economically supported, in a social structure which is properly managed and protected. Poverty is the beginning of all the crimes and more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

People’s verdict Ravi K’s resignation: Just another devious trick

Aug 18 (CT) In 2015, people voted for the Yahapalana Govt to fulfil their aspirations and expectations, which were promised through the Mahinda Chinthana but were never delivered. One of the promises given prior to holding the Presidential Election was that democracy will be protected sans any thefts and that the country will be developed. While each promise has been broken, the news regarding Ravi Karunanayake surfaced recently, becoming a hot topic in media. more..

Patience running out with Thisara Perera

Aug 18 (Island) The national selectors have done their best to convince authorities in selecting Thisara Perera back into the ODI squad, but when the five-match series against India gets underway on Sunday, both the all-rounder and the selectors will be under tremendous pressure. Perera became public enemy number-one after he dropped a dolly off Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed in the virtual quarter-final of Champions Trophy in Cardiff. Sarfraz went on to make a match-winning 61 not out more..

The Cop who cared

Aug 18 (NS) Constable in Canadian Police, Niran Jeyanesan and his partner were called to Walmart on the night of Aug 6. A young man of about 18 years had been caught shoplifting by the store’s loss prevention officer. During the investigation Niran learned that the teen shoplifted a shirt, a tie, and a pair of socks because he had no money to buy a suit for his job interview the next morning. more..

Sanjula, Sayuni secure crowns in Game of Kings

Aug 18 (DN) School talent stole the limelight in the Sri Lanka National Chess Championships concluded at the Royal College Skills Centre, Colombo yesterday with 17-year Royalist, FIDE Master (FM) Minul Sanjula Doluweera and grade-10 student from Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda, Women's Candidate Master (WCM) Sayuni Gihansa Jayaweera being crowned men’s and women's national chess champions respectively. The apex national chess tournament was conducted by more..

Celebrating 150 years of Ceylon Tea by importing tea

Aug 18 (Island) Strange pronouncements are being made as Sri Lanka celebrates 150 years of the tea industry. Prominent economists are referring to "The obsessive love for a non-existent Ceylon Tea in the world market" and leading tea exporters are saying at events held to mark the 150 years of the industry, that the tea industry has now to be funded by the taxpayers for fertiliser, replanting and price guarantees to pacify the large voter base of smallholder farmers which now more..

Private hospital charges to be regulated says minister

Aug 18 (Island) The govt is now in the process of regulating private hospital bills because most private hospital charges are exorbitant, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "I have given the task of preparing an audit report to a leading audit firm and its report will be released soon, probably in two weeks' time. Once it is released, new private hospital charges will be regulated, he said at a function recently that announced more..

Shipping industry commends Hambantota Port deal

Aug 18 (FT) Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA), SL Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association and SL Association of Vessel Operators (SLAVO) have commended the public-private partnership agreement between the SL Ports Authority and China Merchants Ports Int'l Ltd. to operate the Port of Hambantota.  A meeting was held recently at the Ministry of Ports and Shipping to brief the shipping and logistics fraternity on the successful execution more..

Sri Lanka’s first Virtual Mirror at the Aviraté flagship store

Aug 18 (DM) In a rush and don’t have time to try everything on? Dinner to go to after work but nothing to wear and pressed for time? Not sure which color looks best on you but don’t want to go through the hassle of trying them all out? With its latest venture in innovative technology, Aviraté- an international lifestyle fashion brand owned by Timex Garments (Pvt) Ltd - is looking toanswer these questions by redefining the in-store shopping experience in Sri Lanka. more..

දැන් හොරකම් නිත්යානුකුල කරන කාලයක්..

Delayed SME loan scheme commences

Aug 18 (CT) The Ministry of Finance announced that the delayed Jaya Isura five year concessionary loan scheme aimed to empower small and medium enterprises and to increase exports would commence with the government allocating nearly Rs 750 million to facilitate interest payments. The govt originally announced the loan scheme under Divi Udana programme along with seven other loan schemes in the last budget and the programme received the cabinet approval last March. more..

China is key to Sri Lanka’s progress: survey

Aug 18 (FT) Close to 72% of the respondents of an islandwide poll believe that China is key to Sri Lanka’s economic progress. Survey participants point out that China provides donations and credit facilities to Sri Lanka while also being the main contributor to large-scale projects implemented here. Only 15% disagree with this notion while the rest are unsure. Meanwhile, less than half (42%) of those surveyed state that India is also key to Sri Lanka’s progress. more..

Govt doles out pre-Budget bonanza

Aug 18 (FT) In an unprecedented move Govt announced a pre-budget relief package promising more in the upcoming budget, billing a total of Rs. 4.4 billion per annum.  The concessions, which included a host of low-interest loans offered to small and medium enterprises and the slashing of the telecom levy effective from September, are aimed at giving impetus to the country’s economy and are expected to create 50,000 new jobs, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said more..

New STF Unit springs into action

Aug 18 (DN) The newly established Organised Crimes and Narcotic Range under the Special Task Force raided a pharmacy in Seeduwa, taking into custody illicit drugs including Kerala Ganja. The pharmacy and grocery is alleged to have also not been in possession of a valid license. Among the drugs recovered were, Tramadol Capsules, PGAB capsules and LIRI GAB capsules all of which are banned substances. The raid took place on Wednesday evening. The Unit had also detected weapons including more..

Rajitha: What if bomb goes off while policemen are meditating?

Aug 18 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has questioned the wisdom of enforcing a compulsory meditation session for the police by IGP Pujitha Jayasundera. What if a bomb went off during the rush hour in Pettah, while the guardians of the law were engaged in meditation, Senaratne queried. While journalists were repeatedly questioning Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera on IGP Jayasundera allegedly manhandling an employee of the Police Department for failing to participate more..

Bond scams probe: AG’s Dept given one week to probe PTL bond deals further

Aug 18 (Island) Sittings of the presidential commission of inquiry probing the alleged bond scams have been put off till August 25 in view of further investigations to be conducted. This decision was announced by Justice K. T. Chitrasiri when the commission resumed sittings yesterday. Commission granted a request made by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, PC for time for investigations. more..

Building collapses: Four injured

Aug 18 (DN) Four people were seriously injured after a three storey building under construction collapsed in Periyamulla, Negombo yesterday. The four injured construction workers who were buried beneath the rubble were rescued by the Police and rushed to the Negombo hospital. Three of the injured workers were in a critical condition. At the time of the incident seven construction workers had been working at the site. Three of them had escaped unhurt. more..

Govt takes over Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital

Aug 18 (DN) The Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital which is under the Wayamba ​(North Western) ​Provincial Council, would be taken over by the Govt in order to establish a new Medical Faculty in it, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had stated. He had stated so at a special discussion held at the Health Ministry recently, on establishing the Medical Faculty of the Wayamba University. Minister had stated that the govet had taken a policy decision to establish a medical faculty at the Wayamba University. more..