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Colombo Defence Seminar on August 28-29

Aug 21 (MoD) Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends, will be the theme of the 7th Colombo Defence Seminar - 2017. The international defence conference is to be held for the seventh consecutive year at the BMICH in Colombo on the 28th and 29th of Aug. The conclave is to be attended by 800 participants, including 200 foreign representatives. Organizers have extended invitations to all Chiefs of Army Staff (Army Commanders) in the SAARC Region for the conference more..

Sleeping with the Corrupt: Will not go: WR

Aug 21 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that he did not have any intention of resigning from the Ministerial post just because some people made allegations against him on various issues. Speaking to journalists after meeting Mahanayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera and Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter the Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera, more..

Terror at Charlottesville: America’s day of shame

Aug 21 (DM) The number thirteen is generally seen by large sections of the populace as being unlucky. And so it came to be in the town of Charlottesville, Virginia in the US. On Saturday (13), large numbers of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semitists and other similar lunatic fringe groups (far right extremists) gathered to protest the taking down of statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee (general commanding pro-slavery forces during American civil war) and to take America back. more..

Economic crisis & Co-operative possibilities

Aug 21 (DM) The economy in the north is in crisis. Youth unemployment is high, rural incomes are irregular & devastating indebtedness is widespread.  8 years after the war, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the war-affected rural population. Myth about the private sector and Tamil diaspora led development in the north have been exposed; neither the private sector nor the Tamil diaspora have made significant investments resulting in substantially increased employment. more..

Audit report alerts parliament on CPC

Aug 21 (SL) Recent protest jointly organised by Petroleum unions collective ended with the Govt declaring fuel distribution as an essential service. Even the head of National Trade Union Centre, which is affiliated to JVP member K.D. Lalkantha was also seen waiting in the queue to pump petrol. Meanwhile the govt quarter alleged that this strike was one that went beyond mere trade union demands & it was an attempt to cripple more..

Japanese bikes will roar again after tax slash

Aug 21 (ST) Prices of small trucks and single cabs are to come down by as much as Rs. 300,000 following the vehicle tax revisions announced on Thursday, while there will also be a substantial reduction in the prices of motorcycles, especially Japanese bikes below 150cc. Vehicle importers said they would be able to once again import Japanese motorbikes after the tax concessions. Many had been unable to do so thus far due to the 90% more..

'Drought: No cases of malnourishment'

Aug 21 (CT) The Health Ministry, together with a multilateral donor agency, is taking steps to combat any adverse effects on people living in the drought affected areas, encompassing some 15 disricts in the island, Director General Health Services Dr. Jayasundara Bandara said. No incidents of malnourishment have been reported so far, he said. Dr. Bandara said that the relief programmes are been implemented together more..

Controversy over SAITM graduates, students being denied entry

Aug 21 (Island) Those who had graduated from the SAITM as well as SAITM undergraduates were deprived of an opportunity to attend clinical sessions of the College of Surgeons of SL at the Grand Kandyan Hotel on Aug. 18, some of the affected said. Three batches had so far graduated from the SAITM and several hundred more students were undergoing studies there. SAITM spokesperson said that they had received more..

SLC keen to introduce four-team first-class tournament next season

Aug 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has reiterated its commitment to starting a condensed, provincial-based first-class tournament in the 2017-18 season. Although a similar tournament had been scheduled and budgeted for the 2015-16 season, board led by Thilanga Sumathipala had scrapped those plans, and has since failed to organise a high-quality first-class tournament for two seasons running. Next season, however, will see more..

Court rejects Udayanga's request to recall warrant

Aug 21 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate rejected a request made by former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga to recall the warrant issued against him through the INTERPOL over the financial fraud that was alleged to have taken place in procuring seven MiG-27 ground attack craft for SLAF. Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne further rejected an application made by Udayanga Weeratunga challenging the impounding of more..

Lack of facilities & resources at AG’s Dept: Ashu blames Wijeyadasa

Aug 21 (CT) Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, is responsible for the lack of facilities and resources at the Attorney General's Department, UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe, who was one of the architects of the proposal to remove Rajapakshe, which was discussed at the party's working committee meeting, said. "I think most people have an idea of what to do and AG's Dept is also acting with great professionalism. more..

Govt to hold parliamentary, presidential polls together

Aug 21 (Island) The govt is, in consultation with political parties, exploring the possibility of holding both parliamentary and presidential polls on the same day, says Minister Rajitha Senaratne.  "Conducting local, provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections on separate days had resulted in a waste of valuable financial resources and also caused declining interest among  the voters," Senaratne said on Friday, more..

Sixteen cases against Rajapaksa regime big wigs to High Courts

Aug 21 (DN) Sixteen high profile cases filed against 37 people including several big wigs in the previous Rajapaksa regime for alleged misappropriation of state funds and properties amounting to billions of rupees will be taken up for hearing in three High Courts within the next few months. Among the 37 accused in these cases are former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, MP Namal Rajapaksa, former Chief Ministers, more..

20,000 graduates to get jobs soon: PM

Aug 21 (DM) The reconciliation process would have to move on a slow pace as it would have to look at many aspects, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the opening ceremony of new Municipal Council Building in Eravur. "Our journey towards national reconciliation is slow. It is slow as we have to think of all relevant aspects," he said. PM recalled that a Unity Govt was formed together with Prez Sirisena to bring about more..

Disaster mitigation vital

Aug 21 (CT) While disasters and their financial and humanitarian consequences cannot be predicted, regardless of which religion or beliefs one has, it is the responsibility of those affected and those who are socially and politically obliged to find solutions in the aftermath. Not necessarily during the aftermath, but take the appropriate proactive steps to prevent similar disasters and threats from taking place. This is of course, an individual as well as a collective endeavour that should be promoted more..

Wijeyadasa should resign if he has any self-respect: SF

Aug 21 (DM) Minister Sarath Fonseka was of the view that Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe should resign if he had an iota of self-respect. He said the UNP Working Committee has already condemned the conduct of Minister Rajapakshe, and therefore he should resign from his post immediately. He was responding to a question posed to him by the media after attending an event. Field Marshal said Mr. Rajapakshe had become a stumbling block to the govt's efforts to more..

'Bond Scam: PM should be questioned'

SL’s march toward emerging sciences: A rugged road but not impossible to tread

Aug 21 (FT) At a recent event at which the UK-based Northumbria University’s BSc Honours Degree in biotechnology was launched in SL, Minister Susil Premajayantha outlined the plan of his Ministry to take Sri Lanka toward emerging sciences, also known as emerging technologies.  To sum up problems faced by SL students, he brought out an example from his own life. He had studied in the science stream for the A/L exam with the hope of joining a state sector medical school in SL. more..

A/L paper leaked: Tuition master’s father and brother arrested

Aug 21 (AD) Police state that the father and brother of the tuition master who distributed leaflets containing questions from the GCE A/L Chemistry exam paper have been arrested. The whereabouts of the tuition master from Gampaha are yet to be found. The tuition master concerned was found to have distributed leaflets containing questions from the 2nd part of this year’s GCE A/L Chemistry paper in front of an Examination Center, leading to the launch of an investigation into the matter. more..

Thailand’s Rojana to set up industrial zone

Aug 21 (EN) Rojana Industrial Park is to set up SL’s first industrial zone in over a decade, aiming to use the island’s location, access to big markets through free trade deals and low labour cost to lure investors. The export processing zone in Millaniya, Kalutara, is expected to be ready by end-2018 with a fast-track development programme under which officials, including heads of utilities, meet weekly, minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said. more..

Airtel clocks fastest internet speeds in SL

Aug 21 (DM) With multiple claims relating to internet speeds in the market the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of SL – the sole telecom regulatory authority released its latest internet speed test results publication of internet speedsby service providers on their website ( Accordingly Airtel has recorded the fastest mobile internet service provider in the country recording a maximum data speed of 24.2 Mbps and an average speed of 12.4 Mbps on their 3G network. more..

Polythene manufacturers stage protest against polythene ban

Aug 21 (AD) Lotus Road in Pettah has been temporarily closed due to a protest by polythene manufacturers. Earlier, severe traffic congestion was reported in the Colombo Fort area due to a protest by polythene manufacturers against the polythene ban. Protest has been organized by All Ceylon Polythene Producers and Recyclers Association against the ban which will come into effect from Sept 1. Protest is being staged in front of People’s Park Shopping Complex in Colombo. more..

Rajapaksa explains why they oppose new Inland Revenue Bill

Aug 21 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa says that the policy on which the proposed new Inland Revenue law is based, is in keeping with the ideology of the UNP but is contrary to that of the SLFP. He said that no member of the SLFP can pass legislation that seeks to tax provident fund contributions, to tax individuals more and companies in the same industry less, to increase the tax burden on the struggling more..

New Sony digital imaging showcase opens

Aug 21 (DM) Sony International (Singapore) Ltd. announced the opening of a new digital imaging showroom in collaboration with renowned SL distributor CameraLK Pvt. Ltd. Measuring 2,000 square feet, this new store called Sony Camera Flagship Store located at High Level Road, Colombo 5 will house the full range of Alpha digital cameras and accessories including Sony camera bags, flash units, battery grips and other camera accessories in a one-stop, convenient location more..

Expert recommends elevated expressways

Aug 21 (Island) President of the Chamber of Construction Industry, SL, Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe says Sri Lanka should opt for elevated expressways, which he considers cost effective and environment friendly. Commuters who travelled between Colombo and Kandy had to spend at least four hours each way, he pointed out in a brief interview with The Island, opining that to fast track the Central Expressway project, the latest design techniques, should be used. more..

Meepe: Another Uma Oya?

Aug 21 (AD) Sithawaka Environmental Protection Association states that the villagers of Padukka, Meepe are being subjected to much distress owing to the rock quarries that are in operation on the Kithul Kanda rock. A representative of the Association, states that an entire side of the rock has by now been either blasted off or removed. This large-scale mining activity and its consequent environmental more..

STF catches wanted man running lodge

Aug 21 (Island) A team of police commandos attached to the STF headquarters had caught a notorious suspect wanted for a series of crimes at Ingiriya and surrounding areas at a lodge in Koshena in Handapangoda along with fire arms and ammunition on Friday night. Suspect had been running the lodge and used the place as a safe house for those involved in various crimes. Police had received information that the suspect had been involved in providing weapons needed by more..

Motorcycle tax relief a time bomb: Bus Owners

Aug 21 (NR) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association says the decision to grant tax concessions for motorcycles will be the imminent cause for several issues. Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne expressing the Associations opposition against the move said instead of granting concessions to improve public transport the decision would only lead to more traffic congestion. He noted when reducing taxes in such a manner the transport and environmental ministry plus more..

31 TN trawlers held up in Sri Lanka to be salvaged soon

Aug 21 (Hindu) A 7-member team, led by G.S. Sameeran, Additional Director of Fisheries, which inspected 42 trawlers impounded by SL Navy in March 2015 and ordered to be released by govt of SL, has said 31 boats could be salvaged after repair work. Team, which returned here on Sunday after assessing the condition of the boats berthed in Kankesanthurai, Karainagar, Mannar, Trinco & Puthalam from Aug 17 to 20, more..

Chemistry paper wasn’t released before exam: Ministry

Aug 21 (NR) Commissioner General of Examinations WMNJ Pushpakumara says the A/L Chemistry paper was not released before the examination. Initial police investigations have revealed that the questions included in a leaflet that were said to have been taken from the 2nd part of the Chemistry paper were not released before the commencement of the examination. Issuing a statement, Ministry of Education said the questions were published when the exam was ongoing. more..

Reimbursement programme to enable heart surgeries to be done at private hospitals

Aug 21 (DN) The ovt will shortly introduce a reimbursement programme to enable heart patients get their surgeries done at private hospitals, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said yesterday. “With this move, heart patients will no longer be required to wait in the waiting lists of govt hospitals. They can get their surgeries done in private hospitals and the Govt will pay for it,” he said. The Govt early this month also announced a drastic price reduction of heart stents. more..

National inflation steady at 6.3% in July

Aug 21 (EN) National inflation, measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), remained at 6.3% in July 2017 from a year ago, as food prices and health costs fell. The NCPI, decreased to 122.4 index points in July 2017 from 123.4 index points in June 2017. “This monthly decrease was mainly due to the decrease in prices of the items in the Food category. Within the Food category, prices of coconuts, more..

Proposal to increase taxes on soft drinks

Aug 21 (DN) The set of proposals to increase taxes on soft drinks prepared by WHO was handed over to Minister Rajitha Senaratna by WHO resident Representative Dr. Razia Pendse recently. Proposal was prepared by WHO on a special request made by Minister Senaratna. Diabetes is spreading among adults and children and 10% of the population has diabetes. It is said that every year 52,000 healthy lives are lost due to these soft drinks. Consumption of these drinks waste Rs 28 billion a year. more..

New CDS to assume duties tomorrow

Aug 21 (DM) Former Navy Commander Vice-Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne would be promoted to the rank of Admiral and was scheduled to take over duties of the Chief Of Defence Staff (CDS) office from General Crishantha de Silva on Aug 22. President appointed Vice-Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne as the new CDS. He would become the second Navy Chief to chair the CDS Office, which was earlier, before July 15 2007, known as the Joint Operations Headquarters. more..

GMOA writes to MPs over SAITM controversy

Aug 21 (DM) GMOA today wrote to all MPs asking them to call for a debate on the setting up of SAITM. It said despite the SAITM issue being resolved, Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s interference had aggravated the situation causing financial and other damage to the country. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge claimed the minister had pumped Rs.3,000 million to the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) based on a letter of intent. more..

Amended draft of Inland Revenue Bill to be presented in Parliament on Friday

Aug 21 (DN) The amended draft of the Inland Revenue Bill will be presented in Parliament on August 25, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today. The Attorney General insisted that Section 67(1), (2), (6) and (7) of the Bill to be deleted and to introduce new sections during the committee stage in Parliament on July 22. The amended bill will ensure simplicity, transparency, easy administration and prevent unnecessary clogging of tax appeals. more..

Decrease in voters registered in Colombo, urban areas: EC

Aug 21 (DM) Election Commission said today that there was a decrease in the numbers of people registered in Colombo City, Colombo District as well as urban and semi-urban areas. Therefore, it requested all persons to be certain that their names are included in the electoral register as only the registered persons can vote. “The draft of the electoral register-2017 has been completed and it can be viewed from the,” the Elections Commission (EC) said. more..

Sri Lanka fans hold up team bus to express displeasure

Aug 21 (CI) A section of Sri Lanka spectators held up the team bus and voiced raucous displeasure at the performance of players and administration following the nine-wicket loss against India in Dambulla. A group of about 50 fans had stood in the vicinity of Sri Lanka's parked bus, hooting and shouting slogans such as we want our cricket back and no politics in cricket, until police stepped in and cleared the gathering. more..

Video: Those who cannot comprehend depth of JR’s Ideology not UNPers: Ajith P. Perera

Aug 21 (DM) The people who don’t understand the core of the former president late J. R. Jayewardene’s ideology are not true UNPers, Power and Renewable Energy Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. Speaking to the media after attending a function to commemorate the UNP Leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 40 year-political-journey, the deputy minister said those who cannot understand the meaning behind the late president Jayewardene’s words are not true UNPers. more..

World to witness one of the largest solar eclipses

Aug 21 (NR) World will witness one of the biggest cosmic events in recent times with a total solar eclipse falling today. Solar eclipse has been dubbed the great American eclipse as millions of US inhabitants will see the moon completely block the sun. For SL and other countries, the eclipse will only be visible as a partial eclipse. Sri Lanka will be able to witness the total solar eclipse expected to take place on 26th of Dec 2019, while those in Trinco will see a complete solar eclipse and more..