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Prison overcrowding spills over, inmate assaulted

Aug 22 (SL) Prison overcrowding has been a long standing issue which is yet to be resolved and has now led to an inmate being assaulted. 22 year old inmate was assaulted after he raised the overcrowding issue with the authorities. The inmate had complained that he was in an 8×12 foot cell with eight inmates and had little to no room to move around. Minister D.M. Swaminathan said an investigation will be launched more..

Pump-and-dump trading: Pan Asia links to Perpetual/EPF probed

Aug 22 (ST) Pan Asia Banking Corporation (PABC) is vigorously defending itself against wrongdoing after the Central Bank (CB) slapped a six-month suspension on the bank’s primary dealership over the bond scam in the light of evidence of involvement in pump-and-dump trades. Asked to comment on the suspension, PABC CEO Nimal Tillakeratne said that the bank would be appealing against the suspension more..

Many things to rejoice over during last two years of govt: Gayantha

Aug 22 (FT) At the next general election, the people’s opinion will be sought in a technologically advanced, modernised and civilised country, said Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. Public could be content with the prevailing environment in the country as the unity govt completes two years in office. He said there are many things to be celebrated when looking back at the last two years after the new Govt took over the country. more..

India, Japan interested in developing Trincomalee Port: PM

Aug 22 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says India and Japan have evinced an interest in developing Trincomalee Port. Speaking at a ceremony to declare open new Municipal Council building in Eravur, PM said the govt would, in keeping with its election pledges, develop the entire country including the East. "Ampara and Batticaloa would also benefit from the development and reconciliation programmes more..

New tax law won’t affect those earning below Rs.1.2Mn

Aug 22 (NR) The govt says those earning less than 1.2 million rupees annually will not be subjected to the new Inland Revenue Bill. Accordingly, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera said ordinary workers will not be affected by the bill. He also said individuals earning a high income who love the country should not oppose the bill. The new Inland Revenue Bill will be tabled in Parliament on the 25th of August. more..

Dry rations to farmers in drought affected areas under President’s directive

Aug 22 (PMD) The program which was implemented under the directive of President Maithripala Sirisena to provide dry rations to the farmers in drought affected areas is now being operated. The packs of dry rations consists flour, dhal, sugar, gram, canned fish and other food items are being distributed under this program in 13 districts in the island. The dry rations are issued by the district and provincial secretaries, and delivered among more..

Wijedasa’s short-sighted action created chaos: UNP

Aug 22 (NR) UNP MP Nalin Bandara says a small matter that could have been easily solved transformed into a serious crisis due to the short-sighted action of the Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa. MP Bandra said Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa made contradictory statements on several occasions when meeting with party members. He said during the UNP Working Committee meeting, Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa said that more..

'Sri Lanka running out of time for new constitution; containing extreme forces'

Aug 22 (EN) Sri Lanka main political parties should quickly reach consciences on a new constitution with a key minority party in the north being flexible and stop creating room for extreme views to rise again, a constructional lawyer has said. “You cannot bring out a Constitution at the tail end of a Parliament,” Jayampathy Wickramaratne a legislator who co-chairing a technical committee on drawing up a new constitution said. more..

84 terrorism related cases on trial

Aug 22 (PMD) There are 84 cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) under trail and the Attorney-General’s Department is examining the police investigation reports pertaining to another 12 suspects for further legal action. The current trials include conspiracy and aiding and abetting the assassination of former Minister of Foreign Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar, attempted Assassination of former Defence Secretary, more..

Let’s celebrate Travis Sinniah

Aug 22 (CT) Rear-Admiral Travis Jeremy Liyanduru Sinniah's appointment as Sri Lanka's first Tamil Navy Commander after 47 years is an example that the country treats its citizens equally, without discriminating against them on racial, linguistic and religious lines. Sinniah's appointment was preceded by the appointment of another Tamil, Rudra Rajasingham as the country's first Tamil IGP 35 years ago in 1982. Both Sinniah and Rajasingham are and were Christians. more..

Only citizens, civil society, media and Judiciary can assure Yahapalanaya!

Aug 22 (FT) The solemn pledge of fostering Yahapalanaya – Good Governance – was the key political commitment that led to the regime changes of January and August 2015. Voters defied the pressures before them to rally round and vote for the realisation of a dream; a dream of enjoying sustainably the national resources, within a structure of governance that upheld peace, harmony, equity, inclusiveness, anti-corruption and rule of law as cornerstones of good governance. more..

News Line

Sri Lanka mulls relaxing domestic market curbs on BOI firms

Aug 22 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt is considering relaxing restrictions on domestic sales of mainly export-oriented companies under its Board of Investment, which gives incentives like tax breaks. State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said the govt is committed to liberalising the economy further and giving consumers a better choice. At present, companies registered under the Board of Investment rules can sell only 10 percent of their output in the local market, with 90% having to be exported, more..

NCPC Council votes to hold all PC Elections on one day

Aug 22 (NR) North Central Provincial Council today approved the 20th Constitutional Amendment to conduct all Provincial Council elections on one single day. The 20th Constitutional Amendment was tabled before the North Central Provincial Council this morning with the Chairman of the Provincial Council DM Amarathunga claiming that 15 votes were cast in favour of the Amendment while 13 were cast against. Two members of the Council were not present at the time the vote was taken. more..

Video: Tense situation at Kataragama Devalaya

Aug 22 (AD) A tense situation prevailed in the early hours today at the Kataragama Devalaya premises, when Basnayake Nilame D.P. Kumarage and his son had reportedly taken away the keys of the devalaya, when the Chief Kapurala was preparing to begin the daily Pooja. The daily Poojas begin with the 4 a.m. offering except on Saturdays at the devalaya and a large number of devotees had arrived at the premises to more..

Abortion Bill to be brought to Parliament soon

Aug 22 (DN) A Bill to legalize the termination of pregnancy on two specific occasions will be brought to Parliament soon, Physician Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said. Two instances are if a female is made pregnant due to rape or if a foetus is diagnosed with Lethal Congenital Malformation. He said the Cabinet paper had already received Cabinet approval. “Once the law is enacted, the mothers will receive the opportunity to decide whether to abort the fetus or go ahead with the pregnancy,” he said. more..

EPF to get property stock for bus SOE arrears

Aug 22 (EN) SL Transport Board will transfer unutilised land to a property firm that will issue stock to the EPF in lieu of retirement contribution arrears. Department of Public Enterprises said a company called Provident Property Lanka Limited had been set up to take over EPF liabilities of 6 billion rupees, along with some unutilised land. Ordinary or preference shares will be issued to the EPF in exchange for the liability, and the instruments will be redeemed after the land is sold. more..

Cabinet advice sought on stalled Sri Lanka 300MW IPP tender: minister

Aug 22 (EN) Power ministry has sought cabinet advice on a stalled tender for a 300MegaWatt dual fuel power plant that is needed to avoid a looming crisis in 2 years, Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said. Second round bids were seen by a technical evaluation committee and a cabinet appointed tender board, and eventually a decision had been made that all the bids were non-responsive due to various reasons, more..

A ravaged piece of Sri Lanka in Kashmir

Aug 22 (Hindu) The violence of the 1990s in Kashmir shattered stereotypes about the state and changed it irreversibly. Mir Khalid’s Jaffna Street, a book on militancy in Kashmir, has been receiving acclaim ever since it was launched a few months ago in Srinagar. Khalid is a Srinagar-born surgeon who currently works in Saudi Arabia. Jaffna Street, his first book in English, is based on real people from the old city who decided to join militancy in the 1990s. Khalid discusses the idea behind more..

Laptops for MPs desk in house

Aug 22 (DM) Each MP was provided with a laptop on their desk in the House from yesterday to provide them an efficient service, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament today. He said the computers had been provided by the Chinese Parliament under the E- Chamber project. He said MPs in the House would be able to access the internet and information on legislature, acts and bills presented by MPs, questions and answers asked by MPs, information regarding the questions to be asked, more..

Inconsistent amendments to be removed at Committee Stage: PM

Aug 22 (DM) Amendments to the Local Govt Act not consistent with its nature, would be excluded during the Committee Stage of the debate, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today. PM came up with this statement in response to a question raised by the Opposition on the Bill last afternoon. Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who raised a question on the matter inquired into what the govt more..

Face-lift for Thileepan monument: Damaged by various parties

Aug 22 (CT) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is to work with the Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) to renovate and preserve the Thileepan monument, which was subjected to constant destruction by various parties since its inception in 1988. NPC Chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam said the monument in Nallur is dilapidated and a decision was adopted by the house to take necessary action to clean the surroundings and renovate it. This monument was initially erected in 1988, but was destroyed by more..

President donates Rs.45 million to renovate Golden Canopy

Aug 22 (PSL) President Sirisena has given Rs. 45 million for gold plating the golden canopy of the historic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. He made this donation, responding to a request made by the Mahanayake Theros of Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters. President handed over the relevant cheque in this regard to the Kandy District Secretary Mr. H.M.P. Hitisekara at the Presidential Secretariat, today. The golden canopy was offered to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic by more..

Election delays: Watchdogs to seek legal action

Aug 22 (DM) Election monitoring organisations today warned the Govt that they would seek stern legal action if the Govt failed to pass the proposed amendments to the Elections Act, which would delay Local Govt elections further. Addressing a press briefing the March-12 Movement, a voluntary organisation consisting of representatives from election monitoring organisations, civil society groups and more..

Pre-historic rock bed discovered Found in Opanayake cave

Aug 22 (CT) A rock bed which has evidence of pre-historic cartography has been discovered, in a natural cave in Opanayake, Balangoda, by a team of archaeologists. The discovery was made by Professor Raj Somadeva and his team, earlier this month. Professor Somadeva speaking to Ceylon Today, noted that his team is now cleaning evidence and taking records in order to make 1:1 scale illustrations for further analysis of the primordial rock carvings of the surrounding area. more..

Protesting against oil palm cultivation, Deputy Minister storms out of meeting

Aug 22 (Island) Deputy Minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama stormed out of a recent meeting held to discuss issues related to the oil palm cultivation in the Galle District. JVP Southern Provincial Councillor Nalin Hewage protested against the absence of the Galle District Co-ordinating Committee co-chairman at the meeting. The extent of oil palm cultivation had increased from 1030 acres in 2000 to 6436 acres in 2016. In 2017 it had increased further, but no decision could be more..

'Hambantota agreement is faulty'

Aug 22 (NR) Leader of PHU Udaya Gammanpila alleged that a discrepancy has been reported over the Hambantota Port agreement. MP charged the company that placed the highest bid had not been granted the Hambantota port deal. He said when a 5 member committee headed by Deputy Chairman of the Ports Authority noted the tenders issued by China Harbour Company were higher in value, govt handed over the deal to more..

Draft of Registration of Persons Act tabled

Aug 22 (NR) Minister of Internal Affairs SB Nawinne today tabled the draft bill for the proposed amendment of the Registration of Persons Act in Parliament. The draft bill proposes the revision of granting National Identity Cards from 15 years and above. Speaking in Parliament the Minister said an electronic database will be introduced in future in order to clarify a person’s identity. The Minister added such an efficient service would be an added advantage. more..

President to lay foundation stone for Amaradewa Monastery

Aug 22 (GDI) The foundation stone laying ceremony for Amaradewa Asapuwa, musical monastery to be constructed in memory of Pandit W.D. Amaradewa will be held on 28th Aug at Apegama premises In Battaramulla. This will be held under the patronage of Prez & PM. Minister Mangala Samraweera, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawana, Secretary to the Ministry R.H.S. Samaratunge, and Chairperson of Amaradewa Foundation Mrs. Wimala Amaradewa will also participate more..

Agreement to purchase four airbuses: MR regime that first decided to cancel it

Aug 22 (DM) It was the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt which decided to abrogate the agreement it signed with Airbus Industries to purchase four airbuses just before the regime change Minister Susil Premajayantha said. He said the situation worsened after the yahapalana govt appointed a new board of directors and told Daily Mirror that the Rajapaksa administration had decided to do so after the exposures made in the COPE report. more..

Mastercard partners with Educate Lanka to support underprivileged women

Aug 22 (DM) Mastercard has joined hands with Educate Lanka to empower Sri Lanka’s young women as part of its Doing Well, Doing Good initiative. As part of the collaboration, Mastercard will fund a scholarship programme as well as a skills development and mentorship platform, supported by the company. The initiative seeks to build a more inclusive future for these women, in line with Mastercard’s global commitment to advancing social and sustainability causes within more..

People affected by Uma–Oya destruction ready to take to the streets

Aug 22 (LT) A campaign to make people affected by the Uma–Oya multi destruction project aware of the steps that should be taken to demand the govt to expedite the moves to provide relief for the affected has been launched says the convener of the People’s Front against Uma – Oya Multi Destructive Project Samantha Viddyarathna. He says only 10% of the relief demanded by the people have been provided by the authorities. As a part of the campaign, meetings were held in more..

Video: Too many cooks: says interim coach Pothas

Aug 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka cricket coach Nic Pothas says too many cooks are spoiling his efforts to revive the national team and has called for greater autonomy in the wake of yet another confidence-sapping loss against India on Sunday. Sri Lanka were well beaten in the recently concluded three-test series against India, losing the first two matches inside four days and the last one in three to be whitewashed 3-0. more..

Govt can continue till 2025 if Wijeyadasa leaves: Rajitha

Aug 22 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has said that this govt could go on till 2025 and not upto 2020, if Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe leaves the govt. He said on Sunday that he would request the President to allow this minister who is due to leave his portfolio to do so. He also said he would resign from his post if Wijayadasa Rajapakshe could show one part of thousand works done by him in the field of health. He said further that he would not talk about the things that more..

Rs 1.5 billion for dry food rations to drought affected

Aug 22 (PSL) Treasury has released Rs. 1.5 billion to the District Secretaries through Ministry of Disaster Management for the purpose of distributing dry food rations among the drought affected people. Rs. 1.43 billion out of Rs. 1.5 billion provision has already allocated to the relevant tasks as well as the process of distributing dry food rations among the people in Puttalam, Kurunegala, Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, A'pura, Polonnaruwa and Monaragala districts already commenced. more..

Video: Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa to be released from Ministerial Portfolio: UNP

Aug 22 (AD) The working committee of the UNP has made a collective decision to take steps to release Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa from his ministerial portfolio. Party General Secretary Kabir Hashim stated that this decision was arrived at following the Minister of Justice not complying with the demands made by the working committee in light of him criticizing govt policies. more..

Dreams of being Sri Lanka’s big king!

Aug 23 (CT) Sri Lanka doles out media licenses based on political patronage. We have seen this being perfected by successive govts. The license holders provide the patronage to their political masters with absolute reverence that includes the current Yahapalanaya, which has doled out licenses for crossing over Parliamentarians. A long time player in this game is probably aiming to be the Maharaja of broadcasts with the continued blatant prostitution of Media. more..

The 3-year plan of the Unity Govt

Aug 23 (FT) It is reported that the Govt will unveil a 3-year development program on 4 Sept to coincide with the second anniversary of the formation of Unity Govt. The next budget would be formulated in keeping with this program. This would be a 3-year program to be implemented within a frame of eight years. This is extremely good news. SL economy is drifting like a ship without a rudder. It could hit the rocks very soon, drowning all of us, except commission earners, more..

Swarna Mallawarachchi: The woman I saw

Aug 23 (DM) In Yasapalitha Nanayakkara’s Anjana, Swarna Mallawarachchi does something she never did in her other movies. Dance. Anjana erupts in a riot of colour (it still feels rather over saturated today, like all those commercial films from the eighties and practically subsists on sharply defined reds, greens, and blues: ideal for the lavish, visually lovely, but rather incongruous dance sequences it contained. more..

The promise of religious freedom in SL

Aug 23 (DN) Religious freedom in Sri Lanka supposedly abounds. At least that is what the Constitution requires, declaring that, “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice,” and giving citizens the right to manifest their religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, in public and in private. But, according to a new report released by US Department of State, more..