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Civilised warfare

Aug 23 (DN) If you are a Sinhalese, close your eyes and listen to a few of Nanda Malini's best songs. And then, reflect on her widely reported humble beginnings in a disadvantaged settlement in Colombo. Fortunately, for her and us, her innate talents were in music, not in any other institutionalized area of professional work where the rise to a higher level of competence and recognition has long been dependent on access to social and financial resources, besides having attended more..

Shiranthi squanders Rs. 25 million in 5 days

Aug 23 (SL) Although the extravagant expenses made by the Rajapaksa family during their time was not a secret, it had now come to light how former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa had spent a staggering amount of tax payers’ hard-earned money to stay in Paris for four nights just prior to her husband’s defeat at the 2015 presidential election. Official documents this newspaper is now in possession shows how more..

Editorial: Reservoir Dogs

Aug 23 (Island) A foreign political commentator has aptly likened what is happening at the White House on President Donald Trump’s watch to the final scene of Quentin Tarantino’s crime flick, Reservoir Dogs, where some thieves, unable to find a police informer among them, point guns at each other, yelling and cursing. One gets the same thrill from the internecine battles that characterise the corridors of power in this country. SLFP ministers and their UNP counterparts are at daggers drawn. more..

Better service through local empowerment

Aug 23 (CT) In the midst of continuing dysfunctionality, increasing evidence of financial corruption, arbitrary decisions at education, abrupt changes of personnel initially introduced with great hype, it was good last week to receive some positive news. This was in the form of a circular issued by the Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs with regard to Divisional and District Secretariat Development Forums. This is the first indication that there is at least some concern with regard to more..

Sanath Jayasuriya

World Duty Free wins second tender for Core Category shop in BIA

Aug 23 (FT) Cabinet decided to award the second tender for the second space allocated for a Core Category Duty Free Shop at BIA to Dufry AG, a Swiss company which earlier operated World Duty Free in Sri Lanka. Only two bidders, Dufry AG, a Swiss company and DFS India Ltd. with B&S Holdings, tendered for shop space 2, at both the departure restricted area and arrival restricted area with 3,060 sq. ft and 2,665 sq. ft respectively. Both bidders offered a concession fee of 43%, more..

Can foreign judges be avoided?

Aug 23 (Island) One time Attorney General and newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana, PC, on Friday declared that the 1978 Constitution wouldn’t permit inclusion of foreign judges in the proposed domestic Judicial Mechanism under any circumstances. The declaration was made in response to a query posed to him by the writer at the Foreign Ministry soon after the National List MP took office. With new Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam more..

Sri Lanka mull over three-man seam attack

Aug 23 (DN) Sri Lanka outplayed in the first ODI at Dambulla on Sunday are looking to play three seamers in the second match that takes place at the Pallekele International Stadium tomorrow. “We would like to play three pacies depending on the type of wicket we get. The wicket itself looks pretty good,” said SL cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha as the team practiced under lights at Pallekele yesterday. more..

Indian High Commissioner hails ties with SL

Aug 23 (FT) The High Commission of India and the Indian expatriate community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 71st Independence Day of India on Tuesday, 15 August at India House in Colombo. Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu unfurled the National Flag and inspected a Guard of Honour presented by the BSF contingent at the event and also read out excerpts from the Address to the Nation on the eve of Independence Day by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. more..

New constitution a must: Friday Forum

Aug 23 (Island) Peoples’ verdict at the Presidential election of Jan 2015 reflected the mandate of the people for a new constitution to remedy democratic deficits in SL’s governance arrangements, nearly 40 years after the enactment of the current constitution. A year later, after the Parliamentary election of the same year, process for the enactment of a new constitution was initiated on 9th March 2016 with the passing of the Framework Resolution for the appointment of the Constitutional Assembly. more..

Govt mulls action on NPP

Aug 23 (FT) Adding to the controversy looming over the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva confirmed that Parliament was taking action over the investigative report received on 21 August highlighting the alleged misconduct carried out by the ICTA on matters pertaining to the National Payment Platform (NPP). Deputy Minister, referring to a question more..

Japanese Naval ship in the island

Aug 23 (MoD) Making a three day goodwill visit to the country the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ship Amagiri arrived to the country today (21). The Japanese ship was accorded a traditional Naval welcome by the Sri Lanka Navy upon its arrival at the Hambantota harbor. During its stay in the island Amagiri, an Asagiri-class destroyer is scheduled to conduct a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Sri Lanka Navy's Offshore Patrol Vessel Samudura. more..

Dialog Axiata makes South Asia’s first-ever 5G foray

Aug 23 (FT) Sri Lanka yet again showcased its dominance as the regional hub for telecommunications with Dialog Axiata demonstrating 5G (Generation) Technology for the first time in South Asia, paving the way for next generation wireless connectivity with speeds in excess of 35 Gbps. The groundbreaking 5G technology capability trial was carried out by Dialog Axiata with technology partners Ericsson and Huawei at Dialog Iconic in Colombo, more..

All telco operators agree to grant 10% bonus data on internet packages

Aug 23 (Island) Licensed telecommunications operators announced that all mobile and fixed line subscribers will be granted a 10% bonus usage on internet packages/cards as a special gesture to mark the removal of Telco Levy by the govt. Operators in a joint statement said that the removal of the Telco Levy on internet by the govt is a forward looking move towards improving affordability & creation of a digital Sri Lanka. more..

Lack of funds — Sri Lanka pulls out of YOG Asian Qualifier

Aug 23 (ST) Lack of funds has forced Sri Lanka to pull out of the upcoming Asian Rugby Under-17 Sevens Championship scheduled to be held in Chinese Taipei next month. This tournament also serves as the qualifying platform of the Youth Olympic Games 2018 to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) authorities have not shown any interest to see the defending champions of the tournament make proper preparation. more..

Target 9.2 accelerates Sri Lanka industries towards GSDF: UN

Aug 23 (GDI) Sri Lankan industry sector has called for an enhanced role of the UN in its development while the UN praised Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive industrialization in line with Target 9.2 of the global Sustainable Development Framework. “It’s great that the Ministry of Industry is committed to the Sustainable Development Framework” said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Una McCauley at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. more..

PAB rejects Sierra appeal, Access wins award

Aug 23 (ST) Sports Ministry will award the tender to relay the synthetic tracks at the Sugathadasa Stadium this week after the Procurement Appeal Board (PAB) rejected an appeal by Sierra Constructions, a joint venture with Polythan Asia challenging the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee’s (CAPC) decision to award the tender to Access International and Conica-Veritas. “We have got the PAB verdict rejecting the appeal,” more..

‘Swedish investor to bail out CIFL depositors’

Aug 23 (DN) A Swedish investor has finally come forward to bail out the Central Investment and Finance Co Ltd (CIFL) depositors. CIFL Depositors Association (CIFLDA) President Wijaya Gunawardane said that a representative of the Swedish company attended the annual general meeting (AGM) last Saturday at the Public Library. He then informed depositors of the details of the payment. This will be capital plus interest which would be paid in full within four years. more..

Ambassador of SL meets Minister of Defence, Bahrain

Aug 23 (FT) Ambassador of SL Dr. Saj Mendis met with Minister of Defence Affairs of Kingdom of Bahrain Lieutenant General Yousuf Al Jalahma recently.  Supreme Commander of Defence is the King of Bahrain. Bahrain Defence Force (BDF); which comprises Royal Bahraini Army, Royal Bahraini Navy, Royal Bahraini Ari Force, Royal Bahraini Air Defence Force and Royal Medical Services; is regulated and is under the auspices of the Ministry of Defence, which is headed by more..

MPs elected on UPFA ticket urged to help torpedo 20A

Aug 23 (Island) Against the backdrop of the TNA declaring that it wouldn’t support enactment of 20th Amendment in its present form, the JO said that the passage of the proposed law with a two-thirds majority in parliament would not be possible without the support of those elected on the UPFA ticket at the last parliamentary polls in Aug 2015. TNA parliamentary group consists of 16 members, including 2 National List MPs. more..

Doctor, his son behind paper leak

Aug 23 (Island) Police investigations have revealed that a doctor and his son were behind the leaking of three questions from the GCE A/L Chemistry paper recently. Police said that the medical doctors had given one million rupees to a tuition master currently in hiding and told him to help his son who was sitting the exam answer the questions and score high marks. The doctor’s son while answering the chemistry paper had sent the three questions via a mobile phone to the tuition master, more..

Anarva by Siddhalepa opens in Mt Lavinia

Aug 23 (DN) Siddhalepa Anarva hotel, Mount Lavinia, was opened by President Sirisena last Saturday. The hotel is the second hotel by the group after Siddlepla Resort and Spa Wadduwa, for the group. The hotel offers 98 rooms in seven floors including two suites and offers double glazed soundproof windows for a restful sleep. The hotel was designed by a Singaporean company. It has a rooftop swimming pool, a gym and an authentic SL ayurveda therapy spa & offers a wide range more..

Bill to allow aborting foetus on two counts

Aug 23 (DN) A Bill will be brought to Parliament to allow termination of pregnancy for two specific reasons. These are, when the mother carries a foetus with Lethal Congenital Malformation and when a woman becomes a rape victim, Physician Dr. Kapila Jayaratne said. Cabinet approval has been received for this proposal. Once the law is enacted, mothers will have the opportunity to decide whether to abort the foetus or more..

Hajj festival on Sept 2

Aug 23 (DM) Colombo Grand Mosque Inc (CGMI) announced the Eid-ul Azha (Hajj) festival would be celebrated in Sri Lanka on Sept 2. The General Secretary of the CGMI Thaufiq Zubyr said it was decided that the first day of the Holy Month of Dhul Hijjah 1438 would commence from the evening of Aug 23 as no reliable evidence of the sighted of the new Moon was received on August 22. The decision was take at a Conference of representatives of Colombo Grand Mosque, more..

TISL renews calls to bring National Audit Bill up for debate

Aug 23 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) renewed the call to pass the proposed Audit Bill, urging Govt to retain the surcharging powers vested in the Auditor General that have faced opposition. Stressing that any amendments needed for the bill can be presented during the committee stage of Parliament, TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeysekere said that Govt should table the bill in Parliament immediately. “Bill is also a promise made under 100-day manifesto. more..

Vithya case: Magistrate directs CID to probe Senathirajah; Ex-SDIG further remanded

Aug 23 (CT) Kayts Magistrate, A.M.M. Riyal directed the CID to investigate ITAK leader and the TNA MP, Mavai Senathirajah's presence in Punkuduthivu, in connection with the gruesome gang rape and murder of schoolgirl Vithya Sivaloganathan in May 2015. Magistrate also directed the CID to investigate and record the statements of two Police Constables, an IP and a SI. He also ordered the CID to expedite more..

'Treasure hunters work for ministers'

Aug 23 (Island) Buddhist places of worship in Hewaheta were being destroyed by treasure hunters but the culprits were not apprehended by police as they were busy running errands and providing security to ministers, said UNP member Shanthini Kongahage at the meeting of the Central Provincial Council on Tuesday. Shanthini said a pair of elephant tusks from Pattini Devale in Hewaheta had been stolen over a year back, but the thieves were still at large. more..

Wijeyadasa to resign?

Aug 23 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is likely to resign from his post today, informed sources said yesterday. According to top govt sources the Minister had informed President Sirisena that he is willing to resign from the post. Though it was speculated that Talatha Athokorala was expected to be sown in as the new Minister of Justice, Ms Athokorala denied the story that she was to be appointed to the post. “No one had asked me to take over the Justice Ministry,” she said. more..

Industry and authorities tussle over polythene issue

Aug 23 (FT) Polythene manufacturers and state authorities are trading accusations over the soon-to-be-enforced ban on selected high density polyethylene (HDPE) products, with the former alleging that the ban will result in a total breakdown of the industry and a loss of some 40,000 jobs. Authorities, however, disputing the numbers, maintain that the ban only deals with three specific HDPE products and will therefore more..

China will assist Sri Lanka to become a Singapore: Envoy

Aug 23 (FT) China will to continue to provide development assistance to Sri Lanka to uplift the island nation to the standard of Singapore within the next 15 years, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said. Speaking at an event held in Tangalle, he said Sri Lanka is a very special friend to China and this is the 60th anniversary of the friendship between the two countries. Ambassador said Sri Lankan and Chinese people are well aware of Chinese-Sri Lanka Rubber Rice Agreement more..

CB to play proactive role in letting economy harness technology to boost growth

Aug 23 (FT) The Central Bank assured it would play a proactive role in promoting the adoption of new technology and innovation in the economy, especially the financial services industry whilst being a regulator. In a globalised world with its continuous race to compete, Sri Lanka should stay focused and keep abreast of the latest technologies the world has to offer, CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said while insisting that innovation and localisation in applying new technologies more..

Bond Scam II: Money for corruption?: Rs. 58 bn sought for road development

Aug 23 (DM) Higher Education and Highways Ministry sought Parliamentary approval for Rs.53,000 million to fund six projects including the extension of the Southern Expressway, construction of the third phase of the Colombo Outer Circular Road and the construction of a new bridge across the Kelani River. Minister Lakshman Kiriella informed Parliament that Rs. 51.5 billion out of the Rs. 53 billion would be raised under more..

Wasting: A problem needing immediate attention

Aug 23 (CT) Ceylon Today reported that SL is having the third highest prevalence of wasting, or low weight for height which is a strong predictor of mortality among children under five according to a report by the Int'l Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Wasting is usually the result of acute significant food shortage and/or disease. Shockingly the only countries ranked below SL in this index are Djibouti & South Sudan, countries wrecked by conflict and horrors of global warming. more..

School students to receive health insurance coverage

Aug 23 (NR) Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposal that calls for health insurance cover for school children. Accordingly, 4.5 million school children aged 5 to 19 years will receive free insurance coverage of Rs.200,000 rupees each. The budgetary allocation for this purpose from the 2017 budget is 2,700 million rupees. The proposed insurance covers 10,000 rupees for out-patient treatment and a cover of 100,000 rupees per hospitalization. more..

ගම්මැද්ද Good Market සමග එකතු වුණේ ඇයි?

HC commences trial against State Minister Palitha Range Bandara

Aug 23 (DN) The Colombo High Court today commenced recording evidence in a case filed against Skills Development and Vocational Training State Minister Palitha Range Bandara and another person for allegedly aiding and abetting to present a vehicle registration permit for an illegally assembled vehicle. When the case came up before High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga, the first witness Dinesh Ratnayake gave evidence and further trial was fixed for August 25. more..

Ministries are not lotteries

Aug 23 (DM) After the resignation of Ravi Karunanayake as the Foreign Minister, govt has reverted the two lotteries boards, National Lotteries Board and Development Lotteries Board back to the Finance Ministry functioning under Minister Mangala Samaraweera.   Two lotteries boards had been under the Finance Ministry for a long time as two institutions earning revenue for the public coffers until the Cabinet reshuffle effected in last May, when they were transferred to Foreign Ministry. more..

Accusations against Wijedasa baseless: JO

Aug 23 (NR) The Joint Opposition says the factors considered in the removal of Wijedasa Rajapakshe as Minister of Justice was baseless. UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama said Wijedasa Rajapakshe spoke of the country as he feels for the happenings. MP said the party has never endorsed a common candidate, noting the party always brings forward its own candidate. He said the Party has never gone behind a common candidate more..

'Provide health allowance to drought victims'

Aug 23 (NR) Chief Opposition Whip MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake requested the govt to provide a health allowance to those affected by the drought in several districts. He said the allowance should be provided in addition to the present benefits. The MP stated farming was the only income for families adding more than three crops have been destroyed. He noted they have pawned everything they own from their gold to household equipment remarking they’re economy was in shambles more..

SIM card registrations to be made strict

Aug 23 (NR) The Cabinet today approved the proposal tabled calling for the registration of mobile SIM cards. Cabinet arrived at this decision taking into consideration the large number of active connections without documentation containing the accurate details of the SIM cardholder. The main purpose of this program is to curb various crimes and fraudulent acts that occur through the use of mobile phones. Accordingly, Cabinet paper which was presented by more..