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Navy eyes increased sea marshals business

Aug 23 (EN) Sri Lanka's new navy commander announced plans to secure a greater role in providing anti-piracy security cover for international merchant shipping as the island emerged from a decades-long war. Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah said Sri Lanka as a conflict-free nation in South Asia was well placed to protect international shipping between the pirate-infested gulf of Aden to straits of Malacca. more..

Healing them psychologically

Aug 23 (NIE) For a few days, Vasantha Raman (name changed) sat silently and listened to the stories told by her neighbours at a community hall in Kilinochchi. Then the 35-year stood on the stage and said, For fifteen years, every day I would stand at the gate of my house and wait for my husband, she says. But he never came. So I would spend the day mowing the garden. Vasantha has no children and lived with her parents. Now I know that he will not return, she said. more..

Video: SAITM: Crucial discussion with President on Friday

Aug 23 (DM) The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said today a crucial discussion  would be held with President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday on the SAITM controversy. “All stakeholders will be present at the meeting and we hope the President will give us a reasonable solution to this issue,” GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said. He said they had requested the President to issue a gazette notice suspending student enrollment by SAITM. more..

Video: Smart ID in two months: DRP Commissioner

Aug 23 (DM) Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) would issue a new Smart ID within the coming two months, after the introduction of the present NICs some 45 years ago, Department’s Commissioner Viyani Gunathilaka said. He said that the decision was taken considering several issues regarding the current National Identity Cards (NICs). “Department will issue the present Identity card with the front more..

'MR removed by his own amendment'

Aug 23 (DN) The amendment former President Mahinda Rajapaksa brought to remove former President Chandrika Kumaratunga from the Chairmanship of the SLFP has resulted in himself being removed. He now pretends to have forgotten all of this, Irrigation and Water Resource Management Management Minister Gamini Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa said. The Minister stressed that no matter the opinion, it was President Maithripala Sirisena who is the chairman of the SLFP. more..

PC polls delayed till mid 2018

Aug 23 (DM) Govt affirmed its position to introduce a new electoral system to the Provincial Council Elections even by delaying it till the middle of the next year latest, it is learnt. President and PM chaired a late night meeting of the Govt party leaders on Monday night and discussed the matter. The Govt decided to change the electoral system to the Provincial Councils. It will be a mix of the Proportional Representation System and the First Past the Post System (FPP). more..

Health sector priority for prevention of diseases: President

Aug 23 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says future plans for health sector will pay priortize attention on strengthening of prevention of diseases. He said, accordingly the services of Health Medical Officers and Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) will be strengthened through providing additional facilities. President was speaking at 82nd Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Public Health Inspectors Union, more..

Army Chief urges private sector not to employ deserters

Aug 23 (Island) Army Chief Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake urged private sector institutions not to provide employment to deserters under any circumstances. Lt. Gen. Senanayake said that legal action could be taken against those who had employed deserters. The warning was given in the wake of the arrest of over 700 deserters, including one officer over the weekend. Army Commander requested the public to provide information regarding deserters to nearest police station more..

German Research Vessel Sonne in Sri Lankan waters

Aug 23 (Island) Having completed its expedition around Australia, the German research Vessel Sonne, among the biggest of its kind, arrived at the Colombo harbour last week to start its expedition in Sri Lankan waters. The expedition was aimed at solving the mystery around the separation of India and Sri Lanka from Antarctica more than 116 million years ago, which once made up one giant supercontinent. The expedition is part of the research project INGON, which investigates more..

Cabinet decides to proceed with scheduled polythene ban

Aug 23 (DN) Despite protests by polythene manufacturers, Cabinet this week decided that it would impose the ban on polythene as scheduled on Sept 1. Manufacturers of polythene, soft packaging industry and other industries allied to the production of polythene, wholesale dealer and traders have made representations to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and stated that they would be adversely affected by the ban. more..

Fear of failure hampers Sri Lanka: Mahela

Aug 23 (PTI) Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene feels the current team is not making the progress they should because of a fear of failure. Sri Lanka cricket has declined rapidly across all formats in the last two years since they lost the services of Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.  The Asian side are currently playing India at home and suffered a three-nil defeat in the Test series and also lost heavily in the first ODI of a five-match series.  more..

Onus on youngsters to lift SL out of the pits

Aug 23 (CI) If anything, the first ODI was even more of a pounding than the Tests had been. After Sri Lanka's batsmen had taken turns torching their own innings in quick succession, India appeared as if they could have doubled Sri Lanka's score in the fifty overs. Sri Lanka might not even have taken a wicket had Rohit Sharma's bat not got been lodged in some sticky Dambulla soil. Then, completing the embarrassment, the team's bus was held up by demonstrators, who demanded that more..

SL expects Yala rice harvest to be down 35%

Aug 23 (EN) Sri Lanka expects to harvest 988,000 metric tonnes of paddy (rough rice) during the ongoing drought stricken Yala minor cultivation season, down 35% from a year earlier, the lowest in a decade, data showed. The latest forecast based on cultivation progress up to June, has been upped from 789,000 tonnes based on May data. Farmers had already been advised to use water sparingly and plant less water intensive more..

Draft 20A tabled in Parliament

Aug 23 (DM) Govt today presented 20th Amendment to Parliament providing for a change in the provincial council electoral system and conducting elections to the nine provincial councils on a single day. Legislation presented to the House by Chief Govt Whip Gayantha Karunatilake has provisions to dissolve a council on a date prior to the actual date on which it term ends and also to extend the dissolution date to pave the way to hold elections on a single day. more..

JO wants time to study discrepancies in draft constitutional proposals

Aug 23 (Island) Alleging what they termed serious discrepancies, the JO yesterday sought time to thoroughly examine Steering Committee’s interim drafts containing constitutional proposals in Sinhala, Tamil and English. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP told The Island that he along with MP Prasanna Ranatunga made representations on behalf of the JO at Steering Committee meeting chaired by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. more..

Govt allocates Rs.100 billion for drought relief

Aug 23 (DN) The Govt has allocated Rs 100 billion to provide relief to drought affected areas, said Minister Vajira Abeywardena in Parliament today.  He said that in addition to those funds, the govt needs another Rs 80 billion to provide more facilities to those areas. He added that the govt has already spent Rs. 60 billion to provide relief for the flood affected areas and another additional amount of Rs. 60 billion is required. more..

'Wastewater in Sigiriya Moat, alarm a canard'

Aug 23 (CT) Central Cultural Fund (CCF) said it was a false alarm that waste water was being disposed of into the moat surrounding the iconic Sigiriya Rock. People were agitated over the rumour that wastewater from surrounding offices, canteens and staff hostels were diverted towards the moat surrounding the Sigiriya Rock. Director General of the CCF, said that the rumour spread because of a particular restaurant that had been identified as diverting its wastewater to the moat. more..

Renowned Moulavi passes away

Aug 23 (CT) A renowned Islamic religious dignitary in the East and the Life President of Sammantrhurai Majlis us Soora, Sheikuthableeq Moulavi Aliyar Hasarath (75) passed away at his residence in Sammanthurai on Saturday after a brief illness. Moulavi Aliyar Hasarath was a founding member of the Tableequl Islam Arabic College and hundreds of Moulavis successfully completed their course of study under his leadership. The late Moulavi played a commendable role in the East more..

'They not only protect thieves but they themselves are involved in thefts'

Aug 23 (LT) “The govt interfered to sabotage several investigations that were carried out against corruption in our country. The same govt is now attacking Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa. Who protected the corrupt? Was it only Wijedasa Rajapaksa? No, all of them protect the corrupt and fraudsters. They not only protect thieves but they themselves are involved in thefts,” said Leader of JVP Anura Dissanayaka. more..

Landmines still a threat in Muhamalai: Resettlement programme hampered

Aug 23 (CT) People in the Muhamalai area in Kilinochchi are facing untold hardships due to the fact that there are many live mines in the area. Even though the war in the North ended 8 years ago, some live mines have still not been cleared. After the end of the war in 2009, 41,000 families settled in the Karaichi, Kandawalai, Pachchilaipalli, and Pooneryn Divisions in the Kilinochchi District. However, 247 families that registered for resettlement in the Pachchilaipalli DS more..

Electric vehicle charging stations to be regulated

Aug 23 (DM) With the increase in the number of electric vehicles in Sri Lanka, the number of charging stations too has experienced a significant growth. So far, there are over 5500 electric vehicles which could be charged at over 70 charging stations. Since there’s a higher demand for electric vehicles and charging stations, the govt has newfound interest in this sector. Hence, a cabinet paper too has been issued to improve facilities. Playing a bigger role in regulating its procedures more..

Govt will fulfill its responsibilities to strengthen Samurdhi Movement: President

Aug 23 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says today the Samurdhi Movement has developed into a broad national power of the people for economic prosperity. He assured that the Govt will fulfill its responsibilities without any hesitation to carry forward the Samurdhi Movement taking it from strength to strength in the future.   He made these remarks addressing the Samurdhi Praja Shakthi more..

Customs nets 24kg of hashish bound for SL

Aug 23 (TOI) Customs preventive division from Tuticorin seized 24kg of hashish, a narcotic substance, which was planned to be smuggled to Sri Lanka. The gang, which carried the contraband, however escaped. Though sleuths opened fire in order to stop the gang, it did not stop and escaped by sea. The worth of the seized contraband is said to be in crores. Officials said they received secret information about the smuggling activity in Therespuram shore area. more..

Yet another mansion!

Aug 23 (DM) A grand mansion set in a landscape of scenic beauty coming up in the upcountry is a main topic among the people in the Nuwara-eliya District these days.  The inquisitive ones have already found out that the billionaire behind the mansion project is none but a purohita, who had made it to Diyawanna Council through the charity list after being rejected at the general polls. By the way, this worthy is said to be the lucky owner of two other mansions of similar grandeur, more..

Sri Lanka to set up crisis panel to arrest cricket slide

Aug 23 (NR) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara says a committee has been appointed with the objective of directing the Sri Lankan cricket team on the right path. Speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing today the Minister said all senior individuals with a stake in the country’s cricket are welcome to contribute to the initiative. The Minister stated a programme has been initiated to help direct the Cricket team in the right direction. more..

Yoshitha’s grand aunt issued notice by Colombo Additional Magistrate

Aug 23 (DN) Yoshitha Rajapaksa’s grand aunt was sent notice by Colombo Additional Magistrate to appear before courts on Sept 22 regarding an alleged case of money laundering where a land in Ratmalana had been purchased as means of legitimizing money earned through dubious means. The AG had asked that the FCID obtain a statement from her and thus they submitted a motion asking that the courts issue an order for her to come to the FCID for a statement to be recorded. more..

Case against Prasanna Ranatunga re-fixed for trial for the fourth occasion

Aug 23 (DN) For the fourth consecutive occasion the case filed against MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife was today re-fixed for trial by Colombo High Court. Accordingly, the case is to be heard on a day-to-day basis commencing from October 26.  When the case came up before Colombo Chief HC Judge Manilal Waidyatillek, defence counsel sought a new trial date citing that his client wants to attend parliament sessions. Defence Counsel Anil Silva PC appearing for Prasanna Ranatunga more..

Video: President approves removal of Wijeyadasa Rajapakse

Aug 23 (AD) President has approved the removal of Wijeyadasa Rajapakse from his ministerial portfolios as per the request made by UNP.  UNP Working Committee yesterday made a collective decision that Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakse should be removed from all his ministerial portfolios.  Party leadership therefore had requested the President to remove him from his ministerial portfolios, in light of him criticizing govt policies. more..

The Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe Saga

Aug 24 (CT) In the wake of a resignation from office of the former Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, today we saw what was termed a removal from office of another, the Hon. Minister of Justice & Buddha Sasana; over allegations reported as being the failure to abide by the Collective Responsibility of the Cabinet (over the Hambantota Port Agreement) and the failure to speed-up prosecutions of alleged mass-scale corruption and malpractices of the previous regime. more..

The Satanic Formula

Aug 24 (CT) Self-interest becomes a very strong force when your life is threatened. Collectively, we enforce laws that protect the lives of all members of a community, individually we act with defensive force to protect ones own life. But what happens when life itself is threatened? All of a sudden both the individual and society become disinterested observers. A lot of information is generated on how to perceive and understand the problem. Things like Sustainability, Biodiversity more..

The low country’s harvest festival

Aug 24 (Roar) Devol madu shanthikarmaya, also known as the gammaduwa, is a tradition that invokes the blessings of the goddess Pattini—known to both Buddhists and Hindus as the goddess of fertility and health. Practiced predominantly in the low country, these rituals are performed by a kapurala (spiritual leader and healer) to ensure the well-being of the village and a plentiful harvest. Shanthikarmaya commences when more..

Why should He?

Aug 24 (DN) If the govt of National Unity- which incidentally celebrated its two year anniversary last Thursday- hoped that the resignation of Ravi Karunanayake from the Cabinet would allow it to concentrate on its task of governing the country, it has been proved wrong. Hardly had the dust settled on the Karunanayake controversy another minister, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is the cynosure eyes with his own party, the UNP demanding his resignation. more..

The day JRJ survived an assassination attempt in Parliament

Aug 24 (CT) A recollection of an unforgettable incident that took place three decades ago by Senior Journalist J.T. De Silva who was in Parliament on 18 Aug 1987 when a grenade lobbed at the group meeting of the ruling party held under the patronage of late President J.R. Jayewardene and late PM R. Premadasa is detailed here firsthand. Thirty years ago (18 Aug) marked a deadly blow to democracy in this country; a black mark upon our Parliamentary history that was chalked into its annals. more..

Lineage of Tamil militancy: Mass politics for democracy

Aug 24 (DN) Q: Could you speak about your family and your background? Did it have an influence on your politicisation? A: My family is from the Islands, Nainativu and Analaitivu and my father was a clerical servant in Education Department. As a small boy, my family stayed with the Poobalasingam family in Kottati, Jaffna. He of course started famous Poobalasingham Bookshop & was a Communist leader of Nainativu. more..

Change makers, ground breakers

Aug 24 (DN) They say that great minds and great experiences can ignite ideas together. They influence change in the society, environment and economy. Known as change makers, path breakers and ground shakers these exceptional individuals harness an insatiable appetite to develop, change and create meaningful action. They emerge from different walks of life but are cut from the same cloth. Life is there to be lived and when done right – it’s simply a buzz. more..

Holistic approach necessary

Aug 24 (SL) I read with interest Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe’s Suggestions for improving the quality of our legislators presented at an OPA seminar. He has very appropriately placed Change of Electoral system on the top of his suggestions list. However, he has chosen to confine his discourse to improving the quality of Legislators or the 225 MPs who constitute the top layer or the Board of Directors of a country having a Decentralised Political administration pyramid. more..


Kapugedera: Celebrating 11 years of mediocre performance!

Aug 24 (Island) Middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera will join a limited group of SL cricketers at his home town today as he features in his 100th ODI. He is the 27th Sri Lankan to achieve the milestone. Strangely it has taken 11 years for the 30-year-old to complete the landmark and a look at his statistics reveal a pity story. When Tom Moody was coach, he was promoting young talent to take the team forward and despite little achievement in domestic cricket, Kapugedera was called up more..

New hope with a new Foreign Minister?

Aug 24 (Island) New Foreign Minister has assured us, according to the Daily News, that Resolution 30/1 which was co-sponsored by the Unity Govt was in no way harmful to the country… The Island of 19th August 2017 reports that the new Minister had said that he had examined this resolution as member of the cabinet, and that it was certainly not inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests... Since he was also the former Attorney General, he must know what he is talking about. more..

Pothas happy with hugely supportive SLC

Aug 24 (CI) Three days after dropping strong hints that undue outside influence has frustrated his stint as interim coach, Nic Pothas has said he is very happy with the SLC board. Though Pothas was critical of fickle selections following the nine-wicket loss in Dambulla, he did take names and had not, in fact, mentioned the board at all. He has now clarified his position ahead of the second ODI. more..