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Former Navy Spokesman further remanded till Sept 6

Aug 24 (DN) Former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P Dassanayake and five others arrested on the charge of aiding and abetting the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009 were today ordered to be further remanded till Sept 6 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Meanwhile, the Court had refused to grant bail on the suspects citing that there is no exceptional circumstances to release the suspects on bail. On July 12, the CID arrested the former more..

Video: Geetha only MP with dual-citizenship: Immigration Controller

Aug 24 (DM) Immigration Controller has informed the election observer PAFFREL today that MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was the only MP who holds a dual-citizenship. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said Immigration Controller M.N. Ranasinghe had informed them in writing that it was only Ms. Kumarasinghe who had been issued with a dual-citizenship certificate numbered 17096A. more..

Thilanga’s case against Arjuna dismissed

Aug 24 (AD) The defamation case filed by Thilanga Sumathipala against Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, demanding Rs 500 million in damages, has been dismissed by the Nugegoda District Court. The case was filed by Sumathipala on March 03, 2005 claiming that Arjuna Ranatunga had made defamatory remarks regarding him at a press conference held at the latter’s residence on May 21, 2003.  Sumathipala had sought Rs 500 million in damages while stating out that Mr Ranatunga more..

'Wijeyadasa to be sacked from UNP'

Aug 24 (Island) UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman said that Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe is tipped to resign from his portfolio today after making a statement in parliament. "He (Minister Rajapakshe) has received instructions from President Sirisena to resign. He would make a statement and resign from the post," Rahuman told a group of journalists at the lobby of parliamentary committee room. "He will be sacked from the party too. He has breached the principle of collective responsibility more..

Sri Lanka likely to miss 2017 revenue goal on tax proposal delay

Aug 24 (Reuters) SL is likely to miss its revenue target this year due to delays in implementing proposals set out in the 2017 budget. A raft of proposals including personal income tax, withholding tax and remittance taxes proposed in the budget are yet to be implemented. A new tax bill, which seeks to ensure that all citizens pay direct taxes and cut indirect taxes, was originally expected to be presented to parliament in April, but will now be presented more..

Court orders CID to arrest Ananda Samarasekara

Aug 24 (NR) Attorney General has informed Court that Former Colombo Chief JMO Ananda Samarasekara, who carried out the post mortem examination of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, can be arrested for the misplacement of bones. AG’s Department informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Jerome Trotsky that such action could be taken according to information revealed thus far. Accordingly, Magistrate ordered the CID to take further action based on more..

NPC won’t back the 20th Amendment: CM

Aug 24 (AD) Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, C. V. Vigneswaran stated that the NPC would not be backing the draft bill of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. He stated this at a gathering at the NPC premises today. Chief Minister explained that the Constitutional Amendment aimed to vest Provincial Council powers with the Parliament. He proceeded to say that the public and Provincial Council Members must be consulted regarding proposed Amendment. more..

How SL coach was bullied by cricket officials

Aug 24 (HT) After slamming too many cooks for spoiling SL cricket team in the wake of Indian cricket team’s crushing win in the first ODI on Sunday, interim head coach Nic Pothas was forced to issue statement saying all is fine with the process in place. Sri Lankan cricket, in crisis with the national team plunging from one low on the field to another in the ongoing India tour, scrambled on Wednesday to limit public relations disaster more..

Lankan accused of bomb threat in Australian court

Aug 24 (AAP) A Sri Lankan man accused of threatening to detonate a bomb on a flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur has again faced court. Manodh Marks, 25, allegedly tried to enter the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines flight 128 out of Melbourne on May 31, threatening to cause a mid-air explosion. He has been charged with threatening to destroy, damage or endanger the safety of an aircraft or to kill or injure those on board. As a result of his alleged action, the flight was aborted. more..

Minister Athukorale says govt. didn’t start bond scams; they were already there

Aug 24 (Island) Minister Thalatha Athukorale alleged that the Joint Opposition was now disintegrating as it was a front formed by rogue politicians of the Rajapaksa regime to ward off the accusations against them of large scale corruption and fraud. "These culprits are aware that they have to face the consequences," she said. Addressing a gathering at the Shramika Surekuma mobile service at Ampara, Minister warned MP Namal Rajapaksa that he would be punished for what he had done. more..

Allocate special day to vote on LG act: JO

Aug 24 (NR) Joint Opposition urged the govt to allocate a special day to vote on the Local Govt Act. Addressing a media briefing at the Parliamentary Complex today, MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said amendments should be added to the Local Govt Act with the approval of all parties. He said the JO suggested that everyone agree on all amendments and promptly pass the Act adding that however the Joint Opposition did not receive more..

SL wraps up US$1000mn syndicated loan

Aug 24 (EN) Sri Lanka has wrapped up a syndicated loan of one billion dollars which will give more flexibility in managing domestic rates, Deputy Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle said. Bank of Baroda, Deutsche Bank, Indian Bank, Qatar National Bank, SBI, SMBC were mandated to arrange the loan, with US$ 450 million being committed by May 2017. Balance US$ 550 million had now arrived in SL, giving more flexibility to manage govt's borrowing program, he said. more..

Houses for 600 low-income Sri Lankan families with Indian assistance

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to construct 600 houses across the island for low-income families with Indian assistance. A proposal by Housing and Constructions Minister Sajith Premadasa to sign an MoU to obtain 300 million rupees in financial aid to implement the programme covering all 25 districts was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. “The housing requirement Survey 2016 has revealed that 216,197 families in Sri Lanka have no house, or a land to build a house,” a statement said. more..

Sri Lanka drops proposal to tax profits from share trading

Aug 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will not go ahead with a proposed tax on profits from share trading that was planned as part of a major tax reform bill, govt official said, after the move dented investor sentiment and drove down the main share index. Sri Lanka's principal share index has shed 4.1% since July 27 through Wednesday and has fallen in 16 out of the past 18 sessions due also over fears about the proposed tax. more..

Video: There is no threat to national security: Chief of Defence Staff

Aug 24 (AD) The newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff of SL Armed Forces Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne stated that there is no existing threat to national security while visiting the temple of the tooth in Kandy today. Admiral Wijegunaratne arrived in Kandy earlier on today to invoke blessings from the chief prelates of the Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters. Following his departure from the Dalada Maligawa, the Chief of Defence Staff stated that there is no foreseeable threat to more..

BAR association to take legal action against Ranjan

Aug 24 (NR) SL Bar Association says legal action will be taken against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake on charges of Contempt of Court. President of the BAR Association UR de Silva said stringent measures will be taken if the Deputy Minister fails to submit proof regarding a statement made by him pertaining to judges and lawyers. President of the association revealed that Minister Ramanayake had claimed that a majority of lawyers are responsible for downfall of the country, more..

'No forgiveness for criminals in uniform'

Aug 24 (EN) SL's new navy chief Travis Sinniah began work by pledging no forgiveness for his officers who may have committed crimes taking the cover of the island's drawn out separatist war. The Vice Admiral told reporters at his first press conference that even the biggest war hero could not escape the full face of the law if a crime had been committed during or after the war. "Even if you are a hero, it does not give you more..

He said it when he could be frank!

Aug 24 (DM) A high society group was seen relaxing by the swimming pool of a five-star hotel in the city the other day.  There was a yahapalanaya purohita too among them. Despite being in a jolly mood heightened by friendly banter and joke-cracking, serious and topical political issues too came under their discussion. In fact, it was the purohita who held forth on political issues for most of them naturally wanted to get the issues that they were concerned about clarified by him. more..

'President, PM to unveil Vision-2025'

Aug 24 (GDI) Vision 2025, the economic development plan for the next eight years will be unveiled by President and PM on 4th September in Colombo. State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne made these comments at a press briefing held today. It was held to discuss about the New Inland revenue Bill which is to be presented in Parliament tomorrow. He said that in the past, concessions were given in an ad hoc manner. Now the govt wants to create social equality. more..

Rajitha backing to maintain SAITM: GMOA

Aug 24 (DM) GMOA alleged that Minister Rajitha Senaratne was giving all assistance to Dr. Nevil Fernando to recruit 300 more students to SAITM despite govt’s order to suspend student enrollments to SAITM. GMOA media spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda said that the govt allocated Rs. 300 mn annually for the maintenance of SAITM. “Despite our exposure that SAITM was not maintaining required standards, the govt and specially more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s Anti-Climax

Aug 25 (CT) It is hard to find many examples in political exits at high levels that wear the bearings of  being lame-legged, dull, and unexciting. I have met this gentleman, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR), while he was in Melbourne about two years ago and I have been impressed by his extraordinary clarity of mind, fluent word-flow, and relaxed delivery all of which bundled together made WR a most agreeable  political personality-rather rare among the whole lot of rotten guys in Parliament today. more..

TNA’s relationship with govt on the rocks

Aug 25 (SL) The relationship between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the govt is on the rocks with Tamils in the North losing faith in the administration. The TNA has said enough is enough and the international community must now intervene to address the issues faced by the Tamils in the North. The TNA’s official website quoted TNA leader R. Sampanthan as saying the govt has begun to divert from its political goals and so it is time the international community stepped in. more..

No reasons to object to Marapana’s appointment – GL

Aug 25 (CT) The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Thilak Marapana said recently that allowing foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes committed by SL Armed Forces during the final stages of the war is against the domestic legal system. Contrary to Marapana's statement, SL agreed at the UNHRC in March 2017 to co-sponsor the Resolution 30/1, which facilitates the establishment of more..

No justification for Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe to remain in Cabinet

Aug 25 (CT) It is becoming extremely difficult to trust politicians whether it is Ravi Karunanayake, Tilak Marapana, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) or Rajitha Senaratne. The latter is stuck to SAITM, while others have exposed various other abusive business links. Many other dubious characters from the SLFP side are at present lying low as they don’t hold much of the reins of the present government. Among all the issues, the present key one is undoubtedly about WR. There is no question that more..

False claims about glyphosate – Debunked

Aug 25 (FT) This is my response to the unscientific blabbering of an article by an archaic old man called Chandre Dharmawardana, published in Daily FT on 10 August. According to his Wikipedia page, Chandre lives in Canada and is a Canadian citizen. As for the tone of my writing here, please do not expect any respect for a man who humiliates a fellow scientist who he dismisses as a lady with psychic powers, a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. Chandre seems to be suddenly more..

No-confidence motions galore

Aug 25 (CT) The era of good governance has met many road bumps and potholes in its journey since becoming the driving force of Sri Lankan politics, but what it really lacked all along was a good driver to manoeuvre it through the rough terrains. For a long time coming, the people believed in the idea of good governance and were angered by the lack of it. After a plethora of opportunities being wasted, and now that more..

Editorial: Torpedo this draconian bill

Aug 25 (Island) The yahapalana govt may not receive loans and grants from its foreign masters who allegedly facilitated the 2015 regime change, but it has apparently got a new tax law from them besides some provisions to be incorporated into the new Constitution in the making. The proposed new Inland Revenue Law to be presented to Parliament today has come under heavy fire—and rightly so. Among those who view it as an imported product are former Chairman of the Tax Commission more..

Making a mockery of meditation

Aug 25 (DM) After video images showing the inspector general of police manhandling an employee (said to be a lift operator) at police headquarters went viral, one would have expected an official explanation, and a personal apology, from the IGP. None has been forthcoming.   The employee allegedly aroused IGP’s wrath because he failed to observe a new directive requesting all police department employees to meditate before commencing work in the morning. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

The devil wasn’t a faulty electric wire, but a parent’s negligence

Aug 25 (DM) The tragedies linked to human lives take place more often than not, due to the ignorance and carelessness of people. It need not be said that adults should be held responsible for the safety of children. This is because these children, once becoming adults, will be chief contributors in the drive towards developing the world. If the adults shirk their responsibility, then the society has to face tragedies which will lead to its deterioration. If parents don’t play their roles, this will more..

Petition against the establishment of a separate state

Aug 25 (Island) A petition (SC SPL 03/2014) was filed in the Supreme Court claiming that the aims and objects of the ITAK was to establish a separate state under terms of Article 157A (4) of the Constitution. Since the petition has to be judged under the provisions of the current 1978 Constitution the opinions presented below are based on its provisions and not on possible future provisions. A Supreme Court panel of three Judges in their determination stated: more..

How Sri Lanka went from being a fortress to a phantom

Aug 25 (CI) In the end, what stays with you the longest from cricket in Sri Lanka is the crows. The papare band can fade away, Galle Fort can seem run-of-the-mill after a while, Percy can sometimes grate, you can get away from the shouts of Aluwa aluwa, but the crows stay with you long after you have gone. They are looking for worms in the warm, moist grass while cricket is on, but they could easily be doing what crows do: wait to more..

Achieving food security: A plausible reality or a pipedream for Sri Lanka?

Aug 25 (IPS) Almost 900,000 people in North Central and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka faced serious food insecurity issues in 2016 due to the country’s worst drought in 40 years. This situation was further exacerbated by severe floods in May 2017 in South Western parts of the country. UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) estimates that about 4.7 million people of the 21 million population of SL, or over one-fourth of the population, do not have sufficient food to sustain a healthy life. more..

Proposed Suduhumpola –Tennekumbura Tunnel, Kandy

Aug 25 (Island) Plans are said to be underway to construct a 5.5 km long tunnel from Suduhumpola to Tennekumbura on the left bank of the Kandy Lake as a utopian solution to Kandy traffic congestion. The proposed tunnel starts at Suduhumpola and comprises four tunnels on plan. Tunnel one is 900 m; Tunnel 2 is 660 m; Tunnel 3 is 1,120 and Tunnel 4 is 1,680 m with two openings in between; the first at the upper end of Bogambara grounds and the second at the upper end of Kandy Lake, more..

Dhoni, Kumar trump Dananjaya's 6 for 54

Aug 25 (CI) His name is Akila Dananjaya. He is supposed to be an offspinner but his nimble fingers can do what they want to the ball. One minute in 2012, he was bowling in the nets, the next he was fast-tracked into the Sri Lanka team by no less a spotter of talent than Mahela Jayawardene, in a World T20 to boot. If that isn't enough drama, on debut, he struck in his first over, and then got hit in the face by a cricket ball. more..

Thisara named in World XI for Pakistan

Aug 25 (CI) Faf du Plessis has been named captain of the World XI squad to travel to Pakistan to play three T20Is in Lahore next month. He will be joined by four South African team-mates in party that includes representatives from seven nations. Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel, David Miller and Imran Tahir are the other South Africa players in the 14-member squad. Australia provide three players - George Bailey, Ben Cutting and wicketkeeper Tim Paine, West Indies' two include Darren more..

Workers must be registered with SLBFE

Aug 25 (GDI) All persons leaving for foreign jobs must register with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) with the ‘Shramika Surakuma’ program to be eligible for all facilities and benefits provided by the government for migrant workers, said the Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala. The minister made these comments at the Shramika Surakuma Mobile program held in Thirukkovil Divisional Secretariat in Ampara District on 21st August. more..

ADB eyes $ 5 b support for Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (FT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has earmarked up to $ 5 billion to work on a new country partnership strategy (CPS) for 2018-2022, with the Govt to address policy reforms and growth-oriented infrastructure as well as strengthen drivers of growth through sustainable, inclusive and environmentally friendly solutions to help Sri Lanka’s transition to upper middle income country status. more..

No Sarawita & negative banners at Pallekele

Aug 25 (CT) Police were on high alert at Pallekele at the second ODI between Sri Lanka and India after the hostile situation that erupted in Dambulla following the loss of the first ODI. Police did thorough checks on the items carried by spectators and banners with negative posters or plain white papers were banned. Also they stopped a beetle vendor going in to the ground despite him having a ticket which wasn't the case during previous matches. more..

Once millionaire falls to his death as labourer

Aug 25 (Island) A 44-year-old man who had been a millionaire a few years earlier after winning a lottery ticket died under tragic circumstances this week while working as a labourer hauling timber. A mahogany log he was carrying on his shoulder down a slope fell on his head when he slipped and fell at Pallebage, Aranayake. Victim Chaminda Kumara of Meegahamulahena, a father of one had also struck his chest against another mahogany log that he had hauled earlier when he fell, police said. more..