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Colombo Defence Seminar - 2017 concludes

Aug 30 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army's annual international defence conference, Colombo Defence Seminar - 2017 which began at the BMICH on Monday (28) successfully concluded last evening (29). The international defence related conclave held for the 7th consecutive year saw more than 800 local and foreign participants deliberate on this year's theme Countering Violent Extremism: Global Trends. more..

Two cases against Shashi Weerawansa fixed for further trial

Aug 30 (DN) Two cases filed against Shashi Weerawansa, the wife of NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa over an incident where Mrs. Weerawansa had fraudulently obtained two passports including a diplomatic passport by submitting forged documents to the Department of Immigration and Emigration were yesterday fixed for further trial by Colombo Chief Magistrate. Accordingly, 10th, 16th and 17th witnesses more..

‘We’ll leave next step to Attorney General after we receive Commission Report’

Aug 30 (DM) Following are excerpts of an interview Lankadeepa did with President Maithripala Sirisena. Here the president aired his views on the controversial treasury bond issue, the 66th Anniversary of the SLFP and criticisms levelled against the Unity Govt by the opposition. Q: The 66th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is to be held on September 3 under your leadership. How is the party preparing for the event?   more..

How student’s hi-tech plan to cheat in exam backfired

Aug 30 (ST) As more than 300,00 students studied hard to sit the G.C.E. (A/L) exam at least one of them had a plan for an easier method to pass the exam. However, the student candidate’s plan came a cropper when an over-ambitious accomplice published a pamphlet boasting about his one-upmanship as a tuition teacher par excellence. Botched attempt is now a case for the police and an eye-opener for more..

Closure of SAITM will affect foreign investments: Health Minister

Aug 30 (Island) The closure of the SAITM would have serious repercussions on the economy, says Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne. The GMOA, which had been hijacked by some leading members of the association, was trying to justify their demand for closing down SAITM, after having kept silent when it was established as a degree-awarding institution under the previous Rajapaksa regime, Senaratne said yesterday. more..

13 UNP MPs ask for PSC to probe Uma Oya project

Aug 30 (Island) Thirteen UNP MPs led by Minister Harin Fernando have submitted a motion seeking parliamentary approval for appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the crisis situation prevailing with regard to the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, ascertain causes thereof and identify persons responsible for them. The motion printed in the latest addendum to the Order Book of Parliament more..

'Badulla GA accused of holding up relief to Uma Oya victims'

Aug 30 (Island) Center for Human Rights and Research (SL) has accused Badulla Govt Agent Nimal Abeysiri of deliberately delaying compensation to those who had been displaced and affected by Uma Oya project. Spokesman for the Center Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said that the people had been undergoing severe hardships due to negligence on the part of the district administration. He alleged that Abeysiri had failed to efficiently address more..

Newspaper still the king in SL, data shows

Aug 30 (DM) National newspaper circulation in Sri Lanka continued to grow, reaching higher levels than previously seen in 2016, with a greater preference shown towards daily English and Sinhala newspapers. According to provisional data in the latest edition of Central Bank’s Economic and Social Statistics publication, 538.82 million newspaper copies were sold in 2016, up from 508.08 million copies in 2015. more..

'Pallakelle incidents were the last straw'

Aug 30 (AD) The Sanath Jayasuriya-led Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) selection panel, which decided to quit at the end of the ongoing series, today accused interested parties with malicious intent of damaging and hindering the sport through undue criticism and false allegations. They say that the damage caused by the actions of these disgruntled elements seeking to destabilize the organization is widespread and brings to disrepute more..

'I will ensure unity govt’s continuity till 2020'

Aug 30 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said he is totally dedicated and committed to build the SLFP as a clean, unstained, uncorrupt and principled party that provides leadership to the nation through honest and dedicated politicians. “Although it is not an easy task as not only the body politics but also the entire social fabric is diseased with corrupt practices, I am absolutely determined to fulfill this task,” more..

AI raises issues of conscience

Aug 30 (CT) London based Amnesty International (AI) in a recent report on Sri Lanka has said that Sri Lanka must deliver on its commitments set out by Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 30/1 of October 2015. AI in its recommendations said that the Govt of SL must fulfil President Sirisena's pledge to publish a list of all those who surrendered or have been detained. This request by the NGO is in respect that in June, Sirisena had allegedly promised families of the disappeared more..

Lebanese national in Sri Lanka ordered to be deported to US

Aug 30 (DN) Colombo High Court ordered to deport a Lebanese national wanted in United States for allegations surrounding the involvement of several financial frauds in US. Colombo High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi made this order pursuant to an application made by Attorney General that the Lebanese national be deported to US in accordance with the Extradition Law.  US State Department requested Sri Lankan authorities for the extradition of Lebanese national Ahmed Fakhri.  more..

වංචාවට, දූෂණයට විතරයි නැකත් බලන්නේ නැත්තේ

Abortion is not a human right: Cardinal

Aug 30 (DM) Abortion cannot be considered as a human right as claimed by some, Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said over the weekend. “Some claim that abortion is a human right. Right to kill is not a human right. Human rights are there to save lives not to end them,” cardinal said at a service in Thewatte Basilica on Sunday. “ Even the previous govt tied to ease the abortion laws and now we here that this govt is also out to do the same. more..

Launch of Pakistan Alumni Society of SL

Aug 30 (PHC) To foster, encourage and promote close relations between the people of Pakistan and Sri Lanka and to provide support to prospective Sri Lankan students going to Pakistan for higher education, the High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka is planning to launch Pakistan Alumni Society of Sri Lanka, soon. The Society aims to connect the universities of both countries under various scholarship programmes. Through this Alumni Society, the public and private sectors more..

Dance not to the tune of dengue!

Aug 30 (DM) Despite the recent drop in the number of dengue cases being reported, the threat of dengue is not over yet. The truth is that there still remains a strong possibility of yet another outbreak of dengue looming round the corner with the next inter-monsoon and North East monsoon scheduled to commence in Oct and Dec respectively. Therefore, the public has a tremendous role to play in ensuring that preventive measures more..

Justice must be served equally to all

Aug 30 (FT) Due to public pressure and the President’s firmness, Foreign Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake was forced to resign from his Ministry two weeks ago. Minister Ravi Karunanayake is currently being investigated regarding the alleged Bond treasury scam.  Joint Opposition was quick to present a no-confidence motion against Ravi Karunanayake and the SLFP insisted he resigned from his post. It is said President and PM demanded the resignation of Ravi Karunayake. more..

Decision on No-Confidence motion against Rajitha next week: Speaker

Aug 30 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said his decision on taking up the No-Confidence Motion against Minister Rajitha Senaratne would be announced in Parliament next week. Speaker said he was currently studying the content and legal framework of the NCM handed over to him by the JO on Aug 24. 11-point NCM had been signed by 39 JO members.  Minister Lakshman Kiriella had reportedly raised several legal issues in the motion stating that its content speaks that it had not more..

Video: Handunnetti reveals express robbery on expressway

Aug 30 (DM) COPE Chairman and MP, Sunil Handunnetti revealed that losses amounting to more than Rs.36 billion had been incurred in Extension of the Southern Expressway Project. He said that the Chinese govt was also responsible for the misappropriations that had taken place when carrying out the project. He said the unity govt launched the project at an estimated cost of US$1.9 billion or Rs.243 billion, which was a loan more..

China and Sri Lanka to establish Sister Cities

Aug 30 (GDI) A MoU on establishing a sister city relationship between Jishan, Shanxi Province of China and Monaragala, Uva Province of SL was signed recently in SL between the District Secretary of Monaragala and the Magistrate of the People’s Govt of Jishan Country with the participation of Chinese delegation including six members at the District Secretariat Monaragala. Cabinet Approval is expected for the MOU in due course to implement the agreement for establishing sister city more..

Education statistics by media are false: Akila

Aug 30 (NR) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says statistics published by certain media organisations of children aged between 5 and 16 years who have not received a secondary education are false. Speaking at a media briefing today, he said 4,118,781 children received a secondary education based on a survey conducted from January 2016 to May 2016. Minister said children aged between 5 and 16 years who did not go to school within this period is 452,661. more..

Govt shrinks nature reserve for fish farm

Aug 30 (EN) The govt has decided to reduce the extent of a natural reserve in the island’s north-west to accommodate a fish farm. The borders of Vedithalathivu Natural Reserve, covering about 29,180 hectares and declared a nature reserve in March 2016, are to be changed, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said. The reserve is located on part of the coast famed for bird life. An Aquaculture Industrial Estate planned to be set up in more..

LTTE handbills distributed in Vavuniya

Aug 30 (AD) Security forces stationed in Vavuniya have reported that handbills penned by LTTE intelligence agencies were circulated among the people of Vavuniya last night (29). The handbills that were titled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam contained several statements on the activities conducted by LTTE intelligence agencies specifically targeting the behavior of women.  It has been reported that LTTE agents condemn any Tamil women interacting with Sinhalese males. more..

Video: Charges against Gen. Jayasuriya false: Military

Aug 30 (DM) Military Spokesman Roshan Seneviratne rejected the war crime charges levelled against former General Jagath Jayasuriya who served as the Ambassador to Brazil. Responding to a journalist at the Cabinet news briefing, Brigadier said baseless allegations had been made against military personnel since the end of the war in 2009. “The recent lawsuit filed against the former General validates that the LTTE ideology still prevails though it was defeated on the soil,” he said. more..

Vithya murder Trial: Accused says Vijayakala released him

Aug 30 (CT) The main accused in the Vithya Sivaloganathan murder trial, Mahalingam Sasikumar, alias Swiss Kumar during cross examination by Deputy Solicitor General Kumar Ratnam, said that it was Vijayakala Maheswaran who came to the spot where he was tied to a post, near the Velanai bridge and released him to his wife and mother who came to the spot in a bus at 11 p.m. on 17 May 2015. more..

Why a Sri Lankan leader might be tried for war crimes in Brazil

Aug 30 (WP) Early Tuesday morning, news broke that Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Brazil had fled the country. Sri Lanka’s govt later announced that his departure was planned, and it was simply the end of his ambassadorial term, but the timing raised eyebrows. The previous day, human rights groups had filed a criminal complaint accusing Ambassador Jagath Jayasuriya of command responsibility for war crimes. Jayasuriya, who is also SL’s ambassador to 5 other Latin American countries, more..

Sri Lanka welcomes Sushma Swaraj to take part in Indian Ocean Conference

Aug 30 (PTI) Sri Lanka today welcomed Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to the nation to attend two-day Indian Ocean Conference from tomorrow. India Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank, will host the Indian Ocean Conference 2017 in collaboration with Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, and National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS), Colombo--both research and study centres--and the theme of the conference is peace, progress & prosperity. more..

Cricket: Sri Lanka steps up security after crowd trouble

Aug 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka will deploy unprecedented security for Thursday's fourth ODI against India to prevent a repeat of crowd trouble which broke out following a humiliating defeat for the home side, police said. Some 1,000 additional police will be deployed at the 35,000-seat capacity Premadasa Stadium in Colombo while CCTV cameras will be used to monitor the crowds, police said in a statement. more..

Corruption will be minimised with increased presence of women in politics: Mustapha

Aug 30 (Island) Increasing women’s representation in politics would help minimise corruption, Minister Faiszer Mustapha said. He was speaking at a meeting held to review the progress of the North Eastern Local Services Improvement project (NELSIP), implemented under the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, recently. He maintained that the incidence of fraud and corruption in institutions headed by women was lower than in those administered by men. more..

'Colombo’s clean glory re-established'

Aug 30 (DN) Colombo has been transformed into one of the cleanest cities in Asia with tons of man-made waste turning into organic fertilizer, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said the Western Development Ministry working together with the Colombo Municipal Council and surrounding Councils, Land Reclamation Ministry and other relevant institutions, have put an end to the city’s prolonged practice of disposing garbage into water channels, soil systems and paddy fields, more..

Video: 'School funds won't be bought to SL'

Aug 30 (DM) Responding to allegations that a cash strapped govt was attempting to bring in Rs. 400 million (QR 9 million) from a Sri Lankan school in Qatar to be used for its own expenses, Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P Liyanage assured that not a single cent from the school would be spent here and will be utilised to develop the school overseas. He said that some parents of students attending the Stafford SL School in Doha had alleged more..

Mayhem at Southern Province meeting, Governor’s directive ignored

Aug 30 (DN) The special council meeting convened by the Central Provincial Council to adopt the draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution was held contravening the directives of the Southern Province Governor. Earlier, Southern Province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara had summoned the meeting. However, the Governor had sent a subsequent directive to Council Chairman K.A. Somawansa requesting him to postpone the same to Aug 12 as proposed bill was to be amended. more..

Resettlement in the North and East: Swaminathan promises better future

Aug 30 (CT) A special event to hand over 78 houses, to needy families, was organized in Morakkoddanchenai, Batticaloa on Saturday. Minister D.M. Swaminathan graced the occasion as the chief guest. Addressing the gathering, he stated: "The good governance Govt is fully aware that the people in the North and East, who were affected by the conflict, require 160,000 houses and the govt is doing its best to provide these houses. The govt will make the people's dreams a reality." more..

JVP says country has no moral right to extend military agreement with US

Aug 30 (Island) Sri Lanka has no moral right to extend the military agreement – ACSA (Acquisition and Cross-Services Agreement) with the US, which never helped defeat the LTTE and keeps accusing the country of war crimes, the JVP says. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said: "Robert Blake, the then US Ambassador to SL and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former Defence Secretary, signed the agreement in March 2007 in Sri Lanka. more..

Dilmah Ceylon to consolidate, acquire export business of MJF Teas

Aug 30 (LBO) SL’s global tea brand Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company is to acquire the tea export business of MJF Teas (Private) Limited for 442.5 million rupees through a private placement. The company said that the decision to consolidate was taken after taking into consideration the financial statements, past performance, future forecasts as well as the valuation report of MJFT. Dilmah said they will issue up to 737,500 new ordinary shares at 600 rupees per share by way of a private placement more..

Rail gate operators demand an audience with the President

Aug 30 (AD) A protest march organized by the Northern province Rail gate operators’ union reached Colombo earlier today, seeking an audience with President Maithripala Sirisena to voice their anguish on the ambiguity of their profession. The President of the Northern province Rail gate operators’ Union Rohan Rajkumar stated that, the protest was organized for the 2368 rail gate operators, who were severely overlooked by govt officials for more than 4 years.  more..

Video: President also feels 20A needs amendments: WP CM

Aug 30 (DM) Western Province Chief Minister Isuru Dewapriya said today President Maithripala Sirisena had assured he would inform him about the amendments to be made to the 20th Amendment before the council sessions on Monday. He told a news conference that he had written to the President about some of the clauses in the draft Bill that he was not agreeable to and added that the President had also accepted the fact more..

The reproductive justice debate

Aug 31 (CT) The cabinet of ministers has given the green light to allow access to terminations to birth givers in specific circumstances. This is surely an insufficient provision, as full access to reproductive justice is an inalienable right. When it comes to the termination or the continuation of a pregnancy, it is solely up to each birth-giver to decide on what they wish to do with their bodies. The hashtag #mybodymyrights perfectly embodies this basic reality. more..

The UNP and Its future

Aug 31 (CT) Colombo’s Sunday newspapers published an article by me entitled Why Prabhakaran Will Lose, dated Oct 17th 2004. That was over a year before the changing of the guard with Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sarath Fonseka, Wasantha Karannagoda and Roshan Gunatillaka walking on to center stage. It is with this experience that I see the acute similarity between the Karuna moment and the Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe episode. more..

'Rajagiriya flyover: A lethal hazard'

Aug 31 (CT) A potentially lethal hazard was detected in the flyover which is currently being built at Welikada, Rajagiriya. The general public allege that there is a misalignment of 8 inches between the Y-shaped pylon and the upper frame of the flyover. The authorities hope that this flyover will provide a permanent solution for the traffic congestion on Parliament Road. Spain has sponsored this project which costs Rs 868 m. more..