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Police fail to provide necessary security to Weerawansa

Jan 27 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday complained in parliament that his privileges had been breached as he could not attend House sessions on time as police failed to provide security on his way from the remand prison to the Parliament. Weerawansa raising a privilege issue said that the police had refused to provide him with the due security. He was unable to attend the sittings on time and join the debates as his Police security was delayed. more..

Legalising homosexuality: Rajitha contradicts President

Jan 27 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said, there had been no move to legalize same sex relations and homosexuality, contradicting statement made by President Sirisena earlier this week, that the latter threw away a Cabinet Paper seeking to legalize homosexuality. He said the Cabinet paper in concern was for the purpose of ensuring that people of different sexual orientations had equal rights as others. "There was never an attempt to legalize homosexuality or prostitution. more..

CBSL bond scams controversy: AG stands his ground

Jan 27 (Island) Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe said that there couldn’t be any information pertaining to the CB bond scams which couldn’t be shared with JVP MP Sunil Handunetti, Chairman of the COPE. Soft spoken Wijesinghe emphasized that there couldn’t be any secrets between the AG and the Chairman of COPE. The presidential appointee was responding to severe criticism of his conduct as well as those of more..

Yahapalana democracy: not for workers

Jan 27 (DM) Global Park workers on strike over haphazard termination  read the headline to a news report that appeared on DM Online edition of 16 Jan, 2017. It said that 66 workers had been “suddenly removed” from employment. They were all members of the Free Trade and General Services Employees’ Union (FTZ&GSEU). The news report also said,”….discussions with the owner of Global Park, Onella Karunanayake, regarding this were proved futile.” more..

Hanging in balance

Jan 27 (DM) Differences between the two main partners of the so-called yahapalanaya national govt seem to have come to the surface to such an extent that leaders of the SLFP and the UNP had to hold peace talks. Reports said that the President, who is also the leader of the SLFP, and the PM and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had met to iron out some of the issues that cropped up recently between the two parties. Apart from the challenges thrown and invectives made against the UNP more..

NWSDB forced to pay employees higher bonus

Jan 27 (SL) The employees of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) have demanded an annual bonus and productivity payment of Rs. 37,500 which is higher than the actual bonus which needs to be paid. Annual bonus and productivity payment to the NWSDB’s employees had been usually worked out on the basis of past performance over a period of one year. However, the trade union has changed more..

Powerful figures laying claim to precious lands

Jan 27 (ST) In the dead of night, dark deeds involving lands are happening in Dandugama in Ja-Ela and the Govt remains impotent. Even politicians who are trying to find out about corrupt activities are feeling threatened. For more than one-and-a-half years, a wetland off the main Negombo road is continuing to be filled up at night. A shady figure behind the operation has intimidated people, villagers say. more..

No govt MPs at JO rally: SLFP

Jan 27 (FT) SLFP denied claims by the Joint Opposition that SLFP members in the Unity Govt will be attending the inaugural rally of the newly formed SLPP to be held in Nugegoda today. The SLPP was formed in November last year under the leadership of Prof. G.L. Pieris, with the blessings of former President Rajapaksa and his allies in the JO. Ministers Susil Premajayantha and Dilan Perera played down concerns of a possible mass exodus more..

Rahuman says Yahapalana govt has set an example

Jan 27 (Island) Present yahapalana govt had set an example by forwarding a COPE report to the Attorney General to take legal action for the first time in history, UNP MP Mujibar Rahuman said. He said there were several COPE reports that ended in the dustbin under Rajapaksa govt without taking any action on those recommendations. He said with the House approval Speaker would forward the COPE recommendations on the alleged bond scams more..

Free cataract lenses promised by Health Minister not available

Jan 27 (Island) The National Eye Hospital Branch Union of the GMOA said that although Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne had pledged to provide free lenses for cataract surgeries there was a severe shortage of them at the hospital. While commending the Health Minister for his move to provide lenses to patients with cataracts, they however said there were only 69 of them in stock. Those had been provided by the Ministry. more..

Abductions in Colombo during 2009: ex-Navy Intelligence chief to be arrested

Jan 27 (DN) The CID conducting investigations into an incident where several persons had been abducted by unidentified groups in Colombo and the surrounding areas in 2009 informed Court that former Navy Intelligence Director Rear Admiral Ananda Guruge is to be arrested over the disappearance of two individuals in Kotahena. The OIC of the CID’s Gang Robbery Unit-Inspector Nishantha Silva informed Court that more..

SL Charter hosts PM on-board catamaran

Jan 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Sail Lanka Charter hosted PM Ranil Wickremasinghe and his wife on-board their 53ft sailing catamaran, Sapphire, during the Fairway Galle Literary Festival. The vessel reflects local talent as it was built in Sri Lanka using local materials. Established in 2014 as part of the SL Yachting Group, Sail Lanka Charter aims to enhance local boat building skills and expand its presence in SL tourism industry. more..

Cabinet to legalise abortions under crucial circumstances

Jan 27 (DM) The rights of a woman has always been a topic of discussion in not only Asian countries but around the world as well. Although much progress has been made over the past few decades, women still remain a vulnerable group in society faced with unpleasant encounters such as sexual violence, molestation and abuse. The concept of abortions has often been subjected to much debate when considering the ethical implications. more..

'Fully fledged Media Commission by June'

Jan 27 (CT) Govt will soon establish a Media Commission, which will come into effect by June this year, Director-General of Govt Information Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya said "The aim of the proposed Media Commission, while protecting journalists and Editors, would also be to regulate the social media and subjects such as hate speech, defamation and other criteria, which are perceived to be preventing ethnic harmony, he said. more..

UN torture report a wakeup call to govt: Sooka

Jan 27 (DM) A UN report which was published yesterday describing a culture of torture in Sri Lanka is a wakeup call to President Maithripala Sirisena’s Govt to comply with its obligations under international law and to the international community to put torture prevention at the core of its engagement with the new Govt, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) yesterday said. more..

Quo vadis tea?

Jan 27 (CT) Sri Lanka's tea exports marginally increased by Rs 2.65 billion (1.46%) to Rs 184.7 billion, year on year (YoY) last year, Forbes & Walker (F&W) report, said. But in US dollar terms export earnings have had retreated. Whereas, tea exports fetched US$ 1.26 billion in 2015, but, on a YoY basis it has had depreciated by $ 0.03 billion (2.38%) to $ 1.23 billion by last year end. Tea export volumes in the review period declined by 18.2 million kilos (5.93%) to 288.7 million kg. more..

Tamil Nadu Students Challenge State & Centre

Jan 27 (CT) The eruption in Tamil Nadu had assumed volcanic proportions last week. Even as it was scoring an epic victory, it was throttled at the neck before it could reach the vent and spew out it’s molten lava. Yet history was made in the legislative Assembly by the Tamils, with students in the forefront, populace in support and the legislators in tow. At the sensible insistence of the students and the youth the state and centre acted responsively and enacted the desired legislation. more..

Kumara, Sanjaya, Vandersay added to SL ODI squad

Jan 27 (CI) SL have made three late changes to their ODI squad in South Africa, announcing the inclusions of Lahiru Kumara, Jeffrey Vandersay and Vikum Sanjaya on the eve of the first match in Port Elizabeth. They have replaced Isuru Udana, Thikshila de Silva and Seekkuge Prasanna. Fast bowlers Kumara and Sanjaya were part of the Test squad - with Kumara playing the second and third Tests - while Vandersay replaced Prasanna in a legspinner-for-legspinner swap. more..

Strengthened South Africa provide daunting challenge

Jan 27 (CI) There has been a shift in mood for Sri Lanka's tour over the last few days. Despite losing Angelo Mathews they impressively secured the T20 series - their first piece of silverware in South Africa - with a heart-stopping chase at Newlands. A trip that was threatening to be forgettable has been given a new lease of life. However, this one-day series could be a significantly greater challenge. After AB de Villiers' return for the final T20 - more..

Mihin Lanka case against Sajin Vaas in May

Jan 27 (NR) The case filed against Former Executive Officer of Mihin Lanka and UPFA MP Sajin Vaas Gunewardene over an illegal agreement has been postponed to the 3rd of May. The case was filed over an agreement pertaining to the purchase of ground operation equipment for Mihin Lanka with a Singaporean company. The order was issued after the charge sheet was read out to the defendant before Colombo Additional Magistrate. Sajin Vass Gunewardene had pled his innocence in Court. more..

President appoints commission to investigate bond issue

Jan 27 (CT) As promised last week, President Maithripala Sirisena has today appointed a three member special presidential commission to investigate the bond scam at the CB, allegedly committed by ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran. The commissioners comprises: Supreme Court Judges Kankani Chitrasiri, Prasanna Jayawardena and retired deputy Auditor General Velupillai Kandasamy. In a tweet on Sunday, Sirisena said, “I will appoint a Special Presidential Commission more..

Fire engines come to fight fire without water

Jan 27 (Island) Due to the lethargy and indifference of the Colombo fire brigade two houses were gutted yesterday following a fire at a polythene collection centre at Dippigoda Road, Hunupitiya, Wattala. What was incomprehensible was that the Colombo fire brigade had realised there was no water in the two fire engines only after arriving at the scene. The firemen were forced to leave the scene to fill up the bowsers with water by which time the two houses were fully gutted. more..

Ravi K & 13 others ordered to file objections

Jan 27 (NR) The Court of Appeal today granted approval to file objections over a case filed against Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake and a group over incurring a loss of 6 billion rupees to the government by allowing a beer manufacturing company evade taxes. The petition was taken up for hearing before a two member bench including the Chairman of the Appeals Court. The petition was filed by six venerable’s including the Sinhale National Front. more..

Rusiripala Tennakoon

FCID illegal says Minister Susil

Jan 27 (DM) I reiterate that the FCID is illegal said Minister Susil Premajayantha. Speaking further, he maintained that only those who are not conversant with the law are scared of these institutions and he was not one of them. He said that due to certain actions by the FCID, it led to certain individuals gaining popularity, especially when a minister or a MP is arrested and legal action is filed. He said this could translate into an election victory for the person instigating the arrest. more..

Jaliya Wickramasuriya re-remanded

Jan 27 (DM) Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US, Jaliya Wickramasuriya was further remanded till February 9 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today. He was arrested and remanded on charges of misappropriating USD 332,000 from state funds when purchasing a building for the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington. Prison Authority today did not produce the suspect in court due to his health condition. The suspect is currently being treated at Colombo National Hospital under the Prison custody. more..

7 interdicted over irregularities in Royal College Grade 1 admission

Jan 27 (AD) Seven education officials who served in the student admission board of Royal College Colombo including two deputy principals of the school have been interdicted in connection with an alleged irregularity in the enrolling of student to Grade 1. A special committee was appointed by Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam to investigate the allegations while this decision was taken according to the findings of the committee. more..

300,000 barrels of substandard fuel not in the market: Chandima

Jan 27 (NR) Minister Chandima Weerakkody says the 300,000 barrels of fuel that was determined to be substandard have been suspended from being released to the market. He said substandard fuel will not be accepted. The Minister said a stock of fuel that was discovered to be substandard has arrived in the country and is currently being re-examined. Minister Weerakkody added not a single drop of substandard fuel has been or will be allowed entry. more..

Wimal taking revenge on me: Prof. Marasinghe alleges

Jan 27 (DM) UNP National List MP Professor Akshuboda Marasinghe yesterday charged that he was forced to step down from his post at the State Engineering Corporation in 2011 as he refused to approve vehicles being released to close associates of former Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa. Professor Marasinghe came out with this allegation while responding to a statement by Joint Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa who called for his arrest in Parliament on Tuesday. more..

Govt will go down in history as first to rob Central Bank: Bandula

Jan 27 (NR) Former minister Bandula Gunawardena says that a revolutionary change did occur through the unity govt’s 100-day programme and that change was the CB bond scam. Addressing the Joint Opposition’s rally in Nugegoda, he stated this govt will go down in history as the first govt to rob the Central Bank. He said that former President Rajapaksa is the leader who brought forth the country’s economically most successful period since independence more..

Bengamuwa Nalaka Thera and six others released

Jan 27 (DN) The Colombo Fort Magistrate has released Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera and six other disabled tri force protestors, today. Thero was arrested along with 4 other Theraes and 2 women for allegedly obstructing the public and damaging public property at the protest conducted in front of the Presidential Secretariat office on Nov 7, 2016. Colombo Fort Magistrate, Lanka Jayaratne had released the convicts stating that police had not filed accusations against more..

Dept. probes TISL official working sans valid visa

Jan 27 (DN) The Department of Immigration and Emigration is investigating into Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), Senior Manager- Fundraising, Osk Sturludottir for working without a valid visa. Department spokesman, Deputy Controller, Lakshan de Zoysa said that Sturludottir married to a Sri Lankan was on a spousal visa and had no permission to work according to visa conditions. “We are investigating. She needs a work visa to work here,” Zoysa said. more..

Tiran Alles filed fabricated submissions?

Jan 27 (NR) Court of Appeal was today informed that former MP Tiran Alles filed fabricated submissions to obtain bail in the case filed against him pertaining to financial discrepancies at the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA). Tiran Alles was in remand custody over financial discrepancies reported at RADA during the previous tenure of UPFA led govt. Additional Solicitor General today appeared before Court representing the AG. more..

Case against Keheliya: Order regarding preliminary objection fixed for Feb. 23

Jan 27 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate set date for order regarding the preliminary objection raised by former Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and two others over a corruption case filed by the Bribery Commission. The corruption case filed against Rambukwella and two others for allegedly causing an unlawful loss to the govt after purchasing 600 of GI pipes using SL Rupavahini Corporation’s (SLRC) funds during the previous Presidential Election was fixed for Feb 23. more..

Hiring of SLTB buses by MR for Presidential poll: SLTB asked to file counter objections

Jan 27 (DN) The Colombo Commercial High Court yesterday directed the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) to file counter objections before March 28 against the preliminary objections raised by several defendants including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in connection with defaulting Rs. 142 million owed to the SLTB, whose buses were used to transport people to election rallies of the former President during the 2015-Presidential Election campaign. more..

U.S. MMC partnering with Sri Lanka to promote economic opportunity

Jan 27 (USE) Senior officials from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) visited Sri Lanka Jan 23-26 to discuss joint efforts to fight poverty and promote economic opportunity for all Sri Lankans.  In Dec 2016, MCC selected Sri Lanka as eligible for an MCC compact – a five-year development grant linked to sustained reforms that can spur growth and alleviate poverty.  During this visit, MCC representatives met with Sri Lankan govt officials more..

Case against Prasanna Ranatunga, wife fixed for trial

Jan 27 (DN) The case filed against UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife was fixed for trial on May 23 by the Colombo High Court. Attorney General filed indictments against former Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, his wife Maureen Ranatunga and another person on the charge of threatening a businessman over the phone and demanding Rs. 64 million. Meanwhile, High Court Judge permitted two accused to go abroad from the first week of February. more..

Joint Opposition once again misfired: SF

Jan 27 (NR) Govt says the Joint Opposition has once again misfired in reference to the rally being staged in Nugegoda this evening. Minister Sarath Fonseka said JO cannot easily topple a govt that was elected by the people. He said around 4,000 people gathering at the Nugegoda junction on a day like this is normal adding he witnessed three buses in the area that were half empty. Minister added a bad bullet cannot topple the govt adding the first bullet fired by the JO was bad. more..

Give us our children back: Hunger strikers in Sri Lanka demand answers

Jan 27 (NYT) Seated on a platform outside a regional post office in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, about 150 miles north of the capital, Colombo, a mother whose son has been missing for seven years sobbed as she spoke. “All we are asking for is for them to give us our children back. They took my child,” the aggrieved mother, Sangarappillai Vanalochini, said in an interview widely viewed on television and social media in Sri Lanka this week. more..

Udayanga Weeratunga now in UAE, FCID tells Court

Jan 27 (AM) Former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga is currently in UAE according to the information that have been received, the FCID today told court. This was informed when the case over the alleged financial fraud during the MiG deal during the early years of the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt was taken up at Colombo Fort Magistrate's Court. The FCID also said that investigations were being carried out on his bank accounts in Ukraine, Hong Kong and Switzerland. more..