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CC to recommend officials to the OMP

July 22 (DM) With the Office of Missing Persons Act becoming operational, the Constitutional Council (CC) chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will meet next week to discuss the appointment of officials to this office, an official said. The Act became operational after President Maithripala Sirisena placed his signature for the gazette notice. The office will consist of seven members who will be recommended by the CC for endorsement by the President. more..

CEA won’t accept EIA reports

July 22 (DN) Central Environment Authority (CEA) informed the expert panel which prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the Uma Oya Multipurpose Project that it would not accept any EIA reports or any other reports directed to the Authority until a full investigation is carried into their statements on the Uma Oya Project. Authority noted that their statements have given rise to questions more..

SDIG to investigate Civvies arrest

July 22 (DN) Police Department has appointed Western Province Senior DIG Nandana Munasinghe to investigate the uproar against persons in civilian clothing attempting to arrest Medical Faculty Students Action Committee Convener Ryan Jayalath opposite the OPA building in Colombo 7 on Thursday. SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that they were officials of the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). “Conduct of CCD officers during the incident has also been questionable. more..

Finance Ministry denies social media claims

July 22 (DM) The Finance Ministry dismissed social media claims that the vehicle used in the alleged failed attempt to abduct Medical Faculty Students Action Committee (MFSAC) convener belonged to it. It further said the incident which had taken place at the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) premises on Thursday evening had nothing to do with the ministry. Finance Ministry said that it denied the social media claims that the vehicle no NA-0410 belonged to it. more..

Constitution making process: JO raises UN interference with Feltman

July 22 (Island) JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena has called for an end to UN interference in on-going constitutional making process in accordance with Geneva Resolution 30/1 adopted in Oct 2015. MP has said that the JO that represented a large segment of people strongly opposed to the current UN initiative that was inimical to Sri Lanka’s national interest. He was responding to Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs more..

PNB seals 54 containers imported from Brazil 

July 22 (Island) Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) yesterday sealed 54 containers from Brazil being kept at the Orugodawatte container yard for transhipment. This action came close on the heels of the detection of cocaine weighing 218.6 kilos with a street value of Rs. 3.2 billion, concealed inside a container of sugar at the Lanka Sathosa warehouse at Ratmalana Economic Centre. The contraband detected on Wednesday was to be transhipped from Colombo to other countries. more..

No decision to reduce 13-year school academic period: Akila

July 22 (DN) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam noted that Education Ministry has not taken any decision yet to reduce the 13-year school academic period by one year. “No decision has been taken to reduce the school academic period by one year as the Ministry has taken a policy decision that the 13-year academic period is compulsory for every student,” he noted. However, Education Commission’s resources said that the commission is going to suggest to Education Ministry to reduce more..

Top CB official linked to bond scam spirits away files at night

July 22 (Island) Serious doubts of a plot to destroy evidence of the Treasury bond scandal have arisen after a very senior official of the Central Bank was found removing a haul of files and documents from the bank recently. Details of the documents being taken out of Central Bank have to be recorded at Security Division of the Bank, but the official in question arrived at the bank around 7.30 pm & took the documents in his personal car more..

From a social outcast to President of world's largest democracy

July 22 (DM) On Thursday, Ram Nath Kovind a member of India’s poorest and most oppressed caste –the Dalits- was elected President of India. He is the second member of the Dalit caste to become president of India; the first being  K.R. Narayan, who held the post for five years commencing 1997.  President of India though largely a ceremonial role, is the legal Head of State of India and is elected by an electoral college, which comprises members of both Houses of Parliament. more..

SLFPers: More reasons to remain than to quit

July 22 (DM) Are there 18 SLFP MPs who are supporters of President Sirisena planning to resign from the Govt, as claimed by the Joint Opposition? Mahinda Rajapaksa camp says that those defectors are to join their camp while some SLFP members in the Govt are declaring that they would sit as independent MPs in the Parliament in the near future. If there are MPs of the Maithri group to defect from the so-called National Govt or the so-called unity govt, why don’t they do so now?  more..

'A constitutional change is needed'

July 22 (DM) Professor Rohana Laxman Piyadasa, a lecturer of mass media, reflected on the SAITM issue, unrest in universities, the forming of a new constitution and the act proposed by the govt to control media. Q: At Present there are crucial issues connected with the Universities. The Universities were closed due to student unrest, SAITM, and the spread of epidemics. Now Katubedda Uni has been closed suddenly. more..

Dubious deal of Kotte MC unearthed

July 22 (SL) With the garbage issue getting out of hand dengue too has reached epic proportions and there seems no solution in sight. According to Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, politicians as well as the relevant officials should take responsibility for this crisis. He said no matter who is responsible for this issue, he would not hesitate to bring them before the law, irrespective of their party or status. more..

AG’s advice sought to destroy abandoned fishing boats

July 22 (Island) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry will seek the Attorney General’s advice to destroy abandoned fishing boats at fisheries harbours to prevent them becoming mosquito breeding sites. Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera stressed that the abandoned fishing boats had become dengue mosquito breeding sites and some of them were court productions and therefore more..

Govigama monopoly of presidents and premiers in Sri Lanka

July 22 (DM) Ram Nath Kovind was on Thursday declared elected as India’s 14th President polling 65.6% of the vote defeating the Opposition’s joint candidate, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who secured 34% of the vote. Mr. Kovind will be the second Dalit President of India after late President K.R. Narayanan but, more significantly, the first from politically significant Uttar Pradesh and the first person from BJP to hold the office more..

UN assures continued support to Sri Lanka

July 22 (PSL) Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman said that UN would continue to extend fullest support to SL’s development process and reconciliation. He said this when he called on President Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo today (21). UN Official expressed appreciation over the progress made by Sri Lanka in many areas despite challenges of natural calamities, more..

Battle to save Dambulla Temple

July 22 (SL) The Rangiri Dambulla Temple has a significant place in world history and it was declared a world heritage site in 1991. However, today there is great controversy surrounding the Rangiri Dambulla Viharaya and some are trying to make this issue a political tool. According to the Archaeology Act, the Dambulla temple was gazetted as a scientific monument in 1957 while the Dambulla Len Viharaya was more..

Runaway illegal constructions’ sheer enormity defies demolition

July 22 (ST) Authorities tasked with demolishing thousands of illegal buildings in an around Colombo, are crippled by legal shortcomings, practicalities and the sheer size of the problem. The city’s main canal system is over 44 km long, while the minor network is 52 km. Within just 11.5 km of the major network, SLLRDC has identified 460 unauthorised buildings, while there are 376 illegal structures along a mere 4.56 km of minor more..

Present govt gave a proper meaning to free health service: President

July 22 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the present Govt gave a proper meaning to the free health service by providing all the facilities in the health service free of charge.  President made these remarks participating in a ceremony to vest the developed Galgamuwa Base Hospital with the public, today (20). Galgamuwa Base Hospital was developed as a state-of-the-art hospital spending Rs. 900 million. more..

New doctors’ union insists on resolving issues through discussion

July 22 (Island) Grade Medical Officers’ Union (GMOU) urged the Health Ministry to resolve 15 of its issues inclusive of rectification of salary discrepancies of grade medical officers. Secretary GMOU, Dr N. Premaratne said his union had also appealed for the rectification of discrepancies in allowances paid to them. Without taking action to have the situation remedied, GMOA had confronted the Health Minister, he said. more..

Corrupt probing Corrupt: Police given deadline to complete high profile cases

July 22 (EN) Police have been given their final warning to speed up investigations into high profile murders and corruption of the former regime or face the axe within two months, top official sources said. Law and Order minister Sagala Ratnayaka has taken a hands-on approach to monitor progress on the investigations after he took flak earlier this month when he President Maithripala Sirisena virtually put him on notice to deliver or depart. more..

Income sharing very vital for development

July 22 (CT) The day before yesterday PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a new policy statement would be presented in Parliament prior to the introduction of Budget 2018 and emphasized that there were certain regulations hindering competitiveness and productivity of business entities in the country. According to him, his policy statement and the Budget 2018 would provide another round of liberalization as the govt was taking a fresh look at policies and regulations. more..

The problem of the Fifth Precept

July 22 (CT) It’s not easy to come across a politician you have mixed feelings about who says something you at least partly agree with. And yet, three weeks ago, that’s exactly what happened with Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister turned Finance Minister who has maintained a colourful profile for the last three decades. What he said had nothing to do with his office, although it did touch on the country’s finances. Mr Samaraweera, who is not prone to the kind of Puritanism more..

Lacille de silva

People’s plight in Puttalam

July 22 (ST) While parts of the country have been experiencing floods, areas like Puttalam District are experiencing drought conditions. The ongoing drought has adversely affected 36,394 families comprising 129,276 persons who have been left without access to drinking water. Villagers say the district has not received proper rainfall for around two years. Over 90% of the tanks in the Puttalam District have run dry Villagers in 161 Grama Niladhari Divisions -13 out of 16 DS more..

Red Beetle threatens coconut cultivation

July 22 (ST) Coconut plantation owners have raised the alarm over the rapid spread of a disease via the Red Beetle which targets the young coconut plants. Karuwelagaswewa area in Putalam District, is badly affected. Coconut nurseries in particular are adversely affected as the young plants possessing less resistance, are easily susceptible to the disease. Beetle bores into the trunk where it lays its eggs and the disease is spread by the larvae which penetrate trunk of the tree & reach the palms. more..

SriLankan Airlines’ attempt to buy time on RTI request fails

July 22 (CT) Though SriLankan Airlines management had attempted to buy time on an RTI application filed by Airline Pilots Guild of SL under RTI Act, saying that it will be requesting for advice from the RTI Commission, the Commission has responded informing the Information Officer at SriLankan Airlines that the Commission will be unable to advise as requested.  A source from the Guild told Colombo Telegraph that the Guild more..

Fight to stop takeover of Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya by private company far from over

July 22 (Island) Central Provincial Council Member Asoka Herath urged the Chairman of the Provincial Council L. D. Nimalasiri to urge President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to refrain from vesting the Kotmale Mahaweli Maha Seya (Dagoba) with an organisation headed by State Minister Navin Dissanayake. Herath made the request at a recent meeting of the Central Provincial Council at its Pallekele headquarters with Chairman L. D. Nimalasiri presiding.   more..

Private lab delays prompt Health Minister to request patients go to govt hospitals

July 22 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that dengue patients who were unable to get their full blood count (FBC) tests from private sector labs and hospitals within two hours could get the tests done at govt hospitals free of charge. The decision had been made following several complaints received from doctors, who said that certain private sector labs and hospitals took over two hours to issue FBC test results and, therefore, treatment could not be commenced early. more..

Buddha images draw attention to Sri Lanka’s inept police

July 22 (EN) Sri Lanka arrested an Indian tourist for wearing a T-shirt with a Buddha image, an act police spokesman  Ruwan Gunasekera said was an offence under the penal code. Indian woman was arrested by 3 policemen on Monday and marched off to Kollupititya police station where she was asked to sign a statement and apologise to the authorities. Police had told her that they could have deported her, but since she was leaving more..

World Bank project to preserve Kandy Post Office building

July 22 (ST) Kandy’s colonial era Post Office building is to be conserved under a World Bank project, according to the Kandy City Heritage Committee. A report containing the World Bank’s proposal for the conservation was tabled by Kandy’s Municipal Commissioner at a recent heritage committee meeting. World Bank has noted that the building needed conservation as it was a point of attraction for those who visit Kandy. The building has been in existence since 1867 and more..

Water brought from Pattipola for victims of Uma Oya project: CM

July 22 (Island) Uva Provincial Council has decided to bring 200,000 litres of water per day by train from Pattipola and distribute it among the people in Bandarawela facing a severe drinking water scarcity due to the Uma Oya project. Action has also been taken to bring 10 bowsers of water a day from Mahiyangana to Bandarawela. Uva Chief Minister Chamara Dassanayake disclosed this at a discussion at the Uva Chief Minister’s office on the Uma Oya Project. more..

New Chief of Staff Appointed

July 22 (SLA) Major General Amal Karunasekara has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff of the Army. He is currently serving as the Commandant at Defence Services Command and Staff College, Sapugaskanda. He is the Commandant of the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Sapugaskanda and the 15th Colonel of the Regiment in the Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment. more..

Eran in effort to reassure CSE investors

July 22 (Island) Once the new Inland Revenue Bill is passed it would create a stable environment for any investor to invest in the Colombo Stock Exchange without fear or doubt, State Minister for Finance Eran Wickramaratne said. "We are discussing with all stake holders to iron out differences and to take their views into consideration in shaping the Bill, Wickrmaratne said. At present local investors are being sidelined in the CSE because of the clarity issue in the new Bill. more..

UNP gets tough on insider critics

July 22 (CT) Ex-Co of the UNP has decided to take disciplinary action against any MP, PC member or Party organizer who publicly criticizes the Party in violation of its Constitution. UNP Ex-Co, which recently convened under leader, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, had decided that if any of the aforementioned persons have any criticisms against the conduct of the party then it should only be brought up at the right forums & hence public airing of such views will henceforth not be tolerated. more..

Corbyn deeply concerned over ongoing torture In Sri Lanka

July 22 (CT) Leader of the UK’s main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn Friday expressed deep concern over the reports of ongoing torture of Tamils by the Sri Lanka security forces, and stressed that the UK’s foreign policy on Sri Lanka should be focused on accountability, not just promoting trade and investment. Referring to the recent report by the Johannesburg-based International Truth & Justice Project (ITJP) more..

JO accuses govt of planning to delay provincial polls

July 22 (NR) JO has accused the govt of planning to postpone Provincial Council elections after the terms of those councils come to an end. Former MP Basil Rajapaksa made this statement during a rally. He said, “the postponement of local govt elections is an act against the public. We must fight for it”. He added, “they want to control provincial councils through the governor like they do with local councils. These plans are not yet revealed because even members of the govt will oppose it”. more..

India batsmen tune up for Galle with runs

July 22 (CI) India's batsmen enjoyed a smooth tune-up on the second day of the practice game against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI, hitting 177 for the loss of only two further wickets. Virat Kohli was the only batsman to register a half-century, but Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha all made it past thirty, a short time after which they were all retired out. Kohli's overnight partner Ajinkya Rahane, too, made 40 before he and Kohli were retired out simultaneously. more..

Sri Lanka need favourable pitches to trouble India, says Gambhir

July 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka can trouble India in the upcoming Test series only if they prepare favourable pitches for their bowlers, reckons veteran opener Gautam Gambhir. Sri Lanka are facing a crisis of confidence after an embarrassing 2-3 series defeat against lower-ranked Zimbabwe in the ODIs. They managed to pull off a face-saving win in the one-off Test against the African nation ahead of India tour. more..

'Residents around Norocholai will soon have solutions'

July 22 (NR) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says concerns of those living adjacent to the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant will be solved promptly. Minister speaking at a function in Thalawila said the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant is significant due to the ability to generate power at low costs through the use of coal. Norocholai has now become a crucial factor in power generation. It generates 900 megawatts a day. He said coal is a much cheaper fuel compares with diesel. more..

Press Complaints Commission received 133 complaints in 2016

July 22 (ST) Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 133 complaints last year and national newspapers published 317 Right of Readers complaints direct from readers to editors under the media’s self-regulatory mechanism, the annual report of the Commission for 2016 states. CEO Sukumar Rockwood presenting the report at PCCSL’s Annual General Meeting at the Sri Lanka Press Institute auditorium said that the Sinhala press which comprises 37.2% of more..