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Deadly Madurankuliya bus accident: Bus driver remanded

Nov 8 (CT) Inter Provincial Private Bus Association (IPPBA) accused the SL Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transportation Commission (NTC) for the deadly Madurankuliya accident that occurred on 6 Nov, which claimed the lives of seven commuters. IPPBA holding a press conference accused the Ministry of Transport, the SLTB, NTC and Provincial Transport Authority, charging that their negligent activities had directly caused the circumstances behind the said accident. more..

Despite end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, men report rape and torture under new govt

Nov 8 (AP) He was barely a teenager when Sri Lanka’s civil war ended, spared by youth from witnessing its horrors. But last year, the brutal conflict caught up with Witness #205. Raped, branded and beaten, he is one of more than 50 men who say they were abducted and tortured under Sri Lanka’s current govt. The men’s previously unpublished accounts conjure images of the bloody civil war, which ended in 2009. more..

Sri Lanka arrive in India without batting coach Samaraweera

Nov 8 (CB) Sri Lanka's seven week tour of India got off to a stumbling start on Wednesday (8) as the team's batting coach Thilan Samaraweera didn't get his visa on time to fly with the team. The Sri Lankan team arrived in Kolkata on Wednesday morning but Samaraweera had to stay back home to wait for his visa. Samaraweera was confirmed as Sri Lanka's batting coach on November 4 and the former middle order batsman, who lives in Melbourne, arrived in Colombo on Monday. more..

Norochcholai power plant to purchase coal under spot tender

Nov 8 (LBO) Cabinet has granted approval to purchase 300,000 metric tons of coal for the Norochcholai power plant under a spot tender from Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises Limited. A cabinet decision said the approval came following the endorsement of the Standing Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC) which considered the necessity of providing coal for the coal power plant in Puttalam. Accordingly, Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy is to purchase more..

Prez urged to dissociate with project meant to cause instability

Nov 8 (Island) Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abeytissa thera urged President Maithripala Sirisena to quit what he called separatist agenda pursued by the UNP administration and align with nationalist elements. Had President felt obliged to back the UNP’s despicable project in return for fielding him at the 2015 polls, the SLFP leader should now discontinue association with the ruling party, Ven. Thera said. more..

Implementation of SAITM proposals before the 31 Dec

Nov 8 (NR) Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva says new proposals that were recommended by Presidential Committee, appointed to resolve issue surrounding the SAITM, will be implemented before the 31st of Dec. He said necessary steps have already been taken to implement the proposals issued by the Committee. New admissions have also been suspended. He requested parents of state medical students who are engaged in a Sathyagraha campaign to hold discussion with govt. more..

Ceypetco loses Rs68 billion in nine months

Nov 8 (EN) State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, a key trigger of economic instability in the country, has lost 68 billion rupees in the nine months to Sept 2017, amid mis-pricing of fuel, officials said. CPC is now losing 11 rupees on a litre of petrol, 7 rupees on a litre of diesel and 25 rupees from kerosene, after paying turnover taxes. Govt has still not made a decision on implementing a price formula, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. "The decision on pricing formula has to be taken by the govt," more..

'Power devolution not to favour Tamil people'

Nov 8 (DM) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said power devolution would be done not to favour the Tamil people and that it was done following a request by all the Chief Ministers to give them an opportunity to carry out powers vested on them by the 13th Amendment. He told parliament that Chief Ministers and Provincial Councillors had requested that they should be given more powers as huge amount of money was spent more..

Controversy over the Nature Of The State 

Nov 9 (CT) Even after four days of debate in the Constitutional Assembly, the country is far from being in agreement on basic principles in drafting a new constitution. The reason is extremist, inflexible and confrontational politics from all sides, without any consideration for national unity or national interests. The debates have widened the gaps rather than closing them up. Only gratifying thing is that no one has burnt the Interim Report like in the constitutional debate in Aug 2000! more..

University Education & SAITM

Nov 9 (CT) Since the controversy over SAITM started snowballing into an overall critique of university education a few erudite contributions have appeared in this journal. I too have contributed one on the bigger picture (4 September 2017). Having taught in five universities in three countries for over fifty years, including 10 years in Sri Lanka, I think my observations on the subject can add some substance to the public debate. It is now an accepted fact that the quality of uni education more..

Suraksha ensures protection for children

Nov 9 (SO) Students’ health strongly affects their school attendance and academic performance. Connecting them to a health insurance scheme will improve their educational outcomes. Millions of children who are qualified for health insurance are not insured. So, the govt’s new health scheme would help the 4.5 million school attending children in the country. Suraksha is the free health insurance policy more..

Children foster freedom of expression

Nov 9 (NS) Strengthening and supporting the voice of children and youth is extremely vital in creating a vibrant society, where diversity is respected; acknowledged; celebrated and tolerated. It is also highly important to realize that the children and youth can propose extremely creative and sustainable remedies to transform complex social conflicts in our country. Therefore, inclusion of children and youth in postwar reconciliation activities must be given highest priority, more..

Inviting Failure: Nature of the spatial unit of devolution

Nov 9 (Island) Over the last few decades there has been a wave of experimentation with the issue of decentralisation of governance in SL without any fresh thinking on the decentralized spatial unit beyond Colebrooke’s narrow vision of revenue administration in 1833. Why have our leaders failed to think beyond revenue administration in an era, when the state has a direction–giving role in development administration? From colonial beginnings and right through more..

'Local farmer earnings going to foreign farmers'

Nov 9 (CT) Anuradhapura District UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe says, the Govt is stating with pride that they are importing 500,000 metric tonnes of rice. "Whose money are they spending? The money that should have gone to our farmers, is now going to farmers abroad," Semasinghe said. Q: For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka the two main parties in the country have got together and established a Govt. Some people commend it more..

More is better?

Nov 9 (DN) An Australian joke poses the question Why wasn’t Jesus born in Australia?, and answers it because God could not find a virgin and three wise men there! When we encountered the idea of representative democracy; initially, very limited representation under the Colebrook reforms, gradually widened through Donoughmore and eventually to the post-independence autochthonous constitutions, a new creature had to be invented; an honourable man; public spirited, more..

Devoting life for uplifting autistic children

Nov 9 (NS) The Premasiri couple has an autistic son named Malintha. They were not devastated upon seeing their son’s misfortune. They devoted their whole lives to giving him a normal life. Their efforts came to fruition when they realized that their only child’s future is safe as he has gained the necessary life skills to lead an independent life. As most autistic children he was violent, stubborn, frequently running into tantrums, and doing daredevil things. He often hurt his parents clawing their hands more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

Railway development, viable alternative to costly Central Expressway

Nov 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s transport sector experts questioned the need for an expensive four lane expressway with interchanges which will create its own problems of increasing congestion in and around Kandy. Mechanical Engineering Sectional Committee of the Institution of Engineers in association with the SL Society of Transport & Logistics recently held a panel discussion on expressways. The panel comprised of Prof. Amal S. Kumarage, retired GM of Railways more..

Resurrecting Valachchenai, Embilipitiya Paper Mills

Nov 9 (DN) After several years in the doldrums, the Valachchenai and Embilipitiya National Paper Mills are expected to roar back to life as a public private partnership with a grant of US $ 20 million from South Korea. The Valachchenai and Embilipitiya Paper Mills which had been a boon to thousands of families in the Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces, became a bane with the closure of these factories as a result of various corrupt activities and a lack of political will to clean it up, more..

The young comrades who took on Colombo’s Comprador Capitalists

Nov 9 (ST) Peace, land, bread! This was the rallying cry which changed the course of world history, the very core of not just a revolution, but the Great October Revolution. Even though the vibrations of the Great October Revolution in Russia — the 100th anniversary of which is being celebrated with much pageantry and fanfare in Sri Lanka next week – shook the world, including neighbour India, it permeated then Ceylon more..

Editorial: Conspiracies, petrol and firewater

Nov 9 (Island) Minister Duminda Dissanayake has seen a conspiracy behind the prevailing petrol shortage. He who can, does: he who can’t, blames others, one may say with apologies to Bernard Shaw. Politicians who get into trouble see more devils than vast hell can hold! Who are the conspirators Minister Dissanayake is talking about? Most of the yahapalana ministers are those who conspired against Rajapaksa govt while being members of its Cabinet and brought it down. more..

Govt by promise and committee

Nov 9 (Island) It is unfortunate that the medical students’ strike has gone on for nearly a year. Worse still is the prospect that it appears to hang on endlessly, despite recurring promises from the regime to end it in the following week. But these promises have been so regularly broken that they have become a public joke, reminding one of Macbeth’s words, Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time, more..

Heshani stands tall, Dahamsa, Ruwansa erase long-standing records

Nov 9 (Island) Heshani Maheshika of St. Sebastian’s BMV, Kandana lived up to her reputation as the favourite as she smashed the Under-15 Girls’ Discus Throw record with a notable 35.46 metres feat at the final stage competition of the Sir John Tarbet Junior Athletics Championship on Wednesday. The winner of the Under-16 discus throw at the recently held All Island Schools Games Championship, Maheshika was the favourite more..

50,000 lives improved through Fonterra’s grass roots sustainability projects

Nov 9 (ST) While a number of areas in Sri Lanka lack access to clean water supply, sanitation and other infrastructure which naturally poses a threat to education and quality of life, Fonterra – since 2014, has completed over 82 projects in line with creating happier and prosperous dairy communities. Through these projects, dairy co-operatives have focused on sustainable water and sanitation solutions, community infrastructure development at Early Childhood Development centres and more..

Army to assist sports development projects

Nov 9 (DN) Sports Ministry sought assistance from Sri Lanka Army to undertake development work and maintenance of Diyagama Mahinda Rajapaksa Sports Complex which is under renovation, aiming the 2021 South Asia Games. Agreement was announced after a discussion between Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake and Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara at the Sports Ministry recently. Army Commander assured Army’s full support to Sports Ministry’s future more..

Regime capable of robbing even the Central Bank: Prez takes on Ranil's corrupt cronies

Nov 9 (EN) President Sirisena indirectly accused cabinet ministers of being corrupt and strongly defended his decision to investigate alleged bond scam under PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's watch. Speaking at 2nd death anniversary of Maduluwawe Sobitha thera who spearheaded a citizens' movement that propelled him to power in 2015, Sirisena said the late monk would have applaud his actions. more..

Modi, Maithri in phone pow-wow over petrol

Nov 9 (FT) India’s PM Narendra Modi had assured President Maithripala Sirisena of all possible assistance to resolve the fuel crisis in the country. In a telephone conversation that took place yesterday Indian PM has assured that India will extend all possible assistance in response to Sri Lanka’s request for emergency petrol shipments. Lanka IOC, SL unit of Indian Oil Corporation had offered 3,500 kiloliters of petrol from its own stock to state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), more..

Nepotism at its worst

Nov 9 (DM) Believe it or not! There is a provincial purohita hailing from a well-known political clan who has got six family members drawing salaries as his office staff. Two of these six family members have received formal appointments and the other four are mere names on the Ministry payroll, they say. The four family members appearing on the payroll with no official status at the Ministry are the purohita’s wife, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and father-in-law. Purohita himself is said be to collecting more..

LG polls: SLFP CC to discuss JO’s conditions

Nov 9 (Island) Seven conditions laid down by the Joint Opposition (JO) in response to the SLFP’s invitation for them to join forces to contest the upcoming elections would be discussed at the party’s Central Committee, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said. Confirming that the SLFP had received the letter signed by 42 MPs representing the JO, Dissanayake said the conditions would be discussed at more..

Govt secures huge coconut tranche to ease cost of living

Nov 9 (FT) As coconut prices soared due to a drought-fuelled supply shortage, Sri Lanka announced that it was sourcing a large volume of coconuts from domestic suppliers instead of international sellers to be sold to local consumers at a low price. “Based on the Cost of Living Committee’s order, Lanka Sathosa will source coconuts from various suppliers directly and sell them from next week at a low price of Rs. 65 each,” said Sathosa Chairman T.M.K.B. Tennakoon. more..

DFCC Bank consolidates performance with strong 3Q

Nov 9 (DN) DFCC Bank continued to demonstrate positive momentum across business in the third quarter of 2017 as a rapidly emerging full service commercial bank. DFCC Bank recorded growth across all its income segments, with a 31% increase in operating income year-on-year. Bank’s net interest income rose by 32%, to LKR 8,228 Mn buoyed by improvements to the net interest margin from 3.3% in Dec 2016 to 3.6% by Sept 2017. Bank’s net fee and commission income more..

Holding SLMC election inappropriate due to legal issues: GMOA

Nov 9 (DM) The GMOA yesterday said it was inappropriate to hold the election of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) having legal issues with regard to it, amidst being in a crucial condition on the SAITM issue. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said that in 2014 they had pointed out several issues in relation to the election procedure of the SLMC and they had urged for several amendments in the said procedure. more..

Oil tanker Neveska Lady enters SL waters

Nov 9 (AD) The fuel tanker Naveska Lady with a consignment of 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol has entered Sri Lankan territorial waters. The ship, which is arriving from Dubai, is expected to dock at the Muthurajawela buoy after midnight today (8) where it will commence the transfer of fuel.  Before reaching the buoy tests will be carried out to determine the standard of the fuel and laboratory technicians are preparing to leave for the ship to carry out the tests, Ministry of Petroleum said. more..

Piyasena Gamgae to replace Geetha

Nov 9 (FT) Piyasena Gamage is expected to take oaths in Parliament in the coming days to fill the seat vacated by actress-turned politician and former MP Geetha Kumarasinghe. UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, told the Daily FT that it had been decided by the UPFA that Piyasena Gamage, whose constituency is in the Galle District, would replace Kumarasinghe in Parliament. “He should take oaths today or tomorrow,” the Minister said. more..

Sri Lanka responds to media report on allegations of torture by govt

Nov 9 (MFA) Dear Editor, I write with reference to the article titled Dozens of Men Describe Rape, Torture by Sri Lanka Govt  by the Associated Press that was published in the New York Times.  It would be appreciated in this regard, if this response from the Govt of Sri Lanka could also be published in the New York Times, considering the gravity of the allegations and the firm commitment of the Unity Govt to uphold the rule of law. more..

Green light from people for new Constitution: Bishop

Nov 9 (DN) The Methodist Church Sri Lanka expresses its appreciation to all the political parties that have remained involved in the process and exercise of drafting a new Constitution, without giving into the attempts made by certain politicians and even religious personnel to bring to a halt, a mandate that the people of this country clearly gave at the elections held in 2015, said Methodist Church President /Bishop Rev. Asiri P. Perera. Issuing a statement, the Bishop said, more..

Govt to amend Microfinance Act to tackle rural indebtedness

Nov 9 (FT) Increased indebtedness in rural communities, particularly in the North and North Central provinces, has prompted the Govt to consider amending the Microfinance Act to reduce and regulate credit-giving institutions. CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy this week acknowledged that the regulator had serious concerns of the high level of indebtedness in the country. Indebtedness, particularly in the north, was triggered by rampant lending after the end of the war more..

Fuel shortages: Some officials suspected of sabotage: Govt

Nov 9 (Island) The govt said yesterday that preliminary investigations had revealed that some officials were responsible for the prevailing shortage of petrol. Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Dayasiri Jayasekera told the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing that on certain days officials had released fuel stocks less than the normal requirement, which created an artificial shortage leading to panic buying and shortages. more..

SAITM licence cannot be cancelled: SB

Nov 9 (NR) Minister SB Dissanayake says the licence issued by him, to establish the SAITM cannot be cancelled. He said, he followed the required protocol to issue the licence, as the then Higher Education Minister. However, the Minister said the incumbent govt has arrived at a decision to rearrange the management structure of SAITM in order facilitate the demands of state medical university students. The Minister said he is obligated to adhere to the new policy. more..

'Neither President nor PM pressured Arjuna'

Nov 9 (CT) Minister of Petroleum Arjuna Ranatunga told the Cabinet of Ministers that neither President Maithripala Sirisena nor PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had pressurized him to release substandard petrol into the market; Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said yesterday. Speaking to the media earlier this week, Ranatunga said that he was pressurized by certain elements to release the substandard stock of petrol shipment by the Lanka IOC. more..