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JO, JVP, CaFFE, PAFFREL object to petition seeking postponement of LG elections

Nov 17 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for Nov. 22 its ruling on whether to issue notice on the Minister of Local Govt, Provincial Councils and the Secretary to the Ministry regarding a writ application filed by five electors who have requested the court to grant them interim relief by suspending the gazette dated Feb. 7, 2017. Deputy Solicitor General Arjuna Obeysekera, who appeared for the Minister Faiszer Musthapha said that more..

'Google & Facebook would have failed in SL'

Nov 17 (EN) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has severely criticised SL's lending institutions saying that they would not have funded the founders of Google and Facebook if they were to start up in the island. Addressing parliament, Samaraweera said Sri Lanka's lending institutions were not geared to funding young entrepreneurs and had not kept pace with changing needs of customers. more..

'We won’t allow Aava group to raise its head'

Nov 17 (AD) Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka assured that the govt would not allow the so-called Aava group, or any other criminal gang, to raise its head in the North. He said the Police had unleashed its full strength to curb the activities of the criminal gang and bring its members to book.  “It was reported that the gang had launched 8 attacks in the Northern Province recently. Police have already arrested six more..

Arrest warrant issued for Jaliya Wickramasuriya

Nov 17 (NR) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court has issued an arrest warrant for former SL Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne this morning. Wickramasuriya, who is released on bail, left the country on Court approval to seek medical attention in the US for a period of two months. However an arrest warrant was issued as Jaliya Wickramasuriya failed to appear more..

Audio: Dayasiri admits speaking to Aloysius while Ajith P. Perera denies

Nov 17 (AD) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, responded to the allegation that they had telephone conversations with Arjun Aloysius, while they were members of the COPE committee inquiring into bond scandal. An analysis report submitted by the CID to the PCoI revealed that five members of the COPE had telephone conversations with the owner of Perpetual Treasuries, more..

Bill Gates ready to assist SL’s health sector

Nov 17 (SL) American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates has said he is prepared to assist Sri Lanka’s health sector, the Health Ministry said. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne had a brief meeting with Gates in Abu Dhabi during an international conference on health. During the meeting, Gates had reportedly told the Minister he was aware of the efforts being taken in Sri Lanka to improve the health sector. more..

Starship budgets and the Bicycle Brigade

Nov 17 (FT) One has only to read the wide and varied responses to Budget 2018 (B18) to realise how fissured our society is. Some like it so much as to say that they love it. Others loathe it so much they’re dying of envy, or apoplexy, or both. There is little point in analysing the fiscal big picture of the nation in these columns again and adding more woes to woahs or vice versa. Because the management of a nation’s wealth, treasure, assets (generally received in trust and more often more..

Effects of good governance with Maithree G.

Doubtful new High Court will be able to play expected role

Nov 17 (CT) UNP Working Committee, after considering a comprehensive report on the progress made by law enforcement authorities in handling fraud and corruption cases, yesterday declared that shortcomings on the part of the AG's Department have resulted in creating a public outcry against the Govt's inaction in fighting corruption. According to this report submitted by Minister of Law and Order, Sagala Ratnayaka, although 370 cases have been forwarded by the FCID thus far, more..

Seeking postponement of LG polls: SLFP supporters behind move claims JO

Nov 17 (DM) It transpired in Parliament yesterday that six supporters of the SLFP had moved the Supreme Court against the gazette notification delimitation on the local govt elections. Joint Opposition MP for the Matara district Kanchana Wijesekara said three supporters of Ministers Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, Dilan Perera and Dayasiri Jayasekara were among the petitioners. He said the remaining three were also supporters of the SLFP in the govt. more..

Seine net fishermen’s issues to be resolved before Dec 1

Nov 17 (DN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had instructed relevant authorities to take immediate measures to solve all issues faced by seine net fishermen before Dec 1 and to implement a programme to issue licences for them. During a discussion held on Wednesday at the Ministry premises with regard to the issues faced by these fishermen, Minister Amaraweera instructed Fisheries Director General Christy Fernando more..

Speaker approves request to probe COPE committee

Nov 17 (AD) A request was made of Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya to launch an investigation into the members of the COPE, due to allegations made that the information sheet of the COPE committee was secretly revealed to undisclosed individuals.   Reports confirm that MP C.B.Ratnayake made the above request from the speaker during parliamentary proceedings today. Speaker stated that an investigation will be conducted into the alleged incident. more..

'Jayalath Dissanayake delimitation committee report 95% correct'

Nov 17 (Island) Asoka Pieris National Delimitation Review Committee (NDRC) report had only changed by about five percent when compared with the Jayalath Dissanayake National Delimitation Committee (NDC) report, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. He maintained that 95% of the NDRC report was similar to the NDC report completed under the previous govt. The report of the NDC, which was appointed in 2012 and chaired by Jayalath Dissanayake, was gazetted by more..

COPE denies impeding Bond investigations

Nov 17 (NR) COPE member and UNP MP Hector Appuhami has denied any involvement in impeding the COPE investigation over the Bond transactions issue. According to a testimony made yesterday before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds, several COPE members had allegedly engaged in telephone calls with an official attached to Perpetual Treasuries Limited. more..

Table Audit bill in Parliament promptly: JVP

Nov 17 (NR) The JVP has requested the govt to promptly table the proposed Audit Bill in Parliament. Speaking in Parliament on the first day of the Committee Stage Debate JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said the Audit Bill is necessary to ensure financial management and financial discipline. The MP said the Auditor General has released a report on a racket related to the purchase of stocks of rice adding he has also released reports on issues pertaining to the purchase of coal. more..

Corrupt probing the Corrupt: ‘Everyone guilty in Bond issue must be penalized’

Nov 17 (NR) MP Harshana Rajakaruna says the stance of the UNP is that all persons found to be guilty of involvement in the controversy surrounding the issuance of treasury bonds must be penalized. He stressed his personal affiliations to the organization connected to the bond controversy had no influence during investigations conducted by the COPE. He said the incident occurred before he was elected as a MP adding he was not a MP when the Treasury bond issue occurred during more..

Norway extends Rs.150m further support for resettlement and reconciliation in the North

Nov 17 (Ta) Ambassador of Norway to SL, Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther and Country Director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in SL, Jørn Sørensen signed an Agreement to extend Govt of Norway’s support to the resettlement of the communities in the newly released Myliddy harbour area in Jaffna District. UNDP will work with the Govt authorities to gradually restore Myliddy Pier as a Fishing Hub more..

SLFP is attempting to delay Polls: JVP

Nov 17 (NR) Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake today accused the SLFP of attempting to delay the impending LG election. He said the JVP will rally several political factions to stop the blatant abuse of power. The MP said President Maithripala Sirisena should take necessary steps to bring to an end, this violation of the People’s mandate, disregard to their sovereignty and the right to vote. He said the President should be aware of the power behind the franchise that voted him to office more..

New SLFP Organizers appointed

Nov 17 (PMD) Three new SLFP organizers received their appointment letters from President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today (16). Accordingly, Mr. M.H. Manzil was appointed as SLFP Chief Organizer for Colombo East electoral district while the former Chairman of the Kolonnawa Urban Council,Mr. Ravindra Udaya Shantha has been appointed as a SLFP organizer for the Colombo electoral district. The former Deputy Mayor of the Moratuwa Municipal Council, more..

Video: Bribery complaints against ministers, MPs spoke to Aloysius

Nov 17 (DM) The joint opposition (JO) today lodged complaints against the five Ministers and MPs, who were found contacting Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) owner Arjun Aloysius during the COPE hearings. Speaking to journalists outside the Bribery Commission (BC) office, JO MP Shehan Semasinghe said the complaints were lodged against Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekara, Ajith P. Perera, Sujeewa Senasinghe and MPs more..

Human Rights case against ASP Daluwatte to be heard at Supreme Court

Nov 17 (AD) It was announced that the Supreme Court will hear the Human Rights violation case filed against Tangalle ASP Thushara Daluwatte by Susantha Karunaratne who was assaulted during the Hambantota protests. The Supreme Court stated that the petition filed by Susantha Karunaratne will be debated on after careful consideration. Accordingly the SC has issued notice to ASP Thushara Daluwatte, IGP Pujith Jayasundara six other officials to submit more..

Corruption case against Gota fixed for trial

Nov 17 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and seven others for allegedly causing a Rs.11.4 billion unlawful loss to the govt by giving permission to Avant-Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd to operate a floating armoury was fixed for trial by the Colombo Chief Magistrate's court, today. Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara fixed the case for trial on Feb 26 and March 26.  Meanwhile, the Chief Magistrate decided to refuse preliminary objections more..

Customs seize 656 Kg of Glyphosate

Nov 17 (DM) A stock of the banned chemical Glyphosate worth Rs.3.3 million, was seized at the Rank Container Terminal (RCT) in Orugodawatta today, Customs Superintendent Ranjith Kumarasinghe said. The investigations, Customs officers found 656 kilograms of Glyphosate powder packed in 14 boxes. “Each box contained 20 packets of Glyphosate weighing 100 grams each and 10 packets of one kilogram each more..

Three PTA detainees:Solution can be expected on 29 Nov: TELO

Nov 17 (CT) Propaganda Secretary of TELO Ganesh Velayutham recently said that a favourable solution can be expected on 29 November, with regard to the issue of three PTA detainees, Darshan, Sulakshan, and Thiruvarul, who have been on a hunger strike, at the Anuradhapura Prison, for the past 40 days. Velayutham stated that the PTA detainees had submitted a writ application to the Court of Appeal urging it to intervene and not allow the cases to be heard at the A'pura Court. more..

'Corruption in mega development projects: Revelations soon'

Nov 17 (CT) Revelations pertaining to acts of corruption at various levels including by politicians, professionals and technocrats in publicly funded mega infrastructure development projects such as those pertaining to the Uma Oya, Central Expressway and Colombo Harbour are to be made soon. Speaking about his book titled Construction Corruption; a Threshold of Human Misery which is to be launched as an electronic book on 21 Nov at the Janakala Conference Hall more..

India wobble against seam before rain washes out second day

Nov 17 (CI) Persistent rain dominated another day in Kolkata, allowing just 21 overs on the second morning. In all, just 32.5 overs have been bowled over two days. Sri Lanka's seamers had earlier capitalised on a dry, bowling-friendly morning at Eden Gardens, as Dasun Shanaka picked up two wickets with his gentle medium pace under gloomy skies offering sufficient lateral movement. more..

Australia and Sri Lanka discuss reconciliation and human rights

Nov 17 (SL) The Second Round of Senior Officials’ Talks between the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade concluded in Canberra. The Senior Officials’ Talks is a structured platform to review the bilateral relations between the two countries and to discuss regional and international issues of common interest and concern. Given the number of high level visits that took place between the two countries in 2017, which also marks the 70th anniversary since more..

Court summons Army chief over disappearance of 24 Tamils

Nov 17 (PTI) Jaffna High Court has summoned the commander of the country’s Army tomorrow over the disappearance of 24 Tamils since their arrest in 1996 by security forces during the internal conflict with the LTTE. Court has asked Army chief Mahesh Senanayake along with two other state officials to appear in court on Saturday. Judge Ilancheliyan ordered them to appear in court when a case filed by parents and relatives of the 24 missing persons was taken up on Nov 15. more..

Buddha tattoo woman Naomi Coleman abused on Facebook

Nov 17 (BBC) A woman who was deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm says she had to leave Facebook after being abused by extremists. Naomi Coleman, 41, from Coventry, won compensation on Wednesday after being detained in the country for four days, in April 2014. Following her deportation, she says she received online messages telling her she should die and burn in hell. more..

The President Is Right

Nov 18 (CT) A strong wind is blowing across. While there are destructive tendencies experienced, several positive indications too are in the offing. With the LG elections threateningly surfacing and plunging off and on, manifestly manoeuvred, country is forced to bear with the deprivation of an opportunity to react. While the election carrot is dangling a constitutional phantom is emerging with a blow hot and cold trend. The Unholy political marriage, forced due to circumstances, more..

Blinking judges & The constitutional hoax

Nov 18 (CT) The 19 Amendment gave us hope. Even those people who lived in remote villages and did not have a proper roof over their heads believed that the continuous legacy of contriving to win elections had ended. Other than the many other political reforms that the 19 Amendment brought forward, it was the formation of a Constitutional Council, an Independent Council; specially engaged in the appointments to high offices, including the appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court more..

'There is no journey with the UNP'

Nov 18 (CT) UPFA MP Kanchana Wijesekera said his leader is Mahinda Rajapaksa, and went on to say, "We engage in politics with policies. We are with the individual who represents the Party policies. Maithripala Sirisena became Party Chairman through various methods." Q: If we say that you came into politics because of your father, is that correct? A: Actually I did not plan and come into politics; however, it was more..

Beer with us, the price we pay…

Nov 18 (NS) There were two things that saw the limelight last week, the beer prices, and criminal groups in the North. Slash in beer prices received mixed responses from the public. Many were not happy about it, but some welcomed the move. Maybe the price slash would help the country would help the country in bringing in money from foreign tourists. But whether it was a smart move or not is something that we have to wait and see. Lankans do love their alcohol, some a bit too much. more..

Bottom line of the petroleum issue

Nov 18 (NS) Cabinet sub-committee appointed to look into the recent petrol crisis, has found that the failure to maintain buffer stocks and the absence of a mechanism to carry out emergency supplies were the reasons for the shortage. The committee also raised doubts as to how the delay in the arrival of the two shipments – one ordered by the CPC and the other by the LIOC – and the breakdown of the refinery, all happened around the same time. Based on the committee report, more..

To rag or not to rag ?

Nov 18 (Roar) With the final notes of Rag – The Musical still ringing in the alcoves of Colombo’s Wendt Theatre, the emotive subject of ragging has been bought once more into the public conscience. Deaths, suicides and serious abuse make up a long list of major incidents in this enduring black mark on university life in SL. This year, there have been arrests at Peradeniya Uni and an unpleasant account reported at the Uni of Trincomalee. more..

Editorial: Let genie be kept in bottle

Nov 18 (Island) Police have reportedly been ordered to take legal action against anyone who will commemorate the dead Tigers including LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran on Nov. 27. Curiously, if it is against the law to commemorate the slain Tigers how come the same law does not apply to the commemoration of the dead JVP leaders and cadres responsible for the reign of terror which plagued the country from 1987 to 1989? True, the JVP did not ask for a separate state, but more..

The BRI and the Buddhist Kingdom of SL

Nov 18 (SO) The driving force behind the acclaimed New Era of President Xi Jinping is his Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It was recently enshrined into the Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the 19th National Congress. This is one of Xi’s signature acts that signaled the importance of BRI as part of the evolving Chinese foreign and economic policy to create a new Pacific world order - with far-reaching implications for Sri Lanka in the next 99 years. more..


Creating digital tools to prevent the spread of dengue

Nov 18 (SO) The first-ever EpiHack Sri Lanka was conducted at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel recently. The goal of EpiHack 2017 is to create digital solutions to health communication and surveillance of dengue fever with the hope of reducing the epidemic. The digital solutions created during Epihack will be open-source and accessible to all for non-commercial use. This empowers everyone to join the fight against infectious diseases around the world. more..

Beer vs. Kasippu–Learning from US moonshine menance

Nov 18 (Island) The Budget-2018 has proposed the revision of liquor tax based on alcohol content and thus beer and wine prices come down significantly against the hard liquor. Two schools of thoughts have arisen in this phenomenon. First one is that the well-known Sri Lankan illegal brew Kasippu consumers would shift to beer which is good for the health. The other is that the youngsters would become alcoholic due to cheap liquor like beer and wine. As each theory has its own merit and more..