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He proved no permanent pals or foes in politics

Nov 18 (DM) JO stalwart Panchaudha of Fast-unto-death fame had a surprise the other day when he got a telephone call from the purohita who was at the centre of the recent oil fiasco. Panchaudha’s surprise transformed into exultation when the purohita said that he called him to thank him! “I wanted to thank you because you are the only opposition member who explained to the country the real complexion of the oil crisis we had to face!” The purohita proceeded to confide in more..

Ancient artefacts in need of conservation

Nov 18 (ST) Many ancient archaeological sites in the country are at risk of further damage due to the lack of proper conservation. One such site is the Dutch Fort at Galle. One of its attractions has been the clock tower which is considered one of the most beautiful old clock towers in the world. Recently it was struck by lightning. The Heritage Foundation in Galle which spent around Rs 8.3 million to restoring the tower has added a lightning conductor to the tower. more..

SL well placed to take first-innings lead

Nov 18 (CI) Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews compiled contrasting fifties and shared a 99-run partnership that put Sri Lanka in the ascendancy of the Kolkata Test, cutting their deficit to just 7 by stumps on the third day. They were united with the score on 34 for 2 but neither batsman chose to counterattack considering the plausibility of one delivery beating their defenses. They left well and allowed themselves to be more..

New legislation allows those in custody to talk to their lawyers

Nov 18 (DM) The govt has drafted legislation to be presented in Parliament, providing for people in police custody to consult their lawyers at the respective police stations. The Bill termed the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions - Amendment) Bill, if enacted, will enable an Attorney representing a person in police custody to meet his client, provided such a meeting does not affect the investigations being conducted in respect of the person in custody. more..

Mother and son detained for forging the signature of Chathurika Sirisena

Nov 18 (AD) Two suspects that were arrested for forging the signature of Chathurika Sirisena and a letterhead of the Presidential Secretariat were remanded till Nov 29, by the Colombo Magistrate’s court.  It has been reported that a govt bank received a letter penned on a letterhead of the Presidential Secretariat requesting a concession to be provided to a bank loan. Reports confirm that the signatory of the letter was Chathurika Sirisena. Upon receiving the request bank employees more..

Govt attempting to establish Police state: MR

Nov 18 (DM) Referring to the recent revelations on phone records at the Bond Commission, former president Rajapaksa said the govt was attempting to establish a Police State by tapping phones. He told the media outside the Welikada Prison that all phones were tapped and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the govt should clarify this matter. Mr. Rajapaksa said when considering what was happening now it was doubtful whether more..

'Detrimental decisions affected the economy'

Nov 18 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says several officials who made detrimental decisions pertaining to the country’s economy during the previous UPFA led govt will be removed from their posts. Speaking in Parliament PM said a decision in this regard will be reached at the conclusion of the 2018 Budget debate. PM said during the UPFA led govt the Treasury was under the rule of the govt claiming at present the Treasury and the CB both come under the purview of the Parliament. more..

Rare sighting: Five live dugongs

Nov 18 (ST) The dugong is the most threatened marine mammal and is likely to disappear from our waters soon. Occasionally carcasses of dead animals emerge reminding us of their plight and the sighting of a live dugon is very rare. However this week a local tour operator Samith Ishan Fernando got lucky and was able to photograph a group of five dugongs. Mr.Fernado runs a boat service for tourists along the Puttalam lagoon where they usually spot dolphins. more..

Don't abuse right of expression: TRC

Nov 18 (DM) Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) warns against abusing the right of expression to insult, promote hatred and to commit character assassinations by using modes of telecommunication In a newspaper advertisement, TRC said that the right of expression should not be misused to insult, promote hatred and to commit character assassinations by using modes of telecommunication such as social media, more..

16-year old rape victim attempts to commit suicide in Vavuniya

Nov 18 (AD) Police sources have reported that a 16-year old female who was raped at Ganesh Puram in Vavuniya attempted to commit suicide by drinking poison after suffering a traumatic experience. Police arrested two suspects aged 19 and 20 for abducting and raping a 16-year old girl in Vavuniya on Nov 14. Young girl was abducted by the two males while she was returning home from hospital. Two males had forced her into a three-wheeler after which she was brutally raped for several hours.  more..

Assaulted journalist given leave by SC to proceed with FR case

Nov 18 (Island) Susantha Karunaratne, a journalist, has complained to the Supreme Court that he was slapped across the face, at Hambantota, on October 6, 2017, by a senior police officer of the Hambantota police while he was in custody. The petitioner has alleged arbitrary treatment and an illegal detention by the Hambantota police. The petition was yesterday supported by President’s Counsel M. M. Ali Sabry. The court granted leave to proceed with the petition. more..

UAE and Sri Lanka sign Customs operation agreement

Nov 18 (TN) Agreements accelerating Customs operation and mutual assistance as well as establishing a joint consular committee were signed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Int'l Cooperation, and SL PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday. During a meeting in Colombo, both parties discussed areas of cooperation and an array of regional and int'l issues more..

GMOA urges AG to update SC on latest development

Nov 18 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), yesterday, appealed to the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) to submit to the Supreme Court with up- to-date information about the SAITM. GMOA Additional Secretary Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said a motion had been filed with the Supreme Court by the AG represented, by Additional Solicitor General, Sanjaya Rajaratnam on Nov. 13, 2017 following ta govt decision to abolish SAITM on Oct. 29. more..

A military should never be politicised: SF

Nov 18 (NR) Field Marshal Minister Sarath Fonseka says a country’s military should never be politicised. Speaking in Parliament on the second day of the Committee Stage Debate the Minister said national security should not be compromised. Minister Fonseka said certain individuals in the past attempted to politically influence the lower level of the army without the consent of the Army Chief. He noted that soldiers fought a war amidst such circumstances. more..

'Reveal the 41 MPs who spoke to Aloysius'

Nov 18 (NR) Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera called for all details pertaining to phone calls revealed through the PCoI the Treasury Bond Issue to be tabled in Parliament. Joining the debate this afternoon the Deputy Minister said information pertaining to phone calls between Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. and 36 MPs has been uncovered. He said an investigation was held pertaining to the alleged phone calls between more..

SL refugees in Australia to be brought back

Nov 18 (NR) The govt says steps will be taken to bring back Sri Lankans being held in refugee camps in Australia after attempting to illegally enter Australia by boat. Speaking in Parliament Minister Tilak Marapana said the process has been delayed due to issues surrounding establishing citizenship. Minister was responding to a question raised by UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana. Minister revealed 197 Lankans who attempted to enter Australia illegally are being held at refugee camps in more..

Home and home battle over petitions

Nov 18 (DM) A home and home battle flared up in Parliament yesterday with regard to the filing of petitions against the delimitation gazette notification. It began when Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera accused Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera of slinging mud at the SLFP. "We are working on an agreement signed between the UNP and the SLFP and therefore we don't have underhand deals," he said. Minister said Rajapaksa Kumara who is among six petitioners is a close associate of a former deputy minister. more..

Network of corrupt people behind bond issue: JVP

Nov 18 (DM) There is no one person behind the bond issue but apparently carried out by a network of corrupt persons including some MPs, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said in Parliament yesterday. He said there are other MPs other than the COPE members whose names had been disclosed. "I agree with MP Karu Paranawithana who said there are others who had dealt with PTL owner Arjun Aloysius because more..

Telcos told to call time out on nuisance calls, texts

Nov 18 (ST) Nuisance messages and calls to mobile phone users have attracted the attention of the telecom regulator following numerous public complaints. TRC has issued guidelines to telecom services providers on promotional messages and automated calls generated by external parties, a senior official said. The official sai that all telcos have agreed to comply with the guidelines. He said the regulator has received a fair number of complaints from mobile telephone users more..

'Sri Lanka won’t condone any form of torture'

Nov 18 (SL) The SL govt does not condone any form of torture, Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam told the third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sri Lanka in Geneva on Wednesday. Responding to questions and concerns raised by other nations, Mr. Kariyawasam said Sri Lanka seeks to work with all including bilateral partners as well as international organisations, to seek assistance in terms of sharing experience and expertise as well as technical support more..

'Indian fast bowling is world class'

Nov 18 (CB) On conditions that are tailor-made for fast bowlers, India's seamers made life difficult for Sri Lankan batsmen as after two days of heavy rain, the third day's play of the Kolkata Test was closely contested. Sri Lanka had done well to bowl out India for 172, but soon found India's seamers hard to cope with. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav picked up two wickets apiece but Mohammad Shami was the most impressive, more..

PM: Facing the Nation

Nov 19 (SO) In how many countries would heads of govts go before a high-level investigation to provide information that would help in that probe? Tomorrow Sri Lankans will see a new chapter in our Republic when, for the first time, a sitting PM faces questions in an official investigation into allegations of irregularities and corruption in a govt institution. PM tomorrow goes before the PCoI into the CB bond transactions, at the invitation of the Commission, to provide any information more..

A prisoner in Indian jail on Eelam soil

Nov 19 (CT) Veteran Journalist, S.M. Gopalaratnam, popularly known as Gopu and known by his initials as SMG, is no more. Gopalaratnam passed away at the age of 87 on Wednesday (15) at his residence in Batticaloa. Beginning his career in journalism in the early fifties in Virakesari he later joined Jaffna's regional daily Eelanadu as its News Editor under the iconic Editorship of late K.P. Haran. In the early seventies Gopu became the Editor of Eelanadu which was founded in 1959 by more..

'New Inland Revenue Bill: Strives to achieve target'

Nov 19 (SO) With the introduction of the new Inland Revenue Bill, the govt is geared to streamline the tax system in the country to ensure that taxpayers, both, individuals and business entities give back. Prof. Ashu Marasinghe explained how the Govt intends to increase govt revenue to 3 trillion rupees by 2025. According to him, this target can be reached with a minimum effort and ‘if the tax system is properly streamlined govt’s tax income more..

Only LG elections can prevent a Sirisena dictatorship

Nov 19 (Island) The incident at Gintota in the Galle district appears to be at least on the face of it, a private dispute that got out of hand. The Aluthgama incident in 2014 was also sparked off in a similar way. When things begin to go wrong, the very elements seem to conspire to get things going in the wrong direction. The developments in the Galle district on Friday night was perhaps not unexpected given the developments on the political front in the past few weeks. more..

Spiraling Growth of Accommodation in the informal sector

Nov 19 (NS) The end of the civil conflict in 2009 resulted in significant developments in SL’s tourism industry. The immediate aftermath saw a short term, unprecedented growth of tourist arrivals by two folds from 438,475 in 2008 to 1,005,605 in 2012, surpassing the milestone of a one million tourist destination. Arrivals further rose since then, passing the 2 million mark in 2016. The publicity SL received from the international community, including travel guide books & other tourists’ reports, more..

'CM’s claim Devanampiya Tissa was a Tamil king: Academically naïve proposition'

Nov 19 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran recently made a startling comment that has incensed academic realms of the country. Ceylon Today interviewed Senior Professor of Archaeology Raj Somadeva of Kelaniya University to gauge the depth of this scholarly disturbance. Q: Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran's statement has stirred the interest of many academics of the country. more..

Beer, Booze and the new intoxicants

Nov 19 (ST) The Mangala Budget of the new Finance Minister ran into two or three obstacles – from shipping agents, and also those opposing his move to reduce beer prices aimed at weaning people from hard liquor. In the first cases, it was more the lobby wanting protectionism and in the latter, those who believe prohibition is the answer. Minister seems to have refused any compromise. And he got his way with the passage of the Budget last Thursday. more..

Leaving home

Nov 19 (ST) My dear Ravi, I thought I must write to you, firstly because I don’t think anyone wants to write to you these days but also because you seem to be in the news although you are just a backbencher who was once powerful who is now trying his best to become powerful once again- in other words, just like Mahinda maama! If anyone thought you would just fade away after resigning from your top job of minding the country’s purse strings, you have proved them wrong. more..


Bond revelations, Budget proposals widen cracks within Unity Govt

Nov 19 (ST) Second Reading of Budget 2018 was passed by a two-third majority in Parliament on Thursday (16), but the growing unease between the partners in the Govt of national unity- UNP and Prez Sirisena’s faction of SLFP in Govt- became more evident as the debate on the Appropriation Bill progressed. While the Budget presented by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera won praise from most in Govt, with a few exceptions, information unfolding before the PCoI investigating more..

Next Facebook and Google could be developed in SL if given the right support

Nov 19 (SO) The second reading of the Budget was passed in Parliament, on Thursday, with an overwhelming two thirds majority. This came against a backdrop where some assumed that the relations between the two main stakeholders of the govt - the UNP and the SLFP – have strained. The result of the second reading of the budget was a clear indication that the national unity govt, formed over two years ago, is solid and stable. Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, more..

PM summoned by Commission only to clarify certain points

Nov 19 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will appear before the PCoI into the Treasury Bonds scam tomorrow in an unprecedented incidence. Much has been said about the matter with Govt and Opposition ranks arguing on the correct position - that is whether the PM has been summoned by the Commission or whether he is voluntarily appearing before the Commission. Ever since PM offered to appear before more..

Curiouser and curiouser

Nov 19 (Island) We might follow Alice in Wonderland and say that proceedings at the Bond Commission are getting curiouser and curiouser. The technical evidence of a CID officer led before the probe last week revealed that Mr. Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries has had many conversations with members of Parliament’s COPE that was examining the so-called bond scam. These revelations predictably raised a great deal of dust with the Joint Opposition seizing more..

Sri Lanka’s Excise chief can’t buy liquor

Nov 19 (ST) There was a commotion down the road. Aney mage nona …, bawled old man Pedris, the cart-puller, in a drunken stupor………mata gedarayanna ona, mage bus gastuwa deela yanna ko. It was 10 in the morning and the man was drunk, lustily singing the old popular hit Kussi Amma Sera. Brushing against roadside bushes and trampling twigs with a crackling noise, Pedris would occasionally stop and stare and, in a threatening stance, wag a finger at an imaginary person. more..

Row over beer tax

Nov 19 (CT) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera's maiden budget saw the reduction of excise taxes on beer by 33% and an increase of excise taxes on hard liquor by 2%, which took effect immediately. In addition to that a newly introduced 2% nation building tax on all alcohol beverage sales will take effect from April 2018. The new lenient tax policy on alcoholic beverages is a bold decision considering the country being more..

Bankers to meet Treasury

Nov 19 (ST) The Commercial banks are marching to the Treasury to make a case for why the tax on transactions proposed in the recent budget shouldn’t be implemented. Sri Lanka Bankers’ Association (SLBA), which is to meet the Treasury on this matter, is now working on certain representations to be made, according to SLBA’s new Secretary- General, Ravi de Silva. “The SLBA membership plans to meet with the Treasury on this,” he told the Business Times. more..

Premier cricket comes aboard from Dec 1

Nov 19 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket will commence its first class season with the three-day Premier League Cricket tournament, 2017/2018 starting December 1. The tournament of 24 clubs will be played in two tiers—A and B. Tier A will consist of the top 14 clubs who will initially play in two groups of seven teams before the top four in each group play against each other in the Super Eight tournament. The remaining six teams will play for the Plate Championships. The Super Eight matches more..

NOCSL ignores General Assembly decision

Nov 19 (ST) The National Olympic Committee of SL has ignored decisions of its supreme governing body—the General Assembly (GA)—by not calling for an Executive Committee Meeting as agreed at the GA held on November 9. The membership had unanimously agreed to an Executive Committee meeting within 14 days of the recent GA. But no notice has so far been given. NOC constitution requires seven days of notice before more..

Katukurunda Circuit meet on grand scale

Nov 19 (SO) Sri Lanka Motor Cycle Club which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year has made elaborate arrangements to mark the celebrations. As part of it SLMCC will conduct a circuit meet at the Rotherham Circuit, in Katukrunda today commencing at 9.a.m. The SLMCC which was formed soon after the colonial rule way back in 1947 has done yeoman service for motor racing in Sri Lanka. The formation of SLMCC made it possible for our local riders to engage riding more..