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JVP Press Conference on LG election

Tensions unravelling across the reform road-map

Nov 6 (ST) There appears to be a brisk uptick in the tone of visiting European lawmakers to Sri Lanka this week as compared to their sojourns last year. In Nov 2016, the delegation of the European Parliament departed the shores of the country saying that they were pleased and impressed with the progress evidenced on Human Rights and national reconciliation. Apparently among the reasons for this pleasure, was the issuing of circulars to military and police on respecting more..

Hayleys and connected parties now control 82% of Singer

Nov 6 (Island) Hayleys and parties action in concert now control approx. 82.8% of Singer SL having acquired a further 21.08% approx. via a mandatory offer made to minority shareholders since their recent acquisition of control of Singer, they announced in a Stock Exchange filing last week. Despite the independent advisor and the Singer directors advising shareholders not to sell their holdings for the Rs. 47 per share price offered under the SEC’s Takeovers and Mergers Code, more..

CT & FC Athletics Championship: Sachitha, Ushan bag top awards

Nov 6 (Island) Nalanda College sprinter Sachitha Perera and Maris Stella’s Ushan Thivanka bagged top awards in different age categories for some notable feats as a host of others joined them to hog the limelight at the two-day CT and FC Athletics Championship. Dewmini Wijesinghe of Lions SC, Panadura, young Sahathma Senaratne of Jinaraja M.V., Niwandama and Thanishia Joanna of Saman Academy were among the winners of more..

Mendis given a break: Wickramasinghe

Nov 6 (CT) Young batting star Kusal Mendis was dropped due to his recent form and technical mistakes, said Selection Committee Member Gamini Wickramasinghe yesterday. Wickramasinghe made this remark at a press conference at SLC describing the squad picked for the forthcoming Sri Lanka tour of India where Mendis is not a part of. This is the first time he has been dropped from the Test squad since his record breaking performance against Australia last August. more..

World Military Golf Championship 2017 in SL

Nov 6 (ST) With the game of golf gaining popularity among members of the Armed Forces, the 11th World Military Golf Championship 2017 will be hosted by Sri Lanka, for the first time in the history of the Championship, from Nov.12-19, at the Eagle Golf Links, China Bay. The SL team will comprise six men and three women golfers. It is interesting to note that the majority of the team are from the outstations, who had never played golf or visited a golf link, before joining the services. more..

No Overstaying Controllers in NOC’s amended Constitution

Nov 6 (ST) In order to promote good governance and avoid concentration of power around a few individuals, as has been the case during the last 20 years, a section of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) is pushing to introduce term limits to the post of President and Secretary-General. The restrictions, if included in the draft constitution, will be a progressive move towards avoiding more..

MTD cracking down on revenue licence defaulters

Nov 6 (ST) Motor Traffic Department (MTD) is to take prompt action against vehicle owners who default on revenue licence renewals. The department has decided to cancel the registration of vehicle owners who fail to renew their revenue licenses continuously for five years considering that those vehicles are deemed to have been removed from operating on the road. Commissioner General of MTD Jagath Chandrasiri noted that such motorists should pay areas and fines for more..

SL practising a new kind of non-alignment?

Nov 6 (Island) Certain significant events anent Sri Lanka in the recent past have passed without incidence as The Island Global Scan column observed on Thursday. The columnist refers to the visit of the US naval aircraft carrier, Nimtz. However, he has not mentioned a remark made by President Maitripala Sirisena during the latter’s recent visit to the Emirates of Qatar, which is embroiled in a dispute with her Arab neighbours including powerful countries like Saudi Arabia. more..

Sri Lanka attracts Rs.1.2 bln mineral sale

Nov 6 (ST) Lanka Mineral Sands (LMS), country’s mineral producing organisation, is looking at securing its future by establishing a new fund to finance its daily operational costs amidst plans to modernise machinery & purchase plants to increase production. LMS Chairman Maithri Gunaratne said that they were able to secure a sale of Rs.1.23 billion worth of mineral sands by calling for an int'l tender for which they received 5 bids. more..

World Vision launches anti-child abuse campaign to mark 40 years in Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (Island) World Vision, int'l Christian humanitarian agency, celebrated its 40th anniversary in SL with the launch of a new campaign targeting child abuse. There was a large and representative gathering, including govt ministers and church dignitaries, in attendance at the celebrations at Nelum Pokuna Theatre. "40 years on, in hundreds of villages, and thousands of communities, World Vision has been in the forefront of economic development & livelihoods" more..

Sri Lanka warned on excessive ministerial powers in new forex law

Nov 6 (EN) A governance activist has warned PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that a revised foreign exchange law, tended to give too many powers to the minister of finance extending beyond issuing policy, which undermines good governance or Yahapalanaya. Chandra Jayaratne, a governance activist in a letter to the Prime Minister said civil society representations made in regard to the new foreign exchange law had been disregarded in the final law that has been passed by parliament. more..

Toddy tapping gazette triggers uproar countrywide

Nov 6 (ST) Sri Lanka’s toddy tapping sector is embroiled in a controversy over the recent gazette notification on Excise Amendment Bill which indicated the imposition of a ban on tapping of coconut and palmyrah trees with effect from Jan 1 2018. This gazette caused a flutter among those engaged in the industry in the North and South and has sparked widespread confusion among those communities. more..

50 more officers for Bribery Commission to combat bribery and corruption

Nov 6 (ST) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABC) intends to recruit 50 officers to launch a programme to prevent Bribery and Corruption. CIABC Director General Sarath Jayamanna P.C. said the objective was to create awareness on prevention of Bribery and Corruption within society. He said the Govt has agreed to implement the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. more..

Jewelry thief tied to a lamp post before Ayyanar kovil

Nov 6 (AD) A jewelry thief who attempted to steal a golden necklace from a devotee at the Ayyanar kovil in Thandikulam was tied to a lamppost in front of the kovil by residents of the area before being handed over to the Police. The Police report that the jewelry thief was chased down by residents of the area before being assaulted and tied up to a lamppost in front of the kovil. The suspect had attempted to steal a necklace from an elderly woman who was participating in the daily morning more..

Mendis, Kaushal Silva and Pradeep left out of India tour

Nov 6 (CI) Batsmen Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva, and seamer Nuwan Pradeep have been omitted from Sri Lanka's squad for the three-Test series in India. Instead, allrounders Dhananjaya de Silva and Dasun Shanaka have been named in the 15-member group. Angelo Mathews, who had been declared fit last week, also features in the squad. Last week SLC CEO Ashley de Silva had said that allrounder Asela more..

Online Referendum on Interim Report

Nov 6 (DM) Govt has decided to get public opinion on the Interim Report of the Steering Committee on Constitution making via online. Sources from the Prime Minister's office said that the Facebook and a number of other websites would be used for this purpose. “Opinion of the public would be sought through web comments and postings on Facebook pages,” sources said. They said Sri Lanka would become the first country in the Asia Pacific region to do so. more..

'Boycotting lectures unfair'

Nov 6 (DN) Students continue their boycott of lectures when the GMOA and the Universities Vice Chancellors had shown some agreement with the Govt’s solution to the SAITM issue was unfair, former UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said. “As much as free education should be protected, educational freedom should also be safeguarded, while students boycotting lectures should realise that this would shorten their professional life,” he said. more..

Something fishy over fuel shortage: TU

Nov 6 (DM) The employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) today charged that there was a covert move by the Indian Oil Company (IOC) to fraudulently dump a substandard stock of 30,000 metric tons of petrol in the domestic market, which was rejected as substandard. While admitting that there was a 20% shortage of petrol supply in the domestic market due to a rejection of a stock of 30,000 metric tons more..

Officers will be held accountable: IGP

Nov 6 (CT) IGP Pujith Jayasundara said that the Police will not hesitate to take action against officers who have engaged in wrongdoing. "We will take action against such Police officers for the sake of the other officers who are disciplined," IGP said, adding, "We are in dire need of more officers, however, we are currently facing the issue of not being able to train new officers." Meanwhile, the IGP further added that he is and will always be committed & dedicated to ensuring national security. more..

‘Agricultural and industrial sectors leaving much to be desired’

Nov 6 (Island) Governor of CB Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy delivering the keynote address at SL Economic Association, said agricultural and industrial sectors were not performing at optimum levels. The main theme for the annual sessions of the SLEA was the progress or otherwise of the agricultural and the industrial sectors and issues thereof. Accordingly, Dr. Coomaraswamy placed these subjects as priority areas that had to be addressed and eventually rectified. more..

SAITM students write to President: Request meeting to discuss issues

Nov 6 (CT) Students of the SAITM have written to President Maithripala Sirisena requesting for a meeting with him. SAITM Students' Action Committee stated that the committee appointed by the President to look into the SAITM issue has published a report which has received positive feedback from many. "Committee has allowed private medical education to continue and this is a stance that is accepted by many" more..

PNS Saif arrives at the port of Colombo

Nov 6 (SLN) Pakistan Naval Ship (PNS) Saif arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (5). SL Navy welcomed the ship in compliance with naval traditions, upon her arrival. PNS Saif is 123 m in length and 13.2 m in width. The ship which has a replenishment capacity of 3,144 tons is comprised of 225 crew members. During its 4 day official visit in Sri Lanka, the crew of PNS Saif will take part in several programmes including friendly sports events organized by SL Navy. more..

8 Indian fishermen arrested for poaching

Nov 6 (SLN) A Fast Attack Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command, on routine patrol, apprehended 8 Indian fishermen along with a fishing trawler for poaching in the Sri Lankan territorial waters northeast of Vettalakerni in the early hours today (5). The arrested fishermen were brought to the naval base SLNS Uttara in Kankesanthurai and subsequently handed over to the Assistant Fisheries Director of Jaffna for legal action. The seized trawler and fishing gear were retained by SLN more..

‘More promises before LG polls: New anti-corruption High Court to be set up

Nov 6 (Island) UNP spokesman for Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs and Deputy Minister  Ajith P. Perera said that those who had been probed by the Presidential Commission inquiring into alleged CB bond scams involving Perpetual Treasuries could be tried by the proposed Anti-Corruption High Court. He said so in response to a query by The Island at a hastily arranged media conference at his ministry yesterday more..

No change in JO conditions for joining SLFP to contest LG polls

Nov 6 (Island) Top Joint Opposition spokesman UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga yesterday said that the MPs loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa wouldn’t align with the SLFP as long as the party remained in UNP-led govt. MP Ranatunga dismissed claims that there could be a consensus between them ahead of the forthcoming local govt polls. The SLFPer said that the JO was ready to enter into a dialogue with the SLFP if the party quit the govt. more..

President hits out at social media once again

Nov 6 (AM) President Maithripala Sirisena hit out at social media again saying a section of the society using the modern technology to create a distorted picture about the govt. "But, I must say that the initiatives taken for the betterment of the majority cannot be halted due to the acts by a small group," President said. He said these elements were misusing the democracy and freedom ensured by the the current administration, while adding that their conduct would not deter the govt's agenda. more..

Petrol crisis drags on; crucial meeting today

Nov 6 (FT) The Petroleum Resources Ministry is to hold a crisis meeting today to address the fuel shortage as panic buying of fuel continued for the second day yesterday with the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation struggling to meet demand. However, authorities assured that there were enough fuel stocks to meet demand until the next shipment arrived. “The issue is there is artificial demand created due to panic buying. more..

Unpublicised, voiceless victims of war

Nov 6 (DM) With United States President Donald Trump arriving in Japan yesterday for an extensive four nation tour of Asia amid the growing conflict with North Korea and the threat of a nuclear war, there is a special significance in today’s United Nation’s International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.  For Sri Lanka, devastated by almost 30 years of war, the day is of special importance at a time when intensive efforts, more..

Rural Discontent

Nov 6 (DM) What does SL’s rural economy look like after decades of exclusion? If the recently- released findings of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2016 are any indication, the picture is dismal, particularly in the rural and estate sectors.  In recent decades, economic policies have mainly focused on urban development, even claiming that urbanisation is the panacea for all economic woes. A problematic discourse of poverty has become the central concern to address more..

'Seventy years of hard work'

Nov 6 (DM) Gill Caldicott, the new Country Director of the British Council in Sri Lanka took up her post in August this year. With experience spanning over 22 years at the British Council, she has worked at numerous British Council offices across the globe, including London, Hong Kong, Egypt and India. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Gill speaks about Sri Lanka, English education and how the British Council stays more..

SAITM saga far from over

Nov 6 (CT) The concept of private education is not unfamiliar to SL. From kindergarten to tertiary level, SL's younger generation receive private education in various forms. There are thousands of tuition classes, a few dozen private institutions and a handful of private universities which grant certificates, diplomas and degrees in almost all study fields. But when it comes to medical education, the picture is completely different. more..

Fragmented ambulance services in Sri Lanka evolve into a modern system

Nov 6 (Gems) Situated in the Indian Ocean, separated from India by the Palk Strait, Sri Lanka is the 25th largest island in the world. Its complex geographical features-peaks, plateaus, valleys, rivers and tropical forests-are subject to a variety of natural hazards, including floods, landslides, cyclones and tsunamis. With ancient cultural roots going back to the 6th century B.C., SL's modern colonial history began with more..

Jaffna co-operative leaders tell MPs to seek govt compensation for 3 decades of losses

Nov 6 (ST) Leaders of co-operative federations in Jaffna urged their MPs to demand compensation for destruction and looting of their assets during three decades of war. “In recognition of these losses, compensation should be provided by the Govt, which can be utilised to increase production and create much needed employment across the district,” a statement from the Jaffna District Co-operative Council said. more..

Sharing their past Ex-LTTE combatants take to writing

Nov 6 (CT) The LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingam's Australian-born wife Adele Ann first authored a book on their women cadres in 1993. The women's wing of the LTTE was launched in the early eighties with Adele Balasingam, a nurse serving in Britain for several years, playing a key role in organizing the women who came from different backgrounds, into a disciplined force. The training received by the women put them on par with more..

'Every parliamentarian should be probed for dual citizenship'

Nov 6 (DN) The Govt must probe if there are members in Parliament who have not disclosed their dual citizenship status to the country, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He said if the public demand for a probe, the police could do it with the support of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. “Many sources has expressed reasonable doubt that more parliamentarians hold dual citizenship. It is the duty of the Govt to probe the matter more..

'Malik says govt focused on biz climate improvements, DBI and beyond'

Nov 6 (FT) The Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said yesterday that the Govt continued to take the improvement of the climate for business in the country seriously, and was taking concrete steps in relation to this.  Noting that the latest edition of the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Index’ (DBI) rankings show a one-spot drop in the country’s rankings, Minister Malik Samarawickrama said: more..

IDPs in mass protest outside Palaly Security Forces HQ

Nov 6 (CT) Internally Displaced Families (IDPs), for the first time, staged a mass protest outside the Jaffna Security Forces Head Quarters in Palaly yesterday, demanding the release their lands in Vasavilan and Palaly South. Informed sources said that a large number of people, carrying placards demanding the release of lands from the possession of the Armed Forces in the North, participated in the protest despite heavy showers. more..

8 except Hirunika admit to abducting youth in Dematagoda

Nov 6 (AD) Excluding UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra, all other 8 suspects have accepted before the Colombo High Court to abducting a youth from Dematagoda in 2015. In December 2015, a 35-year-old man was abducted in the Baseline Road area in Dematagoda and assaulted by a group of individuals who had arrived in a Land Rover Defender which is allegedly owned by the MP Hirunika Premachandra. more..

President appoints new committee to implement SAITM proposals

Nov 6 (AD) President has appointed a new committee chaired by Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva to implement the recommendations of the committee previously appointed on the SAITM issue and to consider other issues which have been highlighted.  The new nine-member committee will be inclusive of all relevant parties including the GMOA and the university student unions, who will serve as observers.  more..