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Cabinet nod to import 50,000 MT rice

Oct 11 (DN) Sathosa received cabinet approval to import 50,000 metric tons of rice to cover expected rice shortages in the near future. The Yala season rice harvest this year had fallen by 50 percent as a result of the drought and this has led to a possible shortage of rice in the market until December of this year. Of the total amount needed, 100,000 metric tons have already been imported from India and a committee is to be appointed under the leadership of the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance to more..

Average land prices in Colombo increased by 36% in 2016: Study

Oct 11 (LBO) Land values in Colombo are growing at a remarkable rate while overall land prices in the country have also shown an accelerated growth within the last year, a recent study has found. According to the National House Price Index, average land prices in Colombo has increased by 36% within the last year alone, making it the biggest increase in the real estate sector, when compared against more..

Uva PC sends its best sanitary labourers on a study tour abroad

Oct 11 (Island) For the first time in the history of the country where usually only top politicians and their crony bureaucrats get foreign junkets, the Uva Provincial Council has decided to send 21 sanitary labourers on a study tour to Thailand. Uva Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, addressing a press conference, said that it was the first time sanitary labourers working in local govt bodies had got a chance to go abroad on a study tour. more..

Rs 100 per day for school children?

Oct 11 (AD) Education Ministry denied media reports that Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has proposed a daily allowance of Rs.100 for school children. A responsible official confirmed that the Minster has not made such a statement. Meanwhile, Education State Minister V. Radhakrishnan also confirmed that the Ministry had not taken such a decision. The attempts to contact Education Minister regarding the statement were a failure as he was on an official tour to Finland. more..

Namal tweets to UNHRC of their arrest

Oct 11 (EN) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa turned to the UNHRC soon after he was arrested along with two other MPs over their recent anti-India protest. Rajapaksa, a leading member of the JO which is highly critical of the UN Rights Council, complained to the world body as well as the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, about their arrest. "#SriLanka Police arrested us 4 our peaceful protest against selling national assets, more..

JVP demands removal of Litro Gas Chairman

Oct 11 (Island) JVP yesterday said that leaders of the former govt had robbed SL banks and stashed away the stolen funds in foreign banks and the members of the present adminstration did it the other way around. "The leaders in this govt steal money from foreign banks and deposit it here," JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He called upon the govt to explain why it had not removed Litro Gas Chairman S. Moonesinghe remanded in connection with an int'l financial scam. more..

16-year-old kills himself using father's gun

Oct 11 (DN) A 16-year-old-boy of a leading school in Galle committed suicide by shooting himself using his father’s licensed gun, Galle Police said. The deceased boy who was preparing for his G.C.E. O/L Exam was identified as Kumuditha Adithya Hettiarachchi of Wataraka (East) in Galle. He was the second born of the family, whose father is a businessman and mother is a teacher. He had shot himself under a tree behind his home at around 8.30 pm yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka seen facing risks from global interest rate hike

Oct 11 (EN) Sri Lanka has the fourth highest external vulnerability risk to a rise in global interest rate among that could cause capital outflows or lower inflows, according to a new report on frontier markets by Moody’s Investors Service. The credit rating agency said debt levels of frontier market sovereigns will remain elevated and they will continue to spend more on debt service costs in the next year. The most vulnerable sovereigns more..

Finance Minister meets US under Secretary in Washington

Oct 11 (GDI) Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is currently in Washington to attend the World Bank/IMF annual meeting met with the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ambassador Thomas Shannon, yesterday at the US State Department. Ambassador Shannon will visit Sri Lanka in Nov 2017 to take part in the next round of the US/SL Partnership Dialogue, which was inaugurated in 2016 when he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a regular policy consultation designed to more..

AG opposes Gammanpila’s request to travel to Italy

Oct 11 (DN) Attorney General today opposed PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila’s request that he be allowed to travel Italy between Oct 17 and Nov 4 to attend a function. MP Gammanpila whose passport was impounded by Court for allegedly cheating Rs. 20 million following his alleged fraudulent share transaction, sought Colombo High Court’s permission to temporary lift his travel ban. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing for the Attorney General informed more..

Aloysius’ PA Samuel gets chest pain and does not turn up to testify

Oct 11 (DM) In the wake of Aloysius’ personal assistant, Steve Samuel’s Counsel informing that his client was admitted to the hospital due to a chest pain and is unable to appear before the Commission, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena today stressed that the Commission wants to see the files maintained by PTL under the heading of ‘RK’ and ‘AM’. After a short adjournment, Commission again commenced its proceedings summoning more..

New Constitution: Are we on the right path?

Oct 11 (NS) As we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of our Parliament it is more than a coincidence that a new set of proposals forming the basis of a new Constitution for the country is ready for its consideration. Though seven decades have elapsed since we gained independence from the colonial rule we have terribly failed in the task of drafting a proper Constitution acceptable to all communities. In this matter we are sadly behind India which succeeded in replacing the British more..

A force of One : Krav Maga Self Defence

Oct 11 (DN) What do you call someone who quits his day job to fully dedicate himself to teaching vulnerable people and communities self-defence? Some might say hero. But Kunchana Ranasinghe baulks at the label. “I’m just doing my part,” he says. A former national champion in judo and mixed martial arts, Ranasinghe is presently the Director and Chief Instructor of the Krav Maga Kapap Lanka Institute. Recently, he stepped away from a career in marketing to channel all his energy into more..

A new controversy in the political sphere: Basil stirs up Basil

Oct 12 (SO) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa stirred up a hornet’s nest last Sunday, by admitting to crimes being committed by the military personnel during the time of war. He said, although the military forces, as a whole, did not commit war crimes, individuals from armed forces might have committed crimes in the war zone. The controversial statement by the former Minister has given rise to a new controversy in the political sphere as more..

Oppressive religious orthodoxy & orphaned Muslim women

Oct 12 (CT) The issue of reforming Muslim personal laws and in particular the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is dragging on without any firm decision from the govt. The article by Shreen Abdul Saroor on Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time? that appeared in this journal (10 Oct) is in my view a cry in desperation out of prolonged frustration and disappointment not only at the govt’s vacillation and indecision but also at the obsequiousness of Muslim intellectuals more..

Blemishes in Parliamentary history: Result of failure to learn from errors

Oct 11 (CT) While the President, PM and even the Opposition leader had cheerful and optimistic views on Sri Lanka's Parliamentary history, other members of both the Opposition and Govt did not refrain from speaking of the mistakes and blunders that Parliament should be held accountable for. While taking part in the vote commemorating the 70th anniversary celebrations of the introduction of Parliamentary democracy to the country, Chief Opposition Whip and leader of the JVP more..

'Demographics expert says No labour shortage in Sri Lanka'

Oct 11 (CT) What SL has is a youth bulge, Professor Indralal De Silva, the current acting Executive Director of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, and one of SL's foremost experts on demographics, claims, dismissing a popular belief that there is a labour shortage in SL. Q: You are one of the foremost authorities on SL demographics. So let's start with a brief introduction on characteristics of SL's population? more..

Editorial:  NAB: Akka or Nangi?

Oct 12 (Island) The National Audit Bill (NAB) is reported to have passed muster with the Cabinet at long last; it is expected to be presented to Parliament shortly. We hope this is not another instance of nangi pennala akka deema or ‘showing a young man an attractive woman and getting him to marry her not-so-pretty elder sister’. The govt is quite adept at playing this trick on the electorate. The recent passage of the provincial council polls bill is a case in point. more..

SL to be a base for human rights monitoring

Oct 11 (SL) Sri Lanka has over the years been at the centre of the human rights debate, often being accused of violating human rights. However now the country is set to be a base for human rights monitoring with one of the world’s leading human rights groups establishing its regional office in Colombo. The Sunday Leader learns that Amnesty International’s South Asia team  will look to operate out of a regional office in Colombo. It is also learnt that Amnesty International’s more..

Manohara De Silva

Bond Commission: Why is PM's evidence important?

Oct 12 (CT) Two important witnesses were summoned before the COI investigating into the CB Bond Scam. They were Ministers Malik Samarawickrama & Kabir Hashim. According to the evidence led before the COI, so far, the names of these two Ministers came up in relation to one incident. That is the meeting that was held on the 26th February, 2015 at the CBSL premises with their attendance along with Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of Finance, Arjuna Mahendran and more..

Labrooy says selectors will be tough on fitness

Oct 12 (Island) Chairman of Selectors Graeme Labrooy says that the selectors will be tough on fitness of the players, an area that has been a bone of contention and led to a verbal confrontation between Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and Lasith Malinga. The selectors and team management have set up minimum standards for players to prove their fitness. Although the team management has not made an official announcement, it is believed that all players more..

Never-say-die Vidushi reaches personal best to win triple jump

Oct 12 (Island) Don’t give up till the end seemed to be Vidushi Sandeepani’s competition slogan as the youngster hailing from Emblipitiya edged out her opponents in her final attempt to win the Under-18 girls’ triple jump, arguably the most eye-catching field event on day one, of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship at a rain-soaked Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium at Diyagama on Wednesday. more..

At peace in Kandy

Oct 12 (Island) After a long time, I was back in my favourite city, Kandy, where river, lake and mountain meet. It wasn't very late when I arrived at Dunuwille’s residence at Lake Round. They hadn't changed. They continued to be wonderful hosts. Aunty Damayanthi was gracious and caring as ever. It was always an open house and they always made me feel homely. I can’t even remember what I had for dinner that night with the family, but, whatever was real home cooked food and delicious. more..

Constitution making and yahapalana tricks

Oct 12 (Island) Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne has been trying to allay anxieties of concerned citizens about the new constitution that he is involved in drafting. He claims that there will be a special constitutional provision against secession. What he is referring to is the following provision in the recently released interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly: "The President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, where a situation has arisen more..

Marathon-man Karunaratne buries his first-innings ghosts

Oct 12 (CI) In being out for a duck in his maiden Test knock and then making an unbeaten 60 in the second innings of that match, Dimuth Karunaratne had set down the template to which the first few years of his career would roughly conform. Consider his ten most-recent first-innings scores before the UAE series: 4, 25, 2, 25, 7, 30, 0, 24, 5, 26. Now take a gander at his returns from the second innings, across those very Tests: more..

Sri Lanka can improve on 92 position in Economic Freedom Index

Oct 12 (EN) As Sri Lanka celebrates the enormous benefits brought forward by four decades of the open economy, Advocata Institute looks back at the economic progress of the country and the benefits that have been passed onto the man on the street. From 1977 to date Sri Lanka’s economic growth over the last forty years has expanded four and a half fold on a person basis on an inflation-adjusted term. However, despite Sri Lanka opening its doors 40 years ago, more..

'We knew the new ball will do the trick'

Oct 12 (Island) SL off-spinner Dilruwan Perera says that he was confident that the second new ball would do the job for his team going into the final day’s play of the second Test in Dubai, which Sri Lanka won by 68 runs to clinch the two-match series 2-0 on Tuesday. Pakistan had slumped to 52 for five on day four and with the last session remaining, Sri Lanka were expected to wrap things up inside four days. But the dew came in making it difficult for the spinners and a record 173-run stand more..

'Malinga is still in our radar for ODIs & T20s'

Oct 12 (DN) Although there was big hue and cry over the non-selection of Lasith Malinga from the one-day squad named for the upcoming 5-match series against Pakistan, chief selector Graeme Labrooy said that the legendary fast bowler was being rested and that he would be selected for the 3-match T20I series as well as for future ODI matches. “We had a chat to some of the players who did not make this tour and we had long chats more..

Dimuth hails Batting Coach Hashan

Oct 12 (Island) SL’s hero in the Test series win over Pakistan, Dimuth Karunaratne has hailed the contributions of the team’s batting coach Hashsan Thilakaratne. Karunaratne was named Player of the Series after he compiled more than 300 runs in four innings at an average of 76 that included a career best score of 196 in Dubai. Speaking to ‘The Island’ after his match-winning knock on Tuesday as Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 series win, Karunaratne said that working with Thilakaratne more..

Rs 34 million allocated for anti doping

Oct 12 (CT) A sum of Rs. 34 million has been allocated for the period 2018 to 2020 to SL Anti Doping Agency from the Govt Consolidation Fund to conduct doping tests, in order to ensure that sports is free of performance enhancing drugs. A Cabinet memorandum put forward by the Ministry of Sports states that Sri Lanka currently does not have a facility to conduct doping tests and that urine and blood samples are sent to other countries for testing for banned substances. more..

Reforms race: Is Sri Lanka winning?

Oct 12 (FT) The launch of the Institute of Policy Studies’ annual State of the Economy (SOE) report on Tuesday triggered a healthy debate on the problematic issue of whether Sri Lanka was suffering due to political reforms taking precedence over economic matters and which was more important.  The IPS 2017 SOE called for Sri Lanka to urgently address structural constraints through a process of reforms if the country more..

President’s Chief of Staff visits Port City

Oct 12 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena’s Chief of Staff Ranjan Dharmawardena went on an observation tour of the Port City Colombo project site last week. He was accompanied by a group of officials from the Presidential Secretariat, including the Chief Engineer, Additional Secretaries, Senior Assistant and Assistant Secretaries to the President. Port City Colombo Project Director Nihal Fernando, and CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd. Employer Representative Wang Hao more..

Hemas partners Colombo University to launch Mosguard

Oct 12 (DM) Hemas Manufacturing Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Colombo Science and Technology Cell recently launched Mosguard, a safe, natural and highly effective lotion that protects users from mosquitoes without irritating the skin, at the launch event held at University of Colombo. Founded in 1948, Hemas has grown over 63 years to reach customers at all corners of SL, serving varied industry sectors. The company is now headed by Non-Executive Chairman Husein Esufally. more..

Police attack on students HR violation: GMOA

Oct 12 (DM) Police attack on anti-SAITM protesters was a violation of Human Rights, GMOA said. While condemning Tuesday’s Police attack on anti-SAITM protesters, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge told a news conference that the incident could be regarded as a serious issue. “We have witnessed how the authorities have attempted to control anti-SAITM protests by State University students, with the use of water cannons, more..

He is now on the war path

Oct 12 (DM) Number One in yahapalanaya chaired a Blue party locked-door meeting held in a hotel in the South recently. Even security guards were not allowed access to it. At this meeting some party seniors got a rude shock when the Number One angrily reacted when they proposed fresh peace moves aimed at uniting the two warring factions, they say. The Big Boss had his gloves off when he also took on the rebels who had been threatening to quit yahapalanaya. more..

Cabinet Paper to increase crop insurance

Oct 12 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry has presented a Cabinet Paper to increase crop insurance from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 per hectare with the support of National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF), Agricultural Ministry Secretary B Wijeratne said. Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference, the Secretary said the potato, chili, Soya bean, maize and big onion cultivations would be covered from this insurance scheme in addition to paddy cultivation. more..

Theft of Taipei bank funds: Absence of diplomatic ties won’t undermine cooperation

Oct 12 (Island) The govt will fully cooperate with Taiwan’s ongoing inquiry into the theft of money from Taiwan Far Eastern International Bank, whose computer system was hacked to enable the transfer of USD 60 mn from customers to accounts in the US, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Sri Lanka has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan, The headquarters branch of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) has received funds from Taiwan. more..

Lightning strike leaves train commuters stranded

Oct 12 (DN) The sudden train strike last evening resulted in a tense situation at the Colombo Fort and Maradana Railway stations. All trains starting from Colombo Fort and Maradana, were cancelled due to trade union action staged by the engine drivers and railway guards yesterday. The Railway Control Room said that trains operating after 5.30 pm were cancelled due to the strike launched by the Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union. Thousands of commuters were left stranded which more..

WI Women defeat SL Women by 6 wickets

Oct 12 (CWI) Player of the Match Hayley Matthews helped the Windies Women to 2 valuable points in a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Women in the 1st ODI in Trinidad. The three-match ODI series is part of the ICC Women’s Championships, used as qualification for the 2021 World Cup. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. Yosada Mendis top scored for the tourists, followed by Dilani Manodara 28 for 136 all out in 49.4 overs. more..