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Basil’s Jaffna declaration

Oct 13 (DM) It was not clear as to whether Mr. Rajapaksa was serious when he said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Govt was to allow commemoration of LTTE leaders such as Thileepan, had they been in power another one year. This is an admission that the lands have not been released by the Yahapalana Govt as well merely for political reasons - for fear of criticism by the Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists. The media coverage of controversial issues, especially ethnically more..

Old and new ideas help to shove polythene further into exile

Oct 13 (ST) More individual and private initiatives continue to see the light of day in the wake of September ban on polythene in the country. Housewives are making fabric bags, small vendors are making paper bags by themselves as in the days gone by before the polythene menace took hold, and the banana leaf has got a new lease of life with ways found to store them. But at the same time, a type of bag handed out by some supermarkets, more..

GMOA ruining future of medical students: Kiriella

Oct 13 (DN) The future of the medical students are being destroyed by some doctors of the GMOA and some university lecturers, by forcing them to boycott their lectures which is a grave sin, said Minister Lakshman Kiriella. He further said that they cannot escape from that sin and they have to face it. The development work of the Hiripitiya, Aluthgama, kalawana road in Hiriyala, Ganewatta DS in the Kurunagala more..

Parking touts: CMC fails to act

Oct 13 (SL) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has failed to take action against parking touts who continue to operate at key locations in the city. Parking touts  carry out the duties of parking wardens for a fee charged from the drivers. CMC traffic division Director, Nihal Wickramaratne said that only authorised persons can charge for street parking. He said that tenders are given to reputed companies to have parking wardens more..

SLPP slated to win over 200 PSs: Basil

Oct 13 (DM) SL Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) front liner Basil Rajapaksa said they would contest the upcoming Local Govt election as a broad alliance with other political parties and would secure more than 200 Pradeshiya Sabhas. He said that there were around 170 Pradeshiya Sabhas in electorates they had won during the last Presidential and General elections and added that it could be increased up to 200 at the next LG polls. more..

Britisher as Leader of political party: Wimal demands explanation from Polls Chief

Oct 13 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) sought an explanation from the National Election Commission (NEC) regarding the registration of the New Democratic Front (NDF) as a political party in spite of its leader Shalila Moonasinge being a British national. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said the NEC certainly owed an explanation to the public in the wake of Moonasinghe being arrested over his alleged involvement in stealing money from more..

Sri Lanka says Airbus shares blame for soured deal amid corruption scandal

Oct 13 (EN) Airbus Industrie, which made a controversial sale of A350 aircraft to loss-making state-run SriLankan Airlines which it has found unsuitable, also bears responsibility for the sale, State Minister for Finance Eran Wickremeratne said. SriLankan Airlines bought over a dozen A350 and A330 aircraft from Airbus Industrie and leasing company AerCap in deal valued at over two billion US dollars. more..

Hartal in North

Oct 13 (DM) Business community in the Northern Province staged a hartal this morning urging the release of whom they called Tamil political prisoners (PTA detainees). All traders in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar Districts had joined the hartal by closing down their shops. Political parties of the Tamil community and civil society organisations which backed the hartal said Tamil political prisoners more..

'I will prove everything with sufficient facts'

Oct 13 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake responding to a notice issued to him yesterday to appear before the Supreme Court on October 25 with regard to alleged contempt of court said he will prove in Courts the veracity of the statements he made on legal professionals. Deputy Minister is alleged to have made remarks in contempt of court after he said that certain members in the legal profession were corrupt. more..

Govt mulls removing barriers to allow Lankan firms hire foreign labour

Oct 13 (DM) The Sri Lankan govt will look to streamline the regulatory process which has so far handicapped the ability of local companies to hire foreign labour by providing greater powers to the Immigration and Emigration Controller, according to Finance State Minister Eran Wickramaratne. “Two weeks ago, I had a discussion with the Controller of Immigration and Emigration, and I told him that he will be soon getting more..

Fraud hit Sri Lanka gilt dealer Entrust reveals Rs11bn scam

Oct 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's Entrust Securities, a primary dealer in govt securities embroiled in a fraud has revealed an 11 billion rupee hole in its balance sheet by June 2017, which is growing at the rate of 200 million rupees a quarter with new losses. Entrust Securities Plc in unaudited accounts filed with the CSE said it had assets of just 753 million rupees and liabilities of 12.34 billion rupees, leaving 11.58 rupees unaccounted for. more..

A toothless Nat Audit Bill Draft

Oct 13 (CT) The Cabinet on Tuesday finally approved the much delayed Draft National Audit Bill. But, after many months of labour, what has been produced is a toothless Bill that will not serve its purpose of curbing corruption in the Govt sector. In essence, the proposed law seeks to punish public servants who misuse their powers, are negligent or engage in corrupt practices, by imposing a fine on them. Bill was first proposed in 2004, during the Presidency of Chandrika Kumaratunga and more..

That big bad wolf is out to get you!

Oct 13 (FT) I think you know what one means. There is always someone else whose fault it is that life sucks. My recent encounters however with large dangerous predators of the Big Bad Wolf type have been nothing but positive. Food and books? Yum. More of the same, if I may, and many thanks! And I’m fairly certain you, voracious reader and hogger-down of delectable porcine morsels (no offence intended to non-partakers), have a similar salutary experience to report about these outlets. more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

Dialog to curb loan portfolio, deposits of Colombo Trust Finance

Oct 13 (EN) Dialog Axiata said it will retain all employees of Colombo Trust Finance, a finance company it acquired, and increase its core capital but restructure its loan portfolio and deposits. Dialog Axiata last month bought a controlling stake in Colombo Trust Finance PLC from the Cargills group for just over a billion rupees, in a foray into financial services. According to the Mandatory Offer document by Dialog Axiata for Colombo Trust Finance (CTF), more..

Video: Uzbek Prisoner's escape attempt foiled at Hulftsdorp

Oct 13 (AD) Two prison inmates were apprehended after they attempted to escape custody at the Hulftsdorp court complex premises, a short while ago.  Prison guards had fired warning shots into the air as the two suspects, including a foreign national, had attempted to flee. They have been taken into custody, reports said. The inmates were escorted to the court by prisons guards this morning to be produced before a magistrate over a ongoing case.  more..

Asgiriya Chief Prelate frowns on those withdrawing from Constitutional Council

Oct 13 (DN) If anyone withdraws from the Constitutional Council without submitting ideas and views for drawing up a Constitution suitable for the country, such an irresponsible action can never be condoned, said the Most Ven. Warakagoda Gnanaratana Mahanayake Thera of the Asigiriya Chapter. Thera expressed these sentiments when Minister Lakshman Kiriella called on him at his temple in Kandy and more..

Nissanka Nanayakkara new Litro Gas Chairman

Oct 13 (NR) Nissanka Nanayakkara has been appointed the new Chairman of the Litro Gas Company. The appointment was made by Chairman of the SL Insurance Corporation Hemaka Amarasuriya. Litro Gas Company falls under the control of SL Insurance Cooperation. Nissanka Nanayakkara replaces the company’s former chairman Shalila Munasinghe, who was arrested and remanded on charges of money laundering pertaining to the alleged hacking of more..

Aloysius’ PA Steve Samuel in ICU, will not testify

Oct 13 (DM) Counsel Jeewantha Jayatilleka appearing on behalf of Aloysius’ personal assistant, Steve Samuel, informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry yesterday that his client is being treated at the Asiri Hospital ICU and would not be able to appear before the Commission in the near future. He said that his client Samuel is currently being treated for a cardiac illness and that he was still unable to meet him as he is being treated at the ICU, hence demanded more time more..

Video: Rajitha must be sent home: GMOA

Oct 13 (DM) While stating that the GMOA had no intention of entering into politics as per the claims made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne, GMOA said that ministers such as Rajitha Senaratne must be sent home. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen de Soyza said that Minister Senaratne had recently claimed that a member of GMOA had been included in the district nomination lists in all districts with the hope of returning 25 GMOA more..

Foreign bank robbery suspect as head of political party

Oct 13 (Island) Chairman of National Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said that he would discuss Shalila Moonasinghe’s matter with other members of the NEC, N.J. Abeysekera, PC and Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole soon. Deshapriya said he, too, had been surprised when he first heard that New Democratic Front (NDF) Leader Moonasinghe was a foreign passport holder. Moonasinghe has been remanded till Oct. 25 pending investigations into alleged theft of millions more..

Sri Lanka to receive USD 700 million from Millennium Challenge Corporation

Oct 13 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, met Fatema Sumar, the Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific and Latin America in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on the sidelines of the WB/IMF Annual Meeting, to review the progress of its 5-Year Grant Compact to Sri Lanka. In Dec 2016, MCC’s Board of Directors selected SL to develop a compact. SL became eligible for assistance after passing 13 out of 20 indicators on MCC’s policy scorecard. more..

Sumanthiran files fresh FR against Swaminathan

Oct 13 (DN) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has filed a fresh Fundamental Rights petition seeking an Interim Order preventing any steps being taken by Minister D.M. Swaminathan with regard to entering into a contract with a French construction company to construct 65,000 of prefabricated steel houses in the North and Eastern Provinces. At a previous occasion, Sumanthiran decided to withdraw his FR petition which more..

UNP dissidents led by Maithri Gunaratne launch new party

Oct 13 (Island) Anew political party,United National Freedom Front (UNFF), formed by some UNP dissidents, who earlier challenged the party leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe, was officially launched at the National Library Services auditorium yesterday. Chairman of the party and former Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne, addressing journalists said the party was for changing the present electoral system which served the corrupt. Gunaratne expressed confidence that more..

Sathosa reduces price of coconuts to Rs 65

Oct 13 (DN) Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) and Lanka Sathosa have jointly taken measures to provide coconuts at Rs 65. Accordingly the consumers will receive the opportunity to purchase 5 coconuts for 65 rupees at Sathosa outlets. CCB Chairman Kapila Yakandawala said that the CCB has already issued one million coconuts to the market. Measures would be taken to supply four million coconuts to the market by next month. “Then we would be able to completely normalize more..

India eyes airport in Sri Lanka, near Chinese Belt and Road outpost

Oct 13 (Reuters) India is in advanced talks with Sri Lanka to operate an airport on the southern tip of the island, where China has invested heavily as part of its Belt and Road initiative. SL’s civil aviation minister, Nimal Siripala, said the country had been looking for alternative investors in the Hambantota area, where China has built a seaport and is in discussions to build an investment zone and a refinery. more..

New attitudes key for Sri Lanka to be logistics hub: Harsha

Oct 13 (EN) Changing attitudes towards global integration and removing barriers to trade are important if Sri Lanka is to realize its ambition of becoming a logistics hub for the Indian Ocean region, a govt policymaker said. “Unless we integrate Sri Lanka with the world we have no future – politically and economically,” said deputy minister Harsha De Silva. The country cannot fight with international bodies like the UN, India and others and oppose free trade and more..

About 10% of Lankans physically or mentally impaired; laws to be amended soon

Oct 13 (Island) The Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities Act (No.28 of 1996) would be amended soon, said the Secretary to Ministry of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage Shirani Weerakoon. This was revealed last Wednesday (11) at a multi-sectoral stakeholder meeting held at the Galle Face Hotel to discuss the ways and means of improving the accessibility to Assistive Technology by the persons with disabilities and elders in Sri Lanka. more..

AG’s Dept unions to sue Cabinet

Oct 13 (CT) All trade unions of the Auditor General's Department have decided to take legal action against the Cabinet for spreading false rumours that the Audit Bill had been approved, thereby misleading the AG's Department, the media and the people. TUs arrived at the decision since the statement by the Govt regarding the Audit Bill was an utter lie. Joint Audit Services Collective claimed yesterday that what the govt has done is only to more..

Sri Lanka better in hunger index ranking

Oct 13 (DM) With a score of 25.5, Sri Lanka has been ranked 84th among 119 countries in the 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI) under the serious category. The index which was compiled by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) was released on Wednesday. India is ranked 100th, Pakistan 106th and Bangladesh 88th while Nepal is ranked 72nd and Afghanistan ranked 107th. The index was compiled based on the four indicators -- more..

Date for LG elections next week: EC

Oct 13 (NR) The Chairman of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says a final decision will be arrived at with regards to the calling of local govt elections and nominations by the end of next week. However, he said the gazette notification should be issued by the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt prior to the decision. The LG Election Bill was handed over to the Commission today by Minister of Local Govt and Provincial Councils Faizer Mustapha. more..

Yahapalanaya shows 75% poor or no action on election promises

Oct 13 (LBO) SL’s coalition govt has recorded poor progress or no action in 75% or more of the election promises,’s manifesto tracker showed. The manifesto tracker launched recently monitors progress in the implementation of the 80 actionable pledges and policy measures by the UNFGG and UPFA as per their respective election manifestos. Each promise has been classified under a thematic area (Completed, On Track, Poor Progress, more..

Govt derailed progress of service industry: JVP

Oct 13 (NR) The JVP says the present govt has derailed the progress of the service industry. General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva said the present administration has failed to address the country’s debt issue which has severely affected the economy. General Secretary Tilvin Silva also called on the govt to address the rise in cost of living. Tilvin Silva said it is apparent that the country’s economy is in a dire state adding that the country has a huge debt burden more..

Short-term infrastructure projects to be completed by Nov.

Oct 13 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government is hoping to conclude all short term infrastructure projects by November this year. Premier Wickremesinghe said the projects, initiated following recent floods and landslides, will be concluded promptly. Speaking during an event in Deniyaya today, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the government has initiated broad plans to address concerns pertaining to infrastructure, housing and the economy. more..

Sacked SLFP organisers invite JVP to form alliance

Oct 13 (DM) SLFP MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was sacked from his post of party organiser for Nawalapitiya, said today they would set up a broad alliance against the government and pointed out that even the JVP could join them. He said they would focus on defeating the yahapalanaya govt by contesting the upcoming local govt elections from this alliance. “We have still not decided about the name and the symbol of the new alliance more..

Politician in a perfect world

Oct 14 (CT) I woke up late last morning. Usually morning dawns on me quite early. For some the wee hours are the most miserable part of the day, while for others the most exciting and vibrant time before sunset as it is for me. Writing at that time, early hours, of the day is more than a mere pleasure; it’s more than a livelihood and a profession; it’s an obsession, in a very positive sense.  I sat down to write this column, as I always do before the dawn of the day, a very strange, unnamed emotion more..

The exoticisation of culture

Oct 14 (CT) Someone once noted not too long ago that modernity was the West’s way of measuring itself against the Other, the rest of the world. It was a way of assessing progress, for the most material, which is why the transition in the 17th and 18th centuries from the Inquisition to the Reformation and then to the Enlightenment is so significant. The truth is that the West, particularly continental Europe, saw a fading away of its (for the most) theological systems of thought in favour of more..

New CID Director Shani: Honest & gutsy

Oct 14 (SO) By most accounts, Gnendra Shani Abeysekara – fondly known in law enforcement circles as just Shani – began his journey to SL’s premier law enforcement agency, CID, with a violent tragedy. Shani, then a Police Inspector, was serving as the OIC of the Crimes Branch of the Grandpass Police when around 2 pm on June 8, 1998, fierce blast ejected shrapnel & smoke from a car near a police checkpoint in Kochchikade. more..

Reality of the Uma Oya Diversion Project

Oct 14 (Island) Much has been reported about the Uma Oya debacle which has adversely impacted on the lives of people in Bandarwela in Badulla District. There are newspaper articles and TV debates, providing information on this, with either the present or previous govt being blamed. Allegations are also levelled against officials of the Ministry of Irrigation, Mahaweli and the Environment Authority who were responsible for implementing this major engineering project. more..

Local Polls to a wider Democracy

Oct 14 (DN) With the latest amendments to the Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabha Bills passed in Parliament without a division, the path is finally clear for the LG polls to be held most likely in January next year. This brings a long delayed opportunity for democratic action by the people, the first since the major political changes in 2015, and also what could be a very keen contest between the two parties in the coalition of national unity – UNP and SLFP, more..