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Indonesian Naval Ship Kri Bung Tomo arrives at port of Colombo

Oct 20 (SLN) The Indonesian Naval Ship Kri Bung Tomo arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (19). The ship was welcome by the SL Navy in accordance with naval customs, upon her arrival. A group of officials from the Embassy of Indonesia in Colombo was also present on the occasion. Subsequently, the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Heri Triwibowo together with a host of Indonesian representatives called on Deputy Area Commander of Western Naval more..

Vaccination of schoolgirls against cervical cancer resumes

Oct 20 (Island) Acting Chief Epidemiologist, Dr Samitha Ginige, reassured the public that Epidemiology Unit had recommenced the administration of Human papilloma virus vaccine to schools once more. He said the vaccination for Human papilloma virus (HPV) had been launched through school immunisation programme in July this year. HPV causes cervical cancer, which has the second highest prevalence in SL. Virus affects women in their middle ages (45-60). more..

FR Petition on PC (Amendment) Bill: Ex-CJ lashes out at govt

Oct 20 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva replying to the preliminary objections on the maintainability of his fundamental rights petition charged the Yahapahana govt of repealing all the original clauses and inserting new clauses in the PC (Amendment) Bill at the Committee Stage. He alleged that the Constitution was dismantled in the passage of the said Bill. He maintained that the PC Amendment Bill ceased to exist. more..

Sri Lanka to take leased land from privatized firms for worker housing

Oct 20 (EN) Cabinet has approved a proposal to take-over leased land from privatized plantations companies to build over 2,500 houses with title deeds for plantations workers. SL plans to build 2,551 houses under a program labelled Haritha Ran, and 1,134 houses will also be built under an aid scheme from India for families hit by disasters. Another 75 title deeds will be granted to families who were caught in Miriyabedde landslide disaster, who are now living in temporary accommodation. more..

Regulatory framework for electric vehicle charging stations by middle of next year

Oct 20 (FT) The Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) yesterday expressed confidence that the regulatory framework for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), consumer rights and related areas would be effective by the middle of 2018. PUCSL Director General Damitha Kumarasinghe said the commission expects to draft the identified regulatory measures resulting from the discussion to be effective during the first half of 2018. “We expect the regulatory framework for EVCS, more..

Not satisfied with UNP’s present conduct: JR’s grandson

Oct 20 (DM) While pledging to defeat new proposed Constitution, grandson of first Executive President Pradip Jayawardena said he has decided to contest the upcoming LG polls from the SLFP because he is not satisfied with the UNP conduct. He said his grandfather introduced the present Constitution because there was a credible reason to introduce it but said there was no such need to bring in a new constitution today. more..

Major multi-stakeholder $ 12 m initiative to make youth employable

Oct 20 (FT) To enhance the employability and skills of youth, a multi-stakeholder major four-year initiative with $ 12 million funding kicked off yesterday. Spearheaded by the USAID and the Govt, the initiative involves a coalition of partners from the private sector, non-profit organisations, think tanks and academic institutions.  Titled YouLead, it will link youth to productive careers by creating a more market-oriented, skilled and flexible workforce in the country. more..

Arthur C. Clarke Centre calls for asteroid footages

Oct 20 (DM) Arthur C. Clarke Centre requested the general public to handover original video footage or images of the asteroid, which entered the earth’s atmosphere Wednesday night for its observations. Centre's senior research scientist Saroj Gunasekera said that the Centre could come to a determination only after receiving original footages. He said that they had to determine the entry point of the asteroid. “After making calculations, we can come to a decision of the asteroid as more..

Treasury bond scams: John gets tough with CB, demands EPF data

Oct 20 (Island) Minister John Seneviratne said he will soon seek data from Governor of CB, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, in respect of Treasury bonds bought by EPF, in the secondary market from the now suspended primary dealer, Perpetual Treasuries Limited, (PTL) and others embroiled in the scam. CB on July 6 suspended PTL’s licence for a period of six months. Minister said so when The Island questioned him on more..

Kiriella says he has Rs 400 mn in bank so no need to steal

Oct 20 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that he had Rs. 400 million in his bank account. Responding to a question raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who said that mega frauds had taken place in the construction of the Central Expressway, he said: "We do not need others’ money. We have been rich since the days of ancient kings. My wife’s grandfather had over 30,000 acres in Balangoda. My grandparents, too, had properties equal to that. more..

Once a month to a foreign city just for a night-out

Oct 20 (DM) Believe it or not! A yahapalanaya purohita had made it a practice to make a round-trip to a destination in a neighboring country once a month for the past several months in a row just for a night-out! Diplomatic sources have been mystified when it had come to light that this purohita hailing from a district bordering Wilpattu used to enplane for one particular destination in an evening and would fly back home the following day, once a month. Purohita had failed to inform the authorities more..

PM slams mischievous media spin

Oct 20 (DN) Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter rejected media reports which mischievously suggested that he opposed any Constitutional reforms, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera told the PM that privately-owned newspapers and TV networks misled the public into believing that he objected to a new statute being formulated. more..

A ten-year-old French boy dies from rabies

Oct 20 (DM) A ten-year-old French boy has died from rabies after he was bitten by a stray puppy while on holiday in Sri Lanka. The unnamed boy, from Rhone in eastern France, became infected with the virus in August after the dog bit him on a beach in Dikwella in the south of the country. His family were not initially concerned following the incident, and the boy returned to France. However, when he began to show signs of the disease, including difficulty swallowing, more..

Central Expressway: JVP urges forensic audit through PSC

Oct 20 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said today a forensic audit should be carried out through a Parliament Select Committee on the Central Expressway. He told parliament that a forensic audit would reveal the truth behind the awarding of tenders for the Central Expressway. Speaking at the adjournment debate on the Central Expressway, Mr. Handunnetti said the fraud and corruption on the Central Expressway may surpass the Central Bank Bond scam. more..

COPE finds 15 State bodies guilty: Losses to Govt runs into billions

Oct 20 (CT) Latest report of the COPE has found corruption, fraud and financial misappropriation in 15 State institutions causing losses amounting to billions of rupees to the State. Report, fourth by the incumbent COPE committee, was presented to Parliament by COPE Chairman, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti. Soon after submitting the report, Handunnetti called on the relevant Ministers and Ministry Secretaries to take necessary more..

School admissions: Let there be accountability

Oct 20 (DM) Parents of affected school children were on Monday successful before the Right to Information (RTI) Commission in obtaining the name lists and numbers of school children admitted to Grade One of Visakha Vidyalaya in 2014. An information request had been filed by parents, including several senior doctors, to the Commission asking for the information. The appeal was heard before RTI Commission Chairman Mahinda Gammanpila and Commissioners more..

Basil’s predictions and his hallucinations…

Oct 20 (DM) Pradesheeya Sabhas became a devolved subject under the Provincial Councils in the Local Govt system of SL. This mechanism of local govt was introduced in 1987 through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The legislative bodies that preside over the third tier municipalities in the country, they total up to 271 and are collectively responsible for governance of approximately 16,726,000 people. Ranging from 5 to 23 per council, there are 3,624 Councillors. more..

LG polls hanging in the balance again

Oct 20 (DM) As the 3 pieces of legislation, amending the Municipal Councils Ordinance, Urban Council Ordinance and Pradeshiya Sabha Act were enacted, more people including the top notch political leaders felt that the stage was - more or less - set for conducting the local authorities’ elections.  Nevertheless, govt does not seem to be keen in declaring the election any time soon. It is now seeking to put off polls under more..

Large Industrial Zone for Thulhiriya

Oct 20 (CT) State Minister of Industries and Commerce Champika Premadasa says, he together with the economically disadvantaged people, identify the needs of the village and give priority to those in his work. Q: What are the works started by your Ministry? A: We have acquired a large extent of land in Thulhiriya to set up a large Industrial Zone. As at now the initial work regarding the land has been completed. more..

Significant reduction in poverty in SL but disparities exist: Census Dept

Oct 20 (FT) Department of Census and Statistics said there has been a significant reduction in poverty during the last 14 years though disparities exist across the country. Following the conclusion of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2016, the Department said the headcount poverty rate, which was reported as 22.7% of the population in 2002, has now declined to 4.1% of the population in 2016. more..

Truth and reconciliation process ideal to heal scars of war: Prof. Cooper

Oct 20 (FT) A renowned mental health expert said that a truth and reconciliation process similar to South Africa would help to create a psychological society to heal the inner scars of war victims. “South Africa was at war with itself similar to Sri Lanka, which had a war in some parts of the country. It was an internal issue and psychology was used by the previous apartheid regime to keep people down but when more..

25% Women representation has parties nitpicking for right candidates

Oct 20 (ST) Local Authority Elections Amendment Act (LAEAA) passed in Parliament in August, requires 25% of women representation in the 335 Councils at the forthcoming elections in January 2018. The Parties said they are frantically searching for the right women candidates to represent their Parties. Under the LAEAA, it is mandatory that Nomination Lists of Parties have 25% women representation. more..

Sri Lanka, S Korea to sign economic cooperation deal next month

Oct 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka will sign an economic cooperation agreement with South Korea during the state visit of President Sirisena, which is scheduled for next month, govt said. The economic cooperation agreement will cover the fields of investment partnership, trade relations, tourism promotion & industrial cooperation. Cabinet, this week, approved a proposal made by Minister Malik Samarawickrama to sign this agreement. more..

US fully invested in success of Sri Lankan people: Atul Keshap

Oct 20 (AD) The future of Sri Lanka depends on young people gaining the skills and knowledge that will power the country’s prosperity, U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap said. He made these comments on Thursday during the launch of the YouLead! initiative, a 1.8 billion rupee program funded by the USAID to support youth employability, vocational skills development, and entrepreneurship. more..

CPC prevented from taking over 16 Tinco tanks: COPE report

Oct 20 (DM) A Cabinet decision to take over 16 tanks from the Trincomalee Oil Tank farm has not been carried out as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) have been prevented from taking them over, the report of COPE which was presented to Parliament said. Report submitted by COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti to the House said the CPC officials who visited the tank farm had been prevented from entering it more..

PC Polls (Amendment) Act: SLMC cries foul over enactment process

Oct 20 (DM) SLMC, a ruling party ally, is now up in arms against the manner in which the govt enacted the PC Elections (Amendment) Act that provides for postponing the elections to the provincial councils which was due this year. However, the SLMC is also among the parties that voted in favour of it in Parliament. Party Leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem said his party had disagreements with the process adopted by more..

Attempts by some to mislead society regarding a new constitution: President

Oct 20 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says all the citizens of the country must be aware of the attempts by some section of the society to mislead the society regarding a new constitution which is still not drafted. He said that we had to face a nearly three decade long, brutal war as a result of not providing solutions for the issues in the country in a timely and appropriate manner. Prez Sirisena requested all the Sri Lankans, more..

Tourism’s Enemy No. 1

Oct 20 (CT) On Sunday this newspaper carried an article titled Winter Of Discontent For Tourism, highlighting that the country's tourism earnings and arrivals on the eve of its main tourism season slumped last month, aided by dengue advisories emanating from diplomatic missions in Colombo catering to the island's key tourism markets led by the UK and the Continent and also that of China's. Tourism is SL's third largest foreign exchange (FX) earner after remittances and garments. more..

Priming the pump to make your MP jump

Oct 20 (FT) Here’s a radical idea. What if – instead of liking it or lumping it as you do for years on end – the voter could hold his or her MP accountable for their performance? Not just at election time. But in-between those too-few and too-far in-between visits to the polls! And in a way that would keep your MP on track, honest as far as reasonable, and their parties transparent to the viewing public… Well, I hardly know how to break it to you but that’s the idea of a democracy anyway. more..

Rajiva Wijesinha

Sri Lanka to set up liability management fund for debt

Oct 20 (EN) Sri Lanka will set up a liability management fund to cope with a spike in debt maturities in 2018 and 2019 and make borrowings more transparent, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Under existing law Sri Lanka cannot pre-emptively more cash that the maturities falling and pre-pay debt or build up a buffer. "…[W]e will introduce a comprehensive secondary market trading platform and a liability management fund," PM Wickremesinghe told parliament. more..

Suspect surrenders over Taiwan bank hacking

Oct 20 (NR) Another suspect has surrendered to the CID along with 3.2 million rupees, claiming he was involved in the transfer of 320 million rupees from a hacked Taiwanese bank. It is revealed the 3.2 million rupees the suspect surrendered with, is a part of the funds wired from the hack. The former Chairman of Litro Gas Company Shalila Moonesinghe and another suspect MC Nammuni previously charged in the case are currently in remand custody. more..

General Amnesty for Army deserters

Oct 20 (MoD) A General Amnesty is to be offered to Army absentees enabling them to receive legal discharge from the Army. General Amnesty will be effective from Oct 23 to Nov 15, 2017. This opportunity offered to Army deserters, coinciding with the 68th Army anniversary, will enable them to report to their respective Regimental Headquarters and receive legal discharge. However, absentees in the Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps more..

Case against Tiran Alles, three others fixed for January 22

Oct 20 (DN) The case filed against four persons including former MP Tiran Alles and former North and Eastern Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan in connection to a Rs.200 million fraud which took place at the RADA in 2006 was fixed for Jan 22, next year by Colombo High Court Judge Vikum Kaluarachchi. At a previous occasion, High Court allowed AG to proceed with the controversial RADA case in absentia of former N&E Provinces LTTE Financial Head Emil Kanthan. more..

Central Bank says it can do little on its own to spur growth

Oct 20 (Island) CB deputy governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinha said that its role in spearheading the economy absolutely depended on the macroeconomic initiatives taken by the govt; therefore it could do little on its own to spur growth. CB deputy governor made the remark at a Q&A session after a public lecture. Public lecture titled Growth dynamics: What can we learn from success stories was delivered by Dr Amarakoon Bandara, who is a senior economic advisor more..

Govt final decision on SAITM issue next week: President

Oct 20 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says that the Govt’s final decision on SAITM issue will be declared in the next week. He made these remarks participated in the Annual Convocation of the Aquinas University College yesterday. He further said that although the Govt had taken many steps to resolve the SAITM issue during the past period, various ideas were presented regarding those solutions. more..

Assessment of damaged houses by Uma Oya by November

Oct 20 (NR) Govt has decided to complete assessments of damages to houses as a result of the Uma Oya Development Project before the 31st of November. Cabinet approved a proposal to ensure the drinking water issue of those in the area is addressed before the 10th of Nov. 284 families will be relocated in alternative houses in Ellawatte, Nikana while an investigation report will be compiled within a week. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the govt hopes to pay all due compensation more..

Will he lose the party title too?

Oct 20 (DM) Several Green stalwarts are said to be pressing that the Bondman now sans a portfolio be stripped of his party title as well.  A wearer of a deputy mantle in the party, the livewire behind this move, is set to take up the matter with the Green leader on his return home from the foreign visit. Meanwhile, the Bondman has come in for further flak for his alleged underhand moves to build a power base as the leader of the backbenchers. Given Bondman’s fall from grace on all fronts, more..

Comprehensive economic strategy to be implemented over next 3 years: PM

Oct 20 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today delivered the Economic Policy Statement in Parliament and clarified the current status of economy and the way forward for his govt and the people. He stated that the challenge faced today is to sustain what they have built, and strengthening the economy. He stated that this task has two prongs. First is to stabilise the economy creating a country free of debt for our future generations. more..

Jaffna Uni. students boycott lectures

Oct 20 (DM) Students of the University of Jaffna have started a boycott for five days over the solution suggested by President Sirisena during a discussion held regarding the political prisoners. The students had decided to boycott lectures till Oct 25. The fourth year examinations, which were scheduled to be held today, were also cancelled by the University administration due to the boycott. Jaffna University Students Federation called a discussion this morning regarding more..