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First COPE inquiry: DEW explains why PM couldn’t be summoned after AM’s testimony

Oct 21 (Island) Former Chairman of the COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the parliamentary watchdog committee lacked powers to summon ministers and, therefore, it had not been able to seek an explanation from PM Ranil Wickremesinghe or the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake in respect of the probe into the first CB-Perpetual Treasuries bond scam committed in Feb 2015. more..

Nimal warns railway workers against provoking commuters

Oct 21 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva warned the railway unionists that people who were inconvenienced by their union actions would soon take the law into their own hands and the striking workers would have to face the consequences. He said that people were on the verge of attacking strikers during the recent railway strike. Minister said he would be compelled to take sterner action against the strikers as the govt could not let people suffer because of disruption of train services. more..

Helitours does it again; passengers taken on uninsured aircraft

Oct 21 (ST) Helitours, SL Air Force’s commercial passenger service, transports paying customers—including foreign tourists—on an uninsured Harbin Y-12 aircraft not certified for airworthiness by the Civil Aviation Authority of SL. This happens whenever its approved Xian MA60 planes are unavailable. In doing so, the limited liability company is working outside the radar of the regulator and in defiance of repeated strictures to adhere to civil aviation rules and regulations, more..

An all-inclusive relief package via 2018 Budget: President

Oct 21 (DM) 2018 Budget is expected to offer an all-inclusive relief package for loans obtained from banks and other financial institutions by low income families, President Sirisena said. He said he was aware of the huge burden placed on poor families when repaying their loans and that especially the families in the North East have become victims of private banks and financial institutions under Micro Finance programmes more..

Chinese delegation from Guangzhou expresses confidence in investing in SL

Oct 21 (DM) The Board of Investment of SL hosted a delegation from the Guangzhou municipal govt headed by Tu Hongze, Vice Counsel. The delegation is on a fact finding visit to the island to evaluate the possibility of enterprises from Guangzhou formally known as Canton, investing and trading with Sri Lanka. The delegation was met and briefed on investment opportunities by a team of the BOI consisting of Nilupul De Silva, Director (Promotion), Dilip Samarasinghe, more..

Call to extend PCoI term: VAC wants to unmask 20 UNPers

Oct 21 (CT) Voice Against Corruption (VAC) says that it was currently in possession of the names of some 20 persons, attached to UNP, who had allegedly received bribes from Perpetual Treasuries and advised the President to extend the term of the PCoI by another 12 months for them to reveal those names. VAC Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe noted that the term of PCol should be extended further if PM is to be questioned by it as only a few UNP Ministers had given evidence. more..

Project just to rob money: 'Expressways necessary, but first things first'

Oct 21 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka raised the red flag over controversial Central Expressway project claiming that the country would have to bear an additional debt of Rs. 1,644 billion for the construction of the 356 km highway. He warned of considerable cost overruns. Construction of the expressway is expected to reach completion in 2025 and, therefore, govt should think how practical it was to invest such a huge more..

Gramashakthi: Giving villages freedom from poverty

Oct 21 (DM) In a major step towards building a just, fair and all-inclusive society, National Govt yesterday launched a historic Gramashakthi People’s Movement with the vision of alleviating poverty by 2030.  President Sirisena who has declared 2017 as the year of beginning the poverty alleviation mission launched this village empowerment programme at a ceremony held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium and was broadcast countrywide. more..

Worker rights vs people’s rights

Oct 21 (DM) Commuters took engine drivers to task not because they were against the strikers’ demands, but they were high and dry due to the strike at an hour when the bus services were also fast sagging. Who can contest these demands? At the same time who can justify their intended blockade of Colombo as a mode of struggle? Newspapers carried a picture of several Policemen risking their lives in saving a locomotive engine driver of the Sri Lanka Railways at more..

Alleged killing of 18 Navy and 8 Army prisoners by LTTE In Jan 2009

Oct 21 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena held successive discussions with two Tamil delegations in Colombo on Thursday on the issue of Tamils detained in various prisons under the PTA in general and the hunger strike undertaken by three such detainees at the Anuradhapura Prison in particular. The focus at both discussions was more on the situation regarding the three prisoners on hunger strike as much as concern expressed more..

Colombo’s inaugural international shopping festival opens to public

Oct 21 (DM) The Colombo International Shopping Festival 2017, organized by the Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and SL Retailer’s Association opened its doors to the public yesterday. Being a first of its kind event in SL, the Colombo International Shopping Festival focuses to showcase and create the ultimate shopping experience more..

New electronic ticketing system for Sri Lanka Railways

Oct 21 (EN) Asian Development Bank is helping Sri Lanka prepare a railway ticketing and seat reservation system to replace the existing largely manual one as part of efforts to shift passenger traffic to rail and ease road congestion. The new system will allow commuters to travel using different modes using a single ticket. The lender, which if funding a major rail modernisation program in the island, has called for international consultants more..

Despite denial, Gota implicated by ex-STF Chief

Oct 21 (ST) The deployment of a staggering number of 798 armed STF personnel to conduct a search of two wards of the Welikada Prisons in November 2012, in violation of all laid down procedure to be followed when Prison premises are searched, led to the riot there which resulted in the death of 27 inmates and caused injuries to many more, the report of a fact-finding committee states. The 3-member committee, more..

Tax profiles on all above the age of 18

Oct 21 (ST) All citizens above the age of 18 will be placed under scrutiny for tax liability from next year under a new plan to double the collection within the next two years, Inland Revenue Department (IRD) said. The department would maintain a profile of all citizens above the age of 18 and monitor their bank transactions, purchases and payment of utility bills to determine whether they should be made liable for tax payments. more..

Thisara named captain for Pakistan T20Is

Oct 21 (CB) All-rounder Thisara Perera, has been confirmed as captain of SL's T20I side after several senior players including regular captain Upul Tharanga expressed their reluctance to travel to Lahore for the third and final T20 International later this month. Following the players' refusal to travel to Lahore, SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala said that one squad will be named for all three games and accordingly Perera was more..

Proposed Constitution will wreak havoc in health sector: GMOA

Oct 21 (Island) The GMOA warned that the proposed new Constitution threatened the health care system as it curbed the ability of the govt to provide a good health service to the public effectively. GMOA Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said the programmes aimed at preventing diseases would also be affected severely as they have to be carried out at the national level. He cited as examples the dengue treatment and more..

Indian company claims it secured railway tender, but SLR is yet to call for bids

Oct 21 (ST) An Indian State-owned manufacturing company has announced on its website that it has secured an order from Sri Lanka to supply 160 railway coaches even before the bid has been called by the Railway Department. Integral Coach Factory in Chennai says on its website that “ICF has bagged an export order for supply of 78 DEMUs [diesel electric multiple units] and 160 coaches”. But expressions of interest more..

Sri Lanka need to somehow win last ODI in Sharjah: Thirimanne

Oct 21 (TN) Sri Lanka’s batsmen are not technically deficient, but they need to find a way to score runs fast if they are to avoid a 5-0 whitewash against Pakistan, according to Lahiru Thirimanne. The Sri Lankans have their final chance to notch a win in the series when they face a rampant Pakistan side on Sunday. They have not won at the venue since 2002, or any one-day international in the past 11 games for that matter. more..

Health Minisry has no information about NFTH: GMOA

Oct 21 (DM) Health Ministry had admitted they had no information about the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) including its staff details even though it had claimed that the hospital was acquired by the govt, the GMOA said. Its Media Spokesman Samantha Ananda said that the GMOA had requested for the information, from the Health Ministry Secretary in August, under the Right to Information Act and that they had received more..

Hockey latest victim of the Sri Lankan touch

Oct 21 (CT) The game of hockey had a strong following in England in the 19th century. The British introduced the game to their colonies as they had done with cricket. Hockey was introduced in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) at the tail end of the 19th century and around the time the game was introduced to India. In 1885 the game had its first following with the establishment of the first hockey club in India, but no tournament was played at the time. more..

The Expatriation Of Culture

Oct 21 (CT) The rift between exoticising a culture – thereby turning it into an object of study and assessment – and expatriating it – thereby looting and destroying its artefacts, its cultural relevance – is actually a fiction. There’s no rift, in other words, and if there is, it’s largely fictional, and like all fictions is maintained to promote the kind of superficial gloss that Orientalism has thrived on: a separation of the material from the ideological in the West’s dealings with the East. more..

කේමදාසයන්ට හිමි විය යුතු ගරුත්වය ලැබුණාද?

Maersk Triple E containership calls at Sri Lanka's Colombo port

Oct 21 (EN) MV Maersk Milan, a Denmark flagged vessel owned by Maersk has called at Colombo Port in Sri Lanka, making it the biggest ship to enter a port in South Asia. SLPA said Maersk had a long-term relationship with Colombo port. "We hope that Maersk will continue to grow the volumes of the Port of Colombo," SLPA Chairman Parakrama Dissanayake was quoted as saying when he visited the ship. Triple E class (Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved) more..

Adams Peak garbage mound collapse to be cleared

Oct 21 (NR) Operations have commenced to remove the garbage mound that collapsed along the Hatton road leading up to the Adam’s Peak summit. The garbage is being removed by Army Personnel of Lakshapana Army base. A mound of garbage consisting mostly plastic and polythene left behind by pilgrims who visited Adams Peak collapsed due to heavy rain fall experienced over the past week in Mahagiridamba. It blocked the stretch of the Adams Peak path, damaged the stairway and more..

Looters as Rulers

Power supplies to be increased through competition

Oct 21 (Island) The govt has decided to call for more proposals under the small scale solar power plants programme with a view to increasing competition among electricity suppliers, This follows a memorandum submitted by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to the Cabinet on Tuesday. Siyambalapitiya said the CEB, had confirmed that 90 small scale solar power projects could be established under stage two of the Suryabala Sangramaya Programme. more..

Ven. Arambepola Rathanasara Thero remanded till October 30

Oct 21 (AD) Venerable Arambepola Rathanasara Thero has been remanded till Oct 30, in connection with the threatening of Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia. Buddhist monk was arrested by Nittambuwa Police yesterday, and produced before the Galkissa Magistrate’s court. Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) recorded a statement from the Thero regarding the incident. Several suspects were arrested in connection with the attack which had occurred on Sept 26. more..

OMP needed in Jaffna too: Sampanthan tells UN

Oct 21 (CT) A meeting was held today between the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo De Greiff and the Leader of the Opposition and the TNA R. Sampanthan in Colombo. Sampanthan highlighted the important issues faced by the Tamil people with regard to the release of Lands belonging to civilians, Missing persons and the political prisoners. more..

Sellers can't decide at what price to sell imported rice: Sathosa

Oct 21 (DM) The 200,000 metric tonnes of rice, which was scheduled to be imported from Burma, Thailand, India and Pakistan would not be allowed to be sold at prices higher than was stipulated by the government, Lanka Sathosa Chairman T.M.K.B Tennakoon said. Addressing the media he said the rice stocks would be imported by the end of the year. He said that the rice would be distributed using a Govt distribution mechanism as well as through private importers. more..

Keith Noyahr abduction and torture case concluded: Charges awaited

Oct 21 (CT) The investigation into the abduction and torture of Keith Noyahr has been concluded by the CID, Colombo Telegraph learns. Keith Noyahr, the former Deputy Editor of the Nation newspaper was abducted and tortured in May 2008 and later released when appeals were made to former President Rajapaksa and Karu Jayasuriya, by the Managing Director of Nation newspaper Krishantha Cooray. The CID recorded statements from eight suspects, all from the Army Intelligence and more..

RTI commission calls Visakha to release Grade One admission information

Oct 21 (CT) Right to Information Commission on Monday released information of admission of school children to Grade One of Vishaka Vidyalaya in 2014 along with directions and instructions issued by the Ministry of Education in regard to the said admissions. The appeal was filed by the parents after the Ministry had rejected their information request. The information was released by the Principal of Vishaka Vidyalaya when more..

President opens NIBM- Limkokwing National Innovation Centre

Oct 21 (PMD) President Sirisena vested the new NIBM- Limkokwing National Innovation Centre in Kirulapone with the students, today (20). National Innovation Centre is a result of a strategic partnership agreement between National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. National Innovation Centre aims to provide an empowering business education in disciplines for those who seek global professional knowledge/qualifications. more..

BHC won’t discuss private correspondence with MPs or House of Lords

Oct 21 (Island) British High Commission (BHC) in Colombo yesterday declined to discuss what it called private correspondence with members of British parliament or the House of Lords. We asked the BHC whether Michael Morris, Baron Naseby, PC had sought clarification/information regarding wartime accountability issues here before he had urged the British government to get the UN and the UNHCR in Geneva to accept a civilian casualty figure of 7,000 to 8,000, not 40,000, and more..

SL will continue to work with UN, other firms by aligning govt. policy with SDGs

Oct 21 (DM) Sri Lanka will continue to work with the UN and other institutions by aligning the govt’s policy strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets to be achieved by 2030, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Addressing the WB/IMF annual meeting in Washington recently, Minister Samaraweera said Sri Lanka’s broad development strategy had focused on a three-pillared agenda more..

Prelates decrying new Constitution Govt to blame says Mano

Oct 21 (CT) Minister Mano Ganesan said that the failure on the part of the govt to sufficiently enlighten the Chief Prelates of Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters on the need to formulate a new Constitution was a massive shortcoming on the part of the administration. He said that despite the position taken by the Chief Prelates who had insisted on the non necessity of drafting such a Constitution, govt should take the rap for having failed to convince the Maha Sangha on its more..

Sri Lanka Navy rescue seven members of Indian cargo ship

Oct 21 (PTI) Seven members of an Indian cargo vessel were on Saturday rescued by Sri Lankan fishermen, according to the spokesperson of the Sri Lankan Navy. A group of Sri Lankan fishermen had found the Indian cargo vessel heading for the Maldives. They rescued the crew members and handed them over to SL Navy, Navy spokesman Commander Lankanatha Dissanayake said. Navy has also announced that they returned six Indian fishing trawlers to India on Saturday. more..

Proposed constitution to be discussed with clergy: PM

Oct 21 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says views will be exchanged with the clergy following discussions on the proposed new Constitution in Parliament. Three special meetings of the Constitutional Assembly will be held on the 30th and 31st of Oct and on the 1st of Nov at the Parliament complex. Talks will take place from 10.30 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening. Speaking at a function in Vavuniya more..

Death of Jacintha Peiris

Oct 21 (CT) A few days ago 58 years old Jacintha Peiris of Mannar died of heart attack following her futile attempt in search for her husband Amalan Leon and son Roshan Leon. Jacintha was in Colombo to attend a Court case hearing last week over the disappearances of her husband and son. The case hearing was on some identity cards found at an alleged secret camp believed to have been operated by the Navy and the identity card of Jacintha's son Roshan Leon was also seized more..

IG Punjab assures foolproof security

Oct 21 (GEO) Punjab IGP Arif Nawaz has assured foolproof security for the final T20 match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, scheduled to be held at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on October 29. Speaking to Geo News, the IG admitted that sluggishness on the part of police had led to the attack on Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. IG Nawaz pointed out that the provincial police had been providing the best possible security to the visiting cricket teams over the last two years. more..

Poverty down to 4.1%, but highest in North

Oct 21 (CT) Sri Lanka's poverty headcount declined to 4.1% last year, from 6.7% in 2012/13, when the last of such censuses were taken, Census and Statistics Department (CSD), in a report released on Thursday, said. Official Poverty Line (OPL) for last year was Rs 4,166 per soul per mensem, as opposed to real per capita expenditure per month for a person fixed at Rs 3,624 in 2012/13 to be poverty neutral then. more..