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Chronic kidney diseases Pinning down culprits

OCt 23 (CT) Ministry of Health recently conducted a food survey in the houses of kidney patients in the Anuradhapura District, where an alarming number of patients were recorded. According to the survey, cadmium and lead were found in rice and vegetables. Chief Surveyor of the food safety analysis project Dr. Ananda Jayalal explained the relationship between kidney diseases and the toxicity in food. more..

Sri Lankan doctors working in ISIS healthcare service?

OCt 23 (IT) Indian security agencies are hunting for a jihadi physician who featured in a propaganda video calling upon medical professionals to join the terrorist group. Indian security agencies are vigorously looking for information about a doctor, believed to be from the southern state of Kerala, who recently featured into a propaganda video of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Abu Muqatil al-Hindi, who appears to be in his mid-forties more..

‘Govt’s aim full implementation of 13 A; talk of new constitution a ruse’

OCt 23 (Island) General Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) Dr. Wasantha Bandara has warned of dire consequences unless those who campaigned against moves to introduce constitutional reforms inimical to the country’s interests defeat the govt strategy. The civil society activist alleged that controversial constitutional proposals to deprive Buddhism of state patronage & do away with unitary status more..

121 days of Treasury Bond Commission

OCt 23 (CT) The days of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Treasury bond auction are numbered. With the 27 October deadline on the horizon, officers of the Commission, Attorney General's Department and the defence counsel are caught in a tight race against time to make their final leap in the case. However, the three commissioners are confident after interviewing and listening to over 50 witnesses, more..

Tight security for Anika’s family

OCt 23 (Island) The CID yesterday said tight security had been provided to family members of Anika Wijesuriya, who had fled the country following death threats, after she gave evidence before the PCoI that her Monarch Residencies penthouse in Colombo 3 had been leased to former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and paid for by Perpetual Treasures owner Arjun Aloysius. Police said they were gathering more information about more..

New controversy over dredging of sand for Colombo Port City

OCt 23 (ST) The Coast Conservation Department (CCD) has called for a detailed report from the Ministry of Megapolis after a citizen’s movement warned that a dredger belonging to Colombo Port City builders China Harbour Engineering Corporation could be mining sand closer to shore than has been approved. Screenshots from that reportedly showed the dredger within 3 kilometres of more..

Elephantine fraud: Rs. 250 million racket in importing elephant for Dalada Maligawa

OCt 23 (ST) More than Rs 261 million was sent overseas fraudulently in the guise of paying for the import of an elephant from Myanmar in 2007, whereas the market value of the animal was around Rs. 10 to 15 million, a probe committee has revealed. One-man committee, which probed corruption in the registration and issuing of licences of elephants, found that the elephant had been imported for the Dalada Maligawa more..

Two Police Constables arrested over Rs. 2,000 bribe

Oct 23 (DM) Two Police Constables were arrested on charges of having solicited a bribe of Rs. 2,000 from a lorry driver in A'pura, the Police said. They said the lorry driver had complained to the North Central Province DIG after he received notices on a traffic offence even after the two Police Constables accepted a bribe to prevent a legal action being filed against the driver. The suspects were released on a surety of Rs. 100,000 each by the A'pura Magistrate’s Court. more..

Need for tax reforms: Govt should not lose it this time but go for them early

Oct 23 (FT) In the first economic policy statement, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made a number of pledges related to taxes and tax reforms. One was that the Govt would review whether the tax concessions given to investors have really delivered the expected outcome. Instead of tax concessions, he promised to put in place a low tax regime which would be enjoyed by all investors, whether they were local or foreign.  Another was to improve the tax revenue of the Govt commensurate with more..

Gomin Dayasri

Extended producer responsibility mooted for Sri Lanka waste disposal

Oct 23 (EN) Sri Lanka should consider Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for dealing with solid waste which are becoming increasingly popular and could reduce the burden on cash-strapped local authorities, according to a new study. Urban solid waste management is a high cost exercise and the cost is difficult to recover, said Bilesha Weeraratne, a research fellow at the IPS, a think-tank. Although there is greater demand for solid waste management services more..

President and PM in Vavuniya

Oct 23 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had appealed jointly not to give room to scuttle the efforts taken to strengthen peace and reconciliation by devolving powers to the Northern and Eastern Provinces when they were addressing the people in the once war-torn Vavuniya in the North on Saturday. President and the PM were attending a Govt Mobile Service known as Nila Mehewara in Vavuniya where they addressed the gathering on the significance of safeguarding more..

Car market slows expecting duty reductions

Oct 23 (EN) Both second hand and brand new car sales have slowed sharply following expectations that customs duties on electric and mid-size vehicles will be drastically reduced next month, trade sources said. Sellers of Nissan Leaf electric cars were noticed advertising repeatedly in the past month, but there were hardly any takers as news of the possible tariff reduction was known since late last month. more..

Diyawadana Nilame refutes allegations regarding the tusker imported from Myanmar

Oct 23 (AD) SL govt has obtained a tusker to Sri Dalada Maligawa on 2007, as a donation from Myanmar, but not as a transaction, said Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara, Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa. He made this special statement, while refuting allegations regarding a tusker being purchased by the Sri Dalada Maligawa from Myanmar govt in 2007. He said that the price was quoted on documents as to give a value for the donation done my Myanmar govt. more..

Prison Superintendent catches assailant who stabs him

Oct 23 (Island) Superintendent of the Welikada Magazine prison Sumith Ranjan, who was stabbed in the stomach and an arm by an unknown assailant on Saturday night near the Pannipitiya flyover, managed to overpower the assailant. Sumith, who is now recovering from his stab injuries at the National Hospital, said that on his way to pick up his two children from a tuition class he had alighted from his vehicle near a wayside kiosk on the old Kottawa Road to have a cup of tea, more..

Video: 'Forceful reconciliation is an issue'

Oct 23 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa questions as to how to build a reconciliation process through the forcible elaboration of an amendment to the country. He made this statement after attending the funeral of Dr. Nagoda Amarawansa today. “If they expect to establish reconciliation through decentralization of power it would not be done through forceful attempts. It is an issue that is being challenged by more..

1 killed, 7 arrested in a shootout with STF

Oct 23 (DM) One individual was shot dead and another seven suspects arrested during a shootout with a team of STF this afternoon at Henegedara in Divulapitiya, SP Ruwan Gunasekera said. “STF received information that an armed gang was roaming in the area. An STF team was deployed following the information. Two men had opened fired at the team of STF on Ballapana Road,” he said. A few minutes later several more men arrived at the scene in a van and had opened fire at more..

Jayampathy Wickramaratne caught with pants down for selling duty free land cruiser

Oct 23 (CT) UNP MP Jayampathi Wickramarathna who was a vociferous campaigner against the corruption of the Mahinda Rajapaksa led former regime has been accused of selling his duty free car permit. Jayanpathy is also a politbureau member of LSSP (majority group) and the Parliamentary Secretary to PM Wickremesinghe. On Feb 13, 2017, Rs 95,27,562.50 worth a brand new Land Cruiser was imported using Wickramaratne’s duty free car permit more..

How can PM advise media to carry news pictures: Wimal

Oct 23 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is now advising the media on how to carry photographs in their news articles, NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa said. While launching his book Yadamin Bandi Akshara, he said the PM would not have responded in such a way to the statement made by the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Malwathu and Asgiri chapters, and criticizes the media if he had even an iota of knowledge about culture. more..

Ryan Jayalath granted bail

Oct 23 (NR) The Convener of the Medical Students’ Action Committee, Ryan Jayalath who was arrested and remanded over forcibly entering the Ministry of Health and damaging public property has been granted bail. Ryan Jayalath was granted bail on a strict warning by Colombo High Court Judge AAR Heiyanthuduwa. He was let off on a surety bail of 500,000 rupees. The High Court Judge also ordered that the bail application should be signed by Ryan Jayalath’s parents. more..

GMOA wants to take Rajitha, Kiriella to court

Oct 23 (DM) The GMOA said today it would take legal action against Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Lakshman Kiriella and others who have allegedly misused public funds. The GMOA said that the ministers had resorted to supplementary estimates to pump in millions of rupees to the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH). Spokesman Prasad Kollambage said this matter was taken up with the Bribery Commission earlier and a complaint would now be made to the FCID. more..

Divulapitiya shootout: UNP Provincial Councilor among arrested

Oct 23 (AD) A member of the Western Provincial Council representing the UNP is among the seven suspects arrested following today’s shootout in Divulapitiya. The provincial councilor is also related to a prominent Cabinet Minister in the incumbent govt. One person was killed while seven individuals were arrested following a shootout between STF personnel and a gang of suspected criminals in Henpitagedara area more..

Indian athlete killed in train mishap at Bambalapitiya

Oct 23 (DM) An Indian athlete (44) was killed when he was hit by a train near the Bambalapitiya Railway Station today. The victim was among a group of ten Indian athletes who were in Sri Lanka to attend the Inter Mercantile Athletics Championships. Some of the touring athletes had gone to buy tea packs from a shop at Bambalapitiya when the victim had got off their bus to take photographs. Police said they suspected that a train had hit the victim when he attempted to take a photograph. more..

President on 2-day visit to Qatar on Oct 25

Oct 23 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena is set to leave on a two day official visit to Qatar from 25 Oct. The visit will feature the signing of three important agreements which were approved by Cabinet last week. The main would be the agreement between SL and Qatar on energy cooperation. Qatar, a major oil and gas producing country has shown interest in supporting oil and gas exploration activities in the country.  In addition the President will also sign an agreement on more..

President delays announcement on SAITM

Oct 23 (NR) President Maithripala Sirisena has delayed the announcement on the govt’s stance on the operation of the SAITM in Malabe. President speaking at a function in Colombo last week said the govt’s stance will be announced today after discussions with all relevant parties. Minister Lakshman Kiriella also announced that the stance of govt pertaining to the operation of SAITM will be revealed this week. more..

Five new envoys present credentials to Prez

Oct 23 (PMD) Three new Ambassadors and two High Commissioners presented credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House, Colombo, today. The envoys are: Mr. David McKinnon: High Commissioner of Canada, Mr. Yuri B Materiy – Ambassador of Russia, Mr. Mohamed Hussain Shareef- Ambassador of Maldives, Gen. (Retd) Shahid Ahmed Hashmat- High Commissioner for Pakistan, Mr. Hussein El Saharty – Ambassador of Egypt. more..

MR invited me to join, I refused: Daya G.

Oct 23 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa invited me to join hands with him or to give up politics and join his business but I refused, Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage said. He said the former president offered him a Cabinet post but he refused as he had no intention to rob public money. “I had no intention to rob money belonging to the country, or the public by joining hands with the Rajapaksa regime. Therefore I choose a different path,” he said. more..

Pakistan whitewashes Sri Lanka 5-0

Oct 23 (CI) In a year in which Sri Lanka have continued to sink further into the depths of ODI ineptitude, they surely hit rock bottom today. In a performance that put an exclamation mark on their run of 12 straight ODI losses, they illustrated why they have struggled so badly in the format. They couldn't bat, dismissed for 103 in 26 overs. They couldn't bowl all that well, taking only one wicket as Pakistan cruised more..

Pakistan’s new envoy presents credentials

Oct 23 (PHC) High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat, presented his credentials to the President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Office today. During the audience with SL President, High Commissioner, Dr. Shahid Hashmat conveyed best wishes of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan to the President and people of Sri Lanka. He affirmed the desire to further strengthen political, economic and people-to-people relations with Sri Lanka. more..

Bond Commission’s term extended by 6 more weeks

Oct 23 (AD) The official term of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, appointed to investigation the issuance of treasury bonds, has been extended by 6 weeks for the submission of final reports. Lat week the commission had requested the President to extend its term as the recording evidence which commenced on January 27 was completed on October 17.  Hearings had been carried out on 120 days with 63 witnesses giving evidence before the Commission. more..

Political promises on war heroes offer no warranty internationally: UN expert

Oct 23 (AD) Transitional justice processes are nothing like ‘witch hunts’ and they do not involve massive purges, and do not trade on charges of collective responsibility or guilt by association, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence said. Mr. Pablo de Greiff made these observations at a press briefing held in Colombo today, more..

Of cyber-nationalism & Tea parties

Oct 24 (CT) 2017 is a year of anniversaries in South Asia: 70 years of Indian independence; 100th year of the abolition of indentured labour, and 150 years of Ceylon tea celebrated by the Sri Lanka Tea Board with the release of a silver coin and tea parties. Viewed as a new system of slavery that followed the official abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire in 1838, indentured labour migration was in turn abolished 100 years ago in 1917. By the time of its abolition, more..

Will this palanaya ever thank the lord?

Oct 24 (ST) Recent House of Lords debate attracted more than customary media coverage in SL. It is quite a long time since that has happened. One reason for this might well be that the Hansard report was made available to the media through external sources. This debate was initiated solely through the efforts of Lord Naseby who has been a consistent and politically unbiased supporter of SL over many years. This was particularly so when the LTTE and its cohorts were riding high in the UK. more..

Ladies’ College introduces interactive boards: All classrooms to become Smart

Oct 24 (SO) An enormous revolution in Sri Lankan education has taken place with the launch of smart classrooms for the whole school at Ladies’ College Colombo. Old Girls’ Association (OGA) of Ladies’ College Colombo launched the Smart Classrooms recently at the College Hall thus making a revolution in classroom teaching. It has become the first school in Sri Lanka to be fully equipped with interactive boards more..

Community divisions continue to dominate Sri Lanka’s political debate

Oct 24 (CT) The strident opposition to the govt’s constitutional reform process highlights the regrettable fact that the country’s ethnic divide continues to be serious. The opposition is claiming that the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee report is a formula to divide the country to accommodate sections of the international community. Former president Rajapaksa has urged the govt to abandon what he described as the destructive proposal for a new constitution. more..

The pot of gold at the end of Lankan Highways is real

Oct 24 (ST) The saying, “The former regime has forgotten why they were chased out and the present can’t remember why they were elected,” rings very true of Sri Lankan politics. This point was amply illustrated on Thursday, when an adjournment debate in Parliament on alleged corruption in awarding of contracts for highway projects, became a finger-pointing exercise, with each side blaming the other for mishandling these massive projects. The adjournment motion was moved by more..

'Suicide prevention: Sri Lanka has made best improvements'

Oct 24 (CT) Decisions taken by successive SL Govts to control the availability of highly toxic pesticides have led to SL suicide rates dropping by 70% from the mid-90s where the number reached an all-time high said Dr. Duleeka Knipe, a researcher from the Uni of Bristol, who has done extensive work on suicide and self-harm in Sri Lanka. Q: You have done extensive research on trends in suicides in Sri Lanka. more..

Extremism will strengthen the devil

Oct 24 (CT) When President Maithripala Sirisena ignored the advice of his security chief and ordered him to stop the vehicle to talk to protesters who were waving black flags in Jaffna last week, the protesters refused to talk to him. "We don't want any discussion" thundered the Northern Provincial Councillor, M.K. Sivajilingam. It can be safely said that the Northern Provincial Councillor wanted to gain some media attention at that time. Exasperated by this belligerence, more..

Editorial: Real leaders and others

Oct 24 (Island) No country can achieve progress without proper leadership. Alexander the Great it was who famously said he would not care a damn about an army of lions led by a sheep but was scared of an army of sheep led by a lion. Such was his regard for leadership! Unfortunately, in this part of the world leaders are sheep in lion’s clothing as it were. True leaders believe in less talk and more work, lead by example and are capable of inspiring and motivating their followers to more..

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