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National carrier or a plaything of the board

Oct 3 (ST) From where does the UNP, the major partner of the yahapalanaya govt, produce such wunder kinder? Since King Kekille made his remarkable contributions to jurisprudence we have not seen much original thought except perhaps in our great institution by the Oya which will soon be celebrating its 70th anniversary. That is until now. Today we have men of many words strutting around like politically-anointed popinjays. The other day the great pundits in charge of education are more..

War, Doom and Re-generation

Oct 3 (Island) During the last 12 months three scholarly books have come out and my title refers to them. Each of them deserves a detailed review and they may appear soon in learned journals. My objective here is to bring them to the attention of the local reader and to celebrate this season of mellow fruitfulness of scholarship in a land given more commonly to fruitless sterility. Besides, Obeyesekere clearly says, ‘… I am directing this book primarily to Sri Lankan readers. more..

Rohingya refugee attack : Extremists in another botched attempt

Oct 3 (SO) An indiscriminately dumped garbage bag near Templers Road, Mt. Lavinia last week almost led to an intense communal clash between the Sinhalese and Muslims. The masses refused to fall into the extremists’ provocations and act mindlessly but the siege left enough room to tarnish the image of the vast majority of peace loving Buddhists in the country. The incident erupted when residents near Templers Road took up more..

Inability to attract higher FDI serious constraint on economic growth

Oct 3 (ST) If there is one economic issue on which there is little or no controversy, it is the country’s need for foreign direct investment (FDI). As non-controversial is the fact that FDI inflows into the country are extremely inadequate. This inability to attract higher amounts of FDI is a serious concern and constraint on economic growth. Neither the end of the civil war eight years ago, nor the change of regime two and a half years ago have turned the tide in favour of increased FDI inflows. more..

Attack on the Rohingya refugee safe house: A shameful act contrary to SL values

Oct 3 (CT) The unseemly incident at the UNHCR safe house at Mt. Lavinia last week where the 30 Rohingya Refugees had been located highlights the fact that the seeds of racism planted during the time of the previous regime have still not been uprooted. Apart from the fact that the purveyors of hate like Sinhala Ravaya, Ravana Balaya and Bodu Bala Sena are lurking in the background making use of every opportunity to stoke the flames of religious and racial hate, more..

'PC Elections Amendment Act: The end of national politics'

Oct 3 (CT) The CaFFE has been one of the most vocal critics of the Provincial Councils Elections Amendment Act which was passed last week. Ceylon Today spoke to CaFFE Executive Director, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon about the reasons why they oppose this Bill and the manner in which it was passed. Q: Almost all election monitoring organizations have been extremely critical about the manner in which the govt passed more..

Winners in postponement of PC elections 

Oct 3 (CT) The relatively smooth manner in which the govt succeeded in postponing the forthcoming provincial council elections, in the aftermath of its failure to pass the 20th Amendment, is an indicator of the weakness of the Joint Opposition. They were neither able to challenge the govt in parliament nor mobilize public sentiment on the issue. It has been left to a retired chief justice to file his own individual action in the courts. The question is why the JO, which has over 50 MPs in parliament more..

Editorial:  Sin City carnage

Oct 3 (Island) The IRA, following an abortive attempt to assassinate Margaret Thatcher, told her chillingly they had to be lucky only once and she had to be lucky always. It was no empty rhetoric. The civilised world has to be lucky always in its fight against savage terrorists whose sole purpose of being is to inflict untold suffering on fellow humans in the name of some macabre causes. Unlike in the past when it was thought that terrorism was a plague troubling only the Global South, more..

ළමා දිනය සැමරීමෙන් පලක් ඇති ද?

Vithya rape and murder judgement: Suspicion over Vijayakala’s actions

Oct 3 (SL) The judgement delivered last week into the rape and murder of Sivaloganathan Vithya raised suspicions over the actions of State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran. High Court Judge N. Illancheliyan, in his ruling, noted that Maheswaran had taken steps to secure the release of the main accused when he was captured by residents following the rape and murder. Illanchelliyan also said that Maheswaran did not take any measures to have the accused identified as Swiss Kumar more..

Perera no-ball was heart in the mouth experience for Chandimal

Oct 3 (Island) In recent times, Sri Lanka have had little luck in international cricket. A dropped catch pushed them out of the Champions Trophy while injury to Asela Gunaratne in the first session of the Test series in Galle against India took momentum completely away from them. Bad luck was again staring at them in Abu Dhabi yesterday. With Pakistan on 111 for nine, SL looked to have sealed the game when Kusal Mendis took a catch at short leg to dismiss Yasir Shah. more..

Sri Lanka’s long awaited LNG discovery to come into operation by 2021

Oct 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to commercialize the natural gas discoveries in one of the gas blocks in the Mannar Basin by 2021, Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) said in a recently launched Petroleum Exploration Development Plan. “The economic analysis of these two discoveries indicates a very competitive gas price and about 11 oil and gas companies including few major exploration more..

Exports to reach US$ 11.1 bn by year end

Oct 3 (DN) There is an increase in exports and if the same trend continues exports will reach US$ 11.1 billion by the end of this year, said President National Chamber of Exporters, Ramal Jasinghe speaking at their 25th awards ceremony. In a marathon speech of over half an hour which put a section of the audience to sleep, he said that assuming a growth rate of 10% over the next 3 years exports could reach US$ 15 billion by 2020 as opposed to the national target of US$ 20 b more..

Iraj’s Danuna draws flak

Oct 3 (SL) Iraj Weeraratne’s new song Danuna has drawn flak after it seemed to reflect the recent developments in the life of veteran artiste Victor Ratnayake. The music video shows an older man played by actor Wilson Karu falling in love with a young girl played by Piumi Hansamali after his wife passes away. In the music video, the family of the older man express outrage at their father deciding to marry a young girl. The video shows some sensual scenes between the man and girl more..

Hard work, belief and trust brought us victory: Chandimal

Oct 3 (DN) Test captain Dinesh Chandimal said that hard work, belief and trust his players had with each other brought them the dramatic 21-run win over Pakistan in the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. “The guys worked hard before the match and finally that hard work paid off,” said Chandimal. “As a team, we were below par in our performances, but we had waited for this win and finally we got it. Credit goes to all the players. more..

JICA’s assistance ensures motoring safety on Southern Expressway

Oct 3 (Island) Motorists on the Southern expressway, apart from enjoying the drive, are now assured of enroute safety. The Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) convened a special press briefing at the Gelanigama Interchange on the Southern Expressway recently. System and Network Engineer Nuwan Jayasuriya said the Gelanigama Interchange Control Centre was functional since 2015 and was on the assistance programme of the Japanese govt through JICA. more..

Sri Lanka discusses Megapolis financing with European Investment Bank

Oct 3 (LBO) Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has participated in a discussion with Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) to evaluate the possibility of entering into a financing agreement for several major infrastructure development projects for Megapolis Ministry. Foreign Minister met with the Vice President of EIB, Andrew McDowell with other senior officials at the bank’s headquarters during an official visit to Luxembourg on 27th Sept. This was the first visit of a SL Foreign Minister to more..

China wants end to geopolitical competition in Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (Island) China has called for an end to geopolitical competition in SL, pointing out that all countries should work to promote mutual development. Chinese Ambassador to SL, Yi Xianliang, addressing a ceremony to mark the 68th anniversary of the founding of Republic of China, said that China would maximise the synergy of each other’s development strategies under 21st Century Maritime Silk Road framework, more..

Mohan new Singer SL Chairman, Dhammika Co-Chairman

Oct 3 (FT) Following the momentous acquisition of Singer (SL) by Hayleys Plc, Hayleys CEO Mohan Pandithage was appointed Chairman of Singer (SL) and Co-Chairman Hayleys Plc Dhammika Perera was appointed Co-Chairman of Singer (SL). These appointments are effective from 2 Oct and come in the wake of the landmark acquisition made by Hayleys Plc and its subsidiaries recently. Both of these respected corporates collectively account for a market presence of over 280 years. more..

JKH buys 334 perches of Colombo 2 land from Cargills for Rs. 4.2 b

Oct 3 (FT) In a move reinforcing its bullishness in the real estate and property business, premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) has bought an estimated 334 perches of Colombo 2 land from Cargills Group for Rs. 4.2 billion last week. Cargills (Ceylon) Plc said its fully-owedn subsidiary Dawson Office Complex Ltd. disposed its investment properties at Dawson Street and Vauxhall Street, Colombo 2 for Rs. 4.2 billion to Vauxhall Land Developments Ltd. more..

PHU unhappy about status given to Buddhism

Oct 3 (DM) PHU said the Interim Report of the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reforms had craftily challenged the foremost status given to Buddhism despite the assurance given by MP Jayampathy Wickramaratne. PHU Leader, Udaya Gammanpila said according to Dr. Wickramaratne the foremost status given to Buddhism had not been harmed. “Sangha including the Mahanayakes say the prominence more..

Bathiudeen flays Wild Life officials: Mercy for wild life, people damned

Oct 3 (CT) Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said that officials show more mercy and sympathy for the wild life in the Musali-Mannar region while opting to ignore the plight of the people living in the area. Minister made these remarks during a visit to the area by Wild Life Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera recently. Minister Perera was in the area to gather a firsthand account on the controversy surrounding alleged land grabs at forest reserves in the region. more..

CA defers appeal against Tangalle murder case verdict for Feb

Oct 3 (FT) The Court of Appeal deferred the hearings for the appeal petitions filed by the Attorney General as well as the convicts over the Tangalle murder case judgment of the High Court for 5 and 6 February next year. The bench comprised Justices Devika De Tennakoon and S. Thurairaja. Four convicts - former Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Vidanapathirana, Lahiru Kalum, Saman Deshapriya and Prageeth Chaturanga - had been found guilty of killing British tourist Khuram Sheikh, more..

Malwatte Mahanayake tells Dinesh : Prez, PM’s assurances on constitution sufficient

Oct 3 (DN) President and PM had said the proposed new Constitution would safeguard the country’s unitary status and the pre-eminent place afforded to Buddhism. Therefore, the country can rely and place confidence on the assurances given by them, Malwatte Mahanayake Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera said. “When the two leaders ruling the country have given such an assurance there is no point in more..

Sea Food exports rise

Oct 3 (CT) Following the removal of the fishery export ban imposed on Sri Lanka by the EU which was the main reason behind the considerable improvement sea food exports. According to Central Bank data, sea food exports from Sri Lanka have seen a significant growth this year. According to recent data released by the Central Bank, sea food exports have grown by 40.6% during the first seven months of this year compared to the corresponding time period last year. more..

Doubtful times for debentures

Oct 3 (ST) Upcoming debentures will be challenged by the recent changes in the tax structure in the new Inland Revenue Act, analysts say. Under the earlier law, tax on debt listings was exempt but now it’s taxable. Analysts say that earlier people bought debentures as it was tax free but now it will be a deterrent for future debentures. Analysts point out that also with the low yield of 12.5% for subordinated 5-year debentures a low appetite for these debt listings was to be expected. more..

JVP Leader sings different tune, tries to justify voting with govt

Oct 3 (Island) JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that what Sri Lanka needed at present was a serious dialogue on vital issues rather than stories about politicians and gossip. The country was in chaos and it could be salvaged only by means of a serious discussion and proper planning, he said. He said stories about Ravi Karunanayake, Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, no-confidence motions etc. were a waste of time in the present context more..

Defamatory case filed by Hudson Samarasinghe fixed for trial

Oct 3 (DN) A lawsuit filed by former SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe against Nirmala de Alwis, wife of late SL radio and TV broadcaster and lyricist Premakeerthi de Alwis, claiming Rs. 500 million as damages for an alleged defamatory statement, was fixed for trial on January 19 by Colombo District Court. Meanwhile, Colombo District Court rejected a request made by the plaintiff that the lawsuit should not proceed with the facts pertaining to the murder of Premakeerthi de Alwis. more..

Navy orders probe after fisherman dies in collision

Oct 3 (CT) The Navy has launched a probe after a Fast Attack Craft Dvora collided with a fishing vessel killing one person at a location in the high seas off Karainagar on Saturday night. Navy Spokesman Commander Lankanatha Dissanayake said that the collision occurred when the Naval vessel was escorting a fleet of Indian fishing boats that had been released from Karainagar Naval Base. "Dvora was cruising at a speed of 6 knots when the collision occurred at around 8.30 pm," he said. more..

Mahendran says he did not take oath of office as CB Governor

Oct 3 (Island) Arjuna Mahendran told the PCoI investigating the Treasury bond scams that he had not taken the oath of public servants when he assumed duties as the Governor of the Central Bank. Mahendran said that he had not been aware of such a protocol. Nor those who appointed him to the post had informed him of it. Mahendran said so in response to questions raised by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera PC. more..

Travel ban on Aloysius et al

Oct 3 (CT) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday banned Perpetual Treasuries Ltd owner Arjun Aloysius and three other officials of the company, namely CEO Kasun Palisena, Technical Officer Nuwan Indika Salgadu and Sachith Madusanka Devathanthri from leaving the country. The Court issued the travel ban on a request made by the CID, who filed a 'B' report, in connection with the altering and destroying the data in the telecom system of the PTL, according to a complaint more..

Waqar urges Sri Lanka to help Pakistan

Oct 3 (Island) Former Pakistan cricket captain Waqar Younis has urged Sri Lanka to help revive the game in his country by touring Lahore later this month. The last match of the current bilateral series – a T-20 International – has been scheduled for Lahore, subject to security clearance. Pakistan has seen little cricket over the last eight years since the Sri Lankan team bus came under a terrorist attack injuring several players and support staff. "My message to SL players is that doesn’t worry. more..

Bond scams probe: Mahendran admits PM ordered auction method

Oct 3 (Island) Former Governor of CB Arjuna Mahendran, testifying before the PCoI, said it was PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who had instructed him to issue Treasury bonds only through public auctions. He said PM Wickremesinghe had instructed him to stop direct placement and he (Mahendran) had, on Feb 27, 2015, instructed the Public Debt Department to do so. Mahendran said PM had directed him to stop direct placement more..

Trinity rugger player dies after collapsing during marathon warm-up

Oct 3 (Island) A rugger player of Trinity College, Kandy during a marathon warm-up collapsed and died four hours later after admission to Kandy General Hospital on Sunday 01. The deceased was Bharatha Ekanayake (17), a Grade 12 student. Bharatha and the team had started the run from Asgiriya to proceed to Pallekele Rugger Grounds, a distance of 12 km. He collapsed near Pallekele. The post-mortem examination has been fixed for Tuesday 03. more..

Special session in Parliament today

Oct 3 (DN) There will be a special session in Parliament today, to mark the 70th anniversary of Parliamentary democracy flourishing in Sri Lanka. Parliament established prior to independence under the Soulbury Constitution, was the legislative body of British Ceylon and Dominion of Ceylon, replacing the State Council. The First Parliament, the House of Representatives of then Ceylon, ceremonially met at the inaugural session on Oct 14, 1947 at the Independence Square with Prince Henry, more..

Mahendran mauled by more grilling

Oct 3 (FT) Ending last week’s respite, former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran faced further intense questioning, as Acting Solicitor General Dappula de Livera recommenced his cross-examination of the former CBSL chief on a number of matters at the PCoI investigating the matter. Among the suggestions made to the witness by the senior legal official was that the former Governor had contradicted his own testimony regarding more..

River Basin Authority: A must to fight climate change

Oct 3 (DM) The alarming 42% drop in rice production in the past six months compared to that of last year, the death of nearly 200,000 coconut trees and the failure of a slew of other crops during the same season, have put country’s food security in jeopardy. The onslaught by climate change no doubt is playing havoc with the sustenance of Sri Lanka’s population. The jacking up of coconut prices to Rs.100 and the steep rise in rice prices are just the tip of the iceberg.  more..

Is Buddhist extremism less dangerous than other extremisms?

Oct 3 (DM) Last week’s extremist monks-led mob attack on a safe house for Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia marked a dangerous new low in Buddhist extremism in Sri Lanka. Some govt ministers had the guts to condemn it. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, described the attackers as a group of thugs in robes. Minister Rajitha Seneratne denounced the monks who carried out the attack as animals. The JVP in a statement called it an attack on humanity.    more..

'Govt bracing for referendum on new Constitution'

Oct 3 (DM) The Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella, in an interview with the, said that amendments were incorporated into the Provincial Councils Elections act in keeping with the Standing Orders after consulting the Attorney General. Kiriella, who is also the Highways and Higher Education Minister, said that there is nothing wrong in the procedure adopted by the Govt as a result. Following are excerpts of the interview.   more..

'Govt circumvented Referendum in enacting law to delay PC Polls'

Oct 3 (DM) In the wake of the enactment of the new Act postponing Provincial Council Elections, former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris of the JO spoke about its implications. Q: How do you view the procedure adopted in the enactment of this legislation?   A: We are today in the throes of a constitutional crisis. This goes far beyond party politics. It strikes at the very root of our constitutional system. It involves franchise. more..