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British man arrested with Wallapatta in Fort

Oct 24 (AD) A British national has been arrested by police for the possession of more than 3.3 kilograms of Wallapatta (Grynops Walla). Police said that the 35-year-old suspect, who was staying at a hotel in Colombo Fort, was arrested this morning.  He was arrested following a search operation carried out based on information received by Fort Police. The suspect is to be produced at the Fort Magistrate’s Court today while Fort Police are conducting further investigations.  more..

අපේ රටේ ත්රිරෝද රථවල ගමනාගමනය භයානකද?

Bringing beedi into tax net can yield Rs. 40 b in revenue

Oct 24 (FT) Last week, the Financial Times quoted an AFP article that stated Sri Lanka will start regulating the toddy industry to boost tax revenues from the informal sector. This same principle should be applied to the beedi trade, which has also grown unabated due to govts turning a blind eye on these former cottage industries. We cannot eliminate tobacco or alcohol use amongst SL consumers. This is my firm belief based on feedback and evidence gathered during frequent research visits. more..

Case against Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera fixed for trial

Oct 24 (DN) The case against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid license was today fixed for trial on Nov 27 by Colombo High Court. When the case came up before High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne, first witness State Minister Wasantha Senanayake was not present in court but represented by a counsel. This is the first time in SL an accused had been indicted in the High Court by AG over an offence of possessing more..

2017 budget promises mostly concealed or breached: Research

Oct 24 (LBO) A research firm has found out that promises included in the 2017 budget shows poor action with over a half of key budget proposals remain weakest even in terms of information disclosure. Launching an online platform for tracking budget promises, think tank Verité Research said over 51% of the key budget promises lacks sufficient information to track their progress. The platform tracks the implementation of 37 more..

Video: National unity should not be infringed upon: Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana thero

Oct 24 (AD) Professor Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana thero stated that the current govt should in no way infringe upon the national unity that was established within Sri Lanka by implementing constitutional amendments that will be detrimental to national accord.  Wimalarathana Thero expressed these sentiments while speaking at the event held to announce the verdict of the Buddhist clergy on the steering committee report submitted on the constitution.  more..

US$ 45mn Saudi soft loan for Kaluganga irrigation project

Oct 24 (EN) Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has agreed to provide a concessional loan of 168.75 million rial (US$45 million) for Kaluganga river irrigation project to divert water to the dry zone. The Kaluganga Left Bank Development Project will result in the construction of the Kaluganga Reservoir, increase the capacity of Janaranjana Wewa, and augmentation of minor and medium tanks, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement. The project by the Ministry of Irrigation and more..

Divulapitiya shootout: PC member and 6 others remanded

Oct 24 (AD) The seven suspects arrested following the shootout with STF personnel in Divulapitiya yesterday, including UNP Western Provincial Council member Randeer Rodrigo, have been remanded until Nov 7 by the Minuwangoda Magistrate’s Court. Meanwhile the provincial councilor’s Indian wife, Harjot Kaur, who was also arrested yesterday, has been remanded until Oct 31 by Wattala Magistrate’s Court. more..

Rajitha orders equitable distribution of docs among govt hospitals

Oct 24 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne instructed his officials to ensure the equitable distribution of doctors among the state-run hospitals. During a conference with Provincial Health Directors at the National Blood Centre, Minister was informed by Provincial Directors of Health Services, that some hospitals did not have the required medical services to support even the operating theatres. Minister instructed his officials to cooperate with the PDHSs to solve the problem. more..

PRECIFAC requests extension of term limit

Oct 24 (DN) PRECIFAC has submitted a request to extend its term in order to prepare its report. PRECIFAC Secretary H.W. Gunadasa said they are yet to receive an official response regarding the request. The request for an extension was sent two weeks ago. Term of the Commission is due to end on Nov 3. Meanwhile, the PCoI investigating into the Treasury bond issue received an extension of six weeks to submit its report. Thus the new deadline for the report submission will be on Dec 8. more..

'Will take action on Wimal’s bomb remarks'

Oct 24 (NR) Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya has decided to conduct an investigation into a statement made by MP Wimal Weerawansa who reportedly claimed that Parliament should be attacked, if detrimental legislations were passed in the House. Yesterday, during an event, MP Weerawansa said the govt has passed several laws in Parliament that are damaging to the country. Addressing the event, MP said the govt is more..

Suspicion of pregnancy: HRC probes expulsion of school girl

Oct 24 (Island) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) said that it had launched an investigation into an incident where a Grade 10 female student was forcibly removed from a school in Kekirawa by the school authorities claiming that she was pregnant. HRC Media Spokesman Saliya Pieris said they would launch an investigation. Father of the victim H.M. Kiribanda said the girl had vomited in school due to hunger and the Principal had obtained a letter from parents of victim more..

Sri Lanka cautioned of electric vehicle battery disposal woes

Oct 24 (DM) Disposing of electric vehicle (EV) batteries could become a national issue in the medium to long-term without proper policies, as the first electric cars will begin to require replacements for their batteries shortly, an automobile industry stakeholder told a recent seminar. “We need proper disposal guidelines and measurements for EV batteries. Improper disposal will become toxic for the environment,” Associated Motorways (AMW) Deputy General Manager more..

Sri Lanka’s glyphosate ban seen driving demand for specialty fertilisers

Oct 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s ban on glyphosate could drive demand for high quality specialty fertilisers of the type sold by Unipower (Private) Limited (UPL), bought by agribusiness firm CIC Holdings PLC in a deal arranged by NDB Investment Bank Limited (NDBIB). “Specialty fertilisers offered by UPL help farmers increase crop yields, improve product quality and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices,” said NDBIB. more..

Financial donations for Buddhist Revival Fund handed over to President

Oct 24 (PSL) Financial donations were made to the Buddhist Revival Fund, establish under the Presidential Secretariat under the guidance of President Sirisena for the development of deprived rural temples that are in need of assistance, at the Presidential Secretariat, today (23). During this event, financial donations made by several institutions, including venerable monks, State and Non Governmental Organizations were officially handed over to the President. more..

Gazette to facilitate LG polls to be issued next week: Faiszer

Oct 24 (AD) Minister Faiszer Musthapha says that the Gazette notification to facilitate LG elections, to be held in January, will be issued next week.  He stated that the opinions of political parties were obtained today with regard to amending the act and that a certain agreement was reached with regard to Nuwara-Eliya and Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabhas. Minister stated that they are targeting to hold the election in January next year by gazetting the bill next week.  more..

Stringent legal action against racketeers who destroy forests & jungles: President

Oct 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says stringent legal action will be taken against racketeers who destroy forests and jungles. The government has paid its special attention to preserve the forest resource of the country and the government will take every possible action to achieve that without any delay, he said. He made these remarks addressing the 27th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) more..

MR won’t give up SLFP membership: Basil

Oct 24 (CT) Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Party's (SLPP) campaigner leader Basil Rajapaksa says that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will not give up his SLFP membership as projected by some politicians. He said that Mahinda Rajapaksa is not going to give up the SLFP membership now, but added that there are several SLFPers who are in the process of joining the SLPP. "Local Govt elections and thereafter the Pradeshiya Sabha elections, etc, are lined up. more..

Deepavali celebrated in New York

Oct 24 (GDI) The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York hosted a Deepavali celebration on 21st Oct at the Mission premises. The event brought together members of Sri Lanka’s Hindu community and those of different faiths in the Tri-State area as well as representatives from other Permanent Missions including the Permanent Representative of Mauritius and the Deputy Permanent Representatives of India and Nepal. The event commenced with more..

UN and Ministry of Education launch SDG Action Campaign on 72nd UN Day

Oct 24 (UN) UN and Ministry of Education, in partnership with Hatton National Bank launched the SDG Action Campaign at a press conference held in Colombo today. In 2015, countries adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030. more..

Saudi-funded SR100m epilepsy hospital opens in Colombo today

Oct 24 (AN) President Maithripala Sirisena will open a 242-bed epilepsy hospital, which is fully funded by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), in Colombo on Tuesday. The $26.7 million, 10-story hospital consists of a surgical theater, an intensive care unit, a high-dependency unit, 242-bed male and female wards, and an auditorium for capacity building for the country’s medical staff. The SFD recently financed an additional SR48 million to buy all necessary equipment more..

LG Polls before Feb: JVP

Oct 24 (NR) The JVP says the Local Govt Election will be held before the end of January 2018. Speaking at a function in Matale the leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said there is not further requirement to delay the election. He said, “Individuals are questioning whether the LG Election will be held or not. The election will be held on either the 20th or 27th of January. All Parliament proceedings have been completed, the electoral system was changed, more..

FM trying to reduce tax on liquor: GMOA

Oct 24 (DM) GMOA accused the Finance Ministry of attempting to reduce the tax on liquor through the 2018 budget and said this would encourage the liquor use. It said despite the national policy of the country which is to prevent the easy access to liquor, Finance Ministry was attempting reduce tax with the intention of promoting the tourism sector. GMOA spokesman said the Finance Ministry’s move would destroy the values of more..

Sri Lanka: Towards 3.6 million arrivals

Oct 25 (SO) Tourism being one of the top foreign exchange earners for Sri Lanka, there is an expectation that tourist arrivals would increase sharply over the next few years. Now the international ratings agency Fitch expects Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% over the next four years (2016: 14%), driven primarily by the rapid increase in the inflow from Indian and Chinese markets. more..

Violent monks & Buddha’s dispensation

Oct 25 (GV) The world is going from bad to worse, day by day; with the spread of conflict, terrorism, political instability, poverty and impending economic crises spreading like wind. At times, the interpretation of religious teachings too cause controversy and can wreak havoc. However, above all Buddhism is purely based on nonviolence. Yet, in countries such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tibet a group of monks (not all of them) have been behaving in a violent manner, more..

Housing bonanza for plantation workers

Oct 25 (SO) National Unity Govt’s program of granting ownership of single houses and seven perches of land to plantation workers will take off on October 29, Sunday, marking a watershed in their long-aggrieved life as a socially isolated community. President and PM together with Minister Palani Thigambaram will hand over the title deeds, to 3,000 plantation families at Dunbar Grounds in Hatton, rolling out the second phase of the Govt’s more..

A Cabinet turned Blue

Oct 25 (SO) If it were not for the Greens the Blues would have been out with a begging bowl protesting for everything and nothing, attempting to prolong the inevitable death with Mara and his cohorts. But then again, if it were not for the Blue man, the Greens had little or no chance of defeating Mara and the Cohorts in the first place isn’t it?. Simplistic I know, but Siripala is simplistic. You don’t need the theory of Di-anne to understand political realities do we?. A trishaw driver would give you more..

Constitutional reform: A review of the proposal on public security

Oct 25 (CT) Public security and its emergency law accompaniment are tools that can in many instances legalise executive action which would otherwise be considered illegal under the rule of law.  This two part article is aimed at critiquing the proposal of the Steering Committee for Constitutional reforms relating to Public Security and the existing law on the subject. The focus would be on abuse of authority and the protection of fundamental rights of the citizens. more..

'Cannot ignore Missing Persons issue: Current govt will be sent home'

Oct 25 (CT) TNA Vanni District MP and central committee member of the EPRLF Sivasakthy Ananthan said, southern politicians are of the view that if the recommendations in the interim report are implemented, the country will be divided. This is completely a political drama to safeguard their vote bank. "Southern politicians know very well that the interim report has nothing beneficial for us. These fake campaigns will never affect more..

Sangha and Nation’s affairs

Oct 25 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hysterical reaction to the announcement by the Joint Working Committee of the Nikaya of their opposition to the proposed constitution clearly showed his increasing annoyance with the forthright opinions of the Sangha on matters of the state. The govt seems to be blaming everyone else but itself for their inability to win the approval of the Sangha or the general public, for that matter, for its foreign and NGO driven action agenda. more..

Editorial: Greiff gives govt grief

Oct 25 (Island) Recalling the yahapalana leaders’ much-touted, pre-election claim that they had the backing of some rich, powerful members of the international community, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has asked where those friends are today. He has said the govt is now left without anyone to turn to for aid. He is deriving some perverse pleasure from the govt’s plight though he himself is a beneficiary of yahaalanaya. It is said that nothing is so freely given as advice. more..

Mahinda Amaraweera

That the constitution allows enforced disappearances is a big lie

Oct 25 (CT) This article is a response to an article titled International Convention on Enforced Disappearances violates the Constitution published in The Island of 22nd Oct, written by Neville Ladduwahetty. The crux of the argument in that article is that the definition of enforced disappearances as contained in the International Convention on Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances is inconsistent with the Constitution of Sri Lanka. more..

Budget 2018: Achieving revenue enhanced fiscal deficit target critical

Oct 25 (ST) The overriding objective of the 2018 budget should be to achieve a reduced fiscal deficit, while enhancing revenue, increasing expenditure on social and economic infrastructure and reducing wasteful expenditure. The prospect of achieving the fiscal deficit target should not be hijacked by politically motivated increased expenditure in the coming election year. It is vital that the 2018 budget and its implementation achieves the targeted fiscal deficit of 4.6% of GDP by more..

World Export Development Forum kicks off in Hungary today

Oct 25 (FT) The 2017 edition of the annual World Export Development Forum (WEDF) kicks off today in Budapest, Hungary under the theme Trade – A Force for Good: Include, Innovate, Integrate. The event, which Sri Lanka hosted last year, brings together over 500 business leaders, ministers and other policymakers, heads of trade and investment support institutions, and leaders of international agencies to share latest trends more..

Implications of UK's refusal to release evidence

Oct 25 (Island) British parliament was told, on Oct 12, 2017 that V Prabhakaran killed Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah in 1973. The statement was made by Michael Morris, Baron Naseby PC, during a debate on Sri Lanka. Having declared that he launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, way back in 1975, the politician urged Theresa May's govt to review its policy as regards post-war accountability process in relation to the Geneva Resolution adopted on Oct 1, 2015. more..

Sri Lanka-china relations and the rules-based international order

Oct 25 (Island) According to a study at a French Institute of International Studies (IRIS) reported in Asia Focus #36 (June 2017), it seems that Ethiopia for one, has benefited to the tune of US$ 380 bn (two road construction projects and upgrading the electric grid system) for a start. Obviously they feel they can benefit even further, since they plan to develop this relationship in infrastructure, minerals and technology in the future. There are many others. In Asia, the Philippines is apparently more..

Most people do two jobs to survive: Poll

Oct 25 (ST) Sri Lankans see little or no improvement in their living standards, the level of corruption or transparency, according to an email poll conducted recently. This was one of two opinion polls jointly conducted by Research Consultancy Bureau last week. While the results of the street poll undertaken by RCB were published last week, the result of the email poll, held up due to a shortage of space, is released today. more..

Sri Lanka in foreign pop culture

Oct 25 (Roar) While we locals know how great Sri Lanka can be, on a global scale our pearl of the Indian Ocean is a miniscule insignificant dot dwarfed by giants. so it comes as no surprise that no one really knows about us. What they do know has made the island seem like this otherworldly exotic location, which is made all the more clear when Sri Lanka gets referenced in any TV show or movie from the West, or sometimes even the East. Even if it is ridiculous, it still brings more..

SLBA banned once again: Will deprive players taking part internationally

Oct 25 (CT) Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) was once again banned yesterday by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the world governing body for Badminton. An international ban was first imposed on the SLBA in July of 2015 due to political interference and now another international ban has come into effect from 24 October. General Secretary of the BWF Thomas Lund had informed the SLBA in a letter containing his signature yesterday. more..