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SL hits world record in attempted suicides

Oct 28 (ST) A significant number of suicide cases in Sri Lanka are associated with depression and alcohol dependence, with 60% of the victims being males. In separate studies done by the Medical Faculty of the Peradeniya University and the Chilaw General Hospital, it has been found that a majority of the men who took their lives or attempted to do so were alcohol dependents. Consultant Psychiatrist & Peradeniya University lecturer more..

Palanisamy writes to PM, urges to get fishermen, boats released from Lanka

Oct 28 (DC) As many 46 fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been apprehended between September and October by the SL Navy for allegedly fishing into its water, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami told PM Narendra Modion Friday and sought his intervention to get them released. He said 46 fishermen and nine mechanised fishing boats who set sail for fishing from Ramanathapuram & Pudukottai Districts more..

Tainted food, fruit, veggies, and cooking oil galore

Oct 28 (ST) Thousands of cases of food unfit for human consumption are being detected every year in Sri Lanka, food safety officials say. From an estimated 20,000 cases a year, about 25% relate to food items which are not fit for consumption, deputy director general of environmental, occupational health and food safety, Dr Lakshman Gamlath said. The numbers would be higher if only detections could be increased. more..

Norochcholai coal dust nightmare: Relief may be in sight for victims

Oct 28 (ST) Clouds of coal dust continue to choke the lives of helpless people living with an environmental death sentence in the vicinity of the Norochcholai coal power plant built by the Chinese. But some relief may be in sight from the pollution caused by project developed by CEB. Inhaling coal dust can cause bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, emphysema, and heart disease among other things. Dust blackens whole villages. more..

PM shifts to election mode, opposition scrambles

Oct 28 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has pressed for holding the much delayed local council elections in January in a move that has taken the  Joint Opposition off guard. The election due in mid 2015 was delayed because the previous administration had failed to complete legislation to conduct local govt polls under a hybrid system replacing proportional representation. However, the new govt too dragged its feet in more..

Sri Lanka starts tourism training for youth in former war zone

Oct 28 (EN) The state-run Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management has opened a hospitality training facility in the northern city of Jaffna to train youth in the former war zone to take up jobs in the rapidly growing hotel industry. Dozens of new hotels have opened up in the northern region in the recent past and many more are under construction at present, the Ministry of Tourism Development said in a statement. more..

FR Against ac and bond commission: Two Judges decline to take Bench

Oct 28 (DN) Two Supreme Court Judges among a three-judge-Bench declined to sit on the Bench regarding the fundamental rights petition filed by a senior manager of the Central Bank’s Public Debt Department who challenged the activities of several members of AG’s Department during interrogations pertaining to the PCoI into Treasury Bond issuance. Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice Priyantha Jayawardena declined to sit on the Bench more..

Drought and Unemployment

Oct 28 (CT) This newspaper reported that the unemployment rate increased to 4.5% and the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) dropped to 53.9% in the first half (1H) of the year, compared to the performances of those indicators at end first quarter (1Q). As a result, the total number of unemployed in absolute terms, 1Q over 2H rose from 352,875 to 380,594, an increase of 27,719 (7.86%), while the LFPR fell from 8,583,082 to 8,519,322, a decline of 63,760 (0.74%) more..

90 years of democratic evolution

Oct 28 (FT) Ninety years ago, on 13 Nov 1927, the Donoughmore Commission was set up to bring forth a worthy change that would satisfy all parties in Sri Lanka. The end result was universal franchise amid a fully-functional democratic structure. Lord Donoughmore, who was instrumental in bringing forth that change, was renowned for another reason. He was a liberal peer who championed the cause of women’s rights to university education. It was his ambition to introduce more..

ගුවන් හමුදා කෞතුකාගාරය

Two Lankan gold smugglers caught by Indian Customs

Oct 28 (Island) In yet another detection of gold smuggling, Indian customs on Thursday caught two Sri Lankan passengers smuggling gold at the Visakhapatnam airport. The IE report said: They arrived from Colombo by Sri Lankan Airlines flight UL-159. The accused, Shareefdeen Mohamed Mahroof, was carrying two pieces of gold in the abdomen, who after interrogation was shifted to King George Hospital to bring out the gold from the stomach under medical supervision. more..

Man extra-judicially shot to death by STF

Oct 28 (CT) Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information concerning Kushan Cooray (35) of the Minuwangoda Police Division in the Gampaha District. He was extra-judicially killed by Officers attached to STF of the SL Police Department. The victim was shot dead by the Officers while he was travelling in a vehicle with his friends. However, Police defended their action stating that the victim and his friends posed a threat to their lives by firing on them first. more..

'Proud of T20 team despite losing series'

Oct 28 (CI) Coach Nic Pothas is looking at their dismal streak of losing seven straight limited-overs matches in the UAE as "five defeats and two good games". When Sri Lanka lost a thrilling T20 on Friday night in Abu Dhabi by two wickets, it was their 15th consecutive loss in limited-overs matches, having last won a match in ODIs or T20Is in July against Zimbabwe. They have won Tests since then - one against Zimbabwe and two against Pakistan more..

NBRO issues landslide warnings as rains continue

Oct 28 (DM) National Building Research Organization (NBRO) yesterday issued landslide warnings for the Kandy and Nuwara-Eliya Districts as heavy rainfall was experienced in several areas of the country. The NBRO warned of landslides taking place if the inclement weather worsens in the coming days. Warnings were issued in Ududumbara and Medadumbara divisional secretariat areas in the Kandy District and in the Hanguranketha DS area in the Nuwara-Eliya District. more..

Special Envoy Foreign Minister Marapana attends Royal Cremation

Oct 28 (MFA) As the Special Envoy of President Maithripala Sirisena, who paid his personal respects on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October last year, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana together with Madam Stella Marapana, attended the Royal Cremation ceremony held on 26 Oct. Minister Marapana  and his spouse joined the elaborate and solemn occasion in Bangkok led by His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and more..

A House divided by hairpin-bends on Highways

Oct 28 (ST) An adjournment debate was held in Parliament on Thursday (19) on the ongoing Highway projects and the problems associated with them. The motion was moved by the JVP. Members from both the Govt and the Opposition participated. Following are extracts of some of the views expressed. Minister Sarath Amunugama: Both sides agree that development of roads and highways is a necessity. more..

Public funds put to good use now: Justice Minister

Oct 28 (DN) The govt has endeavoured to cut down state expenditure unlike the previous regime which wasted public money on personal aggrandisement, Minister Thalatha Athukorale said. She also pointed out that both President and PM are exemplary in creating a culture where politicians do not waste public money for their personal well-being. She made these observations at a ceremony marking the commencement of concreting Kurudukolaniya road in Karawita. more..

Sri Lanka sells bunker fuel at Hambantota Port ahead of handover to China

Oct 28 (EN) Sri Lanka is to sell stocks of bunker fuel stored at a terminal in Hambantota Port, ahead of its handover to a Chinese company. The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to sell the fuel stocks to Inter-Ocean Energy (Pvt) Ltd, after calling for quotations, the state information office said. The bunker terminal had stocks of 13,500 metric tonnes of marine gas oil and 648 tonnes of IFO-380 CST fuel oil for US$ 3.228 million. more..

NPC to submit charge sheets against Tangalle ASP

Oct 28 (AD) National Police Commission has decided to submit charge sheets against Tangalle ASP Thushara Daluwatte who assaulted a detained prisoner who was involved in the Hmabantota protests that occurred on Oct 6.   Secretary to the commission Ariyadasa Cooray stated that the charge sheets will be submitted according to the report compiled by the 3-person committee that investigated into incident. more..

Iranian President stresses expansion of banking ties with Sri Lanka

Oct 28 (FNA) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined the necessity for the development of all-out ties between Tehran and Colombo, specially in the trade and banking sectors. President Rouhani made the remarks in a meeting with new Sri Lankan Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Sharif Anis on Saturday. He also expressed the hope that the Iranian and Sri Lankan officials' efforts would lead to the further expansion of relations and cooperation between the two countries. more..

More employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in Korea

Oct 28 (Island) Govt has decided to extend the MoU with Korea which provides employment opportunities to Sri Lankans. Minister Thalatha Athukorale said that the Cabinet had on Tuesday, approved a proposal by her to extend by two years, MoU with the Republic of Korea to send workers under the Employment Permit System. The agreement first signed in 2015 ensured transparency and efficiency in the process of selecting prospective employees, she added. more..

'Fiscal Responsibility Management Bill soon'

Oct 28 (DN) CB Governor Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy revealed a host of policy frameworks planned to institutionalise sustained and sound macro-economic policies. He said a strong legal and accountability framework will be embedded with them, that in extreme cases the CB Governor will have to resign. He was delivering the keynote speech at the 32nd SL Economic Association Annual Sessions at the Auditorium of more..

Basil’s GI pipes case fixed for Jan 25

Oct 28 (DN) A case filed against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former Director General of Divi Neguma Department Kithsiri Ranawaka for allegedly misappropriating Rs.36.5 million of funds belonging to the Divi Neguma Department was yesterday fixed for January 25 by Colombo High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyanthuduwa. Court was informed that the defence was yet to receive several documents pertaining to the indictments including the statements of prosecution witnesses. more..

Police crackdown on PCs with mob connections

Oct 28 (CT) Organized Crime Detection Bureau attached to the Police Department has launched probes against Provincial Councillors who allegedly maintain links with the underworld and thereby bring about a negative impact on the reconciliation efforts between the North and the South. A probe had already been initiated against a UPFA Kaduwela Municipal Council member, who had been allegedly maintaining contacts with the Colombo underworld for some time. more..

CEB engineers pull the plug on Govt.’s power plant plans

Oct 28 (ST) The Govt’s plans to procure emergency power plants vital to avert a potential power crisis in 2018-2019 suffered a blow after CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) decided to withdraw from all Technical Evaluation Committees (TECs) in charge of power plant procurement.The CEBEU’s move marks an escalation of trade union action launched last month amid a bitter dispute over the CEB’s Long Term Power Generation Plan. more..

Death row prisoner to sit for his Masters

Oct 28 (DM) Indika Bamunusinghe, who is on death row, has obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science from Sri J'pura University and is now preparing to sit for his Masters at the Kelaniya University, Welikada Prisons Superintendent Chandana Ekanayake said. He said the request made by the inmate to register in the faculty of Social Science at the Kelaniya University to sit for his masters was endorsed by Prisons Commissioner General Nishantha Dhanasinghe. more..

SL housemaid returns after 17 years in Saudi

Oct 28 (DM) A Sri Lankan maid, who has remained in Saudi Arabia for 17 years, had returned to Sri Lanka yesterday after being paid her salary, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said. Media Secretary Nalin Rajapaksa said K.G. Kusumawathi, a resident of Abanpola in Atawarala went to Saudi Arabia in 2000. “She has worked in a remote desert area as a shepherd for 15 years and not got in touch with her family members for the past one and half years,” he said. more..

Buyers advised not to fall for builders’ tall stories

Oct 28 (ST) Without examining building plans and development permits, or even titles & deeds at least, potential apartment buyers should not hand over millions to property developers who promise them a flat. That may sound like common sense. But, for most, it may not be. Then again, some may argue such documents themselves may be fraudulent in a market crawling with real estate developers, who are encouraged by the govt. more..

Re-acquisition of Kotte land: British investor takes Sri Lanka to ICSID

Oct 28 (ST) A British investor has filed action against SL Govt at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) over the re-acquisition of a land close to the Parliament complex in Kotte, earlier given to construct a hotel . The case has been filed by the investor, Raymond Eyre and his company Montrose Developments. The plot of land, located on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya adjacent to Diyatha Uyana in Rajagiriya, had been purchased in 2010 by more..

Three LTTE suspects want case transfered to Vavuniya

Oct 28 (ST) The three LTTE suspects who were indicted in the murders of 26 army and navy personnel who were in LTTE custody have requested Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in writing to transfer their court case to the Vavuniya High Court. The case is currently to be taken up by A'pura High Court, but has been put off as the three accused are engaged in a fast at the A'pura Prison, where they are being held. Rasathurai Thiruwaran, Madi Sulakshan and Ganeshan Darshanan more..

'No relaxation in work visas for Indians in free trade pact'

Oct 28 (Hindu) Indian professionals and workers will not get any direct concessions to ease their travel for work in SL as part of the extended Free Trade Agreement (FTA) being negotiated between the two countries, Minister Malik Samarawickrama has said. SL will, however, allow some relaxation in visas and work permits for workers in certain identified sectors such as IT and health, in cases where investments flow from India, he said. more..

Multi-dimensional foreign policy

Oct 29 (SO) The on-going visit to Colombo by a powerful United States’ Navy task force led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is yet another reminder of the geo-strategic importance of our island to the whole world and not to any single big power. The US naval visitation is the biggest by any foreign navy in recent decades and is the direct result of the foreign policy re-set under the current Govt. The previous regime, entirely due to selfish personal-political reasons, abandoned our more..

Bad wicket…

Oct 29 (NS) This is probably Sri Lanka’s worst ever run in terms of cricket after winning the World Cup way back in 1996. Even though our team managed to win the Test series against Pakistan, our players had failed to register a win in the One Day Internationals and the one T-20 match played so far. If you have a close look at our team, you will understand that we are a bunch of freshers. Yes, there are the likes of Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera and Dinesh Chandimal. more..

Sri Lanka Police in a new light

Oct 29 (SO) International Policing Consultant and the Former President of the Association of Chief Police Officers in the United Kingdom Sir Hugh Orde was on an official five-day visit to Sri Lanka this week. His task: to assist the Sri Lankan Govt in formulating a plan to help transform the Police force of the country. In a series of top-level meetings, Sir Orde reviewed proposals made by the govt while meeting with Police officers more..

Ariyalai tragedy

Oct 29 (CT) Inflation accelerates to 7.1%, Poverty down to 4.1% But highest in the North, K'nochchi Poorest, At Rs 28,483 and Only 22% Get Govt. Drought Relief were some of the recent articles carried by this newspaper under the aforesaid headings. As if as a culmination of these reportages, yesterday, this newspaper carried an article from Ariyalai, Jaffna, under the heading Burdened By Micro Debt, Mother, Children In Horrific Suicide. It was allegedly a case of a 28-year-old more..

Failure to prosecute criminals may boomerang

Oct 29 (SL) The country is going to the dogs’ is a generational cry. Present day generations are much convinced that their generation has lapsed greatly in their performance in comparison to those of their forefathers. At every significant election in recent decades, the cry has been: Throw the rascals out. But after some time when a new set of politicians has been elected to office, the cry is throw the new rascals out and bring back the old rascals. The result is that a pool of rascals more..

'Tamil Diaspora behind Constitutional reforms'

Oct 29 (CT) Governor of Southern Province Hemakumara Nanayakkara, who severely criticizes the Interim Report of the Parliamentary Steering Committee for Constitutional Amendments, states that it may lead to separatism and may harm the sovereignty and the integrity of the country. He alleged that the true patriots of the Steering Committee are not properly consulted and given importance to, but those who are sponsored more..

SAARCLAW: What it means to the people

Oct 29 (ST) When President R. Premadasa declared open the first South Asian Regional Cooperation for Law (SAARCLAW) conference in Colombo in 1991, SL’s then Chief Justice sat next to him. Neither uttered a word to each other throughout the proceedings as an election petition was being heard against the President by the country’s apex court. Such propriety – Justice must not only be done, but seem to be done, fell by the wayside along the way as SAARCLAW celebrates its silver jubilee more..

Explosive chatter

Oct 29 (ST) My dear Wimal sahodaraya, I thought of writing to you because you seem to be in the headlines once again, writing books and having ceremonies to launch these books where you say that Parliament should be bombed. That remark has been taken seriously though we all know that what you say should not be taken seriously! What we heard you say was that if at least seventy six parliamentarians do not oppose this draft Constitution, Parliament should be bombed. more..