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Shiranthi records statement at the CIABOC

Sep 9 (NR) Former First Last Shiranthi Rajapaksa has arrived at the CIABOC to record a statement. An attorney of Shiranthi Rajapaksa said a statement was recorded from the former first lady for close to an hour over dealings of Siriliya Saviya Foundation. Shiranthi Rajapaksa was issued summons previously to appear before the Bribery Commission to record a statement. However at the time she notified that she could not be present, therefore Shiranthi Rajapaksa appeared before more..

Despite rains in some areas Severe drought continues

Sep 9 (CT) While rainy weather is wreaking havoc in several regions of the country, people in a number of districts are affected by a severe drought, the Disaster Management Centre said. According to DMC Deputy Director and Duty Officer J.M.A.R. Jayarathna, the Districts of Gampaha, Kandy, Matale, Ampara, Moneragala, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Badulla and Batticaloa are severely affected by drought. more..

Douglas Devananda proposes setting up common memorial for Tamils

Sep 9 (Hindu) Leader of EPDP Douglas Devananda has proposed setting up of a common memorial in the country to commemorate thousands of Tamils killed during the brutal civil war against LTTE. Tamil minority groups in SL observe May 18 as the day of commemoration every year, it is the same day when the 30-year-old conflict ended in 2009 with the death of LTTE leader V Prabakaran. He called for setting up of a war memorial more..

Judiciary signals bureaucracy, politicos

Sep 10 (SO) Last week’s conviction of two top govt bureaucrats is a warning not just to the bureaucracy but also to the political class that sits above it and tells it what to do. This democratic republic has too often noted the nexus between corruption by public officials and the abuse of power by elected politicians deploying officialdom for corrupt purposes. In a landmark first successful prosecution by the newly established FCID, the Colombo High Court last Thursday convicted more..

USA’s Change of Heart

Sep 10 (CT) A significant feature of US Acting State Secretary for South and Central Affairs Ms. Alice Wells' recent testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee at Washington, DC on Sri Lanka was that she made no reference to the need for foreign jurists to meddle in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. This has to be looked at in the context of the resolution adopted by the UNHRC in Geneva in October 2015, sponsored by Colombo and which co-sponsorship was led by the USA, more..

War crimes charges on Gen Jayasuriya: Will opportunists exploit situation?

Sep 10 (SO) A lawyer hired by International Truth and Justice Project, a South Africa based group with rights lawyer Yasmin Sooka’s backing, recently filed criminal law suits in Brazil and Colombia against General Jagath Jayasuriya, then SL’s Ambassador to six Latin American countries, pinning war crimes charges over his role during the final phase of the war. Cases charged him with commanding military units in more..

Editorial:  Lalith Weeratunga

Sep 10 (Island) Few, if any, would have taken pleasure at the High Court conviction last week of Mr. Lalith Weeratunga who served as Secretary to the President during President Rajapaksa’s two-term tenure which abbreviated by his own choice by a premature election he called. A senior public servant, known both for his efficiency and self-effacing ways, Weeratunga never threw his weight around, was courteous to all those he dealt with and was obviously loyal to his boss. more..

V2025 success is in its implementation

Sep 10 (ST) President and PM coming in one car for the launch of V2025 (Vision 2025), the blueprint for the future of a rich Sri Lanka was clearly to deliver a message. We are in this together – till 2025. This was against all the evidence to the contrary that the two coalition partners of the National Unity Govt, viz., the SLFP and the UNP were drifting further and further apart and only on a holding operation till the end of this year. The more than symbolic coming together as it were at the BMICH more..

All aboard: Art and environment

Sep 10 (ST) In the heart of Maradana lies an old building with a dilapidated railway platform, disused train carriages and overgrown tracks adjoining it. Relics of a bygone era, the building is the forgotten former Railway terminus, which acted as the central railway station of Colombo until the Fort station and the south line were built. But life seeped into this empty space once more last week when the fifth more..

Tied down in all the wrong places

Sep 10 (ST) My dear Lalith, I thought I must write to you when I heard the news that you had been sent to prison for one and a half years for something that you are supposed to have done while you were serving as Mahinda maama’s secretary a few years ago. I am told that you were also fined some fifty million rupees by the court. News came as a shock to most people. That was because you had earned a reputation of being an honest and decent public servant in almost 40 years of service as more..

Eliya to be Gota’s pitch for the Presidency?

Sep 10 (Island) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s open foray into politics took place last Wednesday in the form of Eliya a new organization that was ceremonially launched at Golden Rose hall in Boraleasgaluwa. Its launch was in the form of a seminar on the proposed new constitution. The panel of speakers included Gota himself who introduced the new organization to the audience and spoke on why it opposes the proposed new constititution. Ven. Prof. Medagoda Abhayatissa Thera, more..


Judgment day imminent for another two...

Sep 10 (SO) In one of the most awaited judgments in recent times, and the first judgment delivered based on an investigation by the FCID of the Sri Lanka Police, former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former TRC Director General Anusha Palpita were last week found guilty of misappropriating Rs. 600 million of funds belonging to TRC and sentenced to a three-year-rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga. more..

Nutrition, Food Security under spotlight as Sri Lanka enters crucial growing season

Sep 10 (LR) Worst drought in 40 years, coupled by the worst floods in 14 years, a cruel recipe to threaten Sri Lanka’s food security, says Brenda Barton, SL Country Director for the World Food Program (WFP). The food security of some 900,000 people was threatened, according to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the WFP. Total paddy production in 2017 is forecast at 2.7 million tons, almost 40% less than the last year’s more..

Vision 2025: an indication of continuity of marriage between SLFP and UNP?

Sep 10 (CT) President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe who arrived together in a super luxury Mercedes-Maybach S600 Benz to unveil Vision 2025 the 8-year economic plan that aims at making SL an enriched country, were greeted by a documentary titled Nonawaruni Mahathwaruni Samawanna before anything else. Documentary was about a dark era where the country was under the clutches of one family more..

Dilshan Munaweera the only consolation

Sep 10 (CT) Thankfully the Indian series is over. I am sure that it is the common mindset of almost everyone and I mean the players included. Losing as we know is contagious and can be a negative rub off on everyone. When a team goes through such phase the greatest challenge for anyone is to restore the self-confidence factor of the men involved. It could be from the head coach to the support staff and down to the players. It's a question of what more can be done to win or more..

File horas

Sep 10 (ST) During the early 1980s, a journalist colleague of mine at the old Daily Mirror editorial office in Fort was adept at lifting important files from the desks of senior govt officials, quietly sneaking them into his black briefcase. This senior, pint-sized, tie-wearing journalist was affectionately known as file hora and loved it, often breezing into office, loudly claiming, I got another one. The result, some great exclusive stories that whacked the opposition (media) out of sight and more..

SL cricket is as boring as Detroit Pistons

Sep 10 (Island) We are pretty certain that Sri Lanka’s Interim Coach Nic Pothas is not looking forward for a trip back home to his native South Africa anytime sooner. Pothas will be severely condemned by his mates for his rugby allegiance. South Africans take extreme pride in their rugby and the traditional arch-rivals of the Springboks are the All Blacks. Earlier this week, after India completed total domination of SL more..

Sports Management Diplomas

Sep 10 (ST) Awards ceremony of 5th Advanced Sports Management Diploma Course 2015-2016 awards took place at the Olympic House on Friday. This course comes under the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Solidarity Course. It was conducted by SL Olympic Committee. This is the only course where South Asian and Central Asian countries are eligible to take part in. Course commenced in SL in 2007. So far 81 individuals have received these diploma courses. more..

Decisive coup de grace delivered with consummate ease

Sep 10 (Island) At last the nine-match sufferings inflicted by the touring Indians are over. It is now an obvious situation of going back to the drawing board. The problem is, are there the so-called specialists/experts capable of making use of the drawing board and coming up trumps for the future of Sri Lanka cricket? Let us momentarily keep the Waterloo suffered in the Test matches under wraps. But, take, for instance, drubbing Sri Lanka was subjected in the ODIs. more..

Aravinda to be given key position after recent slump

Sep 10 (Island) SLC officials are in negotiations with former great Aravinda de Silva to take over a key position after the national cricket team hit new lows in the last six months. Initially SLC was negotiating wit 1996 WC hero to take over as Chairman of Selectors as he had done a fine job in that role from 2010 to 2011. However, in the last few days SLC has shown interest in giving De Silva a more significant position. more..

St. Benedict’s & Walala Ratnayake in the lead

Sep 10 (ST) Defending champions of the All Island Schools Relay Champions in the respective boy’s and girl’s categories St Benedict’s Kotahena and A. Ratnayake MMV Walala took the lead at the end of the second day’s proceedings of All Island Relay Championship which is in progress at the Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna. However, both schools are holding on to a slender lead. In the boys category, St Benedict’s has accumulated 30 points while second placed Maris Stella Negombo is more..

CIC group changes its agri-sector model

Sep 10 (Island) Sri Lanka’s long-standing leader in agriculture – the CIC Group – has elevated the country’s agriculture sector via futuristic investments amounting to over Rs. 2 billion, which are now infusing state-of-the-art technology into the industry, thereby making an enduring impact on the livelihoods of farmers. Cropwiz, one of the country’s largest agriculture project to be resilient to seasonal weather patterns, is one such futuristic investment, which indicates the potential for more..

Rare appearance by Paski at Colombo forum

Sep 10 (ST) Sri Lanka’s private sector progress has been hampered by lack of coordination between state agencies, delay in decision-making by top officials and difficulty in arriving at a consensus on business matters by the two ruling political parties, a powerful advisor of the Govt has said. However, R. Paskaralingam, advisor and close aide to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a rare public appearance on Thursday, told a group of more..

Theme park on the heritage of Buddhism

Sep 10 (Hindu) Once upon a time, there lived King Vessantara, who ruled Sivirattha (land of Sivis). A virtuous man, he wanted to attain perfection and so donated all the precious things he had. On learning this, a ‘wicked brahmin’ from the neighbouring kingdom of Kalinga asks the king for the magical rain-bringing elephant, Peccaya. Vessantara gives it away, but earns the wrath of the people. Compelled by anger, his father Sanjaya banishes his son from glory, to the forests. more..

Trade pact soon between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan

Sep 10 (ST) A draft trade agreement between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka is under preparation. “We have already received the approved draft agreement from the Afghanistan govt and are looking forward to sign the agreement with the Sri Lankan govt,” said Munir Ghisy, Charge’d affairs of the Embassy of Afghanistan at a discussion held at the National Chamber of Commerce Colombo last week on promoting bilateral trade between the two countries. He said establishing direct flights between more..

SF must be having reasons that war crimes are worth probing: Wigneswaran

Sep 10 (Island) Northern Province Chief Minister, C. V. Wigneswaran said that Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka may have made the statement with regard to war crimes with reasons that it was worth investigating. He said that his Provincial Council rejected the 20th amendment to the constitution as it was an attempt to rule the entire country by Parliament after Provincial Councils went out of office after the five year period. more..

Japanese aid to solve Galle garbage issue

Sep 10 (CT) Five Japanese waste collecting trucks were handed over to the Galle Municipal Council by Koji Yagi, Deputy Head of Mission of Embassy of Japan, yesterday (8) in the presence of Wasana Gunarathna, Municipal Commissioner of Galle Municipal Council and Kyoko Terada, General Director of Society for Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy. Trucks were donated by Okayama city in Japan. Refurbishment of the vehicle, transfer to SL and dispatch of Japanese experts more..

Rs. 350 million tourism ad bill settled

Sep 10 (ST) Sri Lanka has settled its debts amounting to Rs.350 million in arrears to three international media channels following which the digital media campaign would kick off in January next year. Minister John Amaratunga said that the digital advertising campaign is expected to kick off in January and the global promotional campaign next year. The digital media campaign is worth Rs.200 million. He said the authorities have to now look for agencies and prepare the material more..

India, Lanka to expand bilateral co-operation

Sep 10 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday reiterated the importance India attached to its ties with Sri Lanka as the island nation’s new Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana called on him in the capital New Delhi. “The prime minister reaffirmed the high importance that India attaches to its relations with Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement. “Both countries enjoy deep and broad-based ties,” it added. more..

Revised traffic fines from this month

Sep 10 (SO) The new Gazette bringing into effect the revised traffic fines for several offences is set to be released in two weeks time. According to the Chairman of the National Road Safety Council, Dr. Sisira Kodagoda, over 50 per cent of the documentation in relation to the Gazette has now been completed. “Gazette will definitely come into force before the month’s end,” he said when contacted, adding that the delay was due to the need in having to elaborate and give definite more..

Red Bull Campus Cricket Initial stage starts today in Colombo

Sep 10 (CT) The six previous editions of the Red Bull Campus Cricket, at which the likes of Niroshan Dickwella and India's KL Rahul have shown their skills, will take place in Sri Lanka. The tournament in Sri Lanka is a culmination of eight College cricket teams' campaigns. Sides from Sri Lanka, Australia, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, India, Pakistan, South Africa & UAE, will feature, initially in Colombo where the group stages will be played from 10-12 Sept, before the action moves to Galle Int'l Stadium more..

Central expressway tender not second to bond scam

Sep 10 (CT) When Sirasa first exposed the CB Bond scam in Parliament on 8 March 2015, many remember how the PM safeguarded the deal in a speech in Parliament. Sirasa then pointed out the malpractice done by manipulating sensitive information in terms of the bond issue. Now, we must thank the Presidential Commission for investigating the bond issue. More information has already been revealed before it. more..

DIG Nagahamulla moved to CID with immediate effect

Sep 10 (ST) Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police B.R.S.R. Nagahamulla has been appointed DIG- CID with immediate effect, by the Inspector General of Police (IGP).  He will serve under Senior DIG- CID, Ravi Seneviratne. DIG Nagahamulla, a past pupil of St. Mary’s College, Kegalle, joined the Police Dept in 1984. He later joined the STF and served 10 years in Operational areas. DIG Nagahamulla was also one of the first members of this elite police unit. more..

Take a minute – change a life on World Suicide Prevention Day

Sep 10 (Island) In 1995, Sri Lanka had the highest rate of suicides in the world. Presidential Task Force was set up to mitigate this dismal statistic and subsequent action helped to reduce the number significantly from 47 to 16 per 100,000 by 2014. However, it is still high. Globally, 800,000 suicides are reported annually and this number is higher than those killed by war or homicide. It also means there’s a suicide every 40 seconds. 2017 marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day more..

Central Expressway project: Rejected company re-enters through influence

Sep 10 (ST) A Japanese Govt advisor pressured Sri Lanka directly, including in writing, into giving a disqualified Japanese company a stake in the 134.9 billion rupee (nearly US$ 1 billion) third section of the Central Expressway (CEP III), a trail of documents show. Earlier this year, Taisei Corporation was selected for the contract by a project committee (PC) and Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee. more..

Mattala deal with India: No military operations

Sep 10 (ST) The proposed agreement with India on the privatisation of the Mattala Airport will include a clause that the airport will not be used for any military purposes. Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Nihal Somaweera said that besides prohibiting the use of the airport for military purposes, the air traffic control tower would also be controlled by Sri Lanka. The two conditions would be part of the agreement expected to be finalised before December. more..

President’s brother remanded over hit-and-run mishap

Sep 10 (ST) A driver going by the name of Lal Sirisena of Polonnaruwa was remanded yesterday till Monday after he surrendered to police over a hit-and-run accident which left two brothers dead when his jeep ran over the motorcycle they were riding on the Polonnaruwa-Hingurakgoda road. The incident had occurred at 1.20 on Saturday morning at Ethumalpitiya. The two brothers were returning from hospital where one of them had justreceived treatment for kidney disease (CKD) afflicting more..

As Fonseka continues tirade, here are some dramatic revelations

Sep 10 (ST) Sri Lankan who won bouquets and brickbats worldwide for leading troops to military victory against LTTE eight years ago and became a national hero now finds himself in a lesser light. General Sarath Fonseka, who successfully negotiated the title of Field Marshal in return for his support for Maithripala Sirisena at the presidential election, accused a subordinate senior officer of committing war crimes. more..

The hounds of law keep the UNP and the Rajapaksas nervous and concerned

Sep 10 (Island) High Court conviction and sentencing of Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Anusha Palpita, former Director of TRC, is unprecedented in several respects. I cannot think of an instance when such senior state officials were found guilty of misusing state funds for political purposes. Craving the Court for clemency in sentencing, their lawyers alluded to the age and health of their clients, their hitherto upstanding and more..