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More teeth for traffic laws to rein in errant three-wheeler drivers

Sep 1 (ST) In a move to ensure the safety of three-wheeler passengers, drivers and other road-users, amendments to the Motor Traffic Act are to be presented in Parliament in the coming weeks by the Transport Minister, officials said. National Council for Road Safety Chairman Sisira Kodagoda said that the amendments, which were still in drafting stage, had not drawn objections from any three-wheeler association more..

Wonder Woman Gal Gadot backs mocked Sri Lankan cosplayers

Sep 1 (BBC) Hollywood actress Gal Gadot has thrown her support behind two young women in Sri Lanka after they were cyber-bullied for cosplaying as Wonder Woman. The two had become the target of a wave of online memes, body-shaming and harassment. Both Gadot, who played the character in the recent blockbuster movie, and its director Patty Jenkins tweeted support and encouragement. more..

Majority voices approval as a nation prepares to drop nondegradables

Sep 1 (DM) Polythene has become a big part of our lifestyle in the recent past. If you were to walk in to any Sri Lankan household there is a high chance that you would find a bag filled with polythene bags in the kitchen; a sight that many of us are familiar with.  Shopping bags we get are often used to help us carry things. If you were to visit a company lunchroom during lunch hour you would most probably see employees unwrapping more..

National Economic Council to meet soon to strengthen national economy: President

Sep 1 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says the National Economic Council which was appointed by him to make a comprehensive transformation in the agriculture and industrial sectors in the country, with the objective of strengthening of the national economy, will meet for the first time on the 12th of Sept. He mentioned the ADB and the WB have agreed to grant financial provisions for this program. more..

Malinga laments lost generation after another Sri Lanka loss to India

Sep 1 (CI) Sri Lanka have lost a generation of cricketers from the national fold, and cannot afford to do so again. Fresh from having presided over SL's largest ever runs defeat in ODIs, stand-in captain Lasith Malinga delivered the aforementioned grim diagnosis. Malinga's argument is this: where for most of his career he has played in teams comprising mostly of experienced players, he now finds himself in a side where very few more..

Video: Mehema Epa Chandrika, Mehema Epa: MR

Sep 1 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said hatred and jealousy are two qualities his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga shouldn’t possess. Responding to a journalist following an event held at the BMICH, Mr. Rajapaksa said hatred was visible through former President Kumaratunga as she was aging.   He said if there was an issue with his education, which was criticized by Ms. Kumaratunga, it should be raised by more..

SAITM solution: Prez denies GMOA claim

Sep 1 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has denied that he promised the GMOA to settle SAITM crisis by Aug 28. He said so when the media sought an explanation from him on Wednesday. Addressing the media at the President’s House, President contradicted a statement issued by the GMOA last Friday night. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge Friday said that they had received as assurance more..

Polythene ban to come into place today

Sep 1 (AD) The Govt has issued a gazette banning the use and manufacture of polythene products of 20 microns or less. According to the gazette, the manufacture of food containers, plates, cups and spoons made out of expanded polystyrene has been banned for in-country use, effective today. Additionally, the sale, offer for sale, free-of-charge offer, exhibition and use of food containers, plates, cups and spoons manufactured more..

If you can’t COPE, quit

Sep 1 (FT) I’m turning the page today. Which is to say: I’m trashing realpolitik – which was rubbish in the main anyway – and throwing down the gauntlet. Time to get real… in politics – govt, journalists, the whole jing-bang – as they say. Sorry if you’ve been at your wit’s end, as much as I have. Over the shortcomings of good govt, as much as critical engagement by civil society. Expecting a new political culture to emerge from a milieu where the usual suspects occupied the House more..

Our leaders must be exemplary

Sep 1 (CT) President Sirisena has lamented that educated young people have little regard for the political leadership of our country. He said, the reason was because our country is rampant with corruption and incompetence and as a result the corpus of our society is sick and corrupted. The only way the young can regain their faith in the leadership is to build a clean political culture and a transparent system of governance, he added – Profound words from SL's Head of State. more..

කොත්මලේ ෆොක්ස් රිසෝට්: Part 2

President orders liquor-free 66th anniversary celebrations

Sep 1 (Island) SLFP leader President Maithripala Sirisena had asked party members to ensure that the 66th anniversary celebrations of the party on Sunday at Campbell Park would be totally free from alcohol, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said all arrangements had been made to hold the anniversary celebration and this year, too, tens of thousands of SLFP members would gather at Campbell Park. In 2015, just after President Sirisena took over the leadership, more..

LG Polls Bill has technical errors: JO

Sep 1 (DM) The Joint Opposition said that the Local Government Elections (Amendment) Bill which was recently passed in Parliament was an unconventional Bill. JO MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that this could be regarded as completely a new Bill even though the govt had claimed it to be an amendment Bill. He said that this newly formed Bill had been introduced as an amendment one by including new sections to it in order to avoid the legal proceedings. more..

Price of a lunch packet increased by Rs.10

Sep 1 (NR) All Island Canteen Owners Association says the price of a packet of lunch will be increased by Rs.10 in line with the ban on polythene. National Organizer of Association Asela Sampath said the decision was arrived at in order to voice dissent against govt decision to ban the use of polythene. He noted with the ban the employees will have to wash countless plates and in turn water bills will increase. more..

Company profits grew slowly in June quarter

Sep 1 (EN) Profits of companies listed on Sri Lanka’s stock exchange grew by 8.2% in the June 2017 quarter from a year ago with higher commodity and energy prices and floods affecting consumer spending, a brokerage said. Total June quarter earnings of firms on the Colombo stock exchange of Rs54.9 billion were dominated by a healthy performance in the banks sector, up by 23% from a year ago, the food, beverage and tobacco sector, up 54, First Capital Equities said. more..

Kettle and pot: Which one is blacker?

Sep 1 (DM) A top team purohita who had his portfolio changed in the recent reshuffle has come under fire from the powerful madam, they say. Madam is making the charge that the purohita – onetime favorite of hers -- has turned his new Ministry into a family affair as done when running his previous Ministry. Incidentally, madam’s only son is now in the field expecting to carry forward family’s political legacy using the traditional pocket borough of Sirisanghabo fame as the launching pad. more..

GMOA to cripple Colombo with vehicle parade

Sep 1 (Island) Doctors yesterday warned they would cripple the Colombo city by holding a vehicle parade in two weeks if the govt failed solve the SAITM issue. GMOA Secretary, Dr Haritha Aluthge said that the Flaming Night Protest Against SAITM (SAITM Virodee Ginigath Rathriyak) on Wednesday (30) should have opened the eyes of all parties concerned to the urgent need to resolve the issue. more..

SLFP submits proposals on Constitutional reforms

Sep 1 (DN) SLFP has submitted proposals on Constitutional reforms to the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly yesterday. The Steering Committee was awaiting the SLFP proposals to finalize its interim report, which will pronounce the contours of constitutional reforms. The report, which deals with vital aspects of Constitution including the electoral reforms, devolution of power, and nature of the State, is expected in the Constitutional Assembly this month. more..

Rs. 200,000 health insurance for students

Sep 1 (NR) Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says the programme to provide health insurance for school children will be implemented in the near future. Speaking at an event at the Ministry of Education the Minister said all plans have been completed in this regard. Minister Kariyawasam said the Ministry presented a proposal that would provide students in the country health insurance adding that all preparations in this regard have been completed. Minister said all that is left is more..

Swaraj discusses bilateral ties with Prez

Sep 1 (PMD) Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the government of President Maithripala Sirisena could always count on continues Indian support. She said this when she called on President Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence in Colombo today. President Sirisena and Minister Swaraj held discussions on issues related to the Indian Ocean Conference currently being held in Colombo. more..

JO calls for Thilanga to step down

Sep 1 (DM) Joint opposition suggested that President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Thilanga Sumathipala should at least temporarily resign from his post in order to rescue cricket from its present state. JO member MP Shehan Semasinghe said that even former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga had urged the authorities to conduct an independent investigation into what was taking place at the SLC. “Mr. Ranatunga said that the ICC should investigate Sumathipala over his alleged gambling links more..

Kandy to be sold to Japan

Sep 1 (LT) Yahapalana govt has come to an agreement with a Japanese company to make available several historical sites and lands for business investments from Kandy town as a solution for the debt trap the Ranil–Maithri administration is entrapped with state reports. PM addressing a meeting held in Kandy said handing over H'tota Harbour to a Chinese company relieved the govt of a large portion of the debt it was burdened with and Japan has already expressed more..

I am ready to give evidence against Gen. Jayasuriya: SF

Sep 1 (DM) Minister and Field Marshal, Sarath Fonseka said he had information on the crimes committed by former army commander Jagath Jayasuriya, then Vanni commander and that he was ready to give evidence if proper legal action was instituted against him. “I received complaints that Mr. Jayasuriya was engaged in crimes as Vanni commander with regard to those who were arrested. He continued the same strategy more..

Video: Possible contamination causes disruption to water supply

Sep 1 (AD) The water purification unit at Horana, Kandana has been temporarily shut down in fear of contamination due to the possibility of fuel residue from the toppled fuel tanker mixing with water.  The possible contamination has caused disruption to the water supplying units of Horana, Moratuwa, Panadura, Boralesgamuwa, Pilyandala, Bandaragama, Ingiriya and Kesbewa. Authorities have urged the residents of the encompassed areas to brace for a possible water cut.    more..

Only six of 225 MPs declare assets

Sep 1 (CT) Only six of the 225 MPs, have handed over their Assets Declarations for this year and all six are from JVP. Although several reminders had been given that the rest of the MPs, including the Speaker, had not handed over their statements of assets and liabilities to the General Secretary of Parliament, none had handed in their declarations. As a result, it is said that a list of names will be handed over to Chairman of Elections Commission very soon, legal action to be taken. more..

Seeking a solar solution

Sep 1 (Roar) The recent months have brought home Sri Lanka’s energy crisis like never before. In the last week of July alone, the country experienced a technical failure at the Kerawalapitiya power plant, a petroleum union strike, and a three-hour power cut warning. Worse yet, the drought still continues, in spite of a few spells of heavy rainfall in mid-August at certain hydro-catchment areas. more..

3 killed, 5 injured in head-on collision in Ratnapura

Sep 1 (DM) Three people were killed and another five injured when a car collided head-on with a double cab at Batugedara junction on the Colombo- Batticaloa Road early this morning, Police said. They said the car was travelling from Ampara to Colombo and the double cab was travelling towards Pelmadulla from Colombo at the time of the accident. Two people in the same family and another woman in the car were killed and the five people who were in the double cab were more..

President launches Rathnabhimani life insurance & pension scheme

Sep 1 (PMD) The ceremony to launch the Rathnabhimani life insurance and the pension scheme for the welfare of the gem miners, gem technicians and their families was held yesterday at the BMICH, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. This insurance and pension program is carried out under the National Gem and Jewellery Authority. The President handed over agreements of the insurances and pensions to 10 beneficiaries at this occasion. more..

First US, Sri Lanka naval exercise in October

Sep 1 (USE) Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G. Wells said today that the US is expanding the navy-to-navy relationship with Sri Lanka, with the first-ever naval exercise set for October. Speaking at the Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture Indian Ocean Conference 2017 in Colombo today, Ms. Wells said that expanding naval cooperation is a priority for the US. Full text of Ms. Wells’s speech: more..

'Hold SLFP 67th annual convention in Jaffna'

Sep 1 (DN) The SLFP in Jaffna is considered a Tamil party run by Tamils, said SLFP Jaffna District MP Angajan Ramanathan today as he called for the 67th Annual Convention of the SLFP to be held in Jaffna next year. Angajan added that the President had given them much freedom and autonomy within the party. "People in Jaffna have welcomed the President with open arms", said the MP and assured that if a convention is organised in Jaffna a large group would gather. more..

EU & ILO help develop skills among youth in Mannar

Sep 1 (Island) Creating job opportunities for young people and promoting Productive employment and decent work are important elements in the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) mandate. As a former conflict-affected region, Mannar is now moving towards rehabilitation and sustainable development where human capacity development plays a key role in reaching the goals set by govt of SL. As a step to achieving this Goal, under EU Support to District Development Programme more..

Hambantota port not military base for other nations: PM

Sep 1 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ruled out the possibility of the strategic Hambantota port being used as a military base by any foreign country, allaying India's concerns over the Chinese Navy's growing presence in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka in July signed a $1.1 billion deal to sell 70% stake in Hambantota port to China, amid concerns over the massive debt the island nation incurred in building the port. more..

Jaffna hate crime leadership by Northern Chief C.V. Wigneswaran

Sep 2 (CT) Dedicated to the Memory and Heritage of the Democrat, Peace-maker, Tamil Leader, and Martyr to the Tamil Cause, Appapillai Amirthalingam on the occasion of his 90th Birthday Celebrations at the Jaffna Public Library Auditorium at 4 pm on Sunday 3 Sept. 2017. Presiding: The Rt. Rev. Dr. S. Jebabanesan; Chief Guest: Hon. R. Sampanthan, Leader of the Opposition. Special Guest: Attorney Kanaha Manoharan of Canada. Two news items from India this week have parallels to SL. more..

Time for Sri Lankans to think afresh about the future

Sep 2 (NS) Sri Lanka remains a post-war as opposed to a post-conflict country. Consequent to the change of the Govt in 2015 January, a foundation has been laid for peace and reconciliation in our country. Yet even after two years of the incumbent Govt, much remains to be done towards fostering peace and reconciliation. The accountability component of the transitional justice process appears to be impeding a speedier return to peace, harmony and reconciliation. more..

In Pictures: Sri Lanka’s longest festival

Sep 2 (Roar) Nallur Sri Kandaswamy Kovil, one of the most significant Hindu temples on the island, is located in the town of Nallur in the district of Jaffna. Nallur festival is SL’s longest festival, spanning 25 days of processions and rituals, all carried out in honour of the god Skanda. During the festival, Jaffna town is completely transformed—roads around the kovil are closed, and stalls selling food, toys, and all manner of more..

Back the heroes…

Sep 2 (NS) Cricket is probably the hottest topic these days in Sri Lanka but for the wrong reasons. The team has been continuously facing defeats and has now lost on directly qualifying to the World Cup tournament in 2019. It is true that Sri Lanka’s performances have been dismal in the recent past. Many aspects ranging from administrative issues to player fitness have been cited as reasons for the downfall of the country’s much loved game. But, one should understand that it's a very young team more..

Three components & Sources of corruption

Sep 2 (CT) As the present public spotlight and debates are on corruption, the country could make its utmost collective effort to expose and eliminate the scourge. When you open any daily newspaper, there are four or five corruption cases, big or small, reported almost every day. Corruption derails development, degenerates and distorts the democratic system and decay the moral fabric of society. The ultimate victims are the poor, the needy and the ordinary people. more..

'More ministers will join us'

Sep 2 (NS) A discussion conducted by the Rivira with Leader of NFF, Wimal Weerawansa. Q: President recently stated that no matter who comes and goes, the incumbent Govt would be continued on till 2020. A: What the President may be stating is that they would stay on till 2019. In the future, one can see how the changes in the Parliament will affect the Govt. Not only that, a group of 10 SLFP Ministers is ready to join JO more..

Editorial:  Patriotism and ball games

Sep 2 (Island) Time was when security personnel used to squeeze every part of our anatomy much to our consternation at public events to make sure that we did not carry weapons or explosives. The country was plagued by terrorism at that time. We thought such measures would go away after the conclusion of the war. But, how mistaken we were! Security checks are back. Today, high security zones (HSZs) have re-emerged. But, they are not around nerve centres in the city. more..

The 20-20 battles of current politics

Sep 2 (DN) While 2020 is clearly the goal of President Maithripala Sirisena in the politics of coalition governance as clearly stated at the meeting with newspaper editors and media heads earlier this week, there is a different 20 issue gathering attention in the debate on the constitutional powers of parliament. It is the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which is expected to decide on elections to the Provincial Councils. It must be noted that the original plan for the 20th Amendment more..