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Over 150 containers of refuse tea slips through

Sep 17 (SL) Over 150 containers of refuse tea had managed to slip through customs and reached their overseas destinations, officials said. The containers had passed through scanners used by the Customs Department and reached Dubai and Iran via Kuwait. Officials said that the refuse tea had not been detected as the scanners were not operating properly. Investigations had revealed that seven suspects were involved in the scam to export refuse tea between 2016 and 2017. more..

Ruwanpura: RDA pushes ahead without EIA report

Sep 17 (ST) Road Development Authority (RDA) has started acquiring land for the US$ 1.8 billion (Rs. 275 billion) Ruwanpura Expressway even before a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) and an economic feasibility study are completed, prompting Central Environment Authority (CEA) sources to denounce the process as inside out. Tens of families have been issued notices under more..

Govt destroyed self-sufficiency and has to now import rice: MR

Sep 17 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said that he was ashamed that the govt was importing rice to the country though the govt doesn’t seem to be ashamed of such a move. "During my tenure of office, Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in rice, but the present regime has destroyed it", he said. Continuing, former President said that the govt now has no proper work plan or a viable development plan. The only motive of the UNP is to dispose of the assets of Sri Lanka to foreign countries. more..

Foreign vessel abandoned by owner Crew close to starvation

Sep 17 (CT) A 13-member all foreign crew, on board a Bahraini flagged cargo ship, are close to starvation at the Colombo port after the owner abandoned the vessel, International Transport workers Federation (ITF) said. Local ITF Inspector Ranjan Perera said that the ship was arrested on 7 September since it was in the red of some Rs five million to the local port authorities. The MV Sanad sailed into the Hambantota port with a cargo of cement and was later towed to Colombo on June 05 after more..

For the first time, 3-pronged election battle for PCs and local councils

Sep 17 (ST) Plans are on the drawing board for the two coalition partners – SLFP & UNP – to contest each other at an upcoming Provincial Council or Local Govt election. It is most likely the PC polls will come first followed by elections to local govt institutions. Such a poll will also break with the tradition of two major political parties vying with each other during past elections. Entering the fray will be a third formidable group, more..

One more symbolic step: Wigneswaran’s audience with the Mahanayake Thera

Sep 17 (Island) We need a break from the tedium, rather the opprobrium, of national corruption. To paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva’s public lamentation, the whole country is awash in corruption. The continuing non-promotion of people like Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne to full cabinet rank shows the depth of cabinet entrenchment by the corrupt and the crooked and the extent of exclusion of the bright and the honest. Govt leadership has a lot to answer for more..

Govt gasping; Rajapaksas dead-meat

Sep 17 (Island) It’s time to move on. Maybe the January 8 victory has delivered all it can, with one exception and this is of utmost importance, the constitution. Last week I dealt with this and expressed my hopes and my fears. In human affairs, more so than even weather forecasting, uncertainty is built into the fabric of reality. I have reproduced a diagram, released on Sept 1 by the US National Hurricane Centre, of the 20 most likely paths of hurricane Irma more..

President angry over some highway contracts, calls for national policy

Sep 17 (ST) President Sirisena is livid over complaints that there are irregularities over multimillion dollar contracts for major road construction projects and he wants a national policy on highways. He made the declaration at the Progress Review meeting of the RDA last Thursday at the Presidential Secretariat. Mr Sirisena wanted to know the status of the ongoing road construction projects and the funds being spent. more..

Prof. Samarasekera to spill the beans on Thajudeen’s murder

Sep 17 (SL) The controversial former Colombo Chief JMO, Prof. Ananda Samarasekera, who is under interrogation by the CID, is expected to spill the beans which can be anticipated as a new twist in Wasim Thajudeen’s murder case, defence sources are of the view. Following the CID informing the Colombo Magistrate on Thursday, August 24, that there are prima facie evidence (sufficient to establish a fact or raise more..

'PCoI order leaves ominous precedent'

Sep 17 (CT) The controversial order by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), probing bond scam, calling Arjun Aloysius as a witness, while being accused of a crime, might well leave behind an ominous precedent for future Commissions too. Former Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa told Ceylon Today that such a precedent would cripple future Commissions of Inquiry, as, more..

Sri Lanka not likely to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty at UN

Sep 17 (ST) Sri Lanka, in an unprecedented move in the country’s diplomatic history, is not signing a major international treaty which it has already voted on. Along with 121 other countries, Sri Lanka voted last July to approve a landmark UN treaty that bans the possession, development, testing, and use of nuclear weapons worldwide. Sri Lanka was not listed among the countries scheduled to sign the treaty at more..

Cabinet to review controversial LPG tender

Sep 17 (SO) The tender board recommendation regarding the supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for the years 2017/2018 to Litro Gas Lanka Ltd, is to be reviewed at the next Cabinet meeting, sources within the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development said. “Cabinet has the power to make the ultimate decision whether to go ahead with the recommendations or whether it should be re-tendered,” more..

Trishaw unions to defy new regulations

Sep 17 (SO) The country´s trishaw unions are out to defy the new regulations set out by a Gazette notification last week requiring them to install meters and issue receipts to passengers. Chairman of the All Island Three Wheel Owners Association (AITWOA) Sudhil Jayaruk told the Sunday Observer that members of his union will not adhere to the Gazette notification which is due to be enforced from October 1. more..

SLPP stands firm on 20A: Says it needs 2/3rd majority and Referendum

Sep 17 (CT) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) stands firm on the 20th Amendment that seeks to hold the Provincial Council elections on the same day, needs a two thirds majority in Parliament and approval at a referendum, its President Prof. G.L. Peiris said. The amendment is due to be debated in Parliament later this month and the Unity Govt is canvassing support among MPs to gather a 2/3 majority. more..

PET Scanner that’s still only a dream: Kickbacks from pvt hospitals?

Sep 17 (CT) Humaid had a dream, he was all set to make it a reality but bungling red-tape thwarted his sincere efforts and finally he carried on unsated, to meet his maker! The young lad was fighting a desperate battle with cancer for more than three years. He was taken to the best of hospitals in India, private hospitals in SL and finally to Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama. He knew that his chances for survival were rather bleak. more..

Arundika Fernando in ‘JO’ colours

Sep 17 (NR) Former Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando says he has decided to continue his political journey by working with the Joint Opposition. President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday removed Arundika Fernando as the Deputy Minister of Tourism Promotion and Christian Religious Affairs. Following the announcement, Arundika Fernando said he will work towards defeating the good governance govt. more..

GE & PC Polls under electoral system: Prez

Sep 17 (NR) President Sirisena has announced that he is determined to hold the next General Election and the Provincial Council election under the electoral voting system. President made this observation during a discussion held with a group of SLFP North-Central Provincial councillors at the official residence of the President. He has reiterated the importance of introducing new election laws to remove existing Preferential voting system. more..

International Book Fair in Colombo & The thirst for (critical) knowledge

Sep 18 (CT) This month the annual international book fair is being held in Colombo. It is reported that hundreds and thousands Sri Lankans of all ages will flock to BMICH to taste a sample of books published by local and international writers. Listening to Mr Vijitha Yapa in a recent Pathikada interview, it seems that the book publishers association of SL have gone into much trouble to organise this mammoth event for the benefit of the reading public in Sri Lanka and visitors to the Island. more..

Mister Mahinda, so sorry to say, your sil slip is showing all the way

Sep 18 (ST) Emerging from the gates of Welikada jail where he had gone to see firsthand the penance his permanent secretary was paying for acting on his orders, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa flared in anger when answering questions raised by the posse of journalists as to whether he held himself responsible and felt any remorse for the fate that had befallen his trusted lieutenant Lalith Weeratunga for following his illegal orders without question. For once, Lanka’s top doctor of spin more..

Power, Religion and Impunity

Sep 18 (GV) I ordered, he says, as if those two words would suffice. Perhaps they do, in his eyes. I’m the state, Louis XIV declared, according to Carlyle. Mahinda Rajapaksa sees himself as the nation, which also encompasses the state. So how can he misuse state-funds? Rajapaksa’s anger at the sil-redi verdict is not contrived. He doesn’t understand the fuss; he certainly doesn’t understand the verdict. more..

Venerable villainy of mercenary monks

Sep 18 (CT) The picture says it all. They are venerable villains brazenly repudiating the rule of law and demanding that we submit to a rule by the robed whose allegiance is to the Rjapaksa clan. The smug satisfaction of the receiver holding the bowl, the mock display of a cheque for Rs 50,000 by the giver and approving glance of the rotund onlooker demonstrate the abysmal depth these spiritual stooges are ready to stoop to in their determination to restore Rajapaksa kleptocracy. more..

Problem of Arjun Aloysius & reach of law

Sep 18 (ST) The Order by the Commission of Inquiry into the issuance of Treasury Bonds declining to compel Arjun Aloysius, principal shareholder and director of Perpetual Treasuries to give evidence before it, raises interesting points of law for consideration. Indeed, its effect has wider ramifications beyond the subject matter of this Commission. In its Order, the Commission has exhaustively listed as to why it is desirable that the CEO of Perpetual Treasuries more..

'I did my best for the Country'

Sep 18 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa, who is said to be one of the colourful Presidents in the Asian region, amidst having to face political attacks from his opponents, said that he did his best for the country and he could defend himself on that. He also pointed out the presence of the Chinese was only to invest in projects and they had not influenced him otherwise. On becoming the next PM of Sri Lanka, ex-President said, more..

Sil Redi and subversion of Buddhism

Sep 18 (SL) Exposures made in the Sil Redi (Holy White Cloth) case have torn the sanctity of the garb worn by pious Buddhists on Full Moon Days to shreds. The massive Rs. 650 million gift to the pious adherents by the TRC, the High Court held, amounted to misappropriation of state funds. The verdict delivered has been hailed by some legal pundits, self-declared pundits on many subjects, most of the general public and delighted UNPers as justice being finally done while more..

Pensions dept. that demeans the pensioner

Sep 18 (SL) The wife and children maintenance fees which was initiated during the colonial era as a show of gratitude to foreigners who worked in this country on contract, was later passed as the Pensions Act through the Constitutional Board. Pensions Department was established as the sole authorised institution that pays this pension, during the British era. Currently the Pensions Department has to bear the burden of having to pay these foreigners’ dependents a pension payment in Pounds more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Polonnaruwa

Editorial:  Yahapalanaya, Omerta and Devadatte method

Sep 18 (Island) How the treasury bond rackets were planned and carried out has come to light thanks to a process of witnesses ratting on their bosses before the ongoing presidential commission of inquiry. It was recently revealed that Perpetual Treasuries owner, Arjun Aloysius, had lied to the COPE on bond rackets. He is also alleged to have received inside information from the Central Bank, which was, at that time, headed by his father-in-law, Arjuna Mahendran, and made huge profits more..

V2025: A country enriched: A wish-list far beyond reach

Sep 18 (Island) The govt launched a new policy document titled V2025: A Country Enriched early this month. The launching event seemed to have been designed to attract the youth with choreographic acts in an ultra-modern stage setting. The few youngsters who appeared along with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe on the stage posed questions to the two leaders. The V2025 document starts with the statement, "Our vision is to make SL a rich country by 2025. more..

Chamara Silva banned for 2 years from cricket

Sep 18 (CI) SLC has slapped former Sri Lanka player Chamara Silva with a two-year ban from all cricket-related activities for his supposed role in a Tier B first-class match that featured unusual scoring rates. The ruling comes after a seven-month inquiry into events of the third day of the Panadura Cricket Club v Kalutara Physical Culture Club match played Jan 23-25. Many others have also been banned for their participation in the game, more..

Police seargent hit by Colombo-Kandy express train

Sep 18 (ST) A Police sergeant was killed when he was hit by the Colombo – Kandy express train in the Dematagoda area, a coroner’s court inquiry was told. Officer in charge of the Police station Anuradha Mahindasiri told the inquiry that sergeant Pallegedara Anuratillake, from Anuradhapura, was proceeding for an interview to admit his daughter to Yashodhara Vidyalaya Gampaha when he was hit by the train on Friday. He had taken over duties at the police station two weeks ago. more..

'Private-public sector suspicions nullify commercial progress'

Sep 18 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody, says the usual outlook of the business community was that the private sector was suspicious of the public sector. The public sector, in turn, harbored similar suspicions about the private sector. The end result of this unwritten animosity was that commercial progress was gravely stifled. Allusion to this internecine continuation of working at cross purposes achieved negative results, in consequence the economy did not progress. more..

IKEA inspired Hayleys’ Dhammika to comfort more homes with Singer

Sep 18 (FT) The world’s most iconic home furnishing brand IKEA is said to have inspired business leader Dhammika Perera to take control of Singer Sri Lanka Plc via the biggest listed corporate acquisition worth over Rs. 11 billion last week. Similar to IKEA’s vision, Dhammika, the biggest shareholder and Co-Chairman of Hayleys, is also keen to offer a range of home furnishings of good design & durability at affordable prices more..

SLNS Sayura and Sagara return home on completion of successful naval exercise

Sep 18 (SLN) The Offshore Patrol Vessels of the Sri Lanka Navy, SLNS Sayura and Sagara returned to Sri Lanka today (17) on successful completion of Sri Lanka India Naval Exercise – SLINEX 2017. The SLN ships left for India on 04th September to take part in the biennial joint naval exercise conducted between the two neighbouring countries. The returning ship, SLNS Sayura was received in accordance with naval traditions at the Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee. more..

Ceylon Chamber welcomes amended Inland Revenue bill

Sep 18 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in a statement yesterday lauded the Finance Ministry’s passage of the new Inland Revenue Bill, after it says it was “extensively engaged throughout the process of drafting the new legislation, and is grateful for the space provided by the Govt to have our views heard”. The following is the full statement The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce congratulates the Ministry of Finance on the successful passing in Parliament of a new Inland Revenue Bill that more..

මහින්ද නිකායේ අපුරු පින්නපාතය !!

Business forum bemoans SL’s condition

Sep 18 (Island) The initial sessions of the Business Forum were convened last Thursday. Speakers who contributed to the wide cross section of views included, Dr. Anil Jayantha from Sri J'Pura Uni, Mahendra Jayaserkra, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake and musician and singer Sunil Perera. In his initial introduction to an audience of business personalities and professionals Perera said after 70 years of independence, he wished to pose the question, more..

Assaulting Police: 18 arrested

Sep 18 (DM) Weli Oya Police arrested 18 suspects including three women in connection with assaulting the police officers and aiding to flee a suspect who was held in custody by the police. Police said that Weli Oya police Station had arrested a person with cannabis in possession on Saturday following a tip-off on Saturday. However, the suspects including some of the relatives of the arrested person had obstructed the police officers in Janakapura area to carry out their duties and more..

CEB engineers, power supers, battle to keep country lit amid attacks

Sep 18 (EN) SL's power engineers and electrical superintendents have kept the nation supplied with power so far with great difficulty amid a strike called by non-technical staff for higher salaries. A striker breaker said they have reported to work despite threats and mud-slinging campaigns. "We can keep the generation side going, but the problem is with distribution," CEB official said. "When breakdowns happen it is difficult to more..

Govt's claims, ICPAPD non-retrospective false: NFF

Sep 18 (DM) NFF spokesman Mohammed Muzammil said govt was attempting to betray the security forces and mislead the people by saying the Bill on International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (ICPAPED) would not applicable to the past. He said that even though it was true that laws passed in parliament were not applicable to the past, that did not apply to internationals laws and conventions, according to Article 13(6) of the Constitution. more..

Hindi Diwas 2017 celebrated with Indo-Lanka Hindi Sammelan

Sep 18 (FT) On the occasion of Hindi Day 2017, India-SL Hindi conference on E-learning: Identity and possibilities was organised by the Indian Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, Colombo in collaboration with the Hindi Department of Uni of Kelaniya on 13 Sept. High Commissioner of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Uni of Kelaniya VC Prof. D.M. Semasinghe graced the occasion. HC appreciated the efforts of Uni of Kelaniya and other institutions to help learning of Hindi in SL. more..