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Inability of PCoI to compel Aloysius to give evidence: Dappula to make statement

Sep 18 (Island) Acting Solicitor General Dappula de Livera PC is scheduled to make a statement on the future course of action by the Attorney General before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, probing the bond scams vis-a-vis commission’s decision not to compel owner of the Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Arjun Aloysius to give evidence before it. De Livera PC would make the statement today or tomorrow. more..

Mahela bemoans Chamara Silva’s ban

Sep 18 (NR) Mahela Jayawardena has bemoaned the two year ban sanctioned by SLC on Chamara Silva for his alleged involvement in a first-class game that was deemed to have resulted in unusual scoring rates. He has come forward to Chamara Silva’s aid by saying, he was one of the most honest guy, he had played the game with. Jayawardena on his official twitter handle said, “How is this fair, the guy walks away from fixing gets two years. Ones who are involved gets one year?” more..

Lankan in UK jailed for killing wife's lover

Sep 18 (ITV) A jealous and humiliated husband who beat his estranged wife's new boyfriend to death after kidnapping him in Milton Keynes was jailed for life with a minimum of sentence of 18 years. Gnanachandran Balachandran, 38, was incensed when he discovered his wife Ragupathy Annalingham was seeing another man. SL Tamil, who was granted asylum in 1999, organised the abduction of Suren Sivananthan, 32, from the Secklow Gate shopping area near more..

Debate on disappearances bill stopped by Prez: JO

Sep 18 (Island) The JO said that it had received an assurance from President Maithripala Sirisena that the controversial International Convention for Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances Bill wouldn’t be taken up for debate on Thursday (21). Bill is to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which Sri Lanka became a signatory on Dec. 10, 2015. more..

'Some public servants shirk duties citing sil redi case'

Sep 18 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says public servants cannot shirk their duties and refrain from signing documents by citing as an excuse the sil redi  distribution case, where former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and ex- TRC Director General Anusha Palpita were sentenced to jail for misappropriating Rs. 600 million. Minister: "If there are officials who shirk their duties, then the govt will have to take action against them." He said: "There are laws, circulars and regulations governing more..

Matthews spins NWU South Africa to Red Bull Campus Cricket title

Sep 18 (DN) 20-year-old, leg-spinner Dyllin Matthews ripped through the Business Management School(BMS), Sri Lanka top order, as he bowled North West University (NWU) to the Red Bull Campus Cricket title. Generally it is SL’s own spinners who flummox South African batsmen on the island, but of such high quality was Matthews’ bowling in the final, that SL batsmen who are generally well accustomed to countering spin could not cope with his bowling, Matthews’ 3 for 22 more..

‘No reports of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Sri Lanka’

Sep 18 (DN) There are no reports of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Sri Lanka in the wake of a mass exodus taking place in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Minister Wasantha Senanayake said. Countering the claims, he pointed out it is highly unlikely that those refugees would come in large numbers to Sri Lanka. “If such refugees land on SL shores that would be in small numbers such as 20-25, they will be registered under UNHCR. more..

SupremeSAT cost Rs 460mn obtained from CEB funds: Champika

Sep 18 (DM) The former govt had allegedly spent Rs.460 million from the CEB funds for SupremeSAT, country’s first ever telecom satellite, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. He said in the guise of importing coal to the country the money had been allegedly syphoned out by the former president’s son who was responsible for SupremeSAT. Attending the 21st Anniversary of the CEB retired employees Welfare Society he made the above remark and said some of the responsible more..

Now monks in Cricket: Measures needed to prevent decline of Lankan cricket

Sep 18 (DN) Something should be done to prevent the decline of cricket in Sri Lanka. Talented members should be selected to the cricket team. Today’s problem is with the cricket administration. Steps should be taken according to the law of the country to preserve the game of cricket for the future, said the Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratne Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter. He expressed these sentiments when Minister Arjuna Ranatunga called on him at his temple more..

Disappearances bill to have no retrospective effect: PM

Sep 18 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the proposed ratification of a bill that criminalises enforced disappearance in the country will have no retrospective effect. He was responding to opposition’s accusations that the real aim of the Office of Missing Person (OMP) was to target the security forces personnel who defeated the LTTE. He said the proposed ratification in parliament of Int'l Convention for more..

Power Ministry to strikers: Return to work, no pay cut

Sep 18 (CT) Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy has requested all striking workers to return to work, after announcing that the two days of the strike will be considered as holidays with pay for all employees. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had requested the Ministry's administration to consider the two strike days as holidays for the employees who didn't report to work. Accordingly, the communiqué states that payment for those two days will not be deducted from the monthly wages. more..

Police to guard transformers, power lines

Sep 18 (Island) Ministry of Power has obtained police protection for transformers and power lines in view of possible threats to them due to ongoing strike by the workers of the CEB. They said police protection had been sought following reports of several acts of sabotage, which had led to power outages in several outstation areas. General Secretary of CEB Employees’ Union (CEBEU), Ranjan Jayalal said that none of their comrades had sabotaged any CEB properties. more..

Another union to join on-going CEB strike

Sep 18 (NR) The CEB Technological Engineers and Superintendent Union announced that it will collectively engage in a strike action with the other CEB Trade Unions, if suitable solutions are not provided to their demands. When inquired, a spokesman for the Union said among the number of issues that raise concern, is the formalization of the Joint Engineering services. CEB Technological Engineers and Superintendent more..

Is there an answer to North Korea’s bomb?

Sep 18 (DM) Nearly 72 years ago - in August 1945 - the US detonated the first nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing over a hundred thousand Japanese civilians in the first four months after the bombs were detonated. In actuality it was the first use of a weapon of mass destruction on civilian targets. The effects of the bomb killed many thousands within minutes. It completely destroyed the two cities, left thousands suffering from radiation exposure more..

Neglect of public transport: A crime!

Sep 18 (DM) The failure of successive govts over the last several decades to develop and modernize the railway in this country has been a major factor contributing to the rapid expansion of private modes of transport. Today, traffic congestion in urban areas has reached a critical point where people of all walks of life are engaged in a massive struggle to move around for diverse purposes. Poor public transport services have encouraged people to use private transport, making the above situation worse more..

SF’s vitriolic attack on Bhikkhus prompts Ven. Gunawansa’s foray into politics

Sep 18 (CT) Former Army Chief Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka's rhetoric on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lanka's armed forces became the subject of criticism by many people. Among them was Ven. Elle Gunawansa. Sarath Fonseka called him a man in robes and a lunatic. Ven. Elle Gunawansa said he prefers not to make hostile comment on Fonseka as the Thera does not want anyone to classify him to be of more..

'SLTB model best for private buses too'

Sep 18 (CT) There is a need to get all private buses under one controlling body, like the Sri Lanka Transport Board, to ensure a quality service and address a number of issues faced by private bus operators, president of the LPBOA Gemunu Wijeratne said. "Currently the National Transport Commission gives route permits for the long distance buses; meanwhile, provincial councils give permits for buses that ply shorter routes. more..

Chamara Silva ban could be lifted

Sep 18 (Island) There was a sigh of relief yesterday following SLC’s announcement that the perpetrators of the domestic match fixing scandal had been strongly dealt with as SLC concluded that both Panadura SC and Kalutara PCC were guilty of misconduct and not playing to the Spirit of the Game. However, there was sympathy as well towards Chamara Silva, captain of Panadura SC who had vehemently opposed his club’s more..

Another eyewitness speaks out on the Welikada prison riot

Sep 18 (SL) As the authorities continue investigations into the Welikada prison massacre, more eyewitnesses have come forward to reveal information about the incident. Hewadalugodage Sahan Sri, an eyewitness to the incident who has since fled the country, spoke to The Sunday Leader on what he saw. He had been arrested in 2007 under the terrorism prevention act and had served eight years behind bars and more..

Govt attempting to delay provincial elections again: CaFFE

Sep 18 (AD) The govt is attempting to postpone the Provincial Council Elections through a proposal during the committee stage on Sept 20th, the Executive Director of the CaFFE Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon claims.  Issuing a press release today, he said that the gazette of the draft bill allocating 30% of seats in provincial councils for female representatives has been issued and that this is to be included in the agenda of the parliament more..

Two MPs desert President, more to follow this week: JO

Sep 18 (Island) Having switched their allegiance to the Joint Opposition (JO), former Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando and State Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said that more SLFPers would desert the govt this week. They said a group of SLFP MPs would vote against the proposed 20 Amendment, aimed at postponing Provincial Council polls in Sabaragamuwa, Eastern and North Central Provinces scheduled for Dec 9 this year. more..

Harsha’s SAITM Committee proposes non-state sector medical education

Sep 18 (ST) Any solution proposed to resolve the current issues related to the SAITM must be in accordance with the Govt’s commitment to enable some level of non-state higher education, including in the medical sector, and must not be a financial burden on the state, a five member Presidential Committee said in its report. “The solution must be equitable to all stakeholders. It must be transparently implementable and more..

Sri Lanka edges closer to blackouts after canned CEB board meeting

Sep 18 (EN) Sri Lanka is getting closer to widespread blackouts after a cancelled board meeting of state-run CEB tipped the balance of power towards workers who have downed tools, strike-breakers say. The ongoing strike at state-run CEB was triggered by a union backed by JVP who promised workers a steep increment, going beyond a 25% hike due in January 2018. State-run CEB has above-market salaries for non-technical staff. more..

President arrives in New York

Sep 18 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena who left Colombo for New York to attend the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations arrived at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York this morning (18). The representatives of the Sri Lankan Ambassador’s Office in New York warmly welcomed President Sirisena and Mrs. Jayanthi Sirisena at the hotel where the President will stay during the visit. more..

Govt abandons effort to pass 20A

Sep 18 (DM) The govt has decided to give up on its efforts to pass the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which contains provisions to hold elections to all Provincial Councils on the same day, as well the decision to postpone elections for the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern PCs. The debate on the amendment was scheduled to be held on Wednesday (20). It is learnt that the main reason for the govt to give up more..

New York and Geneva

Sep 18 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to address the 72nd General Assembly of the UN tomorrow (19) in the backdrop of the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Unlike in the past though, leaders of the present regime have garnered the credibility of the international community towards addressing post-war humanitarian issues as well as strengthening peace and reconciliation in the island, they have to go a long way in overcoming the obstacles created by more..

Vision 2025: Part 1: Need for moving from a wish list to a concrete plan

Sep 18 (FT) Unity Govt released its newest economic policy statement titled V2025 – the marketing tag for the goals it has set for realisation from 2017 to 2025 – two weeks ago. Indeed, this has been the fourth of such statements which it has placed before the people during the last two-year period. The first statement had been incorporated into the manifesto of the UNP when it sought power at the General Elections in August 2015. Then, nearly three months after the elections, more..

ත්රිවිධ හමුදා රණකාමීත්වය විදහා දැක්වෙන දියකාවා

Laksala hit by Rs 200mn zero return theme park

Sep 18 (EN) SL Handicraft Board, which operates under the brand Laksala, has been hit by a project that costs Rs. 221 million, but is bringing zero returns after it was taken off the firm. Laksala had borrowed Rs. 199.4 million and spent Rs. 21.6 million of its own money to build Ape Gama in Battaramulla, theme park styled on a traditional village where crafts people work. It was opened in 2013. But from Dec 2015, Ape Gama had been gazetted under Ministry of Education. more..

US, SL co-host Pacific Airlift Rally with focus on humanitarian assistance

Sep 18 (USE) The United States and Sri Lanka conducted the Pacific Airlift Rally, a biennial exercise, from September 11 to 15, 2017.  The Pacific Airlift Rally brought together participants from the United States, Sri Lanka, and other Indo-Asia-Pacific nations for an airborne training exercise that focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.  Participants practiced mission planning, cargo handling and loading, and air-land and airdrop operations. more..

Pilot Project on flexible working hours commences in Battaramulla today

Sep 18 (AD) Pilot project to implement flexible working hours for the public sector employees in Battaramulla area will launch today. Project will be launched as an initiative of planning future measures to solve the heavy traffic congestion in Colombo. Ministry of Public Administration and Management recently decided to initiate a pilot project introducing flexible working hours for the public sector currently serving in more..

Acting CMO of Welikada Prison Hospital transferred

Sep 18 (AD) The Acting Chief Medical Officer of the Welikada Prison Hospital, Dr Nirmali Thenuwara, has been transferred to the Colombo National Hospital. Minister of Health Dr Rajitha Senaratne had instructed the Director General of Health Services Dr Jayasundara Bandara to make the relevant transfer order, the ministry of health said.  The decision was taken based on the requests made by 19 doctors attached to the Welikada Prison Hospital.  more..

Video: Arrest warrant issued for Weerakumara Dissanayake

Sep 18 (AD) Colombo Magistrates Court today issued an arrest warrant for the Deputy Leader of NFF, MP Weerakumara Dissanayake. The arrest warrant was issued over the MP's failure to be present in Court when a case against him was taken up for hearing today. A protest was conducted on the 5th of Feb 2016 opposite the UN Headquarters, where participants voiced dissent against the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid al-Hussein to Sri Lanka. more..

‘We fought hard to secure Sri Lanka’s interest in the deal’

Sep 18 (HN) SL’s legendary cricket captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, gives an impression of never having left the cricket crease even though he retired 16 years ago after leading his country to a World Cup win. As a politician and a minister in the govt, he takes on issues on the front foot as when he questioned the controversial Hambantota port deal, which he feels is loaded in favour of the Chinese. He was shifted from the Ministry of more..

Tuition master & brother released on bail

Sep 18 (NR) The tuition master and his brother involved in the release of the 2017 A/L Chemistry Paper have been released on bail. The order was issued by Gampaha Additional Magistrate Lalith Kannangara. The duo was released on a 10,000 rupee bail each and two surety bails of 100,000 rupees each. The suspects were ordered to appear before the CID every Sunday. Two were prohibited from engaging in overseas travel and were ordered to hand over their passports to Court. more..

Building collapses in Ahangama: five injured

Sep 18 (AD) Five individuals were injured after a five-storey building collapsed in Kathaluwa, Ahangama, today. The injured have been admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital. Rescue missions are underway in search of another missing individual buried under the debris. The individual, who was buried under the debris, has been rescued a short while ago. Individual has been rescued using backhoe machines through a joint mission carried out by Police, Army & Fire Brigade. more..

Still keen on TIFA deal, US tells Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (EN) United States still wants to go ahead with a proposed trade agreement with Sri Lanka despite new President Donald Trump’s desire to renegotiate other trade deals, a visiting American official said.  Mark Linscott, new Assistant US Trade Representative, South and Central Asian Affairs Office of US Trade Representative, said that he is not expecting any significant changes in the US’ bilateral trade with Sri Lanka. more..

SL auditor queries payments on road project

Sep 18 (EN) Auditor General’s Department has queried what it called contention payments made by the Road Development Authority (RDA) to consultants involved in Southern Road Connectivity Project. AG Gamini Wijesinghe said income tax amounting to Rs 11.7 million had been paid by the project on behalf of the consultants based on their salaries. VAT amounting to Rs6 million and nation building tax of Rs1.2 million had been paid on payments made to the consultants. more..

Police launch programme to identify disciplined drivers

Sep 18 (DM) Police will not only to take legal action against drivers who violate traffic laws but also to encourage disciplined driving, Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara said. He said this when launching a programme to identify and reward disciplined drivers in Colombo and highlighted the fact that due to reckless driving by a few had caused problems to most people. IGP said from time to time the police would implement various mechanisms to avoid or reduce traffic congestion and accidents. more..

Video: GMOA says not too optimistic about committee report on SAITM

Sep 18 (DM) GMOA said today it was not too optimistic about the Presidential Committee Report on SAITM on the basis that the report contradicted the committee’s recommendations. It said the committee report contained grave errors and the GMOA had appointed its own committee to study the entire report of the presidential committee before arriving at a final decision. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said the committee had more..