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Coconuts to be sold at concessionary rates

Sep 29 (AD) Mahinda Amaraweera said that the Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) will launch a program to distribute 1.5 million coconuts at the price of Rs.65 each. The program will commence on October 2, and coconuts will be sold by mobile vans of the CCB in Colombo, Hambantota and Matara Districts. He said that Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) had been instructed by the President to take action against the organizations and businessmen who are unnecessarily harassing customers. more..

SL pilots smart classroom at pioneer school

Sep 29 (EN) Sri Lanka will bring modern technology transforming education over the next decade, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the opening of a hi-tec smart classroom at one of the country's oldest western-style schools. PM visited the model classroom with students equipped with tablets and wi-fi connections at Sri J'pura Maha Vidyalalaya in Kotte, in an initiative started by Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva, more..

Ranga Kalansooriya resigns as DG of Govt Information

Sep 29 (AD) The Director General of the Govt Information Department, Dr Ranga Kalansooriya, has tendered his resignation. The senior journalist and founding Director-General of the Sri Lanka Press Institute was appointed to the position on June 06, 2016.  He was serving as Adviser - Asia Pacific Affairs, at International Media Support at the time of his appointment.  Prior to that he had served as a journalist for the Dinamina as well as the Daily News, where he became more..

President emphasizes the need of active implementation of Soil Conservation Act

Sep 29 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized the need of active implementation of the Soil Conservation Act to protect the soil while preventing the increasing soil erosion day by day, as a result of the natural disasters as well as the results of the activities of the various illegal sand trading activities.  He made these remarks during a meeting with the officials of the Soil Conservation Board held at the Presidential Secretariat, today (28). President drew the attention of the officials more..

Court dismisses lawsuit seeking order to re-instate former President Rajapaksa

Sep 29 (DN) A lawsuit filed by two individuals seeking an order to re-instate the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the chairman of the SLFP was dismissed by Colombo District Court today. Colombo District Judge Sujeewa Nissanka upheld the preliminary objections raised by defendants and decided to dismiss the lawsuit in limine. This lawsuit was filed by two Plaintiffs former Boralesgamuwa UC Chairman more..

September Colombo consumer inflation rises to 7.1%

Sep 29 (EN) Consumer price inflation in Colombo rose to 7.1% in September from a year ago, its highest in six months, according to the Dept of Census and Statistics. Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) in August 2017 had been 6%. The CCPI for all items for the month of Sept 2017 was 119.7, an increase of 0.9 index points or 0.71 percentage points compared to August 2017. The year-on-year inflation of the food group increased from 6.9% in August to 10.4% in Sept 2017 more..

Indictments against 4 Customs officers for accepting largest-ever bribe

Sep 29 (DN) CIABOC filed indictments in Colombo High Court against four ex-senior customs officials in connection with the largest ever recorded bribe nabbed by the Bribery Commission. The Director General of Bribery Commission filed indictments against Assistant Customs Superintendent Upali Gunaratne Perera, Customs Superintendent  Wasantha Wimalaweera, Customs Superintendent  Upali Wickremasinghe and Customs Superintendent Sudeera Jinadasa more..

Constitutional reforms: Belgium offers expertise

Sep 29 (DM) Belgium is ready to share experience with Sri Lanka in the ongoing constitutional reform process, Belgium Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders said. He expressed these view upon meeting Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana at the Belgium Foreign Affairs Ministry in Brussels on Wednesday. Minister Reynders also informed that Belgium was willing to offer diplomatic training to Sri Lanka Foreign Service Officers. more..

13 JO members in NCPC join SLPP

Sep 29 (DM) 13 joint opposition members of the North Central Provincial Council including former CM S.M. Ranjith joined the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). Former NCPC ministers H.B. Semasinghe, K.H. Nandasena and councilors K.P.S. Kumarasiri, Upali Wijekoon, Gamage Weerasena, Abdul Hussain, T.M.R. Siripala, Kalyani Karalliyadda, Janak Adikari and Polonnaruwa district members R.M.P.B. Ratnayake, G.G. Chandrasena and Amarakirthi Athukorala are among those more..

Supreme Court to hear SLMC petition

Sep 29 (NR) Supreme Court today determined that the petition filed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council challenging the verdict of the Court of Appeal pertaining to the SAITM in Malabe will be taken up for hearing. The petition was taken up for hearing before a three member bench comprising judges Buwaneka Aluwihare, Anil Guneratne and Sisira de Abrew. The Supreme Court was divided over the verdict. A petition filed by a student of the SAITM stated that the Court of Appeal on the more..

Action against those who disrupt Central Expressway work

Sep 29 (DN) Road Development Authority (RDA) stated that legal action would be taken against the protestors who disrupt the work of the Central Expressway. RDA Chairman Nihal Suriyarachchi said that a protest campaign has been orchestrated by a small group with the motivation to disrupt the work of the Expressway from Meerigama to Kurunegala.  He observed that even the people who received compensation by the Govt more..

Model coconut farms to be set up Bid to develop industry: Dayasiri

Sep 29 (CT) Ministry of plantations is attempting to create model coconut farms across the country, with a special emphasis on the North and East in a bid to develop the industry, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said. He added that over 230,000 coconut trees were destroyed in the Kurunegala district alone due to the recent drought and that is one of the main reasons for the steep increase in the price of coconuts. He added that a similar situation might be prevailing more..

Barrier to be built at Kethhena to prevent seawater from mixing with drinking water

Sep 29 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has ordered officials to accelerate the planning and construction of the barrier to prevent seawater from mixing with drinking water at Kethhena in the Kalutara district. Project is estimated to cost Rs. 3 billion. Minister had ordered relevant officials to plan the project as soon as possible and to complete the construction work within a period of three years. Instructions were also given to officials to take measures to prevent flood damage. more..

Construction work of Trilingual National School in Polonnaruwa commences

Sep 29 (PSL) Ensuring the national reconciliation process, the construction work of the Trilingual National School in Kaduruwela, Polonnaruwa was commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, today. The school is being built under a concept of President Sirisena, and the objectives of this school is to fulfill the need of multi-ethnic, trilingual mix school in the districts of A'pura, Trincomalee, Ampara & Batticaloa, more..

SL meets quantity targets for June: IMF

Sep 29 (EN) Sri Lanka has met key performance criteria on tax revenues, deficit and foreign reserves the International Monetary Fund said though the June 2017 review will be completed following further discussions. "Policy performance has been very strong," Mission Chief Jaewoo Lee said. The IMF said growth is expected to be below 4.5% this year amid one of the worst droughts in history. Lee said September indicative targets were also on satisfactory path. more..

IMF staff concludes visit to Sri Lanka

Sep 29 (IMF) A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Jaewoo Lee visited Colombo during September 18-29, 2017 to hold discussions on the third review of the Sri Lankan authorities’ economic program that is being supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) . The program aims to support the authorities’ ambitious reform agenda to put public finances on a sustainable footing and create space for social and development program. more..

Video: GMOA threatens indefinite strike

Sep 29 (DM) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) today warned of an indefinite strike without prior notice in protest against the SAITM. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the decision was unanimously approved by its Central Committee. “We will be forced to launch an indefinite strike if the related authorities continue to provide fake solutions to the issue which will lead to the legalization of the SAITM,” he added. more..

BASL demands justice for Maldivian lawyers

Sep 29 (Island) Bar Association of Sri Lanka expressed its shock at what it called the unjust and harsh treatment of lawyers in the Republic of Maldives and the disturbing manner in which they had been harassed and intimidated in order to suppress their voices and dissent. A statement in this regard signed by BASL Secretary Amal A. Randeniya states:  Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is the voice of the Sri Lankan legal fraternity consisting of approximately 18,000 members, more..

Prof. Peiris accuses govt of turning its back on war heroes

Sep 29 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday accused the govt of having turned a blind eye to the plight of security forces officers and men facing war crimes allegations. Referring to statements UK MP Paul Scully as well as Northern Provincial Council member K. Sivajilingham had made at the ongoing UNHRC sessions, Prof. Peiris alleged that the government had given the leadership to despicable campaign against the country. more..

Pakistan unscathed after Chandimal ton takes SL to 419

Sep 29 (CI) Sri Lanka rode Dinesh Chandimal's slow-burn 155 not out to 419 - their best total in six Tests - before Pakistan's openers moved to 64 unbeaten by stumps. Though match is more or less in balance, thanks to Pakistan's resurgence in the third session, Sri Lanka will also be pleased with their day's work. Their fans had hoped their team would suck less in this series than they had against India; only the very more..

Smoke out the perpetrators of terror

Sep 30 (CT) Much has been talked about both locally and internationally, about the attack on the UNHCR shelter in Mount Lavinia by a gang of thugs led by men in robes. Following this cowardly attack, they heroically claimed that they had smoked out Rohingya terrorists hiding in Sri Lanka. They did smoke out indeed, but, whom? A frightened group of speechless and terrified nine men, seven women and 16 children. These were people who had been taken into custody by more..

Rohingya and the local divide

Sep 30 (NS) The Buddhist-Muslim tensions in Sri Lanka took a different turn last week when a group of monks stormed a safe house where some of the refugees from Rohingya were housed. They were being looked after by the UNCHR. The incident triggered criticisms towards the monks, and the UNCHR. But what seems lost is humanity. Some argue that the UNCHR had not followed protocol in bringing in or looking after the refugees, thereby justifying the actions of the monks. more..

Salty wind, sea and Negombo’s oruwa fishermen

Sep 30 (SO) While I was photographing the Dutch Canal, better known as the Hamilton Canal in Negombo, several months ago, for my feature story to the Sunday Observer, my taxi driver asked, Mahattaya, lagoon eke oru balanna kemathi nedda? (Sir, wouldn’t you like to see the canoes in the lagoon?) “Yes,” I said. Once I finish my photographic task at the Hamilton Canal around 9 am, the rest of the day would be available more..

Profits galore in the Islam & Muslim bashing industry

Sep 30 (CT) How many of us have heard or at least seen Pam Geller? A face like no other. American political activist and commentator known for her anti-Islamic writings, Sponsored Draw the Prophet campaign.  Her blogging in the US are against what she terms as Creeping Sharia in the country. Multiple groups have described Geller as rabidly Islamophobic. She spew so much anti-Muslim crap, it’s a kind of an unarrestable and untreatable diarrhea. more..

A minority within a minority

Sep 30 (NS) BOTH Sri Lanka’s ethnic Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority think of themselves as original, indigenous inhabitants of the island—an important prop to their political claims and counterclaims. But there is one group of Tamils who are relatively recent arrivals, and whose status has suffered accordingly. The first 10,000 “hill-country Tamils” came to work in the island’s nascent coffee plantations in 1827 as indentured labourers. more..

Mannar’s donkey buddies

Sep 30 (ST) Saya, Maria, Evelyn and baby Alex……all are hits with anyone who crosses their paths. Even though they and their kith and kin have been around for a long time in Mannar, it is very recently that the interactions and bonding began in earnest. It is this bonding, between human and animal — special children and donkeys — that we see during a recent visit to the first-ever more..

Tiger cannot change it's stripes

Sep 30 (CT) A bird may fly up and up in the sky, with a free feeling and unaffected, but there comes a time, during his journey, when it decides to go in search of a branch to perch on! Likewise, could it be interpreted to say that Rev. Father S.J. Emmanuel, the leader of the UK based Tamil Forum, has finally decided to re-visit Sri Lanka on a low profile, after engaging in a vicious propaganda campaign against Sri Lanka by defending the terrorist activities of the LTTE by calling it a liberation struggle more..

Deduru Oya and good governance at risk

Sep 30 (GV) Environmental issues have become a central concern of policy makers, with many international conventions ratified by the global community. However, if we want to protect the environment on a global scale, individual countries should try to implement and enforce environmental laws in an efficient manner. Mere participation in international conferences, justifying broken pledges on environmental conservation with sweet words are not sufficient to preserve nature. more..


Editorial:  Deaths and UN stats

Sep 30 (Island) The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Colombo has issued a clarification as regards its reference to suicides in a previous statement on the prevailing drought here. It says that though it in the first media release attributed two suicides to the drought, now it has learnt that they cannot be linked directly to the adverse weather conditions. What the aforesaid clarification, published in The Island yesterday, signifies is that the UN is prone to mistakes. more..

Presidential Rule of Provincial Councils

Sep 30 (Island) Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Bill was passed by Parliament with a 2/3 majority and signed into law by the Speaker. The need for a 2/3 majority is reported as being based on the advice of the Attorney General. Whether the Bill provides for the Governors to take over the functions of the Provincial Councils at the end of their statutory period or not, the present understanding is that the Governors would be responsible for the functioning of the PCs more..

Dinesh Chandimal: 9 hundreds, 6 bail-outs

Sep 30 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal led Sri Lanka's effort with a hard-fought century in Abu Dhabi, his ninth in Tests and his first against Pakistan. It came under duress: Sri Lanka were in a bit of a bother at three wickets down for just 61 runs when Chandimal came in. Given the fragile Sri Lankan batting order of late, Chandimal has walked into bat under pressure quite a few times. But he seems to enjoy such situations: more..

Pothas pleased with application of batsmen

Sep 30 (Island) After the recent struggles against India, where there were too many batting collapses, the Sri Lankan batsmen showed plenty of application batting for over five sessions to post 419 all out in their first innings of the first Test against Pakistan here in Abu Dhabi. SL’s coach Nic Pothas was pleased with the effort by the team. "Very happy that we battled for 155 overs. It’s no secret that the wicket and outfield are slow. You can add another 50 or 60 runs to that total. more..

International powerboat event in Bentota

Sep 30 (CT) Lanka Powerboat Association (LPA) is bringing two international powerboat events to Sri Lanka in November, a media release states. This unique, action-packed powerboat event which will feature Formula 2 (Super Cat) and P750/Thundercat powerboats will take place at Bentota on 11 and 12 November. All of the invitee drivers will be providing a breathtaking water display on the lagoon and in the sea. The event features two days of white knuckle - edge of the seat racing, more..

Lanka IOC to increase prices of petrol and diesel in Oct.

Sep 30 (FT) Lanka IOC is likely to increase the prices of petrol and diesel in October according to industry sources. LIOC officials said that due to huge losses, the company has been left with no other option but to increase the prices of petrol and diesel as the quantum of losses have become unbearable. They also said that they will increase the prices to the minimum, taking into consideration its impact on Sri Lanka public. more..

Over 100 top Indian travel professionals here to attend IATO Outbound Convention

Sep 30 (FT) On an initiative by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga, Sri Lanka was successful in its bid to hold the IATO Outbound Convention from 2-4 October in Colombo. The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is the national apex body of tour operators with a membership of over 1,600 across India. IATO’s membership consists of the nation’s inbound tour operators, travel agents, hotel chains, airlines and other stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry.  more..

China calls for more assistance to Sri Lanka’s general public

Sep 30 (Island) A donation ceremony took place at the Cancer Care Society of Sri Lanka on September 22. Chinese ambassador Yi Xianliang and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya attended the ceremony. Ambassador Yi handed over a donation of Rs. 13 million to Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa, chairman of the Cancer Care Trust of Sri Lanka, to assist the foundation to help cancer patients throughout the island. Ambassador Yi said that China is one of the largest donors to Sri Lanka, more..

By train across Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s elderly population to reach 3.6 million by 2021

Sep 30 (Island) Sri Lanka has a rapidly aging population from the Asian region which is a serious challenge in many aspects. In 2012, the population over 60 years was 2.5 million which was 12.5% of the total population, Consultant Physician Dr. Lasantha Ganewatta said. The population would increase to about 3.6 million by 2021, which is 16.7% of the total population according to demographic statistics. By 2041, one out of four of the population would be elderly. more..

Video: Hungry elephant overturns vehicle on Sri Lanka road in search of food

Sep 30 (UPI) A tourist in Sri Lanka captured video of an elephant tipping over a tuk tuk vehicle after being fed by a tourist. The video, filmed Sept. 14, shows the elephant approach the tuk tuk on a road between Arugam Bay and Yala. A man gets out of the tuk tuk and hand-feeds the elephant, which accepts the offering before swatting at the man with its trunk and overturning the vehicle. The filmer explained the passenger, an Irish tourist, had been instructed by more..