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Former Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board Chairman granted bail

Sep 4 (DN) Former SL Handicrafts Board (Laksala) Chairman Anil Koswatte and three others appeared in Court over a corruption case filed by Bribery Commission were ordered to be released on bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate, today. This is for allegedly causing unlawful loss to the govt when awarding a contract to a private company to build a new showroom at the National Museum premises, contrary to the accepted tender procedure. Four accused were ordered to be released on more..

Role of universities in bringing continued economic prosperity to Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (FT) This is an expanded version of the Convocation Address delivered at the 13th General Convocation of the Wayamba University on 30 August. As pronounced by the Govt in its economic policy statement, SL aspires to become a developed country within the next 30-year period. To attain this goal, statement says, Sri Lanka should have a minimum annual economic growth of 7% over this period. Given an annual population growth of 1%, what it means is that the average income of more..

ගබ්සාව : සංස්කෘතික වැටකඩුලු මැද සිර වූ මානව අයිතීන්

Govt donates funds to flood victims in Nepal

Sep 4 (NR) The govt of Sri Lanka has issued a financial donation to those affected by floods and disasters in Nepal. Issuing a statement the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said $50,000 US Dollars was donated to Nepal. The statement said the donation was made through the Nepalese Ambassador in Sri Lanka. Approximately 17 million people were affected by the recent floods in Nepal and over 40,000 houses were destroyed while nearly 200,000 houses were damaged. more..

Timely advice

Sep 4 (CT) Department of Examinations has advised students who sit for the GCE A/L exam to steer clear of unruly behaviour, after the conclusion of the exam today. The Department, while advising GCE A/L candidates to behave well after the conclusion of the exam, has also warned that Police Stations throughout the country have been put on alert to take action against any form of unruly behaviour of students. Of course, students will breathe a sigh of relief at the conclusion of more..

Sarana Gunawardena arrested by CCD

Sep 4 (AD) Former Chairman of Development Lotteries Board (DLB) Sarana Gunawardena has been arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). He was arrested in connection with charges related misuse of state property.  He is accused misusing state-owned vehicle while serving as the Chairman of DLB.  Gunawardena had reportedly continued to serve in the tender board of DLB even after being elected to parliament more..

11 govt members will crossover: Udaya G.

Sep 4 (NR) PHU says 11 Ministers and MPs of the govt will cross the floor and join the Opposition in Parliament in the near future. MP Udaya Gammanpila said they will contest the LG Election together with SL Podu Jana Front under a new alliance. He said there are many members of the SLFP attached to the JO adding that a majority of SLFP members are attached to other political parties. He said SLFP members in the Opposition are not affiliated with another party. more..

Sri Lanka politicians scramble to prevent country becoming a drug trafficking hub

Sep 4 (TD) As unprecedentedly large drug seizures take place in Sri Lanka, authorities are taking a variety of steps in an attempt to preven their country becoming a major transit hub. In just over a year, SL customs have detected six high-value shipments of cocaine amounting to 1,770kg. This includes 928kg found on a ship in Dec 2016 - largest-ever cocaine seizure in Asia. These seizures suggest that SL is being increasingly used as a trafficking hub, as there is little to no local market more..

Current players can’t fill in Sangakkara, Mahela’s big shoes: Arnold

Sep 4 (PTI) Former SL cricketer Russel Arnold feels legendary Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are irreplaceable and it would be a mistake to expect the current crop of players to fill in their big shoes. “We are not going to replace big players like Sangakkara and Mahela, or even Dilshan. They cannot be replaced as they are once in a lifetime players,” he said. “If we ask the current players to be like them, more..

Legalising abortions only a proposal: Rajitha

Sep 4 (NR) Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senarathne says legalising abortions was only a proposal. The proposal was made at a scientific session of a doctors union. The proposal was put forth justifying abortions in the wake of pregnancy through rape or in the case of deformity of the foetus. Health Minister however noted that the Ministry of Health did not receive the proposal adding once handed over it will be tabled for Cabinet deliberation. more..

WPC postpones debate on draft 20A

Sep 4 (DM) Western Provincial Council (WPC) today postponed the debate and the vote on the draft bill on the 20th Amendment till next Monday. Governor had requested the Council to convey its decision on the draft Bill before Sept 12. However, CM Isura Devapriya said today more amendments are to be included in the Bill and therefore, the debate should be postponed till the amendments were finalised. The postponement was approved by 77 councillors while 5 members objected to it. more..

Ex-teacher helps rebuild scarred lives in SL

Sep 4 (PS) For someone who has experienced first-hand war, violence and disaster in her home country, not to mention caring for and supporting practically all types of victims and leading survivors through the healing process, it must be easy to get disillusioned, lose hope and just give up on life. But 82-year-old Gethsie Shanmugam of SL rose to the occasion — and was recognized as one of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay more..

NPC unanimously votes against 20A

Sep 4 (AD) The 20th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka was defeated by a unanimous vote at the Northern Provincial Council today (04). The draft was submitted to the Council by the Chairman, C. V. K. Sivagnanam. Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran had previously made a statement saying that the Northern Provincial Council would not be backing the 20th Amendment. He stated that the 20th Amendment aimed to vest Provincial Council powers with the Parliament. more..

Ranjan says he has criticised only errant lawyers, judges

Sep 4 (Island) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said that his recent criticism of the judiciary had been largely based on previous statements made by former presidents, incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Ravaya editor Victor Ivan, attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna, former President of the Bar Association of SL Upul Jayasuriya, PC as well as journalists. Gampaha District MP Ramanayake said he had been critical of only corrupt lawyers and judges. more..

Perpetual Lawyer to step down: Chief Dealer says computer was crashed on purpose

Sep 4 (DN) Perpetual Treasuries Lawyer, Nihal Fernando PC said that he could not continue to represent the company and will make a decision by Wednesday following the revelation of deleted phone calls by Perpetual Treasuries. “It is matter of my professional reputation. I did my best with regard to the transactions but this was beyond me” he said.  He said that he completely relied on the instructions given to him by his client, more..

Caution to general public by SriLankan Airlines

Sep 4 (AD) SriLankan Airlines wishes to notify the general public that there is a fake airline survey currently circulating on the internet and social media including messenger apps, mentioning SriLankan Airlines offering free tickets. This is NOT a SriLankan Airlines promotion. This is a malicious and false site that is attempting to prey on our valued customers. Please do NOT access any sites that are not directly linked to SriLankan Airlines webpage. more..

I was able to change a corrupt electoral process: Faiszer

Sep 4 (DN) I was able to change a corrupt electoral process and give a rightful place to those deserving and reform the entire social system. With the blessings of President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, with great difficulty, I was able to change this corrupt electoral process, said Minister Faiszer Musthapha. He said so addressing the media on the historical political achievement with the introduction for the 20th amendment to the constitution, yesterday. more..

Video: We've no faith in the presidential committee: GMOA

Sep 4 (DM) The GMOA said today it had no faith in the presidential committee appointed to resolve the SAITM issue and as such the govt would have to face severe consequences soon. GMOA executive committee member Prasad Kolambage told a news briefing that the association has lost confidence in the committee appointed by President Sirisena because it consists of pro-SAITM individuals. more..

Kataragama Basnayake Nilame says he cannot be removed by Minister

Sep 4 (Island) Basnayake Nilame of Ruhuna Maha Kataragama Devale D. P. Kumarage said that Buddhasasana Minister had no power to remove him from the post as he had been legally elected under the provisions of the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance of 1931. He said so responding to a press report that Minister of Buddhasasana Gamini Jayawickrema Perera was taking measures to appoint Basnayake Nilame of Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devale as the Basnayake Nilame of more..

29th Mahaweli Sports Festival on Sept 9-10

Sep 4 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena will be the Chief Guest of the concluding ceremony of the Mahaweli Sports Festival to be held on the 9th to 10th of September at the National Playground in Polonnaruwa. The Mahaweli Sports Festival is held annually to provide the opportunity for the children of the families living in Mahaweli Zones. This is the 29th consecutive festival which will be participated by about 5000 athletes from 10 Mahaweli Zones. Mahaweli Sports Festival, considered more..

More Colpetty places and their stories

Sep 4 (Roar) The Colpetty of the roaring sixties and seventies was simply wonderful to be in. Life then was so easy and carefree. Those were the days when a group of playful lads known as the Aloe Den Boys could run about playing catches all the way from Aloe Avenue to Colpetty Junction without any fear, or a schoolgirl could freely walk over to Thomas & Sons opposite the Gal Palliya on Saint Michael’s Road to purchase more..

Dhammika Prasad named in 25-man provisional squad for Pakistan Tests

Sep 4 (CB) Fast bowler Dhammika Prasad has been named in a 25-member pool ahead of the two match Test series against Pakistan later this month. Prasad last played an international game in October 2015 and was sidelined by a shoulder injury. He made a comeback during Sri Lanka's tour to England in May 2016, but returned home after aggravating the injury during a warm-up game against Essex in Chelmsford. Later he was sent to Australia for surgery. more..

President, PM launches economic vision of equal opportunity

Sep 4 (EN) President and PM has launched a policy document for until 2025 with a more detailed three year plan. "The gist of the argument is that for us to achieve our vision, we have to make SL the hub of the Indian Ocean by creating a knowledge based highly competitive social market economy," Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. The so-called V2025 document called Country Enriched envisages a peaceful nation where everyone has an equal opportunity at prosperity, more..

'Ministers cannot grant tax concessions'

Sep 4 (CT) A press release issued by the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media states that Minister Mangala Samaraweera assures caretakers of religious institutions and the public that there was no truth in the canards propagated to mislead the public claiming members of families with an annual income of Rs. six Lakhs, senior citizens and religious institutions will be taxed under this new Act. more..

Video: Arrest SF with immediate effect: PHU

Sep 4 (AD) PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila said Minister and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka had appeared to have withheld evidence regarding war crimes charge for the past eight years and such suppression news warranted his arrest. He said govt should arrest Mr. Fonseka for withholding evidence in connection with the war crime charges levelled against former army commander (Rtd) General Jagath Jayasuriya. He said Mr. Fonseka betrayed the Army for the second time and more..

Mobitel organizes MedHack, the first-ever Medical Hackathon in Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (DM) MedHack is Sri Lanka’s first ever Hackathon for the health sector organized by Mobitel, the National Mobile Service Provider of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka. MedHack aims to innovate solutions for the health sector and bring medical and health professionals together with tech experts and problem solvers to address the challenges faced by the Sri Lankan health sector. more..

Ven. Elle Gunawansa commends President's assurance

Sep 4 (DM) Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera commended Prez Sirisena for assuring that he would not allow war crimes charges against former army commander Jagath Jayasuriya but urged him to translate his words into action. He said that it was the army which saved him when the LTTE attempted to assassinate him twice. Thera said a number of other military men who spearheaded the war against LTTE are being intimidated more..

Occasional stories: A rebel at the door!

Sep 5 (CT) I suddenly woke up with a gentle knock on our front door. On other days, we all would have been awake by this time but this was school holidays and university vacation. We all were having an easy time; I, my wife and our son. Who could be at our door this early, I wondered. I heard most certainly Wimala, our domestic help, walking to the door and opening it and then she came to our door and said, Someone to see you Sir. I lazily put on a shirt, as I normally used to sleep without, more..

The way forward after war crimes charges 

Sep 5 (CT) The war crimes cases registered against former army commander General Jagath Jayasuriya in five South American countries would alert the govt that it needs to take remedial action without further delay. It seems that General Jayasuriya was fortunate that the cases were only registered after he left Brazil where he was Sri Lanka’s ambassador for the last two years. Although the former army commander had diplomatic immunity, international law also states that those accused more..

'we disagree only on policy matters'

Sep 5 (SO) The combination of two main political parties, the SLFP and the UNP has paved the way for a new political culture in the country based on trust, unity and understanding, so that issues that crop up are only for policy matters, said Minister Duminda Dissanayake. He said, those who are trying to join former President Rajapaksa’s camp should think twice whether such a move would have a political future. more..

The two year mixed economic performance

Sep 5 (ST) The absence of any celebratory events last month to mark two years of Unity Govt was perhaps owing to the state of confusion of the coalition. On the other hand, civil society leaders, who had played an important role in electing the new regime, organised a public meeting to remind the govt of the promises it had made two years ago and to urge the govt to fulfil its promises of good governance. Although there were serious lapses in governance, regime change was a milestone more..

Playing pandu in political style

Sep 5 (ST) That was great. It was a class performance meant to draw sustained applause not only from aficionados of Sri Lanka’s cricketing world but also those who risk life and limb to climb nearby trees or clamber on to buildings to watch national teams lose matches in grand style. So before the 4th ODI went the way of the others those who the pick players who are to be slaughtered on the field with no judicial consequences, paid the ultimate price. Last week the five-member Selection more..

'I have no doubt that a scam has taken place'

Sep 5 (CT) Bond Scam is one of the most discussed topics in the country and has caused the demise of a few senior government ministers. Ceylon Today spoke to Professor Rajiva Wijesinha to get his opinion on the Bond Scam and the damage that the controversy has caused the Govt. Q: Bond Scam (or scams) is a highly controversial, widely discussed yet highly confusing topic for many. How do you feel about this matter? more..

Unfair criticism of judiciary

Sep 5 (CT) It was reported that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in a Statement dated 25 August 2017, titled SRI LANKA: Lawyers, prosecutors and judges should face the mirror stated that "a press release issued by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has threatened contempt of court action being taken against a deputy minister who has made some serious criticisms against the Courts and the legal profession." The AHRC in its statement points out that more..

Editorial: Dog and pony shows

Sep 5 (Island) We are never short of political circuses. On Sunday, we were treated to the latest dog and pony show in town, as it were. The SLFP held its 66th anniversary rally at the Campbell Park, Colombo with people bussed from all parts of the country to the venue. It was like a divorcee celebrating a wedding anniversary on a grand scale; about one half of the dissident SLFP MPs representing the Joint Opposition (JO) boycotted the event. The SLFP is now flying with one wing. more..

Face the Nation

66th milepost and midway blues of the Blue-Green mix

Sep 5 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena and the SLFP celebrated their 66th birthdays yesterday, amidst mid-point blues of the unity Govt of the SLFP and UNP. While President Maithripala Sirisena is quite confident that the consensual Govt would continue at least till the end of his five year term, i.e. 2020, there are many in his own party and others who have their doubts. However, as President Sirisena pointed out, whether the current govt loses the majority in Parliament or not, more..

Sayura and Sagara leave for Indo-Lanka Joint Naval exercise SLINEX 2017

Sep 5 (SLN) Sri Lanka Naval Ships, Sayura and Sagara left Trincomalee today (4) for India to participate in the SL Navy and Indian Navy Exercise, SLINEX 2017. They were accorded a formal farewell in accordance with naval traditions as they left the harbour. The Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Nimal Sarathsena, Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Kapila Samaraweera and several senior naval officers were also present on the occasion. more..

ComBank to fund Sri Lanka’s first puppetry museum

Sep 5 (DM) Ambalangoda’s rich but partly-forgotten tradition of puppetry is to be revived and developed with the establishment of Sri Lanka’s first puppetry museum with funding support from the Commercial Bank of Ceylon. A regular sponsor of initiatives to preserve the country’s cultural heritage, the bank has pledged to support a proposal by Ganwari Supun Gamini, a science graduate of the Peradeniya University, and a 4th generation more..

Bhikkhu and the Sinhalese ruler

Sep 5 (Island) The sacred bond that bound the monk and monarch ever since the great philosophy was introduced to the island nation Thambapanni over 23 three centuries ago, is unique in the world. The beneficiary of that alliance as to be expected was always the latter and through him the country witnessed unparalleled strides in spiritual development and material prosperity as borne out by the chronicles. Following is an account of a few fascinating encounters between the two, more..