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Today is Binara Full Moon Poya Day

Sep 5 (DN) Ayan Vassana Kalo! This is the vassana period believed to be the highest merit bestowing religious ceremony performed in the Buddha Sasana coming down from the days of Thathagatha the Perfect One, the supremely enlightened one. We see Buddha Dhamma and Sangha indivisibly together during this period. There is no other time that the Triple Gem is venerated by the Buddhists so much. We have no doubt one who sees the Dhamma sees the Thathagatha & vice versa. more..

Situation much worse than 1999: Wettimuny

Sep 5 (Island) Ex-Test cricketer and former head of SLC Sidath Wettimuny says that the predicament country’s cricket team is facing is much worse than the team’s status in 1999. SL’s disastrous World Cup campaign in 1999 prompted an angry response from then President Chandrika Kumaratunga who sacked Thilanga Sumathipala’s Executive Committee and brought in an Interim Committee of which Wettimuny was part of. more..

Asela set to miss Pakistan Tests

Sep 5 (CT) Sri Lanka's premier all rounder during the last few months, Asela Gunaratne, is set to miss the Test series against Pakistan, revealed ODI skipper Upul Tharanga following their 5-0 loss to India on Sunday. "I don't think Asela Gunaratne will play the Test series against Pakistan. If at all he plays it will be in the one dayers," said Tharanga. Gunaratne has been a key member of the Sri Lankan team since the last South African tour where he played a big part. more..

Don’t be soft with software: Think global domination

Sep 5 (ST) Software is something that is global. Not regional or country specific. This is what Sanjiva Weerawarana, CEO of WSO2, a middleware (software that connects computer systems) production firm, wants all software-related fraternity and aspiring software industrialists to know. It’s true, he says noting that the software development phenomenon is a global thing and it’s increasingly important to recognise this. In fact, any company that thinks big enough more..

Tharanga opts out of Test cricket for six months

Sep 5 (CI) Sri Lanka's limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga has opted out of Test cricket for six months in order to focus on the white-ball formats. The outgoing selectors, headed by Sanath Jayasuriya, did not name Tharanga among the 25 in the provisional Test squad for the forthcoming games against Pakistan in the UAE. Tharanga has been modest in Tests this year with 430 runs from eight matches, but more..

NTB empowers Colombo Uni undergraduates

Sep 5 (Island) Nations Trust Bank together with the Uni of Colombo Alumni Association has commenced a three-year engagement to conduct Personal Effectiveness Workshops for undergraduates of the University of Colombo. Recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence, interpersonal communication and personal resilience to be effective in the working environment, Bank has sought the support and expertise of Bridge Partnership, an international leadership more..

Whatever happened to the monastic Sangha?

Sep 5 (DN) In a traditional Buddhist country like Sri Lanka, it isn’t unusual for lay people to become Dharma teachers. They give discourses, they conduct classes, they give meditation instructions, and sometimes conduct meditation courses and retreats; but when they do so, they’re almost always nested within a system that gives priority to the monastic order. Usually they will have studied and trained under monastic teachers, and they’ll continue to pay homage to monastic sangha more..

SL apparel industry sweats over workers

Sep 5 (ST) Sri Lanka’s apparel industry, a 400,000 strong workforce, is fighting hard to attract approximately 10,000 workers and will be having a serious deliberation on the matter. Some officials are talking of even hiring foreign recruits. Once a budding industry, easily attracting labour, today finds it difficult to retain staff in the face of stiff competition from other sectors like the lucrative tourism and more..

GCE A/L questions leak: 3 released on bail

Sep 5 (CT) The student and two others, involved in the GCE A/L questions leak, were released on bail yesterday. The three suspects – the student, his father and the father of the tuition master, were released on bail by Gampaha Magistrate D.A. Ruwanpathirana. Bail was set at Rs 10,000 in cash each and two sureties in Rs 200,000 each. Police added, that the tuition master and his brother, who were also arrested over the incident, were further remanded till 16 Sept. more..

Yet another land grab

Sep 5 (DM) A certain politico had acquired an eight-acre block of land belonging to a place of religious worship. This prime land located close to a girls’ school and an elephant bathing spot has been acquired purportedly for the purpose of setting up a training centre for athletes. However, no step whatsoever has been taken so far towards the proposed project. Meanwhile, the politico has taken action to transfer the ownership of a part of this land to a powerful person in politics, more..

ADB says 38% of Nenasalas non-functional

Sep 5 (CT) World Bank funded US$ 7.4 million Nenasala programme, to bring ICT to the masses, however, saw 38% of those Nenasalas closed, an ADB report said. The report, which quotes a study done by the State run ICTA said that in a survey conducted in 2014–2015, covering 884 of the 1,005 Nenasalsas or Govt of SL sponsored ICT centres, established in 2004–2015, 336 were found closed, while 548 were still operating. more..

Parties must set aside differences: Ranjith

Sep 5 (NR) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says it is important that political parties set aside differences and work together in order to ensure the status of a developed country. He said the main concern at present is to stop calling Sri Lanka a developing country and reach a point where the country can be referred to as developed. Minister Siyambalapitiya said he is a Minister of the SLFP adding that the Deputy Minister of his ministry is an active member of the UNP. more..

Paranavithana suggests exporting jumbos

Sep 5 (CT) Deputy Minister Karu Paranavithana says that if the Govt is determined to reduce the country's elephant population, then, the elephants should be sold to other countries. He stated that his proposal may not be popular among the people and wildlife groups. Paranavithana made this suggestion during the Coordinating Committee meeting held at Balangoda. "The wildlife policy in this country is not in tune with the modern times. There are many loopholes in that policy. more..

Don't betray people by protecting so-called war heroes: SF

Sep 5 (DM) Minister, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said that it is unjust to protect wrongdoers for the sake of being war heroes clad in military attire and that every politician and every leader of the govt should understand that fact. He said soldiers who committed murders and rapes were punished and hanged and former leaders of the govt had punished wrongdoers on behalf of the people. “We are aware that the soldiers who more..

Many elevators need modernisation, safety and quality standards in Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (ST) While technology plays a major role in making things easy and efficient, elevators and escalators also play an important part in moving people faster. Modernization of these elevators and escalators also need to take place while adapting to new technology, considering the safety and quality standards. There are instances where people have felt buildings shake thinking that it’s an earthquake after getting off an elevator. That is because it’s not the building that shakes but more..

Security forces return 39.19 perches to rightful owners at Tellippalai

Sep 5 (Island) Approximately 39.19 perches of land with Urani Kanista Vidyalaya in Tellippalai Divisional Secretariat area, used by the security forces during the conflict, were handed over to the land owners by Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi, at a ceremony held on Sept 4. The ceremony was organised by troops of 515 Brigade in consultation with the Jaffna Security Forces Hq. The process of releasing the lands with Urani Kanista Vidyalaya was more..

Former UN staffer says Sri Lanka has shot itself in the foot

Sep 5 (Island) The Geneva process now being implemented in accordance with Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in Oct 2015 couldn’t be reversed by one leader, former UN staffer and political analyst Mohan Samaranayake said. He compared the ongoing project spearheaded by Western powers to that of a road roller capable of crushing resistance. He said so in response to President Sirisena’s declaration more..

Norwegian experts to plug the leaks

Sep 5 (ST) Norwegian experts have recommended a pre- and post-grouting to rectify and stop water seeping into the underground tunnel of the Uma Oya Multi-Purpose Development Project, said Mahaweli Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake. He said the Local Expert Committee (LEC) and the Subject Experts of the Project Management are working with the Contractor’s new technical experts now in Sri Lanka. “The new team was brought down to effect the recommended modifications on grouting, more..

Sri Lanka set to play first twilight Test

Sep 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka will play its first day-and-night Test match later this month when they meet Pakistan for a two-match series in the UAE, the cricket board said. Test series will start Sept 28 and is due to end on October 10 with one of the games slated to be played as a day-and-night match. SLC announced a 25-member provisional squad led by Dinesh Chandimal for the Test series. Sri Lanka will also play five ODIs and two Twenty20 matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai & Sharjah, official said. more..

V2025 launched: Per capita income of USD 5,000, one million more jobs targeted

Sep 5 (Island) Govt launched Vision 2025, aimed at establishing an Enriched Country, at BMICH. Prez & PM, speaking after launching their administration’s future economic programme, said that an Enriched Country would be achieved through the introduction of many changes. "The govt will help everyone enjoy the benefits of social justice and market competition by creating a knowledge-based, highly competitive social market. more..

Lawsuit claiming SLFP Chairmanship fixed for order

Sep 5 (DN) Colombo District Court set Sept 29 to deliver its order regarding the preliminary objections raised against a lawsuit that sought an order to re-instate the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the chairman of the SLFP. The SLFP General Secretary through his counsel yesterday filed written submissions in Courts citing that there is no legal basis to proceed with the case. The lawsuit had been filed by two Plaintiffs Aruna Priyasantha and Asanka Srinath citing more..

Judiciary permits to examine 12 Bank Accounts of Ajith Nivard Cabral

Sep 5 (ITN) The judiciary has permitted the FCID to examine the Bank Accounts of Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral, his wife as well as his two children. Ajith Nivard Cabral is accused of granting funds to the CWG Hambantota Company in relation to the Commonwealth Games which was planned to be held in the year 2018. It is in this respect that Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne granted permission to examine more than 12 Bank Accounts of the group including Ajith Nivard Cabral. more..

Bond Scams Probe: Lawyer says he can’t represent PTL anymore

Sep 5 (Island) In a surprise turn of events, senior attorney for Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), President’s Counsel Nihal Fernando, said the Presidential Commission, that he could no longer appear for the company as what had been committed by Perpetual Treasuries constituted a criminal offence. He said so following the revelation, before the Commission, that vital data had been deleted from the computers of PTL. more..

Visions and designer budgets: From paper to the people

Sep 5 (DM) In Sept 2015, the two major parties the UNP and SLFP came together for the first time to form a National Unity Govt to work for the common good of the country.  Whatever the disputes or drawbacks -- which were not unexpected -- National Unity Govt has made progress, though most analysts say there is a long way to go before the vision is reached by 2025.  President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe -- now playing an equal role in socio-political and economic issues -- more..

Between Neoliberalism and Authoritarian Populism

Sep 5 (DM) The Global Economic Crisis of 2008 continues to ravage the world. The economic fallout is evident from the decline in global economic growth and tremendous decrease in international trade. The political consequences of the crisis in turn are shaping the emergence and consolidation of authoritarian populist regimes.   Neo-liberal globalisation starting in the 1980s was centred on the push for free trade, free flow of capital, deregulation and privatisation. more..

Sarath Fonseka’s war crime rhetoric is self-harming

Sep 5 (DM) When Yasmin Zooka’s International Truth and Justice Project (ITJC), known for its dalliance with LTTE loving fringe Tamil groups, selectively raises the human rights card on Sri Lanka, it can be dismissed as sour grapes. But, when the former war-winning army commander and now a Field Marshal and Cabinet Minister Sarath Fonseka jumps on the bandwagon to implicate his successor Gen. Jagath more..

Country warned of possible attempt by NPC to pass law to inquire into alleged war crimes

Sep 5 (Island) President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva warned that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) could pass a new law to inquire into accountability issues. de Silva pointed out that former Supreme Court judge and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran had declared the need for a provincial mechanism in the absence of a suitable setup so far to probe accountability issues. more..

Vandersay, Shanaka in revised SL T20 squad

Sep 5 (CI) Although Sri Lanka Cricket had already named a T20 squad ahead of the ODI series, two days out from the one-off match against India, the board has released a new squad, this one featuring legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay and seam-bowling allrounder Dasun Shanaka. Also in this side are spinner Akila Dananjaya, who was Sri Lanka's most penetrative bowler in the ODIs, seamer Suranga Lakmal, who has recovered more..

India hands over off-shore patrol vessel

Sep 5 (PTI) Stepping up cooperation between the two coast guards, India today handed over an off-shore patrol vessel, Varuna, to Sri Lanka, the Indian maritime security agency said. The ship was decommissioned with traditional honours on August 23 to facilitate the handing over at Kochi. India has earlier handed over two OPVs of the Indian Coast Guard, Varaha in April 2006 and Vigraha in August 2008. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism digital campaign to kick off in January

Sep 5 (FT) After many announcements of a digital promotional campaign this year, Sri Lanka Tourism finally confirmed that the initiative would take off in January 2018, while noting that it would also begin a two-year marketing program budgeted at $ 20 million. “We are launching the five-month digital promotional initiative covering our prime European markets including Germany, the UK and France. more..

Drastic drop in poaching after new law: More positive steps to settle issues

Sep 5 (ST) The ban on bottom trawling fishing in Sri Lanka has helped to drastically reduce poaching by Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait, Fisheries Ministry Secretary W.M.M.R. Adhikari said. She said the reduction had come soon after Parliament in July approved a law criminalising bottom trawling as a punishable offence with provision to impose fines. The reduction has come though the Govt is yet to enforce the law. more..

Priority Bus Lane opens for student transport vehicles from tomorrow

Sep 5 (DM) The Priority Bus Lane has been opened for the student transport buses and vans with effective from tomorrow, the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry announced today. The project came into light as a concept of the subject Minister Champika Ranawaka which functioned in selected roads in Colombo city limits was earlier reserved only for the passenger transport buses. more..

Parliamentary sessions: Poor attendance by MPs

Sep 5 (CT) It has come to light that 18 MPs have attended only five out of the 21 Parliament sessions that had taken place between May and July this year. Meanwhile, 14 MPs have attended all the 21 Parliament sessions that had been conducted during that period. This alarming detail has been revealed through the website, which is devoted to publishing information related to the work of MPs within the legislature. more..

Journey of consensual govt is a clear victory for the people: President

Sep 5 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says whatever said to the contrary, the journey of the consensual govt during the past two and a half years is a clear victory for the people. The launching ceremony of the Vision 2025 A Rich Country, the Economic Development Plan of the govt, was held under the patronage of  President and PM at the BMICH, today (4), and Prez made these remarks addressing this ceremony. more..

AG 's Dept. makes vital breakthrough in Bond probe

Sep 5 (DM) After listening to several phone conversations taken place between Arjun Aloysius (PTL owner) and Kasun Palisena (PTL CEO), which were previously deleted and missing from PTL's recording system, AG's Department officials late last night have uncovered the vital information about what took place during the controversial Feb 27, 2015 bond issue and thereafter, sources close to Presidential Commission said. more..

Looking For Mervyn 

Sep 6 (CT) Papa was a rolling stone. I did look for Mervyn de Silva quite a bit as a boy, disembarking from my mum’s car and popping into every watering hole in town, from posh pub to seedy bar, occasionally encountering him and consenting to a cover story which would enable him to make it home with a halfway plausible excuse while I misdirected my mother to a few more locations so as to buy him some time. Mervyn used to say I’d make a good diplomat, and ventured to Prez Premadasa more..

The SAITM issue & The big picture

Sep 5 (CT) The controversy over the SAITM has been prolonging for some time without an end in sight. While the govt is unwilling to budge an inch from its stand in allowing the institute to operate as a private medical university the opponents on the other hand are bent on disrupting its smooth operation. Unavoidably the security cost of safeguarding the institute is rising. By narrowing their protest over this particular institution the protesters are ignoring the bigger picture more..

Sustained efforts ease dengue burden

Sep 6 (SO) “Be vigilant of your environment. Be responsible for your own health. Clean up your act and ensure your surroundings are clean, both within the house and outside.” This in a nutshell was the crux of the message that underpinned the sentiments of health officials contacted by the Sunday Observer, Friday. Our conversation focused on current trends in the dengue epidemic and efforts by the Health Ministry, Dengue Control Unit, more..

Packing the public service

Sep 6 (CT) To help the deliberations of the committee appointed by the National Human Resources Development Council to recommend new ways of working in the Public Sector, I requested the assistance of several distinguished public servants of past vintages. These ranged from the time in which recruitment was to the old Civil Service to those who had retired very recently. Not all responded, but those who did were of the highest calibre and continue to be respected by more..

Decisive days ahead!

Sep 6 (DN) The apparent situation has become dramatic. Yes, Dharma Yuddaya has entered the very center of the Yahapalanaya. Today’s UNP is a party that hounds out Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, but will staunchly defend Rajitha Senaratne. UNP while disclaiming that it is the party of pro imperialist bourgeoisie prides itself on being the party of professionals and the educated. Today it is a party that replaces as Minister of Justice, a President’s Counsel and a former examiner in more..