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'Wigneswaran took arbitrary decisions'

Sep 6 (CT) Former Northern Province Minister Balasubramaniam Deniswaran said that Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran took arbitrary decisions on the recent corruption issue against the board of ministers. "Northern CM actually formed the committee of inquiry to safeguard one of the ministers whom he supports. I will not allow CM to take arbitrary actions against us when we were exonerated by the committee of inquiry," more..

Editorial:  Pundits and jumbos

Sep 6 (Island) The present govt has mastered the art of selling family silver. Having handed over the country’s only inland port to China for a song and undertaken to lease the second international airport to India, the yahapalana politicians are now eyeing poor wild animals as a source of foreign exchange. They have already launched a night safari project to torture animals at the Dehiwala zoo and, thereby, boost its revenue. Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana has gone a step ahead. more..

Dry Zone Botanic Garden in Mirijjawila

Sep 6 (CT) The last thing you would expect to see in the drought stricken areas of Hambantota is healthy lush greenery. But, that is exactly what we saw when we visited the Dry Zone Botanic Garden in Mirijjawila, Hambantota. Despite the scorching sun in Hambantota, the plants at the Mirijjawila Botanic Garden have survived thanks to the regular watering by the staff managing them. With a mixture of colourful flowering plants, cacti, foliage and other species, Hambantota Botanic Garden shows more..

Mahinda Deshapriya

National economy, people’s wellbeing, tops Govt’s plans

Sep 6 (SO) There was palpable tension at the Unity govt´s cabinet meeting last week as Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera and Petroleum Minister Arjuna Ranatunga clashed over the continuing woes of Sri Lanka Cricket. President Sirisena moved in to put the intense argument between the two to rest. Continuing from weeks of bickering within the cabinet and between constituent members of the govt in parliament, we commented last week how the hierarchy of the unity govt reacted swiftly more..

Field Marshal triggers fresh storm

Sep 6 (Island) War-winning Army Commander and Minister, Sarath Fonseka last Saturday (1) declared that wartime Security Forces Commander, Vavuniya, the then Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya had committed crimes during his tenure as the senior officer based in Vavuniya. Sinha Regiment veteran Fonseka, who now holds the rank of Field Marshal, alleged that Jayasuriya had subjected those who were arrested by troops, under his command, to criminal activity. more..

Vice as virtue in the new code of thieves?

Sep 6 (Island) The recent public airing of political corruption by way of evidence emerging before the Presidential Commission points to a much bigger problem than individual acts of political corruption per se. These excuses shed a new light in to a proverbial code of thieves that seems to govern the world the political thieves inhabit. Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s stubborn refusal to show remorse even after the surfacing of damning evidence more..

Video: Maheepala Herath injured in accident

Sep 6 (DM) Sabaragamuwa Province Chief Minister Maheepala Herath and his driver had been injured when his cab collided head-on with a truck at Pitagaladeniya in Kegalle on the Avissawella-Kegalle Main Road early this morning, the Police said. The cab driver was admitted to the Kegalle Hospital in critical condition. The Chief Minister sustained minor injuries. The cab in which the Chief Minister was travelling was also severally damaged in the accident. more..

Too many cooks and what a soup

Sep 6 (Island) West Indies were denied a grand triple when they suffered a stunning defeat in the 1983 World Cup final at the hands of India at Lord’s. Captain Clive Lloyd was an angry man. A couple of months later, West Indies toured India, their wrath was such that the Caribbean kings didn’t give India any breathing space thrashing them 3-0 in Tests and 5-0 in ODIs. This was the famous series where Sunil Gavaskar decided to drop himself to number four. Malcolm Marshall had nipped out more..

Countrywide traffic cops provided with 90,000 alcohol breathalyzer units

Sep 6 (DM) Traffic police officers countrywide are to intensify raids against drunken drivers in the coming days after they were provided with a consignment of 90,000 blood alcohol sensing breathalyzers today yet fulfilling a dire need felt for months. Police Department distributed a batch of 90,000 brand new state-of-the-art blood alcohol sensing breathalyzers amongst its 42 Senior Superintendent Divisions around the country more..

Last chance for Sri Lanka to redeem wretched home run

Sep 6 (CI) Historically, Sri Lanka have never been this abysmal in a home series. They have been whitewashed in Tests on the island before, but never previously had they also been defeated in each of the ODIs. There is no denying it: Sri Lankan cricket is in an uncommonly dark place. What little pride remains is on the line in this T20. If there is hope for the hosts, it is in the 2017 form of both sides. India have not been quite as mighty in T20s as they have been in Tests and ODIs, more..

Constitutional reforms: JO rejects Steering Comm. proposals: Key meeting today

Sep 6 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) had flatly rejected far-reaching constitutional reforms proposed by the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, tasked with introducing a new Constitution, political sources said. JO parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP, and MP Prasanna Ranatunga had, on behalf of the 52 member group, vehemently objected to the report. They represent the JO in the Steering Committee, headed by PM Wickremesinghe. more..

ක්රිකට් විනාශ කලේ තිලංගල වැනි බුකි කාරයෝ

More Sri Lanka's hotels seek state help to stifle start-up challenge

Sep 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's Citrus Hotels group has called for tighter regulation of tourism start-ups and customers flock in droves on their own initiative, to new leaner smaller properties backed by price transparency offered by booking engines. Prema Cooray, chairman of Citrus Waskaduwa Hotel, told shareholders that the informal has grown exponentially and is today a major factor in driving arrivals and growth and the unregulated units is almost equal to the formal sector. more..

Swiss Chancental Works GMBH offers Rs1.1 bn bail out for CIFL

Sep 6 (DN) Switzerland‘s Chancental Works GMBH has forwarded a proposal for investing Rs.1.1 billion initially to bail out Central Investment & Finance Plc (CIFL) Insurance Company and make it up and running once again. Chairman Depositors Association of CIFL (CIFLDA) Wijaya Gunawardane speaking at the 4th AGM at the Colombo Public Library Hall, said that the plan provides for 15% of deposits to be converted to a share warrant scheme with the guaranteed buy back scheme more..

Welikada Prison massacre probe: Shots fired at chief witness’ house

Sep 6 (CT) Gunshots have been fired by unidentified persons at the house of Sudesh Chandimal – Chief Witness in the Welikada Prison massacre on Monday night. In that mass killing, 27 prisoners were alleged to have been murdered by security personnel of the Rajapaksa Govt who responded to a protest launched by prisoners of the Welikada Prison on 9 Nov 2012. According to a complaint lodged at the CID by Chandimal in connection with more..

SLITHM poised to tackle manpower requirements in tourism industry

Sep 6 (FT) Extending a helping hand to the tourism industry, the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM) will today launch the first in a series of training programs on Health and Wellness Tourism primarily targeting the Ayurvedic sector in Colombo. The institute launched a series of workshops and training programs for the benefit of tourism stakeholders, which will be conducted by the newly set up Tourism Event Management Unit of SLITHM.  more..

Dala Poottuwa circumcised by a croc

Sep 6 (CT) One of the two elephants which exist in SL, who have the longest tusks, which are crossed, known as Arjuna has had part of its penis ripped off yesterday afternoon by a crocodile and is in a serious condition. This accident had taken place when this huge elephant, Arjuna, had stepped into a tank near Sithulpawwa at Yala National Park yesterday. An incident of a crocodile ripping off a part of an elephant's sexual organ has not been reported previously. more..

JO wants for SF a fate similar to Wijeyadasa

Sep 6 (DM) The JO urged the govt to take a similar decision on Field Marshal and Minister, Sarath Fonseka as that taken when it removed Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe from his portfolio. MP Prasanna Ranatunga said Minister Fonseka's statement on (retired) General Jagath Jayasuriya was in stark contrast to the statement made by President Sirisena. “It is doubtful whether the minister was plotting to betray soldiers more..

Only 35% students in higher education enrolled in STEM-related fields: Study

Sep 6 (ST) Tremendous strides have been made in narrowing the gender gap in education in recent decades, with millions of girls and women previously shut out of learning opportunities altogether now exercising their fundamental right to education and thriving in the pursuit. However, beyond the head count, severe gender inequalities still persist for those already in school. Gender stereotypes and biased attitudes compromise the quality of the learning experience for female students more..

Lankan firm files case in Singapore HC over coal transport deal

Sep 6 (FT) SL firm, SAR Maritime Agencies, has filed a case in the Singapore High Court against PCL Shipping, part of the leisure giant Shangri-La Group. Legal action follows SAR Maritime Agencies alleging that PCL hadn’t paid the broker commission due for successfully lobbying on behalf of PCL to Ceylon Shipping Corporation, in respect of a proposed coal transportation contract in 2014.  At the time of the tendering for the 3-year contract SAR Maritime were the agents for PCL, Australia. more..

AG summons FCID officers; perusing 97 probe reports

Sep 6 (DN) Attorney General’s Department is now closely perusing into 97 investigation reports related to financial irregularities said to have taken place during the last regime. FCID had conducted thorough investigations into complaints of financial irregularities and mismanagement said to have taken place during the last regime. The relevant reports were forwarded to the AG for his advice. Police Hq sources confirmed that more..

Video: Govt has shown no interest in witness protection: Sudesh Nandimal

Sep 6 (AD) The chief eyewitness of the 2012 Welikada prison shooting Sudesh Nandimal stated that the govt has done nothing but idle, waiting for key witnesses capable of providing evidence of the 2012 shootings to be killed. Sudesh Nandimal stated that he had provided his fullest support to all authoritative bodies who looked into the 2012 shooting. He also mentioned that the Minister of Justice at the time, Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa attempted to cover up Welikada massacre more..

Several accidents on Southern Expessway

Sep 6 (DN) In the wake of several accidents in the southern expressway, RDA yesterday advised motorists on all expressways to drive with headlights on and within speed limits of 60 to 80 kmph due to the prevailing wet weather conditions. Meanwhile at least ten people were injured in two accidents on the southern expressway yesterday. Four STF personnel were injured when an ambulance transporting them toppled near Kasideniya, Poddala on the Southern Expressway, early morning. more..

Govt spruces up 20th Amendment

Sep 6 (FT) Govt made a crucial breakthrough yesterday by winning provisional support from TNA and SLMC for the 20th Amendment. TNA pledged conditional support during a meeting which party seniors held with PM based on assurances that several amendments would be introduced to the draft Bill during the committee stage. Provisions that would have enabled Parliament to exercise the powers of the PCs more..

SF’s attack on JJ: Dinesh to seek clarification from Marapana

Sep 6 (Island) Joint Opposition leader Dinesh Gunawardena will raise the LTTE backed Tamil Diaspora move against General Jagath Jayasuriya following Minister Field Sarath Fonseka alleging that the wartime Security Forces Commander, Vanni had committed crimes and he continued violations of human rights after becoming the Commander of the Army in July 2009. The following question has been submitted seeking answers from Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana under Standing Order 23/2: more..

SL Navy attacks Tamil Nadu fishermen, 20 boats damaged

Sep 6 (PTI) SL Navy allegedly attacked a group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and damaged their boats and fishing equipment, while they were fishing off the Katchatheevu island. SL navy personnel subsequently chased away the fishermen after warning them of severe consequences. Twenty boats were damaged and more than 10 fishermen sustained injuries in the attack, the police said, adding that the injured were admitted to a private hospital and discharged subsequently. more..

More rains forecast: Floods warning to riverine residents

Sep 6 (CT) As more rain is forecast for most parts of the country today, residents of riverine areas of several districts are warned to take precautions. People residing near the Gin Ganga, in the Galle District, have been told to be cautious about the water level of the river, following the latest predictions issued by the DMC said yesterday. Due to the heavy rainfall, several low level areas and roads experienced temporary flooding. more..

Sri Lanka announces plan to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Sep 6 (CMC) On 4 Sept, Ravinatha Aryasinha, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva announced Sri Lanka’s intention to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the near future. The announcement was made during the Seventh Meeting of States Parties to the Convention, in Geneva. The Cluster Munition Coalition welcomes this announcement and looks forward to counting Sri Lanka as the next State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. more..

President instructs to expedite work on Lotus Tower and Defence Hq

Sep 6 (ITN) President Maithripala Sirisena undertook a visit to the Defence Headquarters Building Complex which is under construction in Akuregoda. Thereafter he joined in an inspection visit to the Lotus Tower which is under construction. The new Defence Headquarters Complex building is coming up in the Akuregoda area. President Maithripala Sirisena visited the site this morning. During this visit the President made inquiries into the progress of work. more..

Japan concerned over exclusive use of Sri Lanka Port by one country

Sep 6 (DN) Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma, who completes two years in office, outlined details about bilateral relations, Japan funded development initiatives and future areas of cooperation and other relevant issues in an interview at his office last Monday (4). Here are edited excerpts. There are many projects in Sri Lanka and the total funding amounts to almost Rs. 1.8 trillion. more..

When a politico-god’s existence is in question

Sep 6 (DM) Human misery is an unequalled equaliser. Its presence, almost in every corner in this vast and speckled globe, is reminding each of us that human life could be incredibly unfair. The unending drama mostly ends in unspeakable tragedy. Many sagas remain untold and concealed behind a mist of unevenness. Since the dawn of time, since the Neanderthals hazarded out of the caves, man has travelled a long path and its winding way has taken him along, making him, more..

Assault on the Theory of Evolution

Sep 6 (DM) The Theory of Evolution has hardly seen calmer seas ever since its formulation in Charles Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species. Just like HMS Beaglewhich went through the stormiest seas in its five-year long voyage with Darwin on board, the Evolution theory too has been going through many a tempestuous sea.  Despite the ever increasing evidence that authenticate Darwin’s case, even more than 150 years after its birth the theory continued to be challenged & undermined more..

‘Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe supported the Joint Opposition indirectly’

Sep 6 (DM) Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Deputy Whip of the Govt, UNP Leader of Kalutara District Ajith P. Perera in a candid interview acknowledged offering jobs of the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry to his UNP supporters. Further, he said that he informed President and PM beforehand not to offer him the post of Justice Minister that fell vacant after the removal of Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. more..

'We fear whether judicial independence will be at stake'

Sep 6 (DM) JO MP Udaya Gammanpila spoke about the current political situation in the country and his plans for future activities. He says his party has fears whether independence of the judiciary will be at stake. Q: In the aftermath of the resignation of MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and the appointment of a new Justice Minister, how do you view the judicial process in terms of cases against the members of your side? more..

Prefab houses: Court told Cabinet approved granting contract without tender

Sep 6 (ST) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran this week withdrew his Supreme Court petition challenging the proposed construction of prefabricated houses for the war-displaced in N&E but will file a fresh application next week after making the Cabinet of Ministers respondents. Other respondents are Minister D M Swaminathan and French steel giant ArcelorMittal that has been identified for the project. more..

GMOA seeks presidential intervention to have SLMC president appointed fast

Sep 6 (Island) GMOA sought President Sirisena's urgent intervention to expedite the process of appointing a new President of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). GMOA Spokesman Dr Samantha Ananda said the union had written to the President urging him to intervene in the matter. He said SLMC had played major role in the Supreme Court Case against the Appeal court ruling on the SAITM last January. more..

'Gift elephants, legalise wild boar killing'

Sep 6 (DM) Wild life laws should be amended and new laws should be implemented for common animal species that were considered threat to humans, Deputy Minister Karunarathne Paranawithana suggested. He said most of the wild animals had some form of threat to humans and suitable measures should be taken to control the fast spreading animal species to minimise the conflict. more..

SL to review alcohol taxes; cut moonshine

Sep 6 (EN) SL will review alcohol taxes to link excise levies with alcohol content, which will reduce the illicit alcohol industry, a govt policy document has said, ending interventionist taxes that has been linked to corruption. SL's alcohol taxes gave an advantage to strong beer before 2015, with tax per alcohol content being more favourable to soft liquor, according to industry analysts, which led to a boom in beer sales. more..

SF should tell the truth: Wiggy

Sep 6 (CT) Northern Province CM and TPC President C.V. Wigneswaran said, that President Siriena's statement, that he will not let anyone to conduct a probe against Govt Forces on war crimes allegations, indirectly says that Forces have committed war crimes. A declaration was also released at the Veerasingam Hall in Jaffna yesterday, after the conclusion of the political discussion involving the public, political leaders and experts. more..