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Two stolen vehicles recovered, gang member arrested

Jan 16 (Island) Tihagoda police arrested a member of an organised gang responsible for stealing two vehicles from a well known businessman in the area recently. Suspect is a former employee of the victim and the two luxury vehicles had been stolen while they were parked in the hotel, where the suspect had worked. The police said the suspect had been arrested within 48 hours of the incident and at the time of his arrest he was planning to sell the vehicles to a businessman in Colombo. more..

Zero-tolerance over violence against children: Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (DM) Sri Lanka maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding cases of violence against children and is committed to bring perpetrators to justice as expeditiously as possible, the government said yesterday. In Sri Lanka’s opening statement at the 77th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) held at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, Women and Child Affairs Secretary Chandrani Senaratne said more..

Two partners in govt sorely mismatched

Jan 16 (CT) Just a few decades ago it would have been unthinkable for this country to have a Govt that brought perennial rivals the SLFP and the UNP together. In 2002 when the UNP won the Parliamentary majority and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was President there was a short while when there was cohabitation between the two and there was hope it would last for some time. After all Kumaratunga and then PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had been childhood playmates and so-on. more..

Video: If men can do it, so can women: SF

Jan 16 (AD) Minister Sarath Fonseka says that despite the endless criticism of certain policy decision of the govt, he does not see anything wrong with them. Speaking to reporters, he alleged that during the Rajapaksa regime some 2,000 temples were closed down and 2,000 liquor shops instead. However, the former Army Chief said that although allowing women to be employed at liquor shops has become an issue today, in most countries of the world women even fly fighter planes. more..

Coexisting with spotted cats in the jungle

Jan 16 (DM) With a tawny or rusty yellow coat, dark spots and close-set rosettes, Panthera pardus kotiya or the SL leopard in other words continues to dominate the food chain in different habitats of the island. Although there’s a recorded number of over 700 leopards currently living in SL, the animal is usually a seldom seen species on nature trails, unless you are lucky to spot those spots! Recent footage of a leopard pouncing more..

Indian minister Ravi Prasad calls on Prez

Jan 16 (PSL) The Indian Union Minister for Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (15). A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad is a lawyer representing the state of Bihar as a Member of Parliament and the pioneer of Project Development Fund, which provides electronic services and financial assistance to Indian citizens. more..

Impaired driver fined Rs. 8,000 for driving school bus

Jan 16 (DN) An individual with physical impairments was arrested for driving a school bus transporting school children and was fined Rs. 8000 by the court on Monday. Alleged man had never possessed a driving license, but had been driving a school bus. Children were not in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. Suspect was produced before the Horana Magistrate after he was arrested on Monday and on the same day, was produced to courts. He was later released upon having paid fine of Rs 8,000. more..

මෛත්රී සහ රනිල් සීතල යුද්ධෙන් මෛත්රී ඉදිරියෙන්

Four acres of ganja found in Lunugamvehera National Park

Jan 16 (AD) Officers attached to the police dangerous drugs raiding unit in Tangalle have raided cultivation of cannabis plants spread across nearly four acres of land within the Lunugamvehera National Park and arrested one suspect along with a locally-manufactured firearm. The police carried out the raids on Sunday and Monday and managed to destroy a large number of cannabis plants – some close to 7 feet tall – cultivated across around 4 acres of land while the estimated value of more..

Sri Lanka arrests 16 Indian fishermen for illegal poaching

Jan 16 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Navy on Tuesday arrested 16 Indian fishermen for poaching illegally in the island's northern seas, Sri Lankan navy media unit said in a statement. Four fishing trawlers belonging to the Indian fishermen were also taken into custody. The fishermen were apprehended in the seas northwest of Delft Island and northeast of the Kachchativu Island, in Sri Lanka's north, by Fast Attack Craft attached to the Northern Naval Command of Sri Lanka. more..

Unemployment at 4.2% in 3Q 2017

Jan 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's unemployment fell to 4.2% in the third quarter of 2017 from 4.5% a year earlier, with a shift from low productivity agriculture to industry and services, official data showed. A survey by Sri Lanka's statistics office showed that in absolute numbers unemployed persons were estimated at 358,350, in the third quarter down from 389,594 in the third quarter of 2016. more..

NFF wary of changes to change Bond report

Jan 16 (NR) The NFF says certain individuals are attempting to change the contents of the report issued by the PCOI to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds. Deputy Leader of the Front MP Jayantha Samaraweera said the NFF will take legal action against such an initiative. MP Samaraweera stated according to the information the front received an attempt to change the contents of the report produced by the Bond Commission was made. more..

Zim look to revive happy times against SL

Jan 16 (CI) It has been six months since Zimbabwe came back from being 2-1 down to win 3-2 in an ODI series in SL, before pushing the hosts all the way in the solitary Test. All the main performers from that ODI series will be available for both sides as they face off in the tri-series in what will be the 100th ODI to be played in Mirpur. Zimbabwe have already lost one game, trounced by the hosts Bangladesh by 8 wickets, on Monday. Their batsmen didn't turn up as they got bowled out for 170. more..

Pakistan Army Chief arrives

Jan 16 (PT) Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are probably the only two countries that understand what they take to defeat the menace of terrorism. He remarked during meetings with the top military leadership of Sri Lanka after landing there on a two-day official visit on invitation from his counterpart, said a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations. more..

BC to appoint legal experts to study PCoI report

Jan 16 (DM) Bribery Commission (BC) is to appoint legal experts to study the PCoI report on the CB bond sales to determine action over the findings of the report pertaining to the Bribery Act, a commission official said. On a directive of President Sirisena, CIABOC received a copy of the PCoI Report for further legal action. A senior BC official confirmed the receipt of the copy of the report and said it had to be subjected to a in depth study before resorting to any legal action. more..

Mohammad Shiyam murder case appeal: Vass denies threatening CID Director

Jan 16 (CT) Former Senior DIG Vass Gunawardena on 12 Jan told the Colombo High Court (CHC) that during his entire service tenure in the Department of Police under no circumstance he had berated any fellow officer. Even if he notices any wrongdoing he was used to summon that particular person to his office before advising the person concerned, he added. He had made this comment to the Court while giving evidence in the case filed against him by the Attorney General for berating and more..

President walks out of the Cabinet meeting

Jan 16 (DM) A deeply dejected and disappointed President Maithripala Sirisena stormed out of the Cabinet meeting this morning after making an emotional speech over the personal attacks levelled at him by the certain members of the UNP, a senior Cabinet Minister said. “He spoke for about half an hour to the members of the Cabinet and even mentioned the names of UNP members, who have severely criticized him on a personal level” more..

First purpose-built Tier 3 Data Centre opens

Jan 16 (GDI) Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT) will launch its newly built, state-of-the-art, Tier 3 (Tier III) Data Centre at Pitipana, Homagama today with the visiting Indian Minister, Ravi Shanker Prasad as the Chief Guest. This is Sri Lanka’s first Purpose Built, Tier 3 Data Centre recognized as the National Data Centre in operation and will enhance the provision of a secure and reliable data hosting facility and Cloud computing services in SL. Ministry and SLT aims to equip local businesses with a full range of more..

Minister promises new fishing harbour for VVT

Jan 16 (CT) Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera, who was impressed with the Kite Festival in Velvettiturai (VVT) – which took place on Thai Pongal Day – has pledged to build a new fishing harbour for VVT. He has also promised to extend the beachfront of VVT for residents in the area to engage in beach sports. The Kite Festival was organized by the Vigneswara Community Centre for the eighth year. Secretary of the Community Centre, A. Vaseekaran said that more..

Video: Cabinet decides to withdraw Gazettes on liquor

Jan 16 (AD) The Cabinet of Ministers have decided to withdraw the recent Gazette notifications issued on extending business hours of liquor shops and allowing females to buy or sell liquor. Minister Mahinda Samarasingha sated that the unanimous decision was reached during the Cabinet meeting held today (16). The president had ordered the reinstatement of ban on women buying alcohol and being employed in places where more..

The Sirisena Saga: On Yahapalana misogyny

Jan 17 (CT) The National Human Rights Action Plan [hereafter referred to as Action Plan] is one of the best developments that came out of the otherwise jaundiced Sirisena–Wickremesinghe joint govt. A crucial component of the Action Plan was a call to work towards repealing legislation of yesteryear that restrict fundamental freedoms of Sri Lankan citizens. Last week, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera MP announced a decision that was part of the gradual implementation of the Action Plan more..

Dr. Ranjith Atapattu, an exemplary figure

Jan 17 (CT) It was profoundly ironic that the funeral of Dr. Ranjith Atapattu took place the day after the appalling spectacle in Parliament. My attention was drawn to this by the former Secretary General, Nihal Seneviratne, the launch of whose book about better days was one of the last public events that Dr. Atapattu attended. I saw Nihal at the funeral, where we were joined by Mahinda Rajapaksa who had come to pay his respects, but he was not allowed to stay in the background as he had wanted, more..

'Upcoming LG Elections a referendum'

Jan 17 (CT) National Organizer of JO and UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma says the SLFP is the ancestral home of the patriots of this country; home to progressive persons, and the sanctuary of the leftists. "Today the UNP has leased it out". Q: The Treasury Bond Fraud Report has been released and hasn't Maithri taken the sword out in a way no one thought of? A: He appointed the Commission and the Report was out in no time. more..

Prevailing plight of the land of Spice

Jan 17 (DN) Sri Lanka has always been known as the Island of Spices, but today, the industry faces a number of challenges, many of which are common to the slow deaths of numerous traditional industries, from handicrafts to cultivation. Those engaged in the spice industry are both smallholders and large-scale cultivators. The Matale district, which is a hub for spices, has suffered great losses during recent times, mainly due to the sharp drop in the prices of spices—especially that of pepper. more..

Constitutional reforms process needs corrections

Jan 17 (CT) An important event in the Constitutional Reform Process was the discussion in the Constitutional Assembly on the first interim report submitted by the Steering Committee. The debate that commenced on the 30th of Oct and gone on for 5 days brought about very positive views for the success of the attempt to bring about constitutional reforms to meet the twin problems of democratization of the state and national reconciliation. more..

Yan Oya Project: Large reservoirs the need of the hour

Jan 17 (CT) Development projects, in a diverse society, should not be only aimed at economic development, but also for developing peace which is being built up between various ethnicities, through commitments carried out by different races on behalf of the others. If not, those projects will not achieve sustainable development for all ethnicities within a diverse society. It became extremely clear, during our recent visit, more..

TNA: How better is better?

Jan 17 (CT) In a recent interview to Meera Srinivasan, Colombo-based correspondent of the respected Indian newspaper, The Hindu, TNA leader R. Sampanthan, made a few valid points, some of them repeated by him and other Tamil leaders before him, ad nauseum. The fact that a veteran who is the only surviving signatory to the then famous TULF rejoinder to the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Accord has to keep repeating the traditional Tamil position (sans LTTE brand of terrorism, more..

In praise of President Sirisena

Jan 17 (CT) Who made Maithripala Sirisena, President of our republic? Was it Ranil who claims that he made a great sacrifice by deciding not to contest as the UNP's candidate? Is it the executive committee of the UNP that decided to endorse Maithripala Sirisena as the common candidate that the party should support? Or did the majority of people who voted for the common candidate make him our President? Let us cut to the chase. Let's avoid obfuscation. Let's get to the point. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayaike

Sri Lanka celebrating 70th anniversary under a cloud

Jan 17 (Island) A group of British parliamentarians representing the ruling Conservative Party recently declined to respond to The Island queries pertaining to their visit (Jan 3 - 8) to Sri Lanka. The visit took place amidst continuing controversy over Lord Naseby challenging the basis for Geneva Resolution 30/1, co-sponsored by Sri Lanka on Oct 1, 2015. Conservative Party member Lord Naseby on Oct 12, 2017, in the House of Lords, revealed the treacherous British role in Geneva project. more..

Many roads open

Jan 17 (Island) We have just commenced Yahapalana Year 4. The third anniversary of Yahapalanaya is also the third anniversary of the defeat of the Rajapaksa regime. Both anniversaries coincide happily with the imminence of an island-wide election, the first since 2015. The Yahapalana govt is also well past its halfway mark. The occasion therefore permits a reflection on the record of Yahapalanaya and the prospects ahead, especially in the light of the upcoming election. more..

Stepping into our own magical world of nano

Jan 17 (ST) A top a small hill in Pitipana, Homagama, off set amidst a lush 50-acre block is a building, the sight of which stops the visitors in their tracks. It looks like a space station but a closer view makes it crystal clear that it is all to do with science and technology. Taking the shape of a hexagon with atoms aplenty adorning it, we are on the doorstep of Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), just about to more..

People should foil opportunist governance

Jan 17 (Island) The group of leaders who came together to get Independence from the colonial powers could not stay united for five years. The destinies of the nation were submerged due to the leaders not sitting together and formulating a vision of national priorities and a practical strategy for the planned and harmonious development of the country and the unification of the people. Their personal shortcomings impinged on the Nation. Majority in the newly formed UNP Cabinet was self-satisfied. more..

Editorial: The Hulftsdorp find

Jan 17 (Island) Good news comes from Hulftsdorp. Minister of Foreign Employment and Justice Thalatha Atukorale says she has dug out a slew of important files, put away by the Attorney General’s Department, under the previous government. She deserves praise for the find. It was to expose the misdeeds, if not crimes, of the former rulers and bring them to justice that people elected the present government in 2015. After all, that was one of the main yahapalana promises. more..

Lankans spend more on food, apparel in holiday season

Jan 17 (DN) Visa has released spend data for Dec 2017, indicating a spike in spending across categories in particular, across apparel, food & groceries and home improvement by SL consumers during the holiday season. “This December we witnessed strong spends by Sri Lankan consumers across various categories. True to the spirit of the holiday season, spends were concentrated around travel, lodging, F&B, more..

Learnwell, international brand of science text books translated into Sinhala

Jan 17 (Island) MBD, one of India’s largest education companies and the most prolific book publisher in the country has donated one thousand copies of Learnwell Science books for SL students. The books were recently handed over to the Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam by MBD’s SL Country Manager. The internationally recognised brand of educational books which has gained a reputation for its wealth of information have been specifically translated into Sinhala for the benefit of more..

Increase of NPL likely to affect quarterly results of banks and financial companies

Jan 17 (Island) Increase in Non Performing Loans (NPL) in banking and financial sector has affected the profitability of companies in the industry. As a result, the stock prices of these companies are likely to come down when their quarterly results are released during the course of the week or so, stock market analysts said. Due to the drought and other natural disasters and coupled with economic slowdown has resulted in increasing the non performing loan ration which amounts to more..

Grand Hotel receiving orders for Rs.3.8 Mn desert: Chef

Jan 17 (DM) Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya is already receiving orders and positive feedback for Marry Me, the Rs.3.8 million dessert, Chef Viraj Jayaratne said. Chef Jayaratne, who created the dessert, said that many Sri Lankans living abroad had praised the efforts of the team of chefs at the Grand Hotel to promote the hotel and Sri Lanka. He said the dessert was the result of a joint effort made by the hotel's chefs, more..

The beginning of a new era?

Jan 17 (DN) SL will hope to begin a new era in their cricket history when they open the New Year 2018 with a match against Zimbabwe in the one-day tri-nation series in Dhaka, today. A new coach Chandika Hathurusingha and the reinstalling of Angelo Mathews as the captain of the one-day game in both formats ODIs and Twenty20Is has renewed hopes of a better tomorrow for the SL cricket team and its players who have had a rough ride in 2017 – a year they would want to forget in a hurry. more..

SLC provides equipment to 14 Clubs

Jan 17 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has invested Rs 60 million to provide Ground Equipment for 14 of its member clubs. 9 Tier A clubs and 5 Tier B clubs were the beneficiaries. This was a project of the National Development Centre of SLC, states the release. Among the items distributed were grass cutters, manual rollers, hand rollers, outfield rollers, outfield gang movers, manual spike rollers, hand tractors, nylon boundary ropes and turf cutters. Tier A clubs SSC, Bloomfield, CCC, NCC, more..