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Govt negotiating with Singapore to obtain Arjuna Mahendran’s extradition

Jul 17 (CT) A delegation led by Secretary to the Ministry of Justice W.M.M.R. Adhikari has been tasked to discuss with Singaporean counterparts the details of a Mutual Legal Assistance Programme to enable the two countries to gather and exchange information with the objective of enforcing public or criminal laws, Colombo Telegraph learns. Such an agreement would be a prerequisite to have the former Governor of the CB Arjuna Mahendran, a Singaporean citizen, more..

Pera Engineering Faculty closed indefinitely

Jul 17 (DM) Engineering Faculty of the Uni of Peradeniya has been closed until further notice from 6 a.m. this morning, said Prof. Upul B. Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor of the university. An issue concerning an admission requirement that had not been fulfilled by the students for the examinations has led to this decision to temporarily close down the engineering faculty. University administration had decided to disallow several students, who failed to prove 80% of attendance more..

When will filching of funds stop at schools?

Jul 17 (DM) Many revelations pertaining to the misuse of public funds have been made on a number of occasions in the recent past by Sathya Gaweshanaya. Since the misuse of public funds in the education sector has gotten out of hand and become a menace many opine that this issue should be severely dealt with. Critics feel that prompt action should be taken to eradicate this malpractice. more..

Video: President arrives in Georgia to attend OGP global summit

Jul 17 (AD) President Sirisena arrived in Georgia to attend the 5th Session of the Open Govt Partnership (OGP) this morning. President arrived in the Shota Rustaveli Int'l Airport in Tbilisi, Georgian capital, where he was welcomed by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, George Sharvashidze. Prez will attend the 5th OGP Global Summit to be held from 17th to 19th July. The OGP 2018 Global Summit will focus on civic engagement, fighting against corruption, and public service delivery. more..

Embilipitiya PS chairman sentenced for assaulting cop

Jul 17 (AD) The Chairman of the Embilipitiya Pradeshiya Sabha M.K. Amil has been sentenced to 3 months imprisonment by the Embilipitiya Magistrate’s Court for assaulting a police officer. He was also ordered to pay Rs 30,000 as compensation to the policeman in question. M.K. Amil was sentenced for assaulting and obstructing the duties of a police officer at Panamure, Embilipitiya in 2013. The Embilipitiya PS Chairman had assaulted a traffic cop who had stopped and questioned him as more..

President now understands about Google Loon project: Harin

Jul 17 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena did not have an understanding on Google Loon project initially but now he does, Minister Harin Fernando said today. said this in response to a question raised by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake as to whether the Google Loon project was delayed because the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) was against it. TRC is an institution which is under purview of Prez. more..

Sri Lanka finance company bad loans rising; 9 ratings confirmed: Fitch

Jul 17 (EN) Fitch Ratings has confirmed ratings of nine Sri Lanka finance companies saying the credit profile of the sector will remain under pressure for the medium term with bad loans starting to go up and slower vehicle leasing. "Competition in leasing from banks and a deceleration in vehicle financing has pushed finance companies to look beyond their core businesses and venture into term financing, microfinance and lending against gold," Fitch said. "Fitch believes the shift in business mix more..

Video: Father, three nabbed for giving alcohol to toddler

Jul 17 (DM) Four persons, including the father of a toddler, who fed an alcoholic beverage, had been arrested, the Meegalawa Police said The arrest was made after video went viral on social media. The Police said the suspects, residents of Meegalawa, would be produced in the court tomorrow. The video shows the father keeping the toddler when drinking alcohol with his friends and feeding alcohol to the toddler. more..

Church of Ceylon says no to death penalty

Jul 17 (DM) Church of Ceylon (Anglican Church) said it was against the death penalty and instead called on the govt to vigorously combat drug smuggling and distribution at all levels in the society. The Church of Ceylon said it cannot in any way agree with the move to resume the execution of those sentenced to death for drug related crimes and are yet continuing to be involved in the drug trade while in prison. more..

Majority of drug traffickers in SL are females

Jul 17 (Island) Minister Thalatha Atukorale says that on the list of death row prisoners selected for hanging the first one is a woman. Addressing a ceremony held at the Kahawatte Divisional Secretariat to distribute cheques among the victims of recent floods and natural disasters the Minister said "The President has ordered that the death row inmates condemned to death for drug related offences must be hanged and he will give the presidential approval to hang them. more..

Duo held over Welikada riots re-remanded

Jul 17 (NR) The then Welikada Prisons Superintendent and current Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa and Inspector of Police Niyomal Rangajeewa attached to the Police Narcotics Bureau, arrested over the 2012 Welikada prison riot, have been further remanded until the 31st of July. The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage. At least 27 prison inmates were killed and several others were injured in clashes between inmates and more..

Mangala should apologise to MR: Bandula

Jul 17 (DM) JO today said Minister Mangala Samaraweera should apologise to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa for falsely accusing him of allowing the sale of fuel for higher prices when the prices of crude oil were low in the world market. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana said Minister Samaraweera has charged that the price of a crude oil barrel was USD 40 in the world market but former president Rajapaksa had given more..

Gangster was his buddy!

Jul 17 (DM) There is a prominent politico at the national level, who has gone livid over the recent incident where a leading underworld figure had to die at the hands of the law enforcing ones. Politico in question is said to be trying his best to put in hot water some 16 khakied ones regarding this incident. The underworld character is said to have been a buddy of the prominent politico, who had played an active role in his election campaigns. An inquiry into this incident where the law enforcing ones more..

Belgium-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group begins official visit to Sri Lanka

Jul 17 (Island) A six member delegation from the Belgium-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group began an official visit to Sri Lanka on Sunday (15) with a tour of Galle, a city which has long standing cultural and religious associations with Belgium. The delegation comprising MPs from five different parties in the Belgian Parliament is led by Ms. Petra De Sutter, Senator from the Ecolo-Groen Party who is the President of the Friendship Group, Ministry said. Vasantha Senenayake, State Minister more..

UNHCR urges Australia to end separation of refugee families

Jul 17 (UNHCR) UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency, is alarmed by a separation of a Sri Lankan refugee family in Sydney by the Govt of Australia. The deportation overnight of the father leaves his Sri Lankan partner, who is a recognized refugee, alone in Australia with their 11-month-old daughter. This contravenes the basic right of family unity, as well as the fundamental principle of the best interests of the child. UNHCR sought assurances from more..

Our media not seeing positive aspects: PM

Jul 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has charged that the local media does not give publicity to positive stories but give space for negative ones. PM expressed these sentiments at a function held in Nikaweratiya. “The media does not give publicity to positive stories or on those who have succeeded in life. If someone weeps in public or if he or she criticizes the govt they are given wide publicity. I’ll bet the media will not give at least a little publicity about development work which we have more..

Bangladesh A win tight match against SL A

Jul 17 (DS) In a tightly contested match, Bangladesh A came out victorious against Sri Lanka A in the first unofficial one-dayer at Sylhet. Bangladesh A were sent in to bat first by Sri Lanka and put on a formidable 280 on the board for the loss of seven wickets, courtesy of Mizanur Rahman’s 67 at the top of the innings and Fazle Mahmud’s 59. Mizanur struck a 107-ball 67 with four fours and three sixes. Mohammad Mithun struck a run-a-ball 44 before Ariful Haque blazed his way to a 22-ball more..

Sri Lanka wins historic export judgment in US Court

Jul 17 (EN) A United States trade court has ruled against countervailing duties imposed on Sri Lankan solid tyre exports after local authorities and a top tyre maker challenged the move, the Ministry of Industry & Commerce said. “This is Sri Lanka’s first international victory on countervailing duties especially for a well-known rubber product export,“ said Sonali Wijeratne, Director General of Commerce Department. more..

Mahason Balakaya members on hunger strike in prison

Jul 17 (Island) The health condition of alleged leader of the Mahasohon Balakaya, Amith Jeewan Weerasinghe (26), who is on a hunger strike in the Anuradhapura prison was deteriorating fast, his wife Jayanganai Siuthum Kumari said. She said that nine others taken into custody along with her husband were currently detained at the Pallekele prison and they, too, were engaged in a hunger strike. She said that her husband and nine others were detained without being charged. more..

Sri Lanka farmers get weather forecasts from birds: Survey

Jul 17 (EN) Farmers in Sri Lanka are turning to technology to predict the weather as climate change makes traditional forecasting methods - like watching birds and blossoms - unreliable, but adoption is slow, Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) said. Nearly 60% of 900 farmers surveyed by the IPS claimed to still use traditional methods, such as animal behaviour, to predict the weather. Only 43% said they did not use traditional methods for weather forecasting, the report said. more..

Underworld protecting senior minister: PM instructs officials to submit more info.

Jul 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today informed parliament that he instructed the relevant authorities to look into the media report that some underworld figures were protected by a senior minister and assured to submit in parliament about the incident. He said he directed the officials to find more information on the matter from police officials based on the newspaper article. Responding to a question raised by JO MP Padma more..

How to & How not to fight future fascism

Jul 18 (CT) Dr. Deepika Udagama’s father, Dr. Premadasa Udagama, and my uncle, Prof Ebert Fernando, were not only neighbors but much more importantly, the core members of the pro-SLFP, pro-Left caucus of academics at Peradeniya in the run-up to the 1970s elections. Dr. Udagama, an educationist, became the Secretary to the Ministry of Education during the Prime Ministership of Madam Bandaranaike and piloted the controversial policies of standardization (of which I was critical more..

Heartbeat of a Palmyra Grove

Jul 18 (CT) Frances Harrison in her Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War (2012, 2013) observes that Sri Lanka’s ethnic communities of are sealed off from each other. In other words, they are trapped within their own experience and resulting perspective. There is little, if any, of inter-ethnic comprehension. Each group speaks of itself and to its own. If the other group is spoken to, usually it’s only to reproach and blame; accuse and abuse. more..

Activist sister of police torture victim assaulted in Beruwela

Jul 18 (SO) Amitha Priyanthi, a human rights activist looks petite but is full of passion about her work. Attached to the Janasansadaya, a civil society organization engaged in human rights work, Amitha was recently attacked by two men on motorbikes, wearing full-face helmets close to her home in Beruwela on July 6. She says, the two men had followed her on motorcycles from her workplace in Panadura, about 37 kilometres away. more..

Proposed Gamperaliya may signal the end of village tanks, and tank-based agriculture

Jul 18 (Island) It is reported that the govt plans to hand over the maintenance of village tanks to villagers themselves. The PM is supposed to have said so. This could degenerate into a scheme of handing over the tanks to selected political friends, who will immediately build houses on the tank bunds and other high ground. The village tanks will be completely encroached (as it is mostly the case) and natural habitat and tanks will be lost. The tanks will be lost forever and replaced by more..

William Grinding Mills: Ground down

Jul 18 (CT) The demolition team moved in within days after a simple sign announced the closure of a Sri Lankan institution, which had been part of daily life for almost 60 years. To many, it was a notorious traffic black spot heading south out of Colombo on the corner of a junction always heaving with traffic. Others knew it as a bus stand. To everyone, 9A Galle Road was the famous Dehiwala landmark. Since 1951, William Grinding Mills stood on the corner of Hospital Road and Galle Road, more..

Utter bloody confusion at NBTS

Jul 18 (CT) Ministry of Health last week decided to remove the Acting Director of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Dr. Rukshan Bellana from his portfolio and transfer him to the Ministry, following a trade union action of the GMOA. The medical officers at the NBTS who are attached to the GMOA went for a continuous strike as the govt failed to address the issues raised by them. It was the first time NBTS which was set up in 1950 more..

Here is the spoon, help yourself!

Jul 18 (ST) It would have been funny, if it wasn’t pathetic. You must have said so if you had noticed what was reported during the past few weeks about the management of our public enterprises – the businesses run by the govt of Sri Lanka. Let me elaborate little bit of what appeared in our media, and then relate them to our economy and our living. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had issued a warning to SriLankan Airlines: “if the dues to CPC for purchasing fuel are not paid, more..

Shifting focus to accountability

Jul 18 (DN) It is not often that SL asks itself, where are we really going? Are we doing the right thing? Is what we are doing working? Do we need to change the system? But it was these very questions that recently appointed Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri was faced with when he happened to glance at yet another report on his own district, Moneragala. Having represented it for over 30 yrs, he said the district has seen many programmes, aid agencies and NGOs come & go, more..

Rohitha Abeygunawardena

Edtorial: Hitler, Pol Pot and King John

Jul 18 (Island) Much is being spoken about the Fuhrer and Pol Pot these days in this land like no other while their own countries are doing their damnedest to forget those monsters. A Buddhist prelate has got into hot water over his reference to Hitler in a recent sermon, wherein he exhorted former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to do whatever it took to bring order out of chaos. Supporters of Gotabaya have likened a govt leader, who flogs the Hitler issue, to Pol Pot. more..

Recovering loans or borrowers in distress?

Jul 18 (CT) “The time has come for commercial banks to adopt new strategies; if they are really keen on productivity oriented development as a banking objective. This country had and has suffered enough with high sounding theories and classical planning. Now is the time to wake up from those dreams; as what we have to do now is nothing but to identify and nurture logical and realistic aspirations, if we really want true development to become a reality in this worthy land, more..

SL-Singapore FTA need of the hour: Malik

Jul 18 (FT) The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between Sri Lanka and Singapore to liberalise and facilitate trade and investments between the two countries was identified as the need of the hour and driving force to reach development targets, Minister Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament, rejecting any downsides from the agreement which received Cabinet approval on 16 January 2018. more..

TNA leaders differ: Contradictory stand on PC polls, new Constitution baffle electorate

Jul 18 (Island) Whatever the differences between the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration, and the four-party TNA, there is consensus on postponing the scheduled Provincial Council polls, regardless of consequences. Obviously, they are following a political strategy meant to derail the PC polls scheduled to take place later this year and next year (altogether polls in six provinces on a staggered basis) before the 2019 presidential and the 2020 parliamentary polls. more..

Sampath Perera joins as Malaysia’s cricket head coach

Jul 18 (ST) The name of Sampath Perera keeps bobbing up and down in coaching circles both here and abroad. It could be said, with some justification, that whatever he has touched, has turned to gold. Schools such as his Alma Mater, D.S. Senanayake College, whom he coached from 1999 to 2008, Trinity College (2008-16) and St. Anthony’s College have been the beneficiaries of his coaching skills and expertise. Always on the lookout for better prospects, Sampath left the island on more..

First consignment of glyphosate by mid-Aug

Jul 18 (FT) Govt said it was expecting the first consignment of the controversial weedicide glyphosate to be released to the tea and rubber industry by mid next month, a top official confirmed. Cabinet in May approved of lifting of the ban on the glyphosate weedicide only for tea and rubber industries for a period of 36 months, however the Registrar of Pesticides has lifted the ban on glyphosate for all crops throughout SL more..

Missing fishermen arrive from the Maldives

Jul 18 (DN) Seven SL fishermen who were reported missing in the sea off Maldives since June 30, returned to the country yesterday. The fishing boat - Sinhdur 2, left the Galle Fisheries Harbour on June 14.They lost contact with the Galle harbour after June 30 and were unable to locate their whereabouts for nearly three days. Fisheries Ministry said they could not track the fishermen as the battery of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) faltered & communication barred as a result. more..

Over to you Mr Competent Authority: The cricket world awaits your action

Jul 18 (DN) The verdict that everyone was waiting for finally arrived when the ICC came down hard on SL Test captain Dinesh Chandimal, its coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha by giving them the maximum punishment by banning them from two Tests and four ODI which means that they will be virtually out of the South African series. They will be able to return to the fold only at the tailend of the South African tour for the final ODI and the one-off T20I. more..

Salawa Army Camp explosion: Action aganst 14 officers

Jul 18 (DN) Disciplinary action is to be taken against 14 Army officers stationed at the Kosgama Salawa Army Camp during the massive explosion and fire which occurred at the camp’s armoury on June 5, 2016 causing immense destruction. The 14 includes a Brigadier who was the Deputy Commander of the camp at the time. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake has taken this decision based on the internal more..

Kerala ganja smuggling: Govt. to curb menace together with India

Jul 18 (DM) In the wake of an increase in activities involving Kerala ganja smuggling, govt is planning to engage the Indian authorities to curb the menace, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said. He said that the govt would hold talks with India to seek the support of its law enforcement authorities to deal with the problem. Minister said the police seized 4,660 kilos of Ganja last year, and a bulk of them was Kerala Ganja. “We seized 2,721 kilos of Ganja during the first half of this year,” he said. more..