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Army insists no recent change in Jaffna deployment

Jul 24 (Island) Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Dharshana Hettiarachchi said that military presence in Jaffna hadnít been reduced since he took over the command in late March 2017. "Jaffna peninsula continues to be the home for three Divisions, namely 51, 52 and 55," he said, insisting that there hadnít been shifting of Jaffna strength for nearly one and half years. Hettiarachchi said so when The Island sought more..

Human Trafficking: Skin removal and online porn the latest crimes

Jul 24 (DM) Next Monday, the UN marks the World Day against Trafficking in Persons Ė a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. According to the UN, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that about 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, more..

Why death sentence would be a disaster to the country and the economy

Jul 24 (DM) Prez Sirisena has vowed to reintroduce the death sentence on drug offenders, ending 42 years of moratorium. His desperation at his govtís failure to decisively respond to the resurgence of the underworld is understandable. His desire to project himself as the strongman in the mold of his predecessor was also palpable. In a way, the prezís approach is not much different from that of UNP MP Vijayakala Maheswaran and the high priest of Kandy, both offered their own quick fixes to more..

'Unless Federal set up established, the majority community will gobble us up'

Jul 24 (DM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, airs out his views on the political situation in the North and his plans for the future. He responds to the question about the crime wave created by Ava group. Q: How do you look at the current political situation in the country? A: It is not satisfactory. There are unfortunate differences of opinion between the Presidentís group and the PMís group. more..

Possible increase of torture due to Drug Controlling Special Provision Bill

Jul 24 (CT) The legal academia has highlighted the possibility of the increased incidence of torture owing to the immunity that would be afforded in the event a Drug Controlling Special Provision Bill, as has been envisioned to empower the tri-forces to actively contribute to the control of drugs, would be enacted. Former Human Rights Commissioner and currently a Senior Lecturer at the Dept of Commercial Law of Faculty of Law more..

SL starts mandatory star ratings for hotels

Jul 24 (EN) Sri Lanka has started implementing mandatory star ratings, with over two dozen tourist hotels being awarded stars at a ceremony in Colombo following inspections of some hotels by regulators. Shangri-La hotel in Colombo and Araliya Green City in Nuwara Eliya central SL were among five hotels which were given plaques at a ceremony in Colombo. Anantaya Resort and Spa in Passikudah, Anantara Peace Haven more..

Colombo HC re-issues notice on Prez and PM

Jul 24 (AD) The Colombo High Court today re-issued notice on Prez Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe to appear before the court on October 9 over the case filed against former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. The court had previously issued notice on the Prez and the PM to appear before the court today for the hearing of the case. However, when the case was taken up Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris, more..

Welikada mobile phone jammers disrupt Govt Press and others also

Jul 24 (ST) The installation of jammers at the Welikada Prison to prevent prisoners from using mobile phones has affected the operations of the adjoining Govt Printer, other institutions and residents, prompting them to take counter measures. Govt Printer Ganga Liyange said their mobile phone services had been disrupted as jammers had been set up at the Welikada Prisons. She said they had installed one anti-jammer more..

Video: Govt to insert federal constitution to 20A: Gammanpila

Jul 24 (DM) The govt was trying to incorporate constitutional changes on Federal lines as an amendment to the 20th Amendment during the committee stage of the debate, PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila charged yesterday. Addressing a press conference, he said the Bill for the 20 Amendment was published in the Gazette on July 6,2018 and will be presented to Parliament during the first parliamentary week of August. more..

Canadian PM remembers victims of Black July

Jul 24 (DM) Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said that he joined with the Tamil-Canadians and members of the Tamil community around the world to mourn families and friends lost during Black July in 1983, in SL. ďOn this day, we remember the victims of the 1983 anti-Tamil pogroms in Sri Lanka that took thousands of lives and displaced so many from their homes. We join Tamil-Canadians & members of Tamil community around the more..

PCoI to summon head of committee that probed sexual harassment

Jul 24 (Island) PCoI probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka will soon summon Darshani Tissera, who headed a committee which investigated alleged sexual harassment of an Indian employee of SriLankan by a former Regional Manager Ė India. The Indian national accused former Regional Manager, India, Laith de Silva & Manager, Kerala, Ahamed Masahim of sexually harassing her. more..

Video: British MPs visit to Sri Lanka during former regime: GL

Jul 24 (DM) In response to investigations against British MPs including Ian Paisley by the House of Commons over his visit to SL during the former rule, then External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L. Peiris said that the govt of former Prez Rajapaksa had to invite such MPs to see for themselves the actual ground situation in the country. He said the then govt did so to counter adverse propaganda being carried out by more..

The foundation which strengthen national economy is the agriculture: President

Jul 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says since the reigns of kings of ancient Sri Lanka the economy of the country was strengthened subject to the field of agriculture and it is the foundation which makes strong in the past, the present as well as in future. President made these remarks participating in the water filling ceremony of Kalu Ganga under the Moragahakanda- Kalu Ganga Multi-purpose Development Project and more..

Bad loans keep Sri Lanka's HDFC Bank on Ratings Watch Negative

Jul 24 (EN) Fitch Ratings Lanka says it will keep Sri Lanka's state-controlled Housing Development Finance Corporation Bank (HDFC) on Rating Watch Negative with a rating of BBB-(lka) on account of weak capital position and high non-performing loans. The Rating Watch Negative was placed in August 2017 pending a capital infusion from government to help HDFC meet the 5 billion rupee minimum regulatory capital requirement, Fitch Ratings said. "We expect the state, the bank's major more..

Colonial Christian mentality of nationalist Sinhala Buddhists

Jul 24 (FT) There was an article published under the name Catís Eye titled Divorce law in Sri Lanka: Fostering animosity, not relationships on 11 July. While agreeing with the writer/s, the intention of this article is to investigate this issue in a different point of view. Law of a country is based on the values and cultural traits of that country. In Sri Lanka during the colonial period certain values and cultural traits were imposed on us and the present society is ignorant of this fact. more..

විගණන පනතින් ඵලක් තිබේ ද?

Navy apprehends 7 Indian fishermen for fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters

Jul 24 (SLN) Seven Indian fishermen along with 2 dhows engaged in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters were apprehended by the SL Navy yesterday. The apprehension was made by a Fast Attack Craft and a Coast Guard vessel attached to the Northern Naval Command in the seas, 10.5 nautical miles northwest of Kankesanthurei Lighthouse. Subsequently, the Indian fishers and trawlers were brought to the naval base SLNS Uththara and the apprehended fishermen more..

Honesty, integrity essential

Jul 24 (CT) Last week Ceylon Today reported that the CEB has gone ahead with the contentious payment of Rs 850 million, to the privately-owned Ace Power, Embilipitiya 100 MW diesel power plant, on instructions received from the relevant Ministry. The transaction has been the subject of controversy, as several weeks ago the CEB interdicted Deputy General Manager Sujeewa Abeywickrema allegedly for not making the payment, as he held that the Board had no legal right to do so. more..

Mathews set to resume ODI captaincy

Jul 24 (CB) SL's limited-overs skipper Angelo Mathews is back to lead the team in the upcoming ODI series against South Africa, with the selectors naming a 15-member squad. Uncapped left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya is the lone newcomer in the squad. Mathews, who was re-appointed as SL's ODI and T20I skipper in January this year, led the team in only one game since his reinstatement as a hamstring injury had cut short his more..

Indictments against former Deputy Minister, five others fixed for Aug 29

Jul 24 (DN) The indictments filed against former Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne and five others for allegedly misappropriating Rs.1.09 million of public funds belonging to the Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation (CFHC) during the previous Presidential Election was fixed for Aug 29 by the Colombo High Court. Attorney General had filed indictments against the six accused for allegedly printing diaries costing Rs.1.09 million, to be used as election propaganda material more..

Lankans illegally staying in Israel get grace period: Deputy Minister

Jul 24 (GDI) Sri Lanka has announced a grace period till September for Sri Lankan employees in Israel, whose work visa has expired to return to the country, Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said. He said that legal action would be take against those who do not return during this period. Nanayakkara made this statement addressing the family members of Sri Lankan who are working in Israel Illegally yesterday. "We got a lot of opportunities to work in Israeli farms but more..

China, SL vow to strengthen defense ties

Jul 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and China have vowed to strengthen defense ties at a reception held here at the Chinese embassy to celebrate the 91st founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. SL's Defense Secretary, Kapila Waidyaratne, who was the chief guest at the Monday event, said China had always been a valuable partner of SL and the two nations had enjoyed diplomatic relations for 61 years, more..

Actor Indika Ginige passes away

Jul 24 (DM) Popular actor and singer Indika Ginige passed away due to a sudden illness last night. Sri Lanka Singers Association (SLASA) President Keerthi Pasquel said Ginige died on the admittance to the Kandy hospital. He was 37 years old at the time of his demise. His funeral will take place tomorrow at the Mahaiyawa cemetery in Kandy, at 4:00 pm. An old boy of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, Ginige has acted in several popular Sinhala teledramas. more..

Amunugama chides MPs who skip parliament sittings

Jul 24 (Island) Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday found fault with MPs who regularly skipped parliamentary sitting. They did not carry out their duty by the people who had elected them, Minister said. Ministers and ordinary MPs had to attend parliamentary sittings for the simple reason that they had been elected by the people for that purpose, Minister told a media briefing after attending a meeting of Kandayn traditional aesthetic art performers, at Royal Mall Hotel, Kandy. more..

'Donít shed tears after attacking us and destroying media freedom'

Jul 24 (DM) Prez Sirisena said he made a humble appeal from the friends of the media not to shed tears after attacking, weakening and destroying the govt by way of destroying the enabled democracy and media freedom in the country. Prez said he was making this request from the media institutions which did not give a proper coverage to the govt but obstructed it. He added that when the people watched private TV channels, more..

Sports Minister to meet UNESCO officials

Jul 24 (NR) Minister of Sports Faizer Musthapha is scheduled to meet officials of the UNESCO today, to discuss concerns surrounding the Galle Int'l Cricket Stadium. The govt recently announced that UNESCO had threatened to revoke the world heritage status given to the Galle Fort, if the govt fails to remove unauthorised structures adjacent to the Galle Fort and if authorities fail to preserve the site properly. The announcement prompted calls for the demolition of the Galle Stadium. more..

CEA urged to revoke stone quarry license

Jul 24 (CT) A protest demanding that the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) revoke the license given to operate a stone quarry at the Rilagalayaya mountain range will be held today at 3 p.m. in front of the CEA headquarters, Battaramulla. The protest is being organized by the Peoplesí Movement to Protect Rilagalayaya and other environmental organizations. Chief Incumbent of Getamanna Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Hakuruwela Pagnasekara Thera had appealed to the authorities to more..

Sri Lanka finance firms to write off small loans of women in drought-hit areas

Jul 24 (EN) SL finance companies will write off loans of up to 100,000 rupees of women in drought-hit areas under a scheme where the Treasury will reimburse the capital component, finance ministry announced. The finance companies will have to absorb the interest component of the loans written off. The scheme will cover non-consumption micro-finance loans of up to 100,000 rupees of women in 12 districts where more..

Report of probe on Vijekala before UNP WC tomorrow: Akila

Jul 24 (DM) The report of the four member committee appointed to look into the statement made by Former State Minister Vijekala Maheswaran who called for the resurgence of LTTE is to be presented to UNP Working Committee tomorrow, Party General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today. He said that the report will be presented to the working committee which meets at Sirikotha tomorrow. UNP appointed four-member committee to look into the statement made by more..

Drastic increase in costs of UL Chairman, CEOs offices

Jul 24 (Island) The costs of the SriLankan Chairmanís and CEOís Offices had increased drastically since the appointment of Nishantha Wickramasinghe and Kapila Chandrasena, the PCoI probing irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka was informed yesterday. Appearing before the PCoI yesterday, Dalreen Thirukumar, Secretary of SriLankan Airlines presented the commission with the costs of maintaining the office of the Chairman. more..

UN finds a quarter of Sri Lankans are malnourished

Jul 24 (CT) Nearly one in four people in Sri Lanka live below the internationally recognized poverty level a UN report, that measured income levels in 2016, has said. The UN standard measures poverty as an income of less thanUS$2.50 a day about Rs 400, while Sri Lanka has a lower measure around Rs.139 per day. Under that measurement only 4.1% of the population is below the poverty line. more..

Danushka Gunathilaka out of ODIs series

Jul 24 (AFP) SL's suspended opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was left out Tuesday from the 15-man squad to play the 5-match ODI series against the touring South African side. Gunathilaka, 27, was suspended on Sunday by SLC over a misconduct charge after a close associate of his was arrested for allegedly raping a Norwegian woman in the team hotel in Colombo. The SL board had said Gunathilaka, who was allegedly in the room at the same time but was not arrested, more..

Gac fruit now in Sri Lanka

Jul 24 (DM) The Department of Agriculture introduced Gac fruit, scientifically identified as Momordica cochinchinensis to Sri Lanka, that can be successfully cultivated during both dry and wet weather seasons. The fruit that is found throughout the Southeast Asian region from South China to Northeastern Australia contain high contents of carotenoids (more than ten times of carrots), particularly provitamin A beta-carotene and lycopene. more..

Probe launched into human bones found during construction in Jaffna

Jul 24 (AD) Jaffna Police said that investigations at the location where human skeletal remains were found while establishing a water supply network near Kalviyankadu area in Jaffna, commenced today under the orders of Jaffna Magistrateís Court. Jaffna Magistrate S. Sathiskaranan inspected the scene, and ordered to carry out investigations at the site under the guidance of JMO S. Mayuran. more..

GMOA working according to a contract of thieves: Ajith Mannapperuma

Jul 24 (AD) UNP MP Ajith Mannapperuma claims that certain thieves have given a contract to the GMOA to overturn the govt in five years. He stated this at a press conference today. According to the MP, the GMOA is trying to take decisions that should be taken by the economic specialists in the country. The MP requests the medical officers to focus only on their area of expertise as they are not given any education on the economy of country during their five-year MBBS. more..

Expedite cases against Kandy unrest suspects: BBS

Jul 24 (NR) BBS has called for legal action to be expedited over the youth arrested and remanded following the unrest in Teldeniya. Galagodaththe Gnanasara thera said govt officials should be held responsible for the unrest in Kandy. Thera made this statement following his visit to Dumbara Prison where he met with the youth remanded over the unrest. Thera noted the youth in remand custody over the incident are not notorious criminals nor are they involved in underworld activities. more..

Ian Paisley is suspended from Parliament for 30 days over free Sri Lanka trips

Jul 24 (IN) IAN Paisley has been suspended from the House of Commons for 30 sitting days after he failed to declare two free luxury family holidays to Sri Lanka. MPs supported the punishment recommended by the Committee on Standards during a Commons debate this afternoon. Mr Paisley was not present in the chamber for the debate. Jim Shannon from the DUP was the only party member present. more..

Re-enforcement of the Death Penalty

Jul 25 (CT) Presidential action to re-enforce the Death Penalty for those convicted of Drug Trafficking, which is the decision of the ruling Govt, has engendered much debate and controversy in the Media. It has also raised International concerns, as expressed by the European Union and the UNHRC. It is not categorically stated that the Sentence of Death will be enforced for both crimes of Murder and Drug Trafficking, as media reports is only focusing on Drug trafficking. more..

Love thy enemy

Jul 25 (CT) Had it come from any other political leader of the time, it would have been dismissed or laughed at as crocodile tears. But the Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, is respected even by his political adversaries for maintaining personal dignity and political decorum, to the point of making his own followers at times suspect him! It is thus that even in private conversations, Sampanthan is known to address the President of the day as periyavar in Tamil, or mahathayya in Sinhala, more..

Prisons reform not executions, the need of the hour?

Jul 25 (SO) Former Prisons Commissioner General, C.T. Jansz has a bitter experience of judicial executions carried out during his tenure in the 1950s. ďI remember a prisoner who was scheduled to be hanged was ready to be taken to the scaffold. He started reciting gaathas. Seconds after he was hanged, those chants faded into silence,Ē Jansz recalled. Jogging his memory about the few hangings he had witnessed during more..