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Law & Order Ministry wants report from STF

Jun 29 (DM) Law and Order Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said that he had requested a report from the STF in connection with the Suriyawewa incident in which Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma and the STF personnel were involved. A tense situation was reported on Tuesday between Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma and STF at the Andarawewa Forest Reserve in Suriyawewa when STF attempted to thwart an alleged illegal sand transportation. more..

Let’s wait till the World Cup: Hathurusingha

Jun 29 (Island) Will the SL stint be the Waterloo of his remarkable coaching career? Or else, will he be able to guide the struggling Lankans out of the woods? It’s too early to make predictions. Anyway, SL’s most talked-about cricket coach has designed his own plan, irrespective of all the criticism, and the expectations. Here is how Chandika Hathurusingha, probably one of the most sought-after cricket coaches more..

Hearing of case against Prasanna Ranatunga and wife postponed to Sept 13th

Jun 29 (AD) Further hearing of the case filed against the three persons including MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife, was ordered to be postponed until September 13th by the order of the Colombo High Court. The case was supposed to be heard in front of Colombo HC Judge Champa Rajaratna. However, at Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige, who leads the plaintiff, is currently abroad for duty purposes, the state prosecutor requested for postponement of the hearing. more..

NOC Olympic day run: Susanthika inspires school children

Jun 29 (CT) Susanthika Jayasinghe took a walk down memory lane when she visited Nuwara Eliya for the 2018 Olympic Day celebrations organized by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka last Monday (25). “I came to Nuwara Eliya for my high-altitude training when I was starting out on my career as an athlete. This town is blessed with fresh air which is crucial for an athlete. You need to build up your body’s aerobic capacity and I did that in this town. more..

Prez inspects construction work of National Nephrology Hospital in Polonnaruwa

Jun 29 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena made an inspection tour of the construction site of the National Nephrology Hospital in Polonnaruwa, which is a gift from China, today (28). This New Hospital is being built as the largest kidney hospital in South Asia, at a cost of Rs. 1.2 billion, fulfilling a long term aspirations of the President to provide services for kidney patients. The hospital would be a great asset and a gift to more..

British Council outpaces Provincial Councils with landmark survey in the provinces

Jun 29 (Island) Despite the fact that no Provincial Council or other local administrative body had been able to effectively support by chipping in with vital data and statistics on the state of social enterprises in Sri Lanka, a survey commissioned by the British Council yesterday came out with a comprehensive report which reveals the exciting breadth, depth and the potential of social enterprises in Sri Lanka. The unprecedented clarity with which it was produced could be a catalyst more..

Uptick in SME bad loans at Sri Lanka finance companies: ICRA

Jun 29 (EN) SL’s non-bank finance companies have seen an uptick in bad loans to small and medium enterprises after bad weather and an economic slowdown over the past year, ICRA, a rating agency said. Non-performing loans as a share of total advances had grown from 4.89% in the first quarter of 2017 to 5.94% in the fourth quarter before easing slightly to 5.82%, an analysis by ICRA showed. Sri Lanka’s finance companies had started to increase their exposure to the SME segment after more..

Tusker Deega Danthu-I gone missing in fear of drug injection: Minister

Jun 29 (DM) Nine teams led by 50 wildlife officers conducted a special search operation in the Kala Wewa National Park to locate the Tusker Deega Danthu-I which had run away in fear of drug injections after being found with gunshot injuries, Wildlife Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma said. Deputy Minister said he had also joined the team in search of the elephant. “The team had gone into the forest reserve more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge murder case: CID to complete probe soon, file charges

Jun 29 (DN) Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrama yesterday re-remanded former military intelligence head retired Major General Amal Karunasekara in connection with the abduction and assault incident of former Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr in 2008, till July 10. The current Army Intelligence Unit Director briefed the Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate and the Senior State Counsel Lakmini Girihagama in camera. Senior State Counsel Girihagama more..

Rapid labour reforms essential to foster growth

Jun 29 (FT) Revamping SL’s labour market, including access to education, defining informal and formal workplaces, improving finance and changing public-private sector roles, are crucial to Sri Lanka achieving sustainable growth, the World Bank said. WB Country Director Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, during the launch of the World Bank’s Development Update, focused on the need to revolutionise SL’s labour by encouraging youth to seek non-traditional approaches to employment. more..

Sri Lanka’s April exports flat, car imports help widen trade gap

Jun 29 (EN) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened in April 2018 from a year ago as export earnings growth was flat while imports rose sharply driven by a big rise in imports of cars, central bank said. “However, tourist earnings and workers’ remittances continued to record a healthy growth during the month,” a statement said. “The deficit in the trade account expanded in April 2018 reversing the deceleration observed in the previous month” more..

Head Prefect murder case: 3 suspects under probation

Jun 29 (DN) Chilaw Magistrate Manjula Rathnayake ordered to detain the three student suspects involved in the attack and murder of the Savarana Muslim School Head Prefect under probation care until July 3, 2018. Three 15 year-old students had allegedly beaten the Head Prefect who lived close to the Savarana Mosque. The victim, Mohammad Rizvi Mohammad Faizul was on his way home with a friend after a religious ceremony held at the mosque when the three students had attacked him. more..

CB denies growth numbers manipulated

Jun 29 (FT) Central Bank denied allegations it is involved in manipulating Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers and pointed out the sole responsibility of such data has been vested with the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) since 2007. “However, the Central Bank has observed media statements by interested parties, in relation to the involvement of the Central Bank in manipulating GDP estimates of the country, misleading the general public,” Central Bank said. more..

Sri Lanka stable but reforms crucial: WB

Jun 29 (FT) Sri Lanka’s economic outlook remains stable with 4.3% growth expected in the medium term, World Bank said, but warned that this would only be possible if the Govt remains committed to its reform agenda and warned upcoming elections remain the single biggest risk with the window for reform narrowing rapidly. Releasing its latest Development Update, WB advocated the Govt should remain committed to reform agenda more..

Postal workers work to rule ongoing

Jun 29 (CT) Postal trade unions after deciding to temporarily call off their strike until 7 July, following talks with the authorities, have instead commenced a work to rule campaign since 27 June. The unions decided to end the strike after a discussion held with Minister Abdul Haleem and other officials, to give an opportunity to the Ministry to discuss with the National Salaries and Cadre Commission and to implement the prepared solutions for recruitment and promotion related issues, more..

North to embark on hartal today

Jun 29 (CT) A hartal will be staged today, in the Northern Province, urging that justice be done by the six-year-old child who was murdered earlier this week in Kattupulam- Chulipuram in Jaffna. Villagers and civil society groups in Kattupulam-Chulipuram called the hartal in solidarity with the child’s family. Meanwhile, protests were staged yesterday in various parts of Jaffna urging justice for the victim. The students of the Kattupulam Govt Mixed School held a protest at the Chulipuram Junction more..

LNG plant tender: German envoy questions transparency, openness

Jun 29 (DM) Stepping into the controversy surrounding the award of the tender for the Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant to a higher bidder, German Ambassador to SL Jorn Rohde questioned the transparency and openness of the entire tender procedure. The govt has proposed to build a 300 Megawatt LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya. He said there were a lot of questions in this case as the Procurement Appeal Board reversed original more..

Magistrate reprimands Yashoda Range Bandara

Jun 29 (DN) Chilaw Magistrate and District Judge Manjula Ratnayake severely reprimanded Yashoda Range Bandara for his failure to repair the house damaged in the accident. The case relating to the recent Chilaw Kottapitiya Junction motor accident created an upheaval in the area. It was called in the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court on June 28. Although Attorney Vajira Ranasinghe who appeared for Yashoda Range Bandara pleaded for two weeks time to repair the house, more..

Govt asks UAE whether Rajapaksa’s Chinese funds deposited there

Jun 29 (Island) Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella yesterday told The Island that Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, PC, had officially sought inquired from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) whether funds received by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from China in the run-up to the last presidential polls in January 2015 had been deposited there. Minister Kiriella said that Sri Lanka had raised the issue after receiving reliable information. more..

Lawmaker intervenes in police operation: STF stands its ground

Jun 29 (Island) Elite police commandos recently thwarted an attempt by Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma, to intervene in an undercover operation carried out in Sooriyawewa, targeting those engaged in illegal sand-mining. Sources said that Thewarapperuma, who had been on his way to inspect the ongoing construction of a fence to hinder elephant movements, questioned personnel as to why they were in civvies. more..

Put these criminals behind bars!

Jun 29 (DM) The recent spate of killings by members of the underworld has made the Govt accept that the situation must be checked before it gets out of hand. This was confirmed by reports related to the recent Defence Council Meeting-chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena- during which there was a huge showing of concern regarding the underworld raising its ugly head. Just last month SL celebrated the ninth anniversary after the ruthless tiger rebels were crushed. more..

Private or SOE?

Jun 29 (DM) Committee on Public Accounts (CoPA) Report tabled in Parliament has startling revelations about State Owned Enterprises (SOE) that cost the country colossal sums of money. On Monday (18), addressing a media workshop, Speaker Jayasuriya was reported as having said, the loss from SOEs was over Rs.50 billion. Addressing the same workshop, Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe was quoted as having said, “Weeratunge (former Prez Secretary) was sentenced to jail over more..

Govt funds allegedly used for Mahinda's election campaign

Jun 29 (DM) Following the recommendations made by the PRECIFAC, the Attorney General last week filed indictments against those who have misappropriated public funds to conduct an election rally in Negombo in the run up to the 2015 Presidential Elections. The indictments were filed against former Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, his Private Secretary/ son-in-law Upul Chaminda Perera Kumarasinghe, more..

Sri Lanka policy consistency improving; political uncertainty remains: Chamber Chief

Jun 29 (EN) Sri Lanka economic stabilty and policy consistency has improved from 2017, but business confidence is still lagging amid political uncertainty, the head of Sri Lanka’s largest business chamber said. “Business confidence has been tepid in the backdrop of political uncertainty,” Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah said at the organization’s 179th Annual General Meeting Thursday night. more..

Canada wants Sri Lanka to work better

Jun 29 (NR) Canada has encouraged Sri Lanka to continue on the important steps taken to re-engage the country with the international community and will assist as a longstanding partner. In a statement issued on the occasion of Canada Day, High Commissioner David McKinnon said Canada is also drawing on their own experience as a bilingual country to support the implementation of Official Languages Act. more..

Deaths piling up at level crossings

Jun 29 (ST) The CCTV camera at the Peralanda railway level crossing in Kandana area bore witness to a horrific accident captured the moment two friends on a motorbike ignored a railway traffic signal and went through the rail gates – to be hit hard by a speeding train. At about 3pm on June 17, Senaka Wickremasinghe, 41, and Ranjith Kumarasiri, 42, both from Kelaniya, were on a motorbike waiting for Colombo-bound train more..

US tells Sri Lanka to prosecute officials involved in human trafficking

Jun 29 (SL) The US has urged Sri Lanka to prosecute officials involved in human trafficking. The call was made in an annual report released by US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on human trafficking. Pompeo will unveiled the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report at the US State Department. On SL, the report says while respecting due process, SL must improve efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected traffickers, more..

Group of 16 tag-line no more: WDJ

Jun 29 (DM) Former UPFA Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne, who defected the govt along with 15 other UPFA members, yesterday said they should no longer be addressed as the group of 16 because they have decided to work together with the SLPP. The MP expressed this view after meeting SLPP party leaders including its Chairman G. L. Peiris and National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa at party Head office in Battaramulla. more..

Free tablets to A/L students: Six member committee to make recommendations

Jun 29 (DN) A committee of six members will be appointed to take a final decision on giving free tablets to A/L students, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. Minister, responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at Sirikotha yesterday, said it was decided at the last Cabinet meeting to appoint an Expert Committee comprising two nominees of the President, two nominees of the PM and two nominees of more..

Video: Who would pay a billion dollars to takeover a dud? – Cabraal

Jun 29 (AD) Former CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, in latest statement regarding the New York Times article titled How China got Sri Lanka to cough up a Port, points out that it was a two-pronged attack on China and Sri Lanka. “This reporter wishes to show China as a really terrible country which has gone and taken over other countries. And has shown SL as a country that got trapped in to providing them with the assets, more..

Phone recordings submitted to Bond Commission altered by PTL, court told

Jun 29 (AD) The Attorney General’s Department today informed the court that four CDs containing telephone conversation recordings submitted to the Bond Commission have been altered by Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL). Senior State Counsel Lakmini Girihagama, appearing on behalf of the Attorney General, notified Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that certain conversations in the disks have been altered and erased before they more..

Video: Udayanga Weeratunga prepared to appear before court: lawyers

Jun 29 (AD) Attorneys representing the former SL Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, today informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court that their client is prepared to appear before the court in connection with the MiG aircraft deal. They said that Weeratunga hopes to return to Sri Lanka very soon in order to appear before the court over the case. The court had issued an open warrant to arrest and produce more..

Sri Lanka expects to wrap up US$1.7bn LRT project finance by November

Jun 29 (EN) SL is expecting to wrap up financing for a US$ 1.7 billion light rail transit project for Colombo by Nov 2018, for construction to begin by 2020. The feasibility study for the project was officially handed over to Minister Champika Ranawaka on June 29. First light rail will run from Colombo’s Fort area to Malabe, which is the most congested traffic corridor in the city. “Light rail will ease congestion, speed up travel time from Malabe to Colombo to 30 minutes from the current 45 to 90 minutes,” more..

On leopards and other political animals being clubbed to death

Jun 29 (FT) I have a confession to make. Animals are among my favourite people – for, as Gerald Durrell might have suggested somewhere in his touching trilogy, they’re almost family. So when that poor leopard was clubbed to death on a distant border of our ancient civilisation, it hurt badly. I saw that event through a red haze on social media and so did a good many other human beings to whom death is not an event in life. I’d add, As Wittgenstein said… – but you’d probably club me to death, more..

The state of our state banks

Protect our children

Jun 29 (CT) The body of a six-year school-girl who had been sexually assaulted and strangled was found in a well close to her home in Kattupulam, Chulipuram in Jaffna earlier in the week. A 22-year-old man who has allegedly confessed to the murder has been arrested by the Vaddukoddai Police and remanded. As we reported yesterday, the suspect was arrested along with five others and produced before Mallakam Magistrate on Wednesday. The main suspect is said to have confessed that more..

Mangala’s staff at Media Ministry

Jun 29 (Island) Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera has appointed the following personnel to his staff at the Media Ministry: * Ruwan Ferdinands – Head of Media Operations and Senior Media Adviser to the Minister; * Ishini Wickremesinghe – Private Secretary and Media Relations Officer to the Minister; * Samantha Perera – Coordinating Secretary to the Minister and Coordinating Officer - Administration and Trade Unions; * Keshal Jayasinghe – more..

Habarakada Wasantha’s wife arrested with revolver and bullets

Jun 29 (AD) Wife of Habarakada Wasantha, a suspect evading arrested following the recent jewellery shop robbery in Matara, has been arrested with a revolver and live ammunition, Police Spokesman said. He stated that the firearm and bullets were found after STF personnel searched the house of the wanted suspect in Homagama. Following investigation into the incident, police had identified Habarakada Wasantha more..

Monks to receive free health insurance

Jun 29 (NR) Minister of Buddhasasana Gamini Jayawickrama Perera says the govt will introduce a free health insurance scheme for all monks. Minister said it is the govt’s policy to safeguard Buddhism. Minister said the govt previously introduced a free health insurance to all students which also benefited and covered the parents. He noted the insurance was also applicable to Piriven. A free health insurance service will be provided to all monks to fulfill their health needs. more..

Video: Missing tusker Deegadanthu found at Pallekele reserve

Jun 29 (AD) Tusker known as Deegadanthu who went missing from the Kala Wewa National Park has been found at Kahalla in the Pallekele forest reserve. The tusker was found last night following a joint operation carried out by the STF and Wildlife officers. Tusker Deegadanthu who was in the Kala Wewa National Park had been reported missing since June 18. Accordingly a team comprised of around 50 personnel from the STF and the Wildlife Department was deployed in search of more..