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Ex-defence chief faces fresh probe

Nov 26 (EN) Presidential commission investigating serious abuse of power and financial fraud Thursday cleared the way for prosecutions of former defence chief Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and four others. Rajapakse cohorts include two former navy commanders -- retired admirals Jayantha Colombage and Jayantha Perera, additional defence secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne and Avant Garde chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi. more..

Arjuna vies for lesser role in SLC election

Nov 26 (PTI) Legendary captain Arjuna Ranatunga will contest for the Vice-President's post in the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election to be held on January 3. "I will contest the post of Vice President with an eye to the future. Because I did not serve in the executive committee for two years I could not run to be President this time," Ranatunga said today. Ranatunga, current Minister of Ports and Shipping, is to contest independently of his younger brother Nishantha's team he said. more..

Disdain corruption, British envoy tells Sri Lankan businesses

Nov 26 (EN) Business should stand for values like honesty and speak out against corruption while promoting reforms that spur investment, British High Commissioner James Dauris said. As leaders we need to act out and stand for our core values, what we believe is right and good,” he told the ational Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Ceremony 2015. “As businesses we need to act out and stand for our business values – that we are honest and disdain corruption; more..

'Arrest of TN fishermen created sense of fear and unrest'

Nov 26 (PTI) With incidents of apprehension of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lanka continuing unabated, the state govt today said that it created a sense of fear and unrest among the community. "The attacks on and apprehension of our fishermen continue unabated, creating a sense of fear and unrest among the fisherfolk in TN," Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said. In a letter to PM Narendra Modi, more..

Sunil for COPE, Lasantha for PAC

Nov 26 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti was appointed as the Chairman of the COPE while State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (PAC), following a decision taken by the govt today. It was reported that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had also approved this decision. The other members of COPE include MPs Anura Yapa, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Wasantha Aluvihare, Ajith P. Perera, Ranjan Ramanayake, Asok Abeysinghe, more..

Range Bandara clashes with Mahinda S.

Nov 26 (DN) State Minister Palitha Range Bandara, lashed out at the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe's move to appoint retired Major General Gamini Hettiarachchi as Chairman of the Vocational Training Institute (VTI). Minister Range Bandara asked under which principle of the Yahapalanaya that Minister Samarasinghe deemed suitable to designate Hettiarachchi for the above post and who directed the so-called Special Operations Room under Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to inflict defeat more..

Four respondents named in Rakna Lanka case?

Nov 26 (AD) Two former Commanders of the Sri Lanka Navy, a former Defence Ministry Additional Secretary and the Chairman of Avant-Garde Security Services have been named as respondents in the case filed over alleged financial fraud at Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd, according to sources. The presidential commission of inquiry to investigate large scale corruption, fraud and abuse of power named former Navy Chiefs, more..

Abolition of Executive Presidency: Two referendums or one?

Nov 26 (CT) Govt must clarify its position on whether it would go for two referendums, required in the case of abolishing the Executive Presidency through a constitutional amendment or whether it will resort to enacting a new Constitution to abolish the Executive Presidency, Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said. He said the decision must be taken soon as the former choice that includes a change in the electoral system would be easier to be passed in Parliament as opposed to the latter more..

'SL EXIM Bank could be another disaster'

Nov 26 (EN) Sri Lanka's budget proposal to build an Export Import Bank to subsidise big business at the expense of the rest of society could be another state bank disaster, an economist warned. "The proposal to set up an Exim Bank with state participation to cater to the international trading sector is another misconceived venture though it is going to be a public private partnership," top economist W A Wijewardene warned. "Govt has already burnt its fingers in the banking sector by more..

'No difference between Praba and Rohana'

Nov 26 (CG) MTNA leader Azath Salley says slain LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran and former JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera are no different and if Wijeweera’s death can be commemorated in Sri Lanka then so should Prabakaran’s death. He said that govt must allow families in the North to commemorate those killed during the war, even if they are LTTE members. If the Govt is going to block such events more..

Empty nets burden Sri Lanka's fishermen

Nov 26 (UCAN) Anthony Justin Fernando has always made his living from the sea. For years, he lived comfortably by selling his daily catch at a church-run fish market in Negombo, outside the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. When business was good, he could even export different kinds of fish to overseas markets. But times have changed. Now, when he casts his nets, he hauls in fewer fish. "Fishermen face unexpected strong weather at sea," said the 54-year-old Catholic fisherman. more..

725 booked for breaking lane law

Nov 26 (DM) Police Department said that it had taken action against 725 drivers for violating the newly implemented lane law during the 10 hours period from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said further legal action would be taken in Court at respective areas against drivers and motorists who had violated the lane regulations. The Police today implemented the traffic lane law especially along the Sri Jayewardenepura Road from Jayanthipura to Colombo. more..

Opposition disturbed by foreigners visiting military facilities

Nov 26 (Island) Joint Opposition claims says it is totally against allowing foreign officials to visit naval bases in the country, releasing of hard core terrorists and delisting of pro-terror groups. Former Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that govt had allowed US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power to visit the Trincomallee Naval Base during her recent visit to Sri Lanka. "It should not allow foreign officials to visit our military bases," more..

Youth commits suicide in Jaffna over political prisoners

Nov 26 (CG) A youth committed suicide in Kondavil, Jaffna over the failure by the authorities to release all Tamil political prisoners. The youth had jumped in front of a train in Kondavil and committed suicide. Reporters in Jaffna said that the youth had left a suicide note explaining the motives behind the suicide. The victim was identified as 18 year old Rajeshwaran Senthuran, a resident of Kopai and a student of Kokavil Hindu College. Meanwhile students of the Jaffna university more..

Sri Lanka arrests 15 Indian fishermen

Nov 26 (PTI) At least 15 Indian fishermen have been arrested on Thursday by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country’s waters, in the fifth such incident this month. Fishermen were arrested for poaching in the country’s waters off the north west of Talaimannar and Palk Strait this morning, Navy spokesman Akram Alavi said. Fishermen and their three boats were seized and handed over to the fisheries department officials at Talaimannar and Jaffna for further action, more..

Govt to reduce women sent to work abroad

Nov 26 (CG) Govt says it wants to curtail the number of Sri Lankan women going abroad as domestic workers. Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said that Govt policy is to create a new economic environment with ample opportunities to Sri Lankan women to contribute more to the economy while working in Sri Lanka. He was speaking at an event organized to handover compensation to families of deceased more..

EP hospitals get cash injection

Nov 26 (Island) Health Ministry pledged to provide funds for completing the development of external resources in hospitals of the Eastern province by the end of 2016. Director General Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala had visited Trincomalee General Hospital and, Muttur and Kinniya Base Hospitals on Monday to expedite development projects underway there. A special discussion had also been held at Trincomalee General Hospital between the DGHS, Ministry and Eastern Province health officials. more..

‘Joint Opposition should reveal stance’

Nov 26 (CT) The members of the Joint Opposition who are also with the govt must make a definite statement as to whether they oppose or support the 2016 Budget, JVP says. JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said the JVP will work towards defeating the Budget but the so-called Joint Opposition was not opposing the Budget proposals and hence its intention of bringing a no confidence motion against Finance Minister is a ridiculous proposition. This is a Unity Budget proposed by Unity Govt more..

Sri Lanka warns of action over LTTE commemoration

Nov 26 (IANS) Sri Lankan Police on Thursday warned that it will take legal action against anyone who publicly shows support to the now vanquished Tamil Tigers. The warning came as some groups in the Tamil dominated north of the country prepared to commemorate the birth anniversary of slain Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. Prabhakaran, killed by the military in 2009, was born on this day in 1954. more..

MLTs’ union stresses need for preventing diseases

Nov 26 (Island) SL Society of Medical Laboratory Science said it had stressed the need for President Maithripala Sirisena to establish laboratory services for the prevention of diseases. SLSMLS President, Ravi Kumudesh said that close attention should be paid in the future when appointing medical laboratory technologists as the focus of the country should be on preventing diseases. Kumudesh said that the SLSMLS had written to President Sirisena regarding the matter and more..

Nimal to oppose some aspects of the budget

Nov 26 (CG) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says he will oppose some aspects of the 2016 budget despite being a member of the cabinet. He said that President Maithripala Sirisena has given the SLFP to be critical of any issue in the Govt. He said that the current President is the only leader to allow such criticism within the Govt and that is a good sign for democracy. “Despite being members of this cabinet we will give critical support to the National Govt and the budget,” he said. more..

Sharma lauds President Sirisena

Nov 26 (DM) Secretary General of Commonwealth Kamlesh Sharma today said the Chair in Office President Maithripala Sirisena has done a wonderful job to promote Commonwealth ideals. He said this after a joint press conference with Maltese PM Joseph Muscat at the CHOGM Media Center in Valetta. Dr. Sharma said that President Sirisena’s total commitment to promote commonwealth principles such as more..

Budget 2016: How Tamils can go along

Nov 26 (CT) Quite a few worthwhile projects for the North and East of Sri Lanka, with due financial provision are found in the nation’s Budget for 2016. Several steps have been taken and some hurdles cleared, at the highest levels to reach this threshold to implementation. Much requires to be done from early next year by the administration to see that the ambitious objectives are realized. While not getting distracted in any way, as we go along in 2016, the project needs and provision for 2017 and more..

It’s action time for Maithri

Nov 26 (CT) SLFP under Maithripala Sirisena's leadership visibly functions in two camps. The smaller camp is identified as Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists. This is the first time in the history of SLFP parliamentary politics two groups from the same party operate in Parliament. Both UNP and SLFP experienced internal rifts within their own entities, but they operated as one team in Parliament. UNP has maintained the tradition of being one team in Parliament despite internal rifts. more..

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe

Sirisena abuses power again, appoints loser SLFP MPs to special srojects

Nov 26 (CT) Presiden Sirisena appointed defeated MP’s Shantha Bandara, Jagath Pushpakumara and Eric Weerawardhana as Directors of Special Projects with no description of the need for such appointments. The appointments were made in contravention of principles of Good Governance and in clear abuse of existing Executive Powers of the President. The appointments also come in the backdrop of the 19th amendment which was showcased as a pruning of the powers and more..

Sri Lankan shares post 4-1/2 month closing low on budget worries

Nov 26 (Reuters) Shares closed at their lowest in four-and-a-half months on Thursday on worries earnings of financial firms would fall after the new budget proposals announced last week were implemented. Main stock index ended 0.67%, or 46.62 points, weaker at 6,963.37, its lowest close since July 9, and below its psychological barrier of 7,000. "Selling pressure continues after the budget, especially on the banking shares, and it will gradually settle," said a stockbroker more..

Video: Canteens increase prices; challenges Ravi K

Nov 26 (DM) While increasing the price on hoppers, plain tea and varieties of items sold at canteens from today the national organiser of the Canteen Owners Association Asela Sampath said the association would challenge the Minister Ravi Karunanaya to tell a place where one could buy food items at prices mention in the budget. “As an association we are challenging the Finance Minister to find and tell one single place where we can more..

India sought details on bank accounts of KP

Nov 26 (CG) India had sought the details on the bank accounts of Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’ and some of his associates as part of the investigations over the murder of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, reports said today. The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) in India had sought permission from the Sri Lankan authorities to question the alleged financier of the LTTE. “The MDMA is keen to know about more..

Video: Opposition cries foul

Nov 26 (DM) As part of their efforts to engage with the Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Colombo, the joint opposition met the Russian Ambassador and briefed him about what it called the lack of democratic space for dissent and the use of govt machinery to suppress political opponents, a former minister said. The joint opposition, combining a section of SLFP and its allies loyal to former President Rajapaksa, had also sought more..

Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka for fun fearless young women from March

Nov 26 (EN) Hearst Magazines International and Capital Media, a Colombo-based publishing house will launch the Sri Lanka edition of Cosmopolitan in March 2016. The announcement was made by Gautam Ranji, Hearst Magazines International senior vice president, licensing and business development and Shamindra Kulamannage, executive director of Capital Media. "The Cosmopolitan brand is truly global, more..

‘Journalists among 300 outsiders receiving monthly payments from Avant Garde’

Nov 26 (Island) Two journalists had been in the payroll of the controversial enterprise Avant Garde, a vociferous award-winning actor and politician disclosed. "They had been paid Rs 6000 each, monthly," Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. He quoted PM Ranil Wickramasinghe as having told him, in lighter vein; "I’m surprised why they did shopping for Nissanka Senadhipathy for such a measly sum." more..

Govt will transform Southern mega projects into productive ventures: PM

Nov 26 (DN) Presiding over a forum of ministers and MPs in the Southern province, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, while discussing new strategies for the South, said the government would make productive the mega development projects launched in Hambantota, despite dissimilar views within the govt. "Whatever different point of views on the mega projects launched in the South by the previous govt, the reality is that more..

Tested 1-year rehab programme will suit PTA detainees

Nov 26 (ST) Detainees held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) who may be released on condition of rehabilitation can go through the efficient one-year programme through which thousands of former Tigers have been integrated into civil society, the programme’s chief said. Some legal sources, however, said the rehabilitation legislation did not cover these detainees, scores of whom have asked to more..

Govt urged to set up proper framework

Nov 26 (SL) Farmer organisations and leading environmentalists while admiring the initiative taken by JHU MP Ven. Athureliya Rathna Thero to call for the provision of a cash fertiliser subsidy to farmers, stressed that there should be a framework on how money would be disbursed to the farmers. Proposal is reportedly aimed at promoting organic farming methods among farming community by encouraging them to use carbonic fertiliser. more..

‘No-confidence motion poses no challenge’

Nov 26 (DN) Rumours of an impending increase in water, electricity and telephone bills due to 2016 budget proposals are without any basis, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. The minister assured that the govt would never heap unnecessary burden on the people. He stated this at a foundation laying ceremony yesterday at Bodhi Samudrarama Vihara, Mutwal. more..

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