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PTA to be replaced with Counter Terrorism Act

Aug 24 (CG) Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) will soon be abolished and it will be replaced by the Counter Terrorism Act, the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs said. Minister D.M Swaminathan said that the Attorney General is scheduled to submit a review on 78 trials pending under the Prevention of Terrorism Act with regard to Tamil suspects, by 15th September. more..

'New constitution to be presented to people at referendum'

Aug 24 (Island) The new constitution will be placed before the people at a referendum after being presented to the Parliament, Minister Lakshman Kiriella says. He revealed this at the opening ceremony of a new four storey women’s hostel of Eastern University. Hostel consists of 140 rooms and can accommodate up to 350 students. It was built at a cost of Rs. 250 million. He said countries like Singapore and Malaysia had solved more..

Late poet P. B. Alwis Perera awakened the people through poetry: President

Aug 24 (PMD) The 50th commemoration ceremony of the poet P. B. Alwis Perera was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the National Library and Documentation Services Board, yesterday (22). Expressing his views during the ceremony the President said that the poet P. B. Alwis Perera was a great human being who fulfilled his duties towards the nation and the people. more..

GMOA warns govt against move to bring ETCA through back door

Aug 24 (Island) The GMOA warned the govt against bringing the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India through backdoor while promising to formulate a national policy on international trade agreements. Addressing the media, GMOA spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda said the same team which prepared the ETCA had been assigned to draft the national policy just to avoid public protests. more..

Ministry Sec. denies: Individual vehicle importers barred from Finance Ministry

Aug 24 (DM) The newly formed individual vehicle importers, who were affected due to the recent tax increase said that they were barred from entering the Finance Ministry office over any vehicle importation related issues by Minister Ravi Karunanayake since June 17. However, the Finance Ministry Media Secretary Sisira Wijesinghe contradicted the allegations and said the individual importers had imported more..

Army safe from Office on Missing Persons (OMP)?

Aug 24 (SL) The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) which was approved by Parliament recently, has made sure there is no mention of investigating the army for rights abuses. The Bill on the OMP which was passed with amendments, notes in its mandate, that it will be authorised to appoint a specified officer to enter without warrant and investigate, at any time of day or night, any place of detention, police station, prison or any other more..

Avant Garde struck by mid sea thunderstorm

Aug 24 (CT) Absolute power corrupting absolutely was an epitome in Sri Lanka with the advent of the previous regime and the Avant Garde case was no exception. The recently released COPE report says it all. Of the irregular performance of the institution, COPE said, that from the year 2003 onwards, approval of the relevant divisions has not been sought for the budget of the institution. more..

'National Policy on Trade: Need of the hour'

Aug 24 (DM) The GMOA, a body vociferously critical of the ETCA, says a proper national policy on trading should be evolved before signing any bilateral agreement for trade with other countries. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, in an interview with the Dailymirror on the subject said the Govt appeared to be trying to open up the service sector, and it would have far reaching effects on economy. more..

CB Chief urges private sector to grab Sri Lanka’s best growth opportunity

Aug 24 (FT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy last night made a strong case for the private sector to step up their investments emphasising that SL’s best opportunity for growth was before them. Delivering the keynote address at the CIMA Sri Lanka Business Leaders Summit, Governor said due to a host of factors the best and most favourable set of circumstances were before SL for the first time since independence. more..

Farmland, forests and fauna suffer in mountain fires

Aug 24 (ST) Forest fires across the central part of the country, aggravated by dry conditions, have left hundreds of acres of trees destroyed and brought suffering and death to wild animals. Firefighters continue to tackle a huge blaze in Ravana Ella, Badulla, with nearly 20 acres of land laid waste by fires spreading in the mountainous regions. Nearly 148 acres of farmland have been destroyed in forest fires so far this year. more..

Politics vs. Politricks: Sri Lanka’s cruel and unrelenting dichotomy

Aug 24 (DM) The depths into which our politics has collapsed and its unending passage through successive administrations is sometimes bizarre and more often winding and deceptive. Taken in the framework of the previous regime, the passage seems to have trekked along exceptionally unpleasant peaks and valleys; the wild ride the owners of that regime had through one after another of the members of the previous First Family being summoned and jailed (later released on bail, more..

Food safety, beware of the forbidden fruit

Aug 24 (DM) SL today moves into the third day of the National Food Safety week, and this gives plenty of food for thought not only for the health authorities but for all the people because the history or health science teaches us that more than eating well we need to eat wisely. Research has shown that in SL most people don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits though our paradise island is blessed with hundreds of nutritious varieties while some desert countries do not have even a single. more..

Yahapalana crook going against SC ruling: US$ 3 mil loss in public funds?

Aug 24 (DM) the controversial Coal Tender process has taken a different turn with the Power and Energy Ministry deciding to continue to purchase coal from Swiss Singapore despite damning observations by the Supreme Court. The issue came to light last year after the Daily Mirror broke the story regarding the circumventing of procedure and process in awarding a sport tender to the same company. more..

'Building Buddhist temples, statues under Bo-trees have negated reconciliation efforts'

Aug 24 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said building Buddhist temples, placing Buddha statues under Bo-trees and at junctions by the security forces after defeating the LTTE in the North-East had not done any good other than to negate the govt's reconciliation efforts. “On several occasions, I spoke to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on this matter. He accepted the negative impact of these actions but said it was not possible to stop armed forces personnel from doing so,” he said. more..

Drunk pilot was not on board

Aug 24 (CT) Airline Pilots' Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) commenting on the story of an allegedly drunken pilot of the SriLankan Airlines said the pilot under reference had been indeed intoxicated but a fair distance away from any aircraft and even the boarding gate. The Guild said there was no potential danger of the Pilot gaining access to any aircraft. ALPGSL added that this incident occurred over the weekend of 20 Aug in Frankfurt. It said that two co-pilots, prior to accepting more..

Sulaiman’s abductors demand Rs 20 M

Aug 24 (CT) Police have launched a probe into an unidentified phone call received by family members of abducted millionaire businessman Mohammad Sulaiman, in which the caller had demanded a ransom of Rs 20 million for his release. Police said unidentified phone call had been received on the land line at Sulaiman's residence around 9 a.m. on 22 Aug. Caller had said he would notify them of the name of a bank which more..

'Sri Lankan sailors not apprehended'

Aug 24 (DM) The eight Sri Lankan crew members of the ship Al Khalidia which was apprehended in the UAE are not under custody but were provided accommodation in Khorfakan pending salary dues and repatriation, Sri Lankan Consulate General in Dubai said. Updating the Foreign Affairs Ministry on the situation, the Consulate General has said it was only the ship which had been apprehended and media reports of arresting Sri Lankan crew members were incorrect. more..

SANASA depositors complain of fraud

Aug 24 (Island) The depositors of Wattegedera branch of SANASA bank staged a protest opposite the WPC at Battaramulla claiming that two officials had embezzled Rs. 68 million deposited by them. The protest was staged following the monthly meeting of the council. The protesters said the Cooperative Department under whose purview the SANASA bank came also should take the responsibility. They discussed the issue with WPC CM Isuru Devapriya and other PC members. more..

OMP Act: Speaker requests govt to accommodate further amendments

Aug 24 (DN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday in Parliament asked the Govt to look into the possibility of accommodating further Amendments to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Act. He made this observation when it was pointed out that several Amendments proposed by the JVP and TNA had been missed at the Committee Stage of the Bill owing to the pandemonium prevailed at that time. However, the Speaker reassured that there more..

Foreign debt rose $ 3.5 b on rupee depreciation

Aug 24 (Reuters) A 10% fall in the rupee since Govt took office in January last year has increased the country’s foreign debt by Rs. 507 billion in 17 months, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament on Tuesday. Sri Lanka’s state finances are shaky, partly because of heavy borrowing by the previous Govt. However, a group of MPs, led by former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, has accused President Maithripala Sirisena’s Govt of also borrowing heavily since it came to power in January 2015. more..

Sri Lanka tourism sector stands to gain as fewer westerners travel to troubled Europe

Aug 24 (ENS) Sri Lanka, which is already experiencing a boom in tourist arrivals this year, is likely to benefit from a fall in travel to Europe and several other hotspots because of Islamic terrorism. Given the restoration of peace and democracy in the island country after the Jan 8, 2015 Presidential election won by the dove, Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka has been attracting tourists like never before. There had been a 93% increase in the first six months of 2016 – a growth rate more..

EU Ambassador Daly applauds Office of Missing Persons

Aug 24 (FT) The Ambassador for the Delegation of the European Union to SL, David Daly, upon completing his tour of duty in Sri Lanka, congratulated the Govt on creating an Office of Missing Persons and stressed the importance of genuine reconciliation in his valedictory message. Following is his full statement. When you read this I will already have left SL. I take up my new duties at the EU headquarters in Brussels on 1 Sept. more..

1,210 rural bridges to be constructed

Aug 24 (FT) Govt has made plans to construct 1,210 rural bridges before the end of 2017, the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt said. These bridges will be constructed under the program Constructing Rural Bridges carried out by the Ministry. The program was initiated utilising foreign funds and was inaugurated under three phases, the Ministry said. Bridges that cost more than 45,000 million rupees will be constructed in each province, it said. more..

Prasad to undergo surgery in Australia

Aug 24 (Island) Sri Lanka has suffered a massive blow after fast bowler Dhammika Prasad was ruled out from cricket for the remainder of the year as he was forced to undergo surgery in Australia. Prasad suffered a shoulder injury while playing a warm-up game in Chelmsford during Sri Lanka’s tour of England and was ruled out of the series. It was expected that the fast bowler will be able to recover with rest and rehabilitation, but SLC officials confirmed that Prasad now requires surgery. more..

Killer elephant Niyapoththa captured

Aug 24 (CT) Wildlife Conservation Department officials have finally captured the enraged bull elephant Niyapoththa bringing to an end his killing spree which has claimed four human lives to date besides vast destruction of rice paddies and coconut trees. Niyapoththa last killed a nine-year-old girl in Hambegamuwa, Wellawaya in the Moneragala District. The team of Wildlife officials of the Southern Province anaesthetized and more..

Living with CKDu

Aug 24 (DN) Our target is to make CKDu deaths zero, Dr. Lishantha Gunaratne said explaining the options for treatment available to three kidney patients who were diagnosed with Stage 5 CKDu. Things have got very serious for them but Dr. Lishantha tries to stress that they could live a normal life through treatment until they receive a donor kidney. Dr. Gunaratne is the star of the Girandurukotte Divisional Hospital, famed for its bright blue and yellow kidney unit. more..

Colombo University students protest over student suspensions

Aug 24 (DN) A protest was held at the Colombo University yesterday opposing the decision taken by authorities to suspend four students on charges of holding an awareness programme for first year students. Protest march started at 11 a.m. opposite the Arts Faculty and proceeded up to university Vice Chancellor's official residence. Arts Faculty Students’ Union president said that an awareness programme had been conducted by the students’ union to the first years titled Arunella. more..

Northern Province Chief Minister sets goals and parameters for development projects

Aug 24 (ENS) Chief Minister Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, on Tuesday outlined the economic goals of his largely rural province and set the parameters within which economic development projects should be conceived. He said that first and foremost, any plans for the economic development of his province will have to be discussed with first with his administration and should be based on more..

'Danushka will be Dilshan’s replacement'

Aug 24 (CT) Sri Lanka Skipper Angelo Mathews revealed who will be the cover in the ODI Squad if Thilakarathne Dilshan retires from the National Team. "It's very simple. Danushka Gunathilaka opened for us in England along with Kusal Perera, and he will be a straight swap for Dilshan" said Mathews. There are several speculations going on about Dilshan, and one is that the ongoing ODI series between Sri Lanka and Australia could be his last appearance with National colours. more..

Dialog SL Cricket Awards 2016 in September

Aug 24 (DN) Dialog Sri Lanka Cricket Awards 2016, the pinnacle of achievement on Sri Lanka’s domestic and international cricketing stage will take place on September 21 at the Water’s Edge, Colombo. The gala ceremony will recognise the stars amongst Our Lions, and the accomplishments of our cricketers at domestic and international level. As in previous years, the public will vote for the coveted Dialog People’s Player of the Year award. All Sri Lankans can simply type DPPPlayer’s name and more..

President graces 9th Defence Services Games Closing Ceremony

Aug 24 (MoD) President Sirisena graced the 9th Defence Services Games Closing Ceremony - 2016 held at the Panagoda Army Indoor Stadium on Monday. State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene and Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi were also present at the occasion. Sri Lanka Army emerged as the overall champions securing 120 Gold medals, 133 Silver and 127 Bronze medals. more..

US Secretary of the Navy visits Naval Dockyard in Trincomalee

Aug 24 (SLN) US Secretary of the Navy, Hon Ray Mabus visited the Naval Dockyard, Trincomalee today (22) to witness the ongoing bilateral training between the SL and US Navies. The visiting US Secretary of the Navy was received by Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne on his arrival at the Naval Dockyard. During the cordial discussion held at the Navy House Trincomalee, they exchanged views on the ongoing bilateral training between the two navies. more..

Pelwatte Dairy to invest Rs 1.5 bn in three Northern fresh milk plants

Aug 24 (DN) Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd will invest Rs 1.5 billion to build three mini fresh milk processing plants in the North starting this year.Pelwatte Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said that in addition he will also build a milk powder processing factory in Jaffna as well. Speaking to Daily News at the inaugural Northern Investor Forum on Monday he said that there is a 250,000 population in Jaffna and there are over 260,000 dairy cows in the area. more..

Mathews suggests cautious approach against Starc

Aug 24 (CI) With Mitchell Starc now extending his impressive form from the Tests into the ODIs, Sri Lanka have settled on a batting plan: see Starc out safely. Starc was already miserly during the first ODI. He did not concede a boundary in his 10 overs, which cost only 32. But he was also penetrative, taking three wickets. Each of those dismissals, however, was the result of an expansive drive gone awry. more..

Hakka Patas: The killer trap

Aug 24 (DM) Hakka Patas or an improvised small explosive device which contains black gun powder, lead and iron made to a ball of a fire cracker shape is used illegally to keep the wild animals away from crops and to kill small animals. But often swallowed by elephants with very harmful results. Hakka patas is strategically inserted in a cucumber or a pumpkin which are delicacies of wild animals. Actual consequence is a destroyed mouth cavity and painful extended death which takes up to more..

What do the Olympics tell about Sri Lanka?

Aug 24 (DM) Ours have proved to be dismally populist driven. Since the winning next election overwrites all other factors, there is hardly a long term vision. Nurturing talents for Olympics would take decades to see results, by then the incumbent would be out of power, thus there was hardly any inclination for such efforts. Rio Olympics concluded on Sunday and we as usual finished with precious little to show in terms of sporting talent. That is the story of much of South Asia. more..

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