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Sri Lanka seeks to limit importation of busses, three-wheelers

Sep 19 (LBO) Transport Ministry is currently looking at options to limit the importation of high floor busses and three-wheelers to Sri Lanka. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament that the ministry is gradually planning to tight related regulations in order to reduce traffic congestion in the country. “Current bus fleet is sufficient for the country. Now we need air conditioned low floor busses with high quality,” he said. more..

Students unable to pass O/Levels to be granted entry to A/Levels

Sep 19 (AD) Ministry of Education has taken steps to launch a pilot project to enable students who failed their GCE O/L Exam, to gain entry to the GCE A/L Exam that is scheduled to commence in October. This program has been launched to ensure that every child gains a holistic 13 year education within the country. Accordingly, starting this year any student who is unable to pass the O/L exam will have the opportunity of gaining entry to the A/L streams through this pilot project.  more..

Budget is always drafted to satisfy foreign markets: Bandula

Sep 19 (AD) MP Bandula Gunawardane stated that the Budget for 2017 has to be drafted to satisfy the ambitions of the international market, regardless of the wishes of the Ministry of Finance.  MP stated that the Budget allocations for 2016 were extremely unsuccessful and that former Minister Ravi Karunanayake should accept responsibility for its failures. It was further mentioned that the Budget for the year 2016 had falsified facts and figures that had dire repercussions on the economy. more..

Visas for Myanmar nationals, not for Rohingya refugees: SL

Sep 19 (DM) Rejecting reports that Sri Lanka had suspended on arrival visas for Myanmar travellers, Dept of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka said that it would continue to issue visas for Myanmar nationals as usual, but not for Rohingya refugees. The Myanmar Times reported that Sri Lanka has suspended issuing visas on arrival for Myanmar travellers to stop Bengali people from Rakhine State entering the country. more..

SL minister takes cover after close shave

Sep 19 (EN) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva overshadowed his own motor traffic amendment bill when he turned up in parliament in stunning jet black hair raising jibes from his fellow MPs. De Silva, 73, made no reference to his make-over nor was he available for comment immediately, but cabinet colleagues said he had shaved his hair as part of a ritual at a Hindu temple in India. Colleagues asked him if he flew business class to carry an extra 20 kilos of Godrej hair dye, more..

TNA cracking up due to 20A

Sep 19 (CT) Cracks have appeared in the TNA over the proposed 20th Amendment with EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran declaring that the party is opposed to the Amendment. However, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and MP M.A. Sumanthiran had earlier stated that they will support the Amendment. "TNA leadership does not discuss matters within the coalition. Decisions are taken by leader Sampanthan and Sumanthiran. They never discuss these matters with other constituent party leaders," he said. more..

Gurusinha reappointed selector after resigning

Sep 19 (CI) Despite having stepped down from his role as selector just weeks ago, cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha has been reappointed to the position, along with three new selectors. Graeme Labrooy, the former SL seamer, had already been confirmed as the head of the committee on Friday. The remaining members are former national team manager Jeryl Woutersz, former wicketkeeper Gamini Wickremasinghe & Sajith Fernando, more..

Highways Minister brushes aside allegations against CEP

Sep 19 (Island) Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella vowed yesterday to continue with the Central Expressway project and to complete it by the end of 2019. Responding to recent allegations of corruption, Minister Kirielle said people who were criticising the CHP were doing so out of jealousy. Even though the SLFP led governments had been in power almost for over 20 years, they had not been able to build the Central Expressway, he said. more..

Price formula for tobacco products?

Sep 19 (NR) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol today urged the Ministry of Finance to introduce a price formula to revise prices of tobacco related products. Chairman of the Authority Dr. Palitha Abeykoon said the introduction of a price formula will help the govt to increase the price of tobacco related products by several folds. Executive Director Dr. Nishan De Mel said, the govt should sanctioned the Finance Ministry to introduce the formula. more..

Sacked rock star joins opposition

Sep 19 (EN) The sacked junior minister Arundika Fernando joined former president Rajapaksa's faction Tuesday, a week after he was told by the govt that he will not be reinstated. Fernando, who was called a rock star by his parliamentary colleagues after he rocked the SLFP faction of President Sirisena, made a special statement before crossing the floor of the House. "From today, I will work to ensure the collapse of this govt," more..

Case against Johnston Fernando to be heard

Sep 19 (NR) The case filed against Former Minister of Trade and Cooperatives Johnston Fernando on charges of incurring losses amounting to 40 million rupees will be taken up for hearing once again today. The case will be heard at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Charges have been filed against Johnston Fernando for incurring losses to the govt by using 153 employees of the Sathosa network for political activities during the previous tenure of the UPFA led govt. more..

JR paved the way to boost Asia’s clout: PM

Sep 19 (DM) Asia would not have become a powerful region today and would not emerge as a stronger one in the future if President J R Jayewardene did not open up Sri Lanka’s economy and set the course for the region to become what it is today, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Mr. Wickremesinghe said this during a ceremony held last evening to commemorate the late President Jayewardene’s 111th birth anniversary which fell on Sunday, September 17. more..

Appeal to help Sri Lankan sisters who survived suicide pact in Dubai

Sep 19 (GN) Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai has appealed to community members and other philanthropists to support two sisters who survived a family suicide pact in Sharjah. The sisters, identified as R.I., 17, and Y.I., 27, were found lying in a pool of blood while their parents and brother were found dead at a hotel apartment on August 29. The younger sister told Gulf News that the financially broken family with no valid visas had decided more..

Prison inmates to be granted supervised home visits

Sep 19 (AD) Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms stated that a program will be introduced to grant supervised home visits to prison inmates in the near future. It has been reported that this particular exemption will be made for prisoners serving a term that exceeds 3 years. It was further mentioned that prisoners who are serving time for severe crimes will not be eligible for the program. Accordingly prison inmates serving a sentence less than 20 years who are granted pardon for good behavior more..

Railway strike midnight tomorrow

Sep 19 (DM) The Railway Operation Supervisory Officers Unions would launch a 48-hour token strike from Wednesday midnight demanding solutions to salary anomalies, the Railway Guards Union said. Union President Janaka Fernando said they had sent proposals to the National Salary and Cadre Commission two weeks ago requesting to resolve salary anomalies. “We met with the officials of the Commission this morning as well but there was no positive outcome. more..

Drought worsens hunger, indebtedness: UN

Sep 19 (EN) The prolonged drought that has gripped Sri Lanka has worsened food insecurity with more people going hungry and indebtedness rising for lack of farm work, the UN office in Colombo said. Despite the Southwest monsoon in late May, which triggered flooding and landslides in the country’s southwest provinces, country-wide drought conditions are ongoing, it said in its latest drought update. more..

Central Province also green-lights 20A

Sep 19 (AD) The 20th Amendment to the Constitution, to hold elections for all Provincial Councils in the same day, has been passed in the Central Provincial Council with amendments. The draft bill has been passed with a majority of 31 votes with 40 provincial councilors voting in favour and just 9 voted against.  The 20th amendment to hold PC polls on the same day have so far been passed in the Sabaragamuwa, North Central, Eastern and Western provincial councils.  more..

Heshan Withanage resigns as an MP

Sep 19 (NR) Heshan Withanage says he has decided to resign from his UNP Parliamentary seat to contest as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate if the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Election is held expeditiously. Heshan Withanage said he has received requests from the Working Committee and the Heads of the Party in this regard. Withanage said the time limit to hold the Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial Council Elections will arrive soon adding that more..

Malaka Silva back to terrorizing night club revellers

Sep 19 (CT) Malaka Silva who was notorious for terrorizing guests at popular night clubs he patronized during the former Rajapaksa regime is once again back in business. Last Friday Malaka Silva accompanied by his friend Romesh Kulatunga and an alleged drug dealer named Maama had badgered a reveler at the famous up market night spot the Park Street Mews. This incident incidentally was blacked out by more..

Suspect dies in cell: IGP orders action against duty officers

Sep 19 (DM) IGP Pujith Jayasundara had ordered stern action against the OIC of the Pitigala Police Station and other officers following the death of a suspect in a remand cell at the Police station today, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. 44-year-old Magodapathirage Hemavipul was found dead inside the Police cell this afternoon. The Police arrested the suspect in connection with a family dispute at Marakgoda. “Police believe that the suspect had committed suicide in the cell,” more..

‘UNWTO appointment, recognition of Sri Lanka as a destination’

Sep 19 (LBO) Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said his appointment as a Vice Presidential representative of Asia for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) was a recognition of Sri Lanka as an able tourist destination. Minister Amaratunga made these remarks at a ceremony to felicitate him on his recent UNWTO appointment, which was held at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), amidst a large gathering, yesterday. more..

ඇලෝසියස් කට වැහුව කියන්නෙ ...

Are we bowling without umpires again?

Sep 19 (FT) I plagiarised this title from myself, bear with me for the repetition. It fits so well that I did not bother to create a new heading to tell a repetitive story. I wrote the original after the elections in 2010 when UPFA had an astounding victory. That was when I published the original Bowling without umpires. The gist of the story was that the ordinary Sri Lankans were getting hammered left right and centre by politicians in power who wrote the rules at their own whims and fancies. more..

12.11.10 Welikada

Sep 19 (CT) Last week saw the launch of 12.11.10 Welikada, an investigative work compiled by journalist Kasun Pussella on the alleged Welikada prison massacre of 2012. And it seems that the case itself might be making a comeback in the legal and political arena, after several years of neglect. The case of the Welikada Prison massacre, even after the lapse of five years, is still shrouded in mystery. Two govts have established inquisitorial committees into the incident more..

Data missing from Arjuna Mahendran’s mobile phones

Sep 19 (AD) A considerable amount of data has been missing from the two mobile phones handed over by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry. This was revealed by the CID during the proceedings today as Mahendran appeared before the commission to submit evidence for the ongoing inquiry, as per the summons issued to him. It was revealed that 11 months of data was missing more..

No contradicts in report, GMOA can disscuss with me anytime: Harsha

Sep 19 (DM) While rejecting the GMOA claims, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva who was also the Chairman of Prez committee on SAITM said there were no contradicts in the report recommendations and the GMOA can discuss the matter with the minister at any time. He said that the GMOA claimed the committee has no intension of repeating the decision to stop student enrollment as it already there was not mentioned more..

20A unconstitutional: Supreme Court

Sep 19 (NR) Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya today announced the much-anticipated Supreme Court determination on the proposed 20th Amendment. Speaker informed the House that the SC has determined that several clauses of the proposed 20th Constitutional Amendment are inconsistent with the Constitution. SC has informed Parliament that Amendment can only be passed through a 2/3 majority in parliament and more..

President to address UN today

Sep 19 (PMD) The world’s political leaders come together today to discuss and debate what matters to their countries. President Maithripala Sirisena will attend the UN General Assembly in a few hours today in New York. While this year’s attention was on UNGA’s new faces including President Trump of the Unites States and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, SL President’s speech is expected to engage more..

Keeping silent boomerangs on Silva and Co.

Sep 19 (CT) Two days after issuing the verdict against Kalutara PCC and Panadura CC players for not playing according to the spirit of the game, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) revealed that none of the accused parties presented themselves at the hearing held at Royal College Auditorium and had not even made a written submission. Strangely the Inquiry Committee Head Asoka Rekawa explained the inquiry had not revealed any involvement more..

CEB meter readers show how to use unionized power

Sep 19 (EN) Meter readers at CEB, have provided an object lesson on how to cut down work using union power to earn more overtime while working half a day, after getting permanent employment, inside sources at the power utility say. Current administration had absorbed over 3,000 outsourced workers who came from manpower agencies to the CEB sharply raising their salaries. Most of the new workers have joined a strike more..

Controversy overloads bid opening as Samsung plans short-circuit

Sep 19 (ST) The controversial tender for the 300 MegaWatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya, is set to take another turn tomorrow (18), when the financial Bids submitted by five previously unsuccessful Bidders will be opened. Eight Bids had earlier been submitted for the Plant. Consequent to the technical evaluation process, six had been recommended by the CEB Technical Evaluation Committee more..

Backtracking on accountability measures will harm all Sri Lankans: Tamil leader

Sep 19 (DM) Media reports state that, at the suggestion of President Maithripala Sirisena, the parliamentary debate on the Bill to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances (CPAPED) will not held as scheduled on Sept 21.   The media also quoted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as saying that the Disappearances Bill pertains only to future cases and not those of the past more..

Ministry reimburses fuel bill to NLDB

Sep 19 (SL) Following our expose on how the Chairman and Board of Directors of National Livestock Development Board (NLDB) unlawfully settled Rural Economic Development Minister P. Harrison’s fuel bill to the tune of Rs. 1.059 million, it had now come to the fore how the latter’s office had paid back Rs.1.342 million to the former few days after the fraud was highlighted in the newspaper. It is astonishing how Minister Harrison who more..

'Our people haven’t been taught to'

Sep 19 (DM) Sri Lanka has produced many intellectuals who have conquered the world in various fields. Hence we are equipped with enough resources and in turn can move forward with novel innovations. This is what Professor Rangika Halwatura believes in. Employed as a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Uni of Moratuwa, Prof. Halwatura was recently recognised as the Best Scientist in the Developing World more..

What can Suu Kyi learn from SL’s mistakes

Sep 19 (DM) Narratives of horror in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine State and the squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh where nearly 400,000 Rohingya refugees live in subhuman condition after being chased out by the Burmese Army’s scorched earth campaign are distressing. Ethnic violence in Rakhine first erupted soon after Myanmar’s military junta relaxed its grip on political power in 2012. A social media post by rubble-rousing monk Ashin Wirathu about an alleged rape of a Buddhist more..

An overlooked blooper

Sep 19 (DM) A few days ago the eastern Indian media took PM Narendra Modi to task for claiming that Sri Lanka’s national anthem was composed by Bengali Poet Rabindranath Tagore.   “On my international visits, I feel proud to say that Tagore composed national anthems of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India,” PM Modi was quoted as saying in a speech made in Delhi.   His speech was delivered at a ceremony to mark the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s more..