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NPP urges Govt. to reveal stance on MCC, SOFA before polls

Jul 31 (DM) The National Peoples Power (NPP) today urged the govt to reveal its stance on the MCC agreement, Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Trincomalee oil tanks, Colombo Port's Eastern Terminal andMattala Airport before the general election. NPP Kalutara District candidate Nalinda Jayatissa told a news conference that Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa should reveal his stance on these matters without his media stunts more..

Transporting hazardous waste: Court issues conditional order

Jul 31 (TM) Colombo Magistrate’s Court has issued a conditional order on the case filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) against the dumping of hazardous waste from a factory at the Seethawaka Industrial Estate in Avissawella, into the sea near the Madampitiya Pumping Station. Magistrate’s Court on Monday had issued a conditional order in this regard. The Court had accepted that the gully bowser containing the chemical waste was dangerous to human life more..

Fourth coal power unit at Norochcholai to save over Rs 27 bn annually

Jul 31 (Island) The fourth unit of the Lakvijaya Power Plant Complex in Norochcholai would annually save more than Rs. 27 billion, CEB, Chairman Vijitha Herath said, speaking on the sidelines of a press briefing yesterday. Herath said that the estimated cost of the fourth unit was around USD 300 million and it would produce 1.8 billion units annually. The unit cost would be around Rs. 8.50 plus. He said it would be a huge saving compared to any other energy source with exception of hydro power. more..

Video: Appeals Court suspends HC trial on Avant-Garde bribery case

Jul 31 (EN) An interim order has been issued suspending the trial before Colombo High Court regarding the bribery case against Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Yapa Senadhipathi and former Chairman of Rakna Lanka, Major Gen (Retired) Palitha Fernando. The order was delivered by the Appeals Court’s judge bench when the revision application filed by Senadhipathi and Fernando was taken up this morning. more..

Japan gives Rs500mn worth canned fish for Sri Lanka school meals

Jul 31 (EN) Japan has donated 388 tonnes of canned worth 300 million yen (519 million rupees) for Sri Lanka’s school meals scheme for the next two years, which is supported by the World Food Program. The canned fish came from areas Sri Lanka had supported during an earthquake and tsunami. Kitamura Toshihiro, Charge d’Affaires ad interim of Japan to Sri Lanka recalled Sri Lanka’s donation of cash and tea during the Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami in Mar 2011. more..

Criminalisation of politics

Jul 31 (FT) The criminality in politics can be considered an atrocious cancer that engulfed Sri Lanka as well as India, our closest neighbour. While there is enough data to establish the reality of the problem in India, Sri Lanka does not possess any such data to comprehend the extent of it. The lack of interest among sociologists, parliamentarians and election officials in Sri Lanka on this issue can be seen as an important factor contributing to the problem of not having sufficient data. more..

Video: Shani Abeysekara arrested

Jul 31 (AD) Former Director of the CID Shani Abeysekara has been arrested by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) on charges of allegedly fabricating evidence over a firearms case. Abeysekara was taken into custody at around 7.05 am this morning at his residence in Matha Road, Colombo 08. Eight suspects including the former Police DIG Vaas Gunawardena, his wife, and son, identified as suspects in the murder of businessman more..

Education Ministry decides relief for Grade 5 scholarship exam

Jul 31 (TM) Ministry of Education has decided to add 15 extra minutes to the time duration given for students to answer the first question paper of the Grade Five Scholarship examination this year. The time set to answer the first question paper will be extended from the current 45 minutes to an hour. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that this measure was taken to provide some relief for the students who were unable to attend school for over four months due to the Covid-19 outbreak. more..

Healthcare guidelines for the Parliament handed over

Jul 31 (AD) The Director General of Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe today officially handed over the Healthcare Guidelines prepared for the Parliament by the Ministry of Health. The guidelines, also applicable for the MPs of the new Parliament, were handed over to the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake. The set of guidelines will be essential for the conduct of sessions in a safe environment post General Election, as measure of facing the challenges of COVID-19, he said. more..

New assessment shows 74% of Sri Lanka’s freshwater fish threatened with extinction

Jul 31 (MB) Surveys carried out in the early 1980s in the many reservoirs in Sri Lanka’s dry zone showed abundant populations of the red-fin labeo (Labeo lankae), an endemic species of frewshwater fish. Reports indicated the fish was also available at local fish markets. But decades later, it has disappeared from the reservoirs it was known to inhabit, a fate it shares with many other freshwater fish across Sri Lanka. more..

Laws to make Parliamentary approval mandatory: PM

Jul 31 (DN) New laws will be introduced to make Parliamentary approval mandatory for future agreements on state property or other vital matters of the country, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Addressing a meeting with professionals in Colombo on Wednesday, he said this would be a priority task of the new Govt formed after the General Election. “The Yahapalana Govt sent a negative message to investors by halting Chinese funded projects, especially the Colombo Port City project. more..

Amateurish conduct of police units like TID exposed before PCoI

Jul 31 (Island) Certain police units would directly call suspected ISIS sympathisers and inquire whether they had been radicalised or were members of the ISIS, former SIS Director and SDIG of Eastern Province, Nilantha Jayawardena, yesterday told the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. For example, the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) had once called in Abdul Latheef Mohamed Jameel, who blew himself up at a Dehiwala Hotel and had asked him whether he had been radicalised, more..

Imthiaz Bakeer Marker, National List Candidate, SJB

Hakeem launches We Are a part, not apart: demystifying myths against Muslims of SL

Jul 31 (Island) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem launches his book, We Are a Part, Not Apart: Demystifying Myths Against Muslims of SL today, at Golden Crown Hotel, Ampitiya, Kandy. The speakers at the launch include, Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke, Ven Moragaswewe Vijitha Thera, Prof. B.A. Hussainmiya and Vijitha Yapa, the publisher of the book. The event will also include reflections from the author. Hakeem’s main message in the book reiterates the need for peace among all more..

The pre-poll acid tests (pt. I): How to pass the ‘Oh!’-Levels

Jul 31 (FT) In a few days’ time, we as a nation may make choices that will last at least a generation; and likely, your lifetime and mine. On balance or the surface of things, it appears good to be prepared. And best to be prepared for better or worse. Now to gird one’s loins and don the old armour of democratic-republicanism, and all that jazz… or worse! Not to be facetious – or worse, fatalistic. But the public sphere of political shenanigans is alive and well, to the detriment of the health of more..

Video: SJB to seek legal action against UNP once again

Jul 31 (AD) SJB General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara says that they will initiate legal action against the suspension of the UNP membership of 60 local councilors who supported the SJB. He said that local council members elected by the people cannot be removed without a disciplinary inquiry. He added that they safeguard all the local council members ousted from the UNP and that they have already made the necessary more..

325 linked to COVID-19 + Lankapura DS staff member to face PCR tests

Jul 31 (NR) 325 persons, who associated the staff member of the Lankapura Divisional Secretariat who tested positive for coronavirus, have been directed to undergo PCR testing. Dr. Anil Jasinghe said the results of the PCR tests will be submitted today. Dr. Jasinghe however said travel restrictions have not been imposed in Lankapura, in light of the discovery of the COVID-19 positive case. He said steps have been taken to ensure community spread does not occur. more..

ECT under SLPA demand: Port unions support fast

Jul 31 (DN) The collective trade union action of the Colombo Port employees, launched on Wednesday is supported by 23 registered port trade unions. The trade union collective began a hunger fast on Wednesday demanding that the East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port (ECT) must be operated under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and must not be privatised or handed over to foreign or private entities. According to the trade union collective’s representation, more..

TGTE never showed any remorse over child soldiers: Lord Naseby

Jul 31 (DM) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), which has started legal action in the UK to lift the proscription on the LTTE, has never shown any remorse over child soldiers, Lord Naseby, President of the All Party British SL Parliamentary Group said yesterday. Speaking during the debate on Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 in the House of Lords of the UK, Lord Naseby said the TGTE started more..

CAA sets dengue lab test charges

Jul 31 (CT) The Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has announced the revised charges for laboratory tests for dengue. Through the publication of an Extraordinary Gazette Notification that has been issued a sum of Rs 1,200 would be charged to carry out the nonstructural protein 1 test (NSI Antigen Test) for dengue and the issuance of the report while a sum of Rs 400 would be levied for carrying out and the issuance of the Full Blood Count Test. more..

Sajith vows to stamp out ultra-nationalism

Jul 31 (CT) SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa said, under his watch, there will be no room for the emergence of any form of ultra-nationalism, extremism, religious violence and terrorism. He emphasised that a SJB Govt will totally eliminate all type of extremism and terrorism. “I am ready to face any kind of probe into charges directed against me for having misappropriated funds belonging to the Central Cultural Fund. I cannot be intimidated through the spread of canards & innuendos. more..

SIS informed police to probe suspicious extremist activities: Former Director

Jul 31 (DM) National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) had received political backing from politician Ameer Ali in 2017 and the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had informed Kattankudy police to impartially investigate the particular matter, former SIS Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena yesterday informed PCoI. He said that through a letter sent to former IGP Pujith Jayasundara in March, 2017, SIS had informed about the activities conducted by Islamic more..

Jayantha to assume duties as SLC Vice-President today

Jul 31 (Island) Businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa will take over as Vice-President of Sri Lanka Cricket today after K. Mathivanan stepped down from the post on Wednesday. A two time President of SLC, Dharmadasa is a vastly experienced cricket administrator having served as a Director of the ICC. He also served as Chairman of the Asian Cricket Council. Dharmadasa first came into cricket administration in 2005 and during his tenure there were many highlights for Sri Lankan cricket more..

Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections will shape its political future—likely for the worse

Jul 31 (AC) SL’s upcoming parliamentary elections will serve as an indicator of the island’s future political direction, potential executive power buildup, and future geopolitical stance. With complications from the coronavirus pandemic, during which the Sri Lankan election commission has struggled to ensure that voting will be free, fair, and safe for all, the twice-delayed election may favor President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party, allowing it to strike down a significant constitutional amendment more..

Video: President pledges to develop Kelaniya while preserving historical heritage

Jul 31 (AD) Prez Rajapaksa stated that the city of Kelaniya will be developed curbing the drug menace and underworld while preserving the city’s historical heritage and pride. Prez made these remarks touring Gampaha district for the second time today (30) in support of the candidates of SLPP contesting next week’s Parliamentary Election. The meeting was organized by candidate Sisira Jayakody. The Ten Fold Kelani Declaration more..

CID grills ETI Directors for 8 hours

Jul 31 (CT) CID recorded an 8-hour statement from the four Members of the Edirisinghe Trust Investments (ETI) Director Board, in connection with the ongoing probe into the controversial ETI transactions, yesterday. Subsequent to being summoned to the CID Office, statements had been recorded from Jeewaka Edirisinghe, Nalaka Edirisinghe, Asanka Edirisinghe and Deepa Edirisinghe. Quartet had arrived at CID Office at 10 a.m. yesterday to give their statements. more..

Wiggy plays SLPP card against TNA

Jul 31 (Island) Leader of Tamil People’s National Alliance C.V. Wigneswaran says the ruling SLPP wants the TNA to bag the northern and eastern electorates at the upcoming election. The former Chief Minister of the Northern Province said so addressing the media in Jaffna. He alleged that senior SLPP members Dinesh Gunawardena, Keheliya Rambukwella et al had recently claimed that SLPP would win electorates outside the North and East and TNA the North and the East. more..

Wayamba Governor lambastes EC for double standards

Jul 31 (Island) North Western Province Governor A.J.M. Muzammil alleged that the Election Commission (EC) seemed to be brazenly selective in the implementation of relevant laws pertaining to the conducting of parliamentary polls scheduled for Aug 5. Muzammil said that the EC owed the public an explanation as to how the EC allowed Constitutional Council member attorney-at-law Javid Yusuf to appear on the political more..

People’s Bank and UGC tie-up to provide laptop loans to undergraduates

Jul 31 (Island) People’s Bank has entered into a partnership with UGC to provide loan facilities to undergraduates of all universities in the country with easy repayment plans. This special loan scheme has been introduced to fulfill a promise given by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his election manifesto Saubagye Dekma to empower all university undergraduates with the latest technology. A MoU announcing the partnership was exchanged by Sujeewa Rajapakse - chairman of more..

Kuwait adds Sri Lankans to no list

Jul 31 (FT) Kuwait has included Sri Lanka in the list of countries whose nationals won’t be allowed to enter the State. Others on the list include Bangladesh, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Iran and Nepal. Kuwait’s cabinet yesterday said it will allow citizens and residents to travel to and from the country, starting 1 August. Last month, Kuwait announced it would partially resume commercial flights from August, but does not expect to reach full capacity until a year later, more..

JVP vows to fight moves to abolish 19A

Jul 31 (FT) Senior member of the JVP and former Gampaha District MP Vijitha Herath said that the Party would not allow the repeal of the 19th Amendment and would join forces with any Party in the next Parliament to block any such moves, this week. “The 19th Amendment is a big step in the right direction for democracy in the country. Abolishing the 19th Amendment would mean the country would take a few steps backwards. more..

Demand for private healthcare to swell with rise in ageing population

Jul 31 (DN) Demand for private healthcare is expected to increase owing to Sri Lanka’s ageing population and the increasing prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD’s). Both geriatric care and treatment of NCD’s typically require long term care with hospitalization and palliative care from time to time which support demand factors. Lanka Hospital Corporations Chairman Dr. Bandula Wijesiriwardena told shareholders in the company’s Annual report-2019. more..

SLID sets sights on international network to enrich training of future corporate directors

Jul 31 (Island) SL Institute of Directors (SLID), cementing a relationship with Institutes of Directors (IODs) of India, Singapore and Malaysia and building good contacts and rapport with IODs of the UK and Australia, is planning to give more from its popular Board Leadership Training Programme to future corporate leaders in Sri Lanka. SLID Chairman A.R Rasiah made this observation at Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo on Wednesday at the SLID Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) more..

Ministry of Education to grant permission for schools sports events in November

Jul 31 (Island) Ministry of Education is considering granting permission for schools sports associations to conduct their competitions during the third term following a number of requests made by sports associations. A top official said that various school sports associations affiliated to the ministry had made requests to conduct their annual competitions later this year after they were cancelled due to the covid 19 pandemic. more..

‘Lankan ceramic industry has potential to cater foreign markets’

Jul 31 (DN) The Sri Lanka ceramic industry has the potential to cater to both the local and foreign markets if a mechanism existed where local manufacturers are given some incentive to expand with controlled imports. President, Sri Lanka Ceramic and Glass Council (SLCGC), Anura Warnakulasooriya said that however it is impossible to compete in price with mass scale production in countries like China or India where economies of scale drive the costs down. more..

Daraz partners with Sri Lanka Post for package returns

Jul 31 (DM) Daraz, SL’s largest online marketplace platform, partnered with Sri Lanka Post to enable easy returning of packages for all its customers, through the extensive post office network. Accordingly, if a Daraz customer needs to return a package, it can be handed over to the nearest post office, thus minimizing the time taken to process order returns and increasing accessibility across the country. MoU for the partnership was signed by Ranjith Ariyaratne - Post Master General of more..