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Gnanasara Thera admitted to the Sri J'pura General Hospital

Aug 10 (CT) Against a backdrop of the dangerous tendency of people taking the law into their hands as evidenced by the violence at the Fort Railway station, the abysmal levels to which respect for rules and regulations has sunk is also evident by General Secretary of BBS Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, sentenced to 19 years of rigorous imprisonment on four Contempt of Court charges over an incident that took place on more..

Can't free Rajiv Gandhi's killers, Centre tells top court

Aug 10 (NDTV) The seven Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts jailed in Tamil Nadu cannot be released, the govt told the Supreme Court today, asserting that the case involves the assassination of a former PM. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was a most heinous and brutal crime, the govt said, one which had brought the Indian democratic process to a grinding halt as general and state elections had to be postponed. Centre said the trial court had given cogent reasons for imposing death penalty more..

Video: Maldivian arrested with counterfeit dollars worth Rs.13mn

Aug 10 (DM) A Maldivian national has been apprehended this morning by the officials of Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) at BIA, for smuggling counterfeit US Dollars into the country. The suspect (49) had arrived at the BIA in a flight belonging to SriLankan Airlines (UL 186), which had departed from Lahore, Pakistan at 5.35 a.m. this morning. Due to the suspicions regarding smuggling of heroin into the country, passengers of flights from Pakistan are generally subjected to extensive more..

Video: TUs warn to cease all train journeys from tomorrow

Aug 10 (DM) All train journeys, which commenced today during the ongoing strike, would also be ceased from tomorrow, Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union (LEOU) said. LEOU Secretary Indika Dodangoda said that the work stoppage launched by the railway trade unions would be continued further in the absence of a reasonable solution from the authorities concerned. “We have not been offered with a discussion yet. more..

NPC member Raviharan arrested

Aug 10 (DM) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Member T. Raviharan was arrested by the Mullaitivu Police this afternoon on charges of unlawful assembly and damaging public properties during a protest held on August 2. The 57-year-old councillor is a resident of Kallapadu, Mullaitivu-North. Police said the councillor had damaged the Mullaitivu Fisheries Inspection Office during a protest held against the use of illegal netting. Councillor was to be produced in Mullaitivu Magistrate’s Court. more..

New NIC fees introduced

Aug 10 (NR) Ministry of Internal Affairs says a fee of 100 rupees should be paid for an application to obtain a national identity card for the first time in history with effect from the 1st of Sept 2018. The gazette in this regard was signed by Minister SB Navinna. Henceforth a fee of 500 rupees will be charged for a duplicate of the National Identity Card also in effect from the 1st of Sept. Meanwhile a ten year validity period will be stated in the Electronic National Identity Cards. more..

The birds and the bees: Where do we stand on sex education in Sri Lanka?

Aug 10 (Roar) Benislos Thushan, 25, still remembers the first time he heard the word period used freely in conversation in Colombo. Although it was only a few years ago, the openness of the discussion made a mark on him. It was a culture shock, he said, contrasting it to his conservative upbringing in the North. He noted that there was a lack of dialogue on female reproductive health among schoolchildren in general, and said more..

Undecided on bus strike: Inter Province Assciation

Aug 10 (NR) Inter Provincial Private Bus Operators Association says a final decision on the proposed strike planned for Monday will be determined this evening. Chairman of the Association Sarath Vijitha Kumara said they will discuss whether a bus strike will be launched at a time that a train strike is also currently underway. Kumara noted the meeting will take place at 4pm this evening. He said they will arrive at a decision that will not inconvenience the public or incur losses to the govt more..

Minister to inform House on Wadduwa incident

Aug 10 (DN) Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara said that he will inform the House of the Wadduwa incident where four persons died of drugs, as soon as he receive the findings following a complete inquiry. Minister Maddumabandara made these observations when Joint Opposition MP Ranjith De Zoysa inquired about the developments in the probe of the said matter. MP Zoysa alleged that there is a political figure behind the incident. When Zoysa directed the question to PM Wickremesinghe, more..

සිය රට වෙනුවෙන් වගකීම් ඉටුකරන ගම්මැද්ද

5 new ways to protest in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (FT) Petitions, marches, vigils, strikes, fasts, rallies, rebellions all can be called commonly as protests. Protest is an essential component of democracy. Protest is the tool used to keep the people’s representatives at their rightful place, an inch below the foot of the people. It is another way of exercising the people’s sovereignty. It’s the most powerful mechanism to keep the govt, foreign govts, intergovernmental agencies, local and foreign corporations under the control of the people. more..

Power to the People (?)

Aug 10 (CT) There is a moment when push comes to shove and a time when anyone of us could push off the edge of sanity, decorum and patience when faced with incredible injustice and unfairness. This motive to drive off prejudice is the ultimate essence of rebellion and revolution that burns within the human being. That spark is not enraged into a fiery flame easily for humanity however. Most of the time, we are complacent, aware of the problems that surround our species, but self satisfied more..

Video: Speaker says no provisions to change Opposition Leader

Aug 10 (AD) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed the House that according to existing Parliamentary norms and the Constitution, he has no provisions to affect any change in the Opposition Leader’s post. Speaker said that he was declaring his final decision on the situation which has risen with regard to the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament after much deliberation & extensively studying the matter. more..

Inquiries on Vijayakala’s statement concluded: OCPD informs court

Aug 10 (AD) The Organised Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD) today informed court that inquiries on MP Vijayakala Maheswaran’s controversial statement regarding the LTTE have been concluded and that all report have been submitted to the Attorney General’s Department. When the case was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, the OCPD informed the court through a report that more..

National Audit Commission to probe frauds uncovered by COPE

Aug 10 (FT) The newly appointed National Audit Commission will begin its task by investigating several major frauds that have been uncovered by the Committee on Public Enterprises. Chairman of the Commission and current Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe made these remarks soon after the swearing-in ceremony of the National Audit Commission. “We will probe the coal-purchasing deal, rice importation case, and more..

Army embarks on cultivation of more than 135,000 herbal plants

Aug 10 (SLA) SL Army on Thursday during an inaugural ceremony at Viharamahadevi Park, headed by Prez Sirisena embarked on another mega nation-building project to plant more than 135,000 herbal saplings inside all island-wide Army formations in collaboration with the SL Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation (SLADC). Army under the Presidential Secretariat’s Punarudaya (Re-awakening) project undertook responsibility more..

Govt plans to increase pensions

Aug 10 (CT) Minister Vajira Abeywardena said in the Parliament that the Govt plans to increase the basic salary of an Office Staff Assistant, who is in the lowest rank in the public service, to Rs. 28,000 by 2020. He made this remark while responding to a question of the JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena. Gunawardena making a statement noted that the basic salary of the workers in this category was only Rs. 13,000 in Nov 2014. more..

'10,000 Jobs available in pvt sector'

Aug 10 (CT) As a step forward to achieving the Yahapalanaya Govt’s promise of one million job opportunities, a broad range of 10,000 private sector job opportunities have been made available under a programme initiated by him and a some private sector companies, Deputy Minister Edward Gunasekara said. The project is due to start on tomorrow from Minuwandoda, Gampaha. Additionally, a process of verifying more..

UNP backbenchers claim conspiracy to sabotage development projects

Aug 10 (Island) UNP backbenchers told Parliament that there was a conspiracy to instigate people against the govt by blocking the implementation of its rural development projects by local govt bodies, controlled by the Opposition. Registering their dismay and frustration over the inability of Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry to remedy the situation, the MPs called for the resignation of Minister Faiszer Musthapha. more..

'Sri Lanka has positive attitude on conserving Dutch heritage sites'

Aug 10 (DM) Leading Dutch Archaeologist Oscar Hefting was in Sri Lanka recently to visit the Dutch heritage sites in the country and discuss measures for their proper conservation. The Dutch East India Company drove out the Portuguese from SL in 1636 and established its rule over the maritime provinces. It ended after the British conquered SL and ousted the Dutch. Mr. Hefting spoke of similarities between the Galle Fort and more..

Doctors prove Medical Council should be scrapped

Aug 10 (DM) Last Monday, the GMOA leadership held a media briefing in Colombo, perhaps to tell the Govt the present Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) should not be touched. They threatened; any move to restructure the SLMC would compel them to take trade union action immediately and without warning. They would launch the most drastic strike action ever in Sri Lankan history, they said. more..

Fracas in BIA over Bella highlights ill-equipped Customs officers

Aug 10 (ST) The Customs Department is examining the practices of their foreign counterparts and consulting on the possibility of equipping their officers at BIA with non-lethal means of defence–such as batons and handcuffs–to restrain unruly persons, Director General P S M Charles said. The necessity to better train and equip Customs officers was highlighted after the recent fracas at BIA involving a Kuwaiti couple more..

PC Poll muddle

Aug 10 (DM) The political parties that launched a massive protest against the Provincial Council system 31 years ago, leading to hundreds of deaths are making a big hue and cry now demanding the Govt to hold elections for the same provincial councils. The SLFP, the main party that took to the streets then claiming that the Provincial Councils would lead to the division of the country has been running the administrations of several Provincial Councils since 1994. more..

A president who values happiness

Aug 10 (DM) The efforts taken by President Maithripala Sirisena to take development to the villages reminds us of the time of the Late President R. Premadasa. Prez Sirisena was quoted in in newspapers recently saying that people are happy with the development programmes carried out in the hamlets. His latest efforts in this type of endeavour was the building of a hostel for the priests at Hingurakdamana Kashyapa Pirivena under the Pibidemu Polonnaruwa Programme. more..

Minister appeals for patience: New commission to revise salaries

Aug 10 (DN) Govt is planning to set up a Special Public Commission (PSC) to increase the salaries of public servants including railway workers, Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament. He also said Prez had instructed him to prepare a Cabinet Paper to establish a new Public Service Commission to look into the salaries and wages of public sector employees. He requested the railway workers to wait for 3 months to solve their issue more..

Wadduwa tragedy: Two event organisers arrested

Aug 10 (DM) A proxy owner and a publicity officer of a private event organising company, which organized the party at a hotel in Wadduwa in which four persons died, had been arrested. The private company was registered under the name of a female but her husband, the proxy owner, was operating the company. The 36-year-old proxy owner was identified as a resident of Kaduwela and the 36-year-old publicity officer was a resident of Gothatuwa New Town. more..

LCs opened on Aug. 1 not valid for tax exemption

Aug 10 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that he would bring in an amendment to prevent the Letters of Credit (LC) opened on Aug 1 from obtaining the tax amendment exemption on vehicles with an engine capacity of less than 1000cc. He made this comment in reply to concerns raised by UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena who pointed out that a large number of LCs had been opened on the eve of vehicle tax revisions to give undue advantage intentionally to certain parties. more..

Mihin Lanka repeatedly defaults on state bank loans, bailed out by public

Aug 10 (EN) Mihin Lanka, a failed budget carrier set up with ex-Prez Rajapaksa's brother Gotabhaya as Chairman had been given loans from state-run Bank of Ceylon without collateral amid repeated defaults and had been bailed out at public expense, a commission of inquiry heard. Bank of Ceylon (BOC) Corporate Credit Division Relationship Manager Prageeth Balasuriya, presented documents to the PCoI more..

Prez asks new envoys to serve the interests of the country with utmost dedication

Aug 10 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena asked the newly appointed ambassadors and high commissioners to serve the interests of the country with utmost dedication and commitment while serving abroad representing Sri Lanka. Addressing 10 ambassadors and high commissioners at the Presidential secretariat today (9), he said the first and foremost duty of the envoys is to promote Sri Lanka abroad and obtain maximum possible cooperation from the host nations. more..

Indian govt to provide solar-powered houses to Sri Lankan repatriates

Aug 10 (Hindu) The State govt has decided to provide 1,000 solar-powered houses to repatriates from Sri Lanka living in the State. This follows the publication of a news item, When home has not been welcoming enough, by The Hindu on April 21, highlighting the plight of living conditions of the repatriates in The Nilgiris district. On July 9, the govt told the Assembly about its decision to construct new houses for the repatriates under a scheme of providing such houses. more..

NGO clamour against Dayan fails

Aug 10 (Island) High Post Committee yesterday endorsed the posting of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka as SL’s Ambassador to Russia. Committee which delayed the appointment on July 17, observing that it needed more inspection had been divided in its opinion yesterday, too, a committee member said. Both sides had been allowed to contact Prez Sirisena on the phone and inform him of their reasons for/against appointing Dr Jayatilleka more..

Govt allocates Rs 1 billion for Tea replanting

Aug 10 (DN) Govt will offer a Rs. 1 billion tea replanting subsidy this year to increase the area under tea cultivation. The area under tea cultivation is stagnant and shrinking. Replanting is essential for increasing and remaining competitive, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. “It is with this objective that the govt is offering Rs. 1 billion as a tea subsidy,” he said. Currently the tea is grown in 225,000 hectares and up to June 2018, total export earnings were at Rs. 113,940 million. more..

Sajith, Wimal hit each other below the belt

Aug 10 (CT) Minister Sajith Premadasa and JO MP Wimal Weerawansa locked horns in Parliament, despite repeated orders from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to stop arguing after Weerawansa alleged that Premadasa was hiring workers in excess of the need, to the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA). Weerawansa, at the beginning of yesterday’s Parliamentary sitting, claimed that Premadasa was hiring workers in excess of needs to NHDA, on daily wages. more..

MR flays IGP for ignoring NPC directives

Aug 10 (Island) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa demanded to know why IGP Pujith Jayasundara had not followed recommendations by the National Police Commission as regards the service promotions. Participating in the debate on the VAT (Amendment) bill, he said: "Today, this parliament is debating the revision of emoluments and other allowances of the chairpersons and members of the 9 independent commissions. more..

Prez opens Bosath Mapiya Sevana

Aug 10 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena opened the Bosath Mapiya Sevana built in Ethagama, Kalutara, to provide shelter to the parents who sacrificed their children for the benefit of Buddha Sasanaya, yesterday (8). This centre was built according to a concept of the Chief Incumbent of the Payagala Malegoda Sri Pushparama Vihara Ven. Malegoda Nanda Thero. This Centre which is built in two and a half acres of land can accommodate around 50 persons. more..

Chandimal returns after ban

Aug 10 (Island) Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal returned to their Twenty20 squad Thursday after serving an international ban for breaching the spirit of the game. Chandimal was included in a 15-member squad for the one-off T20 that will round off South Africa’s tour of the island nation Tuesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement. The 28-year-old missed the two-Test series, which Sri Lanka won, and was out of the first four one-day internationals. more..