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Understudy's understudy takes centre stage

Oct 13 (CI) They didn't let him take the last wicket. Although given that he was understudy to the original, and most endearing, understudy in Sri Lanka cricket and that it was said - and now former - understudy who did get that wicket it won't sting at all. Rangana Herath - who else? - put the final dot on this series win, and nobody will begrudge him that. But at its heart was the man who isn't even the man who wasn't - Dilruwan more..

Fear of the words, UNITARY and FEDERAL

Oct 13 (Island) The (Draft) Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly cites a statement made by President Sirisena during the Resolution to set up the Constitutional Assembly regarding Article 1 and 2 of the present Constitution which states: "… that whilst people in the south are fearful of the word federal, the people in the north are fearful of the word unitary. The report then attempts to define the English term Unitary State and concludes that more..

Sri Lankan Diaspora in Australia weighs in on Constitutional Reforms

Oct 13 (DN) With the release of the Interim Report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka on Sept 21, the debate over constitutional reforms has begun earnestly. We welcome the Interim Report and recognise the positive contribution it makes for the purpose of developing an inclusive and harmonious Sri Lanka. This is a great opportunity to develop a constructive dialogue among the stakeholders, both local and overseas, so that the country as a whole will more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial:  Eloquent silence

Oct 13 (Island) Today is Friday the 13th. Not all of us are troubled by triskaidekaphobia, but its association with Satan reminds us of the proverbial man who sold his soul to the devil. The day is of significance to Sri Lankans owing to the conclusion of the proceedings of the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams. The evil forces behind the biggest ever financial fraud in the country will heave a sigh of relief today. Ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Kabir Hashim more..

Two-faced Rajapaksa sibling

Oct 13 (DN) There may be no elections for local govt institutions or provincial councils this year but that hasn’t deterred the major political parties from getting into elections gear in anticipation of these polls being held early next year. The two partners in the National Unity govt, UNP and SLFP find themselves in an unusual and unprecedented situation. They are allies in the govt, but they will be competing for votes with each other at the elections. It will be recalled that, more..

Whale of a task

Oct 13 (ST) Remember visiting Colombo National Museum as children and being awestruck by the gigantic skeleton of the blue whale? The whale synonymous with the Colombo Museum has now shifted to the new Osteology Gallery of the Natural History Museum, which will be open to the public from tomorrow. This new addition to Natural History Museum, coming under Colombo National Museum, will also become home to nearly more..

Parliament at 70

Oct 13 (CT) The Parliament of Sri Lanka has seen many transformations during the last seven decades. Born as an extended reincarnation of the two State Councils from 1931-1936 and 1936-1947, the Ceylon Parliament was established in 1947, on the eve of independence. The Ceylon Parliament became the SL National State Assembly in 1972 under the first Republican Constitution and was renamed Parliament of Sri Lanka in 1978 under the second Republican Constitution. more..

The Dark Side of Norochcholai

Oct 13 (GV) The term sustainable development has been increasingly used among the global community since the 1992 Rio Summit. To achieve this, environmental conservation, supported at a policy level, is crucial. Yet energy production is increasing to keep up with continued industrialisation, globally. Traditionally, these energy needs were fulfilled by burning hydrocarbon as fuel. Over time, this led to environmental problems such as global warming and acid rain. more..

'I would be true to the Act of Parliament'

Oct 13 (SO) Professor Colvin Guneratne assumed office as President, Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) on the second of this month. With the aim of restoring public respect towards the SLMC, Prof Guneratne intends to work true to his position. He explained how he plans to manoeuvre his duties with paradoxical demands and his views on the subject matter at large. Q: What are your plans for the SLMC during your tenure? more..

My Sri Lanka in crisis

Oct 13 (CT) A recent holiday back to my (once) beautiful Sri Lanka proved to be a journey to hell. I wanted to cherish the dreams of my childhood in what was once the paradise on earth but had to return to my second home deeply disappointed and angry. My childhood seems like tales from a fairyland. Sri Lanka has changed. Racism, violence and hate have become the norm in Sinha-le Sri Lanka. The Tamils have been crushed and humiliated after the brutal war victory and more..

Realpolitik not humanitarian concerns will decide Myanmar’s future

Oct 13 (CT) In a brief opinion piece for Asia Times  published on 4 October 2017, I argued that the persecuted Rohingya’s fate will be decided not by humanitarian concerns but by geo-politics. This was despite the United Nations and Human Rights Watch agreeing that the violence amounted to textbook example of ethnic cleansing I also argued, as the violence unleashed by the Myanmar authorities against the Rohingya is underpinned by the intent to eradicate their identity more..

SL Insurance sacks Ravi's BIL Bangsa Jayah

Oct 12 (EN) State-run Sri Lanka Insurance (SLC) has sacked its Joint Managing Director T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah, brother-in-law of former minister Ravi Karunanayake. Bangsa Jayah, an appointee of Karunanayake, refused to step down to allow the ministry of State Enterprise Development carry out a restructuring of SLC forcing his sacking, official said. "Minister (Kabir Hashim) has decided to make SLC more effective by getting more..

'PTL bribed informants at EPF, ETF'

Oct 12 (AD) Perpetual Treasuries Limited Chief dealer Nuwan Salgado today accepted before the Presidential Commission that Perpetual Treasuries Limited was bribing informants to get confidential information from EPF and ETF. The Colombo Fort Magistrate issued a travel ban on Perpetual Treasuries Ltd owner Arjun Aloysius, CEO Kasun Palisena, Perpetual Treasuries Chief Dealer Nuwan Salgado and IT Executive Sachith Dewathantri earlier this month. more..

All JO leaders will be arrested before referendum: Udaya

Oct 12 (Island) Leader of the PHU Udaya Gammanpila yesterday, along with the members of the central committee and district organisers, signed papers expressing consent for posthumous organ donation. This was done at the Hudson Silva Eye Donation Centre, and Gammanpila urged the members of the public to follow suit. He said as the eyes had to be donated within four hours of a person’s death, the family members, and near and dear ones, should check whether there is a more..

Report on recommendations for speedy justice presented to President

Oct 12 (PMD) The report, which compiled the recommendations for speedy and effective implementation of the criminal justice was presented to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, today. This report was compiled by the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media and the Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera presented the report to the President. more..

‘Govt won’t consider taxes on tobaccor, alcohol revenue’

Oct 12 (Island) Additional Secretary of the Presidential Secretariat Rohan Dissanayake said in Kandy on Tuesday that it was likely that the taxes on alcohol and tobacco would not be considered revenue in the forthcoming national budget. Speaking at the Kandy District Anti-drug Committee meeting held at the Kandy District Secretariat, Additional Secretary Dissanayake said the govt led by President Maithripala Sirisena was determined to eradicate the drug and alcohol menace. more..

Corruption case against Rohitha Abeygunawardena fixed for trial on Oct. 25

Oct 12 (DN) A corruption case filed against former Minister and Kalutara District Parliamentarian Rohitha Abeygunawardena for the alleged unlawful acquisition of assets estimated at Rs.41.1 million was today re-fixed for trial by Colombo High Court. When the case came up before High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne, defence counsel appearing for the accused moved court that a further date be given for the trial since his senior counsel was not present in Court. more..

Speaker signs LG Polls (Amendment) Act

Oct 12 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya placed his signature to the Local Govt Election (Amendment) Act in Parliament today, paving the way to conduct local govt polls in January, as pledged by EC Mahinda Deshapriya and Minister Faizer Musthapha. Mr. Jayasuriya speaking at the occasion said the delay in conducting local govt polls had created some uncertainty in the country because the grassroots level administration more..

Railway strike called off

Oct 12 (NR) Railway trade unions have decided to call off their trade union action, following discussion held with the Secretary to the President this evening. Secretary of the Locomotive Engineering Operators’ Union Indika Dodangoda, said, discussions were held with authorities at the Presidential Secretariat this evening. The protest was launched yesterday against the recruitment of several railway assistants outside the accepted recruitment procedure. Earlier, the govt announced that more..

Protest sparks in front Maldives Embassy

Oct 12 (AO) Opposition supporters gathered on Thursday in front of the Maldivian Embassy situated in neighboring Sri Lanka to strike protests against the current regime. Prime organizers of the protest, South-Galolhu constituency lawmaker Ahmed Mahloof assured that protest commenced following permission from Lankan govt, adding the reason for protest was to voice against the injustice of current regime. Protestors had criticized the incumbent Speaker of parliament Abdulla Maseeh, more..

SL recovers cash stolen from Taiwan bank

Oct 12 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities have recovered more than $1.3 million stolen from a Taiwanese bank after two men were arrested in connection with the heist, an official said Thursday. An international manhunt was launched after a reported $60 million was swiped when a criminal gang hacked into the Far Eastern International Bank’s SWIFT system. The money was wired to accounts in the US, Cambodia & Sri Lanka. more..

Tangalle ASP guilty of assaulting Hambantota protester transferred

Oct 12 (DM) Tangalle Division ASP Thushara Daluwatta, who allegedly assaulted a youth during a protest held in Hambantota last week, was transferred to the Matara Division by the National Police Commission (NPC) today. The decision was taken during the commission meeting held today. A three-member committee headed by Dr. Mahinda Moragolla had also been appointed to look into the incident. Ananda Wijesooriya & Chularatne Gamage are the other members of the committee. more..

Alleging Kiriella’s aide threatened top election officials stage protest

Oct 12 (Island) Several hundreds of employees of the National Election Commission countrywide held demonstrations yesterday in protest against a coordinating secretary of Minister Lakshman Kiriella threatening the Kandy District Deputy Commissioner of Elections, Namal Thalangama. Minister Kiriella’s coordinating secretary Waruna Liyanage, who was earlier a UNP member of the Kandy Municipal Council, is alleged to have threatened the Deputy Commissioner of Election Thalangama more..

Hidden agenda revealed in pre-fabricated house deal

Oct 12 (DM) Speculation is rife that there is a hidden agenda behind the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Ministry’s proposed plan to award the much debated contract to a French company to install pre-fabricated houses. There is concern that these houses are to be installed at a high cost using low quality pre-fabricated material to resettle conflict affected families in the north and east.    Questions have been raised as to why more..

Railway service to be declared as an essential service should strikes continue

Oct 12 (AD) Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe stated that Railway service will be declared as an essential service should the current Railway Trade Union protests continue. It has been reported that Railway Department personnel have been granted a period of one-hour to disband the protests.  Railway trade unions staged a protest yesterday as govt officials failed to respond to their demands. Engine drivers and railway guards had launched a strike based on several demands. more..

CMC to set up 20 free Wi-Fi zones

Oct 12 (LBO) Govt has taken steps to create 100 Wi-Fi zones in the Colombo city as a first step of the island wide program of providing free Wi-Fi. According to the Policy Development Office, by now the Colombo Municipal Council has initiated to setting up 20 Wi-Fi zones within the city and more than 10 Wi-Fi zones are already running. This new machine will provide the public an in-build Wi-Fi as they are frequently engaged browsing internet in today’s growing technological world. more..

CB to aid war-hit families in debt trap

Oct 12 (Hindu) Central Bank will evolve a programme to help the country’s war-affected communities tackle the mounting pressure of household debt, according to its chief. Following a recent visit to the Northern Province to study the extent of the problem and explore solutions, Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said the country’s apex bank was considering a three-pronged strategy to tackle the issue more..

IUSF, IUBF Conveners remanded

Oct 12 (AD) Convener of IUSF Lahiru Weerasekara and Convener of IUBF Ven. Tempitiye Sugathananda Thero, who were arrested for breaching court orders were further remanded until October 26 by the Fort Magistrate today. Lahiru Weerasekara, was arrested by police, on  June 23, while leaving a press conference held  at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR) in Maradana. IUSF Convener was reportedly arrested in connection with the incident at Health Ministry on June 23. more..

Leave of all SLTB employees cancelled

Oct 12 (AD) Leave of all SLTB staff including drivers, conductors, and technical staff have been temporarily cancelled, announced Ministry of Transport. The step has been taken by the Ministry to minimize inconvenience caused to passengers due to the ongoing train strike. Meanwhile a new SLTB bus schedule will be introduced by Ministry. Also, National Transport Commission (NTC) has agreed to provide opportunity for private buses to run without route permits. more..

Heavy fine for errant public officials

Oct 12 (DN) Public officials who fail to declare their assets will in future incur a fine of Rs 100,000 according to the recent Cabinet paper approved this week. Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala this week sought Cabinet approval to increase the fine imposed on those who did not declare their assets from Rs 1,000 to Rs 100,000. “A person involved in public life needs to adhere to the tenets of honesty, integrity & transparency” more..

First phase of teacher transfers today

Oct 12 (NR) The first phase of teacher transfers in accordance with the National Teacher Transfer Policy will commence today. Ministry of Education announced that 3,000 A/L teachers will receive transfers while the relevant letters will be handed to the teachers by principals. Second phase of the transfer programme for teachers who have served in state schools for over 10 years will be completed in Jan 2018. 9,000 teachers from grades 1 to 11 will receive transfers under the second phase. more..

People-centred approach to building 50,000 brick and mortar houses

Oct 12 (CT) We welcome the announcement made by the Govt to build 50,000 brick and mortar houses for war-affected communities. Masonry houses are the time-tested model, technically sound and most suitable for living, cultural and climatic conditions of the North and East. Thus, we are also pleased that the govt has recognised and respected the preference of the people for masonry houses. At the time the proposal for pre-fabricated steel housing was being considered, our group, more..

රටට අලුත් ව්යවස්ථාවක් ඕනද?

IPS highlights SL food inflation concerns

Oct 12 (EN) Sri Lanka needs to look at supply side factors that is driving inflation, particularly food price inflation, according to the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a think-tank. Setting monetary policy in an environment of low growth and rising inflation would be difficult for the central bank, said Dushni Weerakoon, acting executive director of the IPS. How to contain rising inflation was the main monetary policy concern, she said at the IPS which launched its State of the economy 2017 more..

Desert Victory but changes a must

Oct 12 (CT) We Sri Lankans accept their fate, with some resignation, when the government service does not function properly or our politicians exhibit all aspects of incompetence and corruption. We are so accustomed to inefficiency that we are pleasantly surprised when the garbage collectors arrive on time, or the phone repairmen respond to a call. But, when we lose at cricket, we get very upset. The drubbing that the Sri Lanka side got, at the hands of Virat Kohli's rampant Indian side, more..