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AG’s Dept counsel goes surprisingly mum

Oct 12 (DM) Team of counsel of the Attorney General’s Department, who were led by Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera today in an uncharacteristic manner said that they have no questions to ask from the three witnesses (Minister Kabir Hashim, Minister Malik Samarawickrama and former EPF dealer Saman Kumara) when the Commission invited to question them if necessary. Commission stated that more..

Talks fail, railway strike to continue

Oct 12 (DM) As a discussion between Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and the railway trade unions had failed the railway strike would continue, a Trade Union source said. Meanwhile, the SLTB has cancelled all leave of its crews, while the National Transport Commission has loosened its regulations for private buses to operate without route permit during the strike period. Railway Locomotive Operating Engineers Union more..

US will expand military to military relations with Sri Lanka: Admiral Swift

Oct 12 (DM) The US look forward to the expansion of their military to military relations with Sri Lanka through military exercises, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said. He said U.S. Pacific Fleet forces joined the Sri Lanka Navy in Trincomalee as part of Exercise CARAT 2017 last week and activities like CARAT, both from an interoperability perspective and from a perspective of building trust and cooperation more..

Defence Ministry proposes new Naval Air Force wing

Oct 12 (DN) The present threats emanating from the Indian Ocean due to SL’s geostrategic location has called for establishment of a Naval-Air Force wing to secure our waters with greater surveillance and striking capabilities, stated the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense today. He also proposed that a Joint Naval Command with the Air Force be set up with a Joint Communication Network with air and more..

I will prove that Duminda is not sick: Hirunika

Oct 12 (DM) MP Hirunika Premachandra yesterday claimed she was ready to get a team of doctors to prove that Duminda Silva, who is presently in the prison hospital, was not suffering from any illness at all. She said she had repeatedly said that Mr. Silva was not ailing and that a team of doctors had proved that fact. “I have said from day one Mr. Silva is not sick. I saw him being taken to the eye hospital in a wheelchair. more..

Cyber crime on the rise

Oct 12 (SL) Cyber crime in Sri Lanka has seen a steady rise with scammers using online shopping to dupe customers. Just last week a few people complained that they had made payments to purchase mobile phones via a popular online shopping website but found that they had been duped. The mobile phones had been offered at below market rates and customers were told to make payments using the eZ Cash system. more..

Sri Lankan contingent for Mithra Shakthi leaves for India

Oct 12 (SLA) A contingent of 10 Officers and 110 Other Rankers of the Sinha Regiment, designated to participate in the SL Army - Indian Army-organized Mithra Shakthi joint military Exercise left for India today (11). Mithra Shakthi joint military Exercise, designed to further promote interoperability, military cooperation, conduct of joint tactical operations, sharing of experiences, understanding of transnational military more..

Veddha cries from Vakarai lost in the sound of sea

Oct 12 (DM) Veddas, said to be descendants of King Vijaya, are known to be the earliest inhabitants of this land. Referring to themselves as forest-dwellers, Vedda communities are shrouded in secrecy, mythology and mystery than any other group of people in the country. As of late, we have only been referring to one clan – UruwarigeVeddas of Dambana. But there are several others who have settled down in more..

Deduru sand miners defy Court order

Oct 12 (ST) Estuary of Deduru Oya Delta (an embankment dam built across the oya) is being plundered by sand miners in the area. Illegal scheme has been taking place over a long period of time and dredgers are being used to to maximise the quantities of sand mined. At present sand is excavated to a distance of about 300 metres into the dam and pumped into a private property from where it is transported by tractors at night. more..

Central expressway hits fresh humps

Oct 12 (DM) The UNP is passionate about the construction of the Central Expressway. The project was organinally planned during the former rule, but its work got underway after the new govt assumed office.  The expressway, linking Colombo with Kandy via Kurunegala, is considered by the UNP as a key project to be completed somehow or other before the end of its term.   It is executed in three stages. more..

Qualifications are good, but qualities more important

Oct 12 (DM) With a huge allocation of more than Rs.100 billion being made for education in the Appropriation Bill presented in Parliament, Govt needs to go beyond money or certificates of qualifications and focus more on the values of character-building and attitudinal changes so that our schools will produce responsible and eco-friendly citizens. Paradigm shift is required here and essentially it is to teach the children the difference between becoming successful and fruitful. more..

Subversion of judicial review diminishes sovereignty

Oct 12 (DM) In 1988, not too long before the UNP was to lose the five-sixths Parliamentary majority it enjoyed (and therefore more than the two-thirds required to amend the constitution, barring of course those which required in addition a referendum) courtesy the anti-democratic referendum of 1982 which too was marred by massive fraud, J.R. Jayewardene indulged in a classic piece of constitutional skullduggery: the 14th Amendment. In that instance, established procedure such as more..

Malik, Kabir say they discussed Rs. 15 bn fund requirement at breakfast meeting

Oct 12 (DM) Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama testifying before the commission said that they attended the breakfast meeting held on Feb 26, 2015 (before the controversial auction) and discussed about an immediate Rs. 15 billion fund requirement for Road Development projects. At the onset of the yesterday’s proceedings, it was revealed that there was a list of 20 witnesses submitted to more..

Sri Lanka to ratify Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on HFC phase-down

Oct 12 (FT) The govt has decided to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) Phase-down and the cabinet has given its approval for ratification. Montreal Protocol was established in 1987 by the world community to regulate the use of chemicals that cause damage to the ozone layer and phase out their use systematically and gradually. SL is a party to the Montreal Protocol and has accorded agreement to the amendments and more..

Diyawara Day of National Food Production week today

Oct 12 (PMD) Diyawara Day of the National Food Production week, will be held today. Many programmes have been organized Island-wide with the contribution of all the relevant Ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Irrigation & Water Resources Management, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment as well as the contribution of the private sector and the inauguration  ceremony in this regard will be held near the Muruthawela Tank, more..

Corruption always win in Sri Lanka: AG’s Dept counsel goes surprisingly mum

Oct 12 (CT) In a bizarre day at the Commission the Attorney General’s Department shockingly fell silent today refusing to examine Ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Kabir Hashim, instead putting on a defiant we don’t give a damn attitude at the Commission today. The team led by ASG Dappula De Livera which had brought the proceedings to a near climax by necessarily implicating PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and more..

Commission asks for files marked AM, RK

Oct 12 (Island) Member of the PCoI probing the alleged bond scams Justice Prasanna Jayawardena yesterday asked Jeewantha Jayatillake, Counsel appearing for Steve Samuel Personal Assistant to Chairman of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Arjuna Aloysius, to hand over the files containing documents marked AM and RK pertaining to the text messages to the Commission. Justice Jayawardena said that the Commission needed to verify who were known as AM and RK. more..

Sri Lanka to regulate hooch to plug tax gaps

Oct 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka is to start regulating the traditional home-brewed alcohol known locally as toddy in an effort to increase its tax revenues. Toddy, a popular alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the coconut flower, is not subject to taxes. But it is also used to manufacture a stronger drink known as arrack, which is about 35% alcohol by volume and which is taxed. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said an easing of regulations on the industry six years ago had more..

Malik, Kabir grilled by Bond Commission

Oct 12 (FT) Two senior Cabinet Ministers told the PCoI that at a meeting held on 26 Feb 2015, a fund requirement of Rs. 18 billion had been discussed for stalled road development work initiated by the previous administration. Ministers Kabir Hashim and Malik Samarawickrama, testifying before the commission, appeared to confirm evidence previously given by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran that more..

WI Women defeat SL Women by 6 wickets

Oct 12 (CWI) Player of the Match Hayley Matthews helped the Windies Women to 2 valuable points in a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Women in the 1st ODI in Trinidad. The three-match ODI series is part of the ICC Women’s Championships, used as qualification for the 2021 World Cup. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. Yosada Mendis top scored for the tourists, followed by Dilani Manodara 28 for 136 all out in 49.4 overs. more..

Lightning strike leaves train commuters stranded

Oct 12 (DN) The sudden train strike last evening resulted in a tense situation at the Colombo Fort and Maradana Railway stations. All trains starting from Colombo Fort and Maradana, were cancelled due to trade union action staged by the engine drivers and railway guards yesterday. The Railway Control Room said that trains operating after 5.30 pm were cancelled due to the strike launched by the Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union. Thousands of commuters were left stranded which more..

Theft of Taipei bank funds: Absence of diplomatic ties won’t undermine cooperation

Oct 12 (Island) The govt will fully cooperate with Taiwan’s ongoing inquiry into the theft of money from Taiwan Far Eastern International Bank, whose computer system was hacked to enable the transfer of USD 60 mn from customers to accounts in the US, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Sri Lanka has no diplomatic ties with Taiwan, The headquarters branch of the Bank of Ceylon (BoC) has received funds from Taiwan. more..

Cabinet Paper to increase crop insurance

Oct 12 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry has presented a Cabinet Paper to increase crop insurance from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000 per hectare with the support of National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF), Agricultural Ministry Secretary B Wijeratne said. Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference, the Secretary said the potato, chili, Soya bean, maize and big onion cultivations would be covered from this insurance scheme in addition to paddy cultivation. more..

He is now on the war path

Oct 12 (DM) Number One in yahapalanaya chaired a Blue party locked-door meeting held in a hotel in the South recently. Even security guards were not allowed access to it. At this meeting some party seniors got a rude shock when the Number One angrily reacted when they proposed fresh peace moves aimed at uniting the two warring factions, they say. The Big Boss had his gloves off when he also took on the rebels who had been threatening to quit yahapalanaya. more..

Police attack on students HR violation: GMOA

Oct 12 (DM) Police attack on anti-SAITM protesters was a violation of Human Rights, GMOA said. While condemning Tuesday’s Police attack on anti-SAITM protesters, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge told a news conference that the incident could be regarded as a serious issue. “We have witnessed how the authorities have attempted to control anti-SAITM protests by State University students, with the use of water cannons, more..

Hemas partners Colombo University to launch Mosguard

Oct 12 (DM) Hemas Manufacturing Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Colombo Science and Technology Cell recently launched Mosguard, a safe, natural and highly effective lotion that protects users from mosquitoes without irritating the skin, at the launch event held at University of Colombo. Founded in 1948, Hemas has grown over 63 years to reach customers at all corners of SL, serving varied industry sectors. The company is now headed by Non-Executive Chairman Husein Esufally. more..

President’s Chief of Staff visits Port City

Oct 12 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena’s Chief of Staff Ranjan Dharmawardena went on an observation tour of the Port City Colombo project site last week. He was accompanied by a group of officials from the Presidential Secretariat, including the Chief Engineer, Additional Secretaries, Senior Assistant and Assistant Secretaries to the President. Port City Colombo Project Director Nihal Fernando, and CHEC Port City Colombo Ltd. Employer Representative Wang Hao more..

Reforms race: Is Sri Lanka winning?

Oct 12 (FT) The launch of the Institute of Policy Studies’ annual State of the Economy (SOE) report on Tuesday triggered a healthy debate on the problematic issue of whether Sri Lanka was suffering due to political reforms taking precedence over economic matters and which was more important.  The IPS 2017 SOE called for Sri Lanka to urgently address structural constraints through a process of reforms if the country more..

Rs 34 million allocated for anti doping

Oct 12 (CT) A sum of Rs. 34 million has been allocated for the period 2018 to 2020 to SL Anti Doping Agency from the Govt Consolidation Fund to conduct doping tests, in order to ensure that sports is free of performance enhancing drugs. A Cabinet memorandum put forward by the Ministry of Sports states that Sri Lanka currently does not have a facility to conduct doping tests and that urine and blood samples are sent to other countries for testing for banned substances. more..

Dimuth hails Batting Coach Hashan

Oct 12 (Island) SL’s hero in the Test series win over Pakistan, Dimuth Karunaratne has hailed the contributions of the team’s batting coach Hashsan Thilakaratne. Karunaratne was named Player of the Series after he compiled more than 300 runs in four innings at an average of 76 that included a career best score of 196 in Dubai. Speaking to ‘The Island’ after his match-winning knock on Tuesday as Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 series win, Karunaratne said that working with Thilakaratne more..

'Malinga is still in our radar for ODIs & T20s'

Oct 12 (DN) Although there was big hue and cry over the non-selection of Lasith Malinga from the one-day squad named for the upcoming 5-match series against Pakistan, chief selector Graeme Labrooy said that the legendary fast bowler was being rested and that he would be selected for the 3-match T20I series as well as for future ODI matches. “We had a chat to some of the players who did not make this tour and we had long chats more..

'We knew the new ball will do the trick'

Oct 12 (Island) SL off-spinner Dilruwan Perera says that he was confident that the second new ball would do the job for his team going into the final day’s play of the second Test in Dubai, which Sri Lanka won by 68 runs to clinch the two-match series 2-0 on Tuesday. Pakistan had slumped to 52 for five on day four and with the last session remaining, Sri Lanka were expected to wrap things up inside four days. But the dew came in making it difficult for the spinners and a record 173-run stand more..

Sri Lanka can improve on 92 position in Economic Freedom Index

Oct 12 (EN) As Sri Lanka celebrates the enormous benefits brought forward by four decades of the open economy, Advocata Institute looks back at the economic progress of the country and the benefits that have been passed onto the man on the street. From 1977 to date Sri Lanka’s economic growth over the last forty years has expanded four and a half fold on a person basis on an inflation-adjusted term. However, despite Sri Lanka opening its doors 40 years ago, more..

Marathon-man Karunaratne buries his first-innings ghosts

Oct 12 (CI) In being out for a duck in his maiden Test knock and then making an unbeaten 60 in the second innings of that match, Dimuth Karunaratne had set down the template to which the first few years of his career would roughly conform. Consider his ten most-recent first-innings scores before the UAE series: 4, 25, 2, 25, 7, 30, 0, 24, 5, 26. Now take a gander at his returns from the second innings, across those very Tests: more..

Constitution making and yahapalana tricks

Oct 12 (Island) Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne has been trying to allay anxieties of concerned citizens about the new constitution that he is involved in drafting. He claims that there will be a special constitutional provision against secession. What he is referring to is the following provision in the recently released interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly: "The President may, on the advice of the Prime Minister, where a situation has arisen more..

At peace in Kandy

Oct 12 (Island) After a long time, I was back in my favourite city, Kandy, where river, lake and mountain meet. It wasn't very late when I arrived at Dunuwille’s residence at Lake Round. They hadn't changed. They continued to be wonderful hosts. Aunty Damayanthi was gracious and caring as ever. It was always an open house and they always made me feel homely. I can’t even remember what I had for dinner that night with the family, but, whatever was real home cooked food and delicious. more..