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Cashew Corporation in N&E land rights battle

Oct 10 (SO) The continued military occupation of civilian land in both the North and East has been a bone of contention since the end of SL’s long-drawn out conflict. 9 years on, while the govt says almost 89% of land occupied by the military has been released back to their rightful owners, state agencies like SL Cashew Corporation have been struggling to recover extensive plantations in the region still under military control. more..

Edtorial: Of monkeys

Oct 13 (Island) A bus driver in Karnataka, India, has got into hot water by allowing a monkey to steer his vehicle packed with passengers. He has been interdicted for monkeying about and an investigation is underway. What one gathers from the viral video of the incident is that the Indian monkey drives better than most SL drivers produced by wayside driving schools. A wag says even a monkey can get a driving licence here if the Motor Traffic Department panjandrums’ palms are sufficiently greased. more..

How govt, international community deliberately undermined reconciliation

Oct 13 (Island) Two photographs - one taken on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on the morning of May 19, 2009 and the other captured in Vishvamadu on June 10, 2018 - can be used to depict the gradual transformation of the northern community, since the demise of the conventional military capability of the LTTE nearly a decade ago. Although, both pictures accessible on line and published and telecast by private television channels, they had never been used more..

Salakuna

Oversupply in the vegetable market

Oct 10 (DN) Vegetables and fruits were reported to be in oversupply at the Dambulla Market. Farmers who brought their produce from long distances failed to find buyers. It was said that 50 tonnes of the produce were thrown to elephants and other animals for their consumption (A modest compensation for encroaching upon their habitat!). This is not the first time it happened. Some time ago there was an excessive supply of pumpkins. An irregularly recurring incidence has been more..

Tackling mental health issues

Oct 10 (DN) World Mental Health Day 2018 falls on October 10 with the theme Young people and mental health in a changing world. Global medical statistics reveal that half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14. There is also growing evidence that the transmission of these disorders can be reversed through early recognition and intervention. And yet shockingly, though 38% of Sri Lanka’s population consist of the young people, the majority of those who are having more..

'Colombo Declaration a remarkable achievement'

Oct 10 (CT) At the closing event of the Conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility, held from 27 to 30 Sept Toby Mendel, Director, Centre for Law and Democracy, Canada, one of the nine international speakers at the 3 1/2-day celebratory event, made the following observations in the closing speech: I’d like to begin my closing comments by starting where more..

The lines of fire within Mark Field’s paternalist message

Oct 10 (CT) Mark Field’s visit to Sri Lanka is very, very significant. His pronouncements are threaded by the paternalistic air of an Etonian schoolmaster pontificating to students. That should not be allowed to mask the Sword of Damocles that is above the SL body via the UNHCR as the instrument of the Western int'l community. Field’s title as Minister for Asia and the Pacific gives the game away. In the Pacific Ocean USA’s Pacific Asia Command (PAC) holds the commanding military heights. more..

A truly representative Constitutional Council

Oct 10 (CT) The recent delay in appointing a constitutional council, and representations of civil society to the Speaker about its membership, highlight the absurdity of not just the current constitutional provisions, but also the absurd manner in which a vital principle of govt has been perverted. That principle, which was first pointed out by the Council for Liberal Democracy in the eighties, was that powers of appointment to vital positions should not be in the hands of a single person. more..

'Implement the Elephant Conservation Policy'

Oct 13 (CT) Tharindu Muthukumarana is the youngest researcher on elephants in SL. His book on elephants The Life of Last Proboscideans: Elephants won the State Literacy Award 2018 for the best publication in category: Varied subjects -Social Sciences (English) and was the youngest recipient of an award this year. State Literary Awards was initiated in the year 1956, and today it's the oldest literary award ceremony in SL. more..

India’s renewed interest in Mahinda

Oct 10 (CT) The timing of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent visit to India on an invitation by ruling BJP politician and Modi confidante Dr Subramanium Swamy would have taken many interested parties both here and overseas by surprise. Mr Rajapaksa had never been depicted a darling of South Asia’s emerging super power. At least since the year 2009, Indians had always painted him with a Chinese Dragon in the background. India’s perception of Rajapaksa as one of China’s allies, more..

There is more of China in Lanka!

Oct 10 (CT) This Govt does not need foes when friends are doing the job for them. Months after the controversy attending on the Hambantota Port equity-swap deal had died down, comes veteran Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe’s admission that Sri Lanka had sought the facility from China, and not the other way round, as his colleagues would have wanted the nation to believe. Maybe, Minister Samarasinghe was seeking to direct public discomfort and political criticism on more..

Ex-minister Basil gets bro’s nod for presidential nomination

Oct 9 (EN) Former secretary to the defence ministry, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Tuesday suggested his former Economic Development minister Basil as the presidential candidate at next year’s elections. Emerging from the new Permanent High Court at Bar in Colombo where his trail was put off for Dec 4, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa accused the govt of trying to create a rift among his politically ambitious siblings. more..

Aussie rehabilitation centre in Colombo shut down as patient found dead

Oct 9 (SMH) In August last year, one of Australia’s biggest private drug rehabilitation operators, the Seasons Hader Group, launched its newest overseas resort-style clinic in Colombo. It was big news in Sri Lanka’s major newspapers and was supported by Australia’s high commission and local dignitaries. But less than five months later, the Seasons Sri Lanka clinic was no more. Its abrupt closure came suddenly, just days after a patient discharged in controversial circumstances on more..

Banking system will collapse: Bandula

Oct 9 (CT) The Govt has proposed to charge 7% value added tax (VAT) from banks and finance companies, in changes proposed to the Finance Act as Debt Recovery Levy, MP Bandula Gunawardane alleged. This proposed tax with the addition of the existing VAT would amount to 50% of tax payable by the banks, said Gunawardane during a Joint Opposition (JO) Press conference held today. With this pressure, the banking system will collapse during the next year, he added. more..

CID on Security risk to NY bound President

Oct 9 (CT) The CID today reported details to Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake in connection with an incident which had posed a security risk to President Maithripala Sirisena when he was about to board a plane to head to New York recently, as well as that of an incident which had put national security at risk. CID told the Court that an inquiry had been initiated in this connection, following a complaint lodged at more..

Age no barrier to carry out mandate: NPC

Oct 9 (DM) The National Police Commission (NPC) said today the age factor of its members had no bearing whatsoever on fulfilling its mandate. It said this in response to the recent remarks made by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who described the NPC as a home for the aged and that it served no purpose. The NPC, issuing a statement pointed out that it was detrimental to express an opinion about the performance of the Independent Commission without an objective, more..

Sri Lanka to lose oil taxes as rupee falls

Oct 9 (EN) The govt may bear the burden of rising oil prices, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said indicating that the govt may lose tax revenues as the rupees soft-peg with the US dollar was battered amid contradictory policy. "We are a govt that is sensitive (to the people)," he told parliament. "We may take part of the burden. These days oil prices are going up steadily even as I speak. "If the prices are going up too fast, we will take a part of it, formula or no formula. Do not be scared." more..

Sri Lanka & Seychelles agreed to strengthen trade and tourism relations

Oct 9 (GDI) The leaders of the both countries agreed to take forward the strong relations between the Sri Lanka and Seychelles in the fields of trade and tourism. This was discussed in detail when President Maithripala Sirisena, who is on a two-day official visit on the invitation of Seychelles President Danny Faure, met him, yesterday. President Sirisena was warmly received by the Seychelles President Danni Faure when more..

Two suspects arrested over soldier murder at Ambepussa camp

Oct 9 (CT) Two suspects have been arrested with regard to the incident which took place on 21 September where a soldier in the Ambepussa Army Camp was stabbed to death. According to the Police, the two suspects were arrested on 25 September, and both of them were revealed to be soldiers who were on duty at the Ambepussa Army Camp. The stolen Type 56 rifle of the deceased soldier and the knife used for the killing were recovered by the Police as well. more..

‘Cabinet proposal for more irrigation wells’

Oct 9 (DN) Development was not limited to education and the supply of water, electricity and transportation, but to improving disaster management measures as well, Minister Duminda Dissanayake said. He was addressing a gathering while inspecting the renovations being done on an anicut at Elayapaththuwa in Mahamankadawala, Weliamuna. He said, “The Good Governance Govt has been doing its best to assist people in distress. I was a minister during the previous regime, more..

Largest university auditorium opened

Oct 9 (HCI) In a special ceremony held today, the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium built with Indian grant assistance of SLR 300 million at the University of Ruhuna, Matara in the Southern Province, was dedicated to the people of Sri Lanka jointly by High Commissioner of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Vice Chancellor of the University of Ruhuna Senior Professor Gamini Senanayake. more..

Boralesgamuwa accident: Doctor re-remanded

Oct 9 (DM) The doctor, who was involved in the Boralesgamuwa accident in which a Police Inspector was killed, was re-remanded till October 16 by the Gangodawila Magistrate today. The Inspector attached to the Police Field Force Headquarters was killed while his wife and two children were injured in a head-on collision between their vehicle and the Jeep driven by the doctor on Sept 30. Traffic DIG Ajith Rohana said the police had asked for the doctor to be re-remanded because more..

Report on recordings of DIG Nalaka & Namal Kumara in Court

Oct 9 (NR) The report compiled by the Govt Analyst pertaining to investigations into the voice recording samples provided by the Former Director of the Terrorist Investigation Division Deputy Inspector General of Police Nalaka de Silva and the Operations Director of the Anti-Corruption Force Namal Kumara has been submitted to Court. The report was submitted to the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court by the Criminal Investigations Department this afternoon. more..

Video: 2015 concessions wouldn't have happened if I was FM: Mangala

Oct 9 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said today he would not have given the concessions given in January 2015 if it was he who had been finance minister at that time. He said that in any case he would not disassociate himself with the decision to give concessions by this govt of which he was also a minister. “What we inherited from the previous govt's crony capitalist system was a fiscal time bomb,” minister said more..

President instructs for swift measures to assist victims of bad weather conditions

Oct 9 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the relevant authorities to provide immediate relief to those who affected by the prevailing heavy rains and inclement weather conditions in the country. President Sirisena, who is on a two day state visit to Seychelles has instructed the Minister of Disaster Management, Duminda Dissnayake over the telephone, to provide reliefs immediately to the victimized people, without considering financial allocations an issue. more..

Opinion: Hardly any women on the National List, who is to blame?

Oct 9 (LBO) After hearing about a women’s business forum, and reading a joke on twitter about how the panel addressing the crowd was all men, thoughts came to mind of how these types of events could be more meaningful. What can they really accomplish to bridge the divide of opportunity that exists in a sexist society? My mind went to all the accomplished women I have met in Sri Lanka. Highly educated and accomplished in all fields locally and abroad. more..

Our situation similar to England's after 2015 World Cup: Chandimal

Oct 9 (CI) An ODI team on a long stretch of terrible form, a first-round exit from an important tournament in their wake, and a new captain charged with turning fortunes around - Sri Lanka are here now, but England were there not so long ago. The similarities between Sri Lanka's present plight, after crashing out of the Asia Cup last month, and England's situation following their group-stage exit in the 2015 World Cup, are unmissable. more..

No change to official logo: Rupavahini Chairman

Oct 9 (CT) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Inoka Sathyangani has refuted claims made by certain Media outlets that the Corporation was taking measures to change its official logo. She has noted that neither any discussion has been held nor any final decision on it has been reached. She dismissed allegations in certain Media institutions that the State-run television station was determined to change its official logo. more..

Open warrant on former Irrigation Min. Sec. in alleged fraud case

Oct 9 (DN) Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne issued an open warrant for the arrest of former Irrigation Ministry Secretary Ivan de Silva over a Rs.4012 million financial fraud alleged to have taken place in Gin-Nilwala Diversion Project. Magistrate also instructed that the warrant be issued in English to Interpol and for a copy of it to be sent to the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration as well. Magistrate made this order pursuant to a request made by the FCID more..

Govt presents 2019 Appropriation Bill

Oct 9 (DM) The govt today presented the 2019 Appropriation Bill amid questions being asked on the procedures that had been adopted for its presentation and the date for the budget speech. According to the Bill, the govt’s total expenditure for 2019 is Rs.2.2815 billion or Rs.2.2 trillion while the borrowing limit will be Rs.1,944 billion. The defense expenditure is Rs 306 bil compared with a recurrent expenditure of more..

Aggressively reforest all bare land!

Oct 9 (CT) Well, here we go again. Every time this country gets additional rain large tracts of land get flooded, landslides occur, property is destroyed and we suffer yet another setback. As our newspaper reported yesterday, eight people are dead and over 18,000 individuals have been affected due to the persistent rainy weather conditions prevailing around the island, according to the Disaster Management Centre (DMC). As the rain continued yesterday matters are likely to get worse. more..

Legal action against parents who do not send children to school: Minister

Oct 9 (DM) The Govt would institute legal action against parents who did not send their children to school, Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said. She said school education was compulsory to students from Grade 1 to Grade 13. “School education has been made mandatory from Grade 1 to 13. We think it would come to effect this year or next year. “However, the there are laws under which the govt can file legal action against parents if they failed to send their children to school,” more..

What is happening inside? Keerthi & Faraz

Sinhala Buddhism and the historic struggle of Ananda College Colombo

Oct 9 (FT) In 2011, when Ananda College Colombo celebrated its 125th anniversary, having gone through the contributions made by non-Sinhalese and non-Buddhists towards building up the great school, it was decided to have an annual encounter of cricket between Ananda College and Jaffna Hindu College (JHC) named after V.T.S. Sivagurunathan, a distinguished teacher of Ananda and an alumni of JHC. Thilak Karunarathne was the President of Ananda College OBA at that time. more..

Soldier, deserter nabbed with T56 rifle, magazine

Oct 9 (DM) A soldier and an Army deserter had been arrested with a T56 assault rifle and a T-56 magazine believed to be stolen from the Ambepussa Army Camp last month. Police Spokesman said the suspects were arrested following information given by another soldier, who was in remand custody over a murder. Earlier, the Peliyagoda Division Crimes officials arrested two soldiers attached to the Ambepussa Army Camp, in connection with an incident where T56 weapon was stolen more..

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