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War crimes: GR highlights confusion over civilian death toll

Oct 21 (Island) Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the very basis of the controversial Geneva Resolution 30/1 had been strongly disputed by Michael Morris, Baron Naseby, PC, during a debate on Sri Lanka in the British parliament Thursday last week. Sri Lanka co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 in Oct 2015, in spite of the Foreign Ministry rejecting the same the month before. more..

Japanese FM’s commendation awarded to three Sri Lankans

Oct 21 (Island) The Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendations was awarded to Punnyakante Wijenaike, Prof. Carlo Fonseka and Punchi Banda Munasinghe, by Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan, at a special ceremony held at the Ambassador’s residence. The Japanese Embassy said "Punnyakante Wijenaike, one of the most successful writers in SL was appointed Committee member of Japan SL Friendship Cultural Fund Awards Committee in 1997. more..

5 records that have not been broken in over 100 years

Oct 21 (SK) Reginald Tip Foster was born in a sporting family in the year 1878. He, along with six of his brothers, represented Worcestershire. Hence, for some time, the county was comically referred to as Fostershire. Tip was the most talented sportsperson in his family. He even represented England in five international soccer matches. Prior to his Test debut in 1903, Foster had already amassed a great number of runs in county cricket. He was honoured with Wisden Cricketer of The Year more..

Govt initiates new debt management strategy: PM

Oct 21 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in his pre-budget economic policy statement to Parliament yesterday outlined plans to initiate a fresh debt management strategy to cope with high debt repayment needs over the next few years. PM’s statement follows calls from the IMF, which earlier this month called for stronger debt management from the Govt as it heads to a bunching of debt from 2019-2022. Moody’s rating agency in August estimated more..

NOC Secretary General blames government auditor for audit delays

Oct 21 (ST) Less than a fortnight since the general NOC membership joined together to fight the current administration, National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOC) this week started dialogue with its general membership for the first time since 2013. An email communiqué sent by Maxwell de Silva, Secretary-General of SL Olympic movement, to its membership has requested their observations, comments and suggestions on certain clauses of the proposed new constitution before Oct 28. more..

HNB and UnionPay Int’l in new agreement on ATM acceptance

Oct 21 (Island) Building on an agreement signed last February, HNB PLC, announced a follow-up partnership with UnionPay International to enable ATM acceptance of UnionPay cards. UnionPay is currently the largest bankcard scheme in terms of cards issued in the world. The new agreement further consolidates on the relationship between UnionPay and HNB, which was the first domestic bank in Sri Lanka to commence POS acceptance on UnionPay Cards.   more..

People wary of benefits from 2018 Budget

Oct 21 (FT) The latest monthly poll conducted by Kantar TNS, reveals that 42% of respondents have high expectations of Budget 2018 whereby they anticipate that the public will receive subsidised benefits. In contrast, however, 49% of the people surveyed disagree with this view, stating that they haven’t received any benefits or subsidies to date and that there’s no stability in decisions taken by Govt authorities. more..

Schools cricket steering concept ready

Oct 21 (ST) The much-talked-about schools junior cricket project is scheduled to get underway from the next season. According Colonel Manjula Kariyawasam of the Ministry of Education they are hoping to launch this programme within the next few weeks. This is concept that was mooted by Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam with the intention of taking the Lankan school cricket arena come in line with national and international developments. more..

WI women keep SL to 69 to take 1-0 lead

Oct 21 (CI) A scarcely believable bowling performance from West Indies, keeping Sri Lanka to a mere 69 in 20 overs, gave them a 1-0 lead in the women's T20I series that began in Antigua on Thursday. Medium-pacer Shakera Selman took 2 for 7, offspinner Anisa Mohammed finished with 2 for 14 and the even their most expensive bowler only conceded runs at 4.5 to the over. A total of 140 proved plenty more than enough. Eventual margin of victory, 71 runs, was West Indies' 3rd largest more..

Hasan Ali, spinners make it 4-0 for Pakistan

Oct 21 (CI) If the purpose of a series is to find out which of two teams is the superior one, then this ODI felt nothing more than a rhetorical question. To have to play it at all was the equivalent of insisting upon an answer to the aforementioned rhetorical question. The problem with that is the answer is hardly ever surprising. That was emphatically the case with the fourth ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Sharjah, more..

The month of Katina Pinkama

Oct 21 (CT) This dame as she sits down to word process her weekly article this morning is groggy and sleepy. No silly, not after a dance or sing-along. She kept up the entire previous night joining in the Pirith chanting to end the Vas season in her temple. Tired yes, but uplifted and light with merit collected. To all Theravada Buddhist countries the month of October is extra significant. During the three previous months, monks have observed Vassana or the rain retreat and more..

Nuwara-Eliya Soil Highly Polluted

Oct 21 (Island) If extremely large quantities of phosphate fertilizer continue to be added to the farmlands of Sri Lanka, the quality of the drinking water in the country may be affected adversely in the not too distant future owing to eutrophication. The word eutrophication which came into common usage in environmental circles in the early 1960s, is derived from the Greek words eu and trophe meaning well nourished. It may be defined as the nutrient enrichment process of a water body more..

Bondage of the people by the crooked

Oct 21 (Island) Bond, Bond - the Treasury Bond tragedy will not easily go away. We’ve heard so much about the dirty dealings involved in this highly manipulated Bond transaction, giving rise to major doubts about the entire financial management and related systems of govt in the country. We will await the report of the PCoI with great expectations of helping to clean up the financial stables, but, will that ever happen? more..

Editorial:  President’s wish and ours

Oct 21 (Island) The yahapalana leaders specialise in tilting at windmills, nay, media outfits. Everything they touch turns into an unholy mess instantly. The whole govt is in a shambles with its big guns chasing their own tails and making colossal blunders, which are legion. But, never do they own up to their mistakes. It is the media that has to take the blame for their bungling and snafu. Thomas Jefferson famously said that given a choice between a govt without newspapers and newspapers more..

International Convention on Enforced Disappearances Violates the Constitution

Oct 21 (Island) The focus of the entire nation is currently on constitutional reforms. In the midst of it, this govt has ratified an international convention by becoming a signatory to the "The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances", on Dec 10, 2015. The Convention that was ratified by the govt on May 3, 2016 came into force in respect of Sri Lanka on June 24, 2016. The attempt herein is to address whether the govt has the authority to more..

Balaya

Do we need a new Constitution?

Oct 21 (NS) As the work of the Constitutional Assembly of the Parliament progresses to a reasonable level opposition is mounting from various quarters who argue that there is no need for a new Constitution and the current document we have is good enough. It is not strange because we have experienced similar developments in the past whenever attempts were made to find a reasonable solution to the northern issue, the most well-known instances being Bandaranaike- more..

SLFP shake up and polls rivalry ahead

Oct 21 (DN) The image of carrying on the fight against corruption will also need much more speedy legal action against those accused, charged with, or publicly known for fraud and corruption under the previous govt. It also calls for stronger action against the agents or forces of corruption that remain within the present ruling coalition, especially those who came over to the Sirisena camp after General Election in August 2015, several of them after their own defeat as UPFA candidates more..

'No place for New Constitution'

Oct 21 (NS) Leader of NFF, Wimal Weerawansa speaks on the new Constitution. Q: Do you claim that the separatists attempted to divide the country long since? Yes. The state minister of internal affairs in the JR Jayawardene cabinet, Devanayagam changed electoral map to include Pulmudai area in the Trincomalee district removing it from the A'pura district by a gazette notification more..

Time for Tamils and Muslims to unite

Oct 21 (NS) The debate on the need for a new Constitution has once again cropped up thanks to reports that a section of the Buddhist leaders had thought it was not necessary. The process of drafting a new Constitution is already well on its way and a rough draft of its content is already in place. While some may think that the current Constitution is sufficient and there is no need to go for a fresh one, it is also important to understand why it is important too. more..

Gramashakthi: Poverty eradication through village empowerment

Oct 21 (DN) The consensual govt launched its most ambitious programme, Gramashakthi with the goal of poverty eradication by 2030 through empowerment of village. This is a programme that mobilizes the public sector and private sector together with active participation of the people. The programme combines learning from successful elements of all key poverty reduction programmes of the country as a national effort of all concerned to reach the sustainable development goals more..

'No Revenge: I want to embrace all those who left us'

Oct 21 (CT) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the main political campaigner of his brother the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, sitting in his office, at the newly rented two-storey modern building that is the SLPP Headquarters in Battaramulla, is once again preparing for the LG elections leading to the next Presidential Election. He said that Mahinda Rajapaksa is his spiritual leader and he wants him back in power. more..

The Expatriation Of Culture

Oct 21 (CT) Rift between exoticising a culture – thereby turning it into an object of study and assessment – and expatriating it – thereby looting and destroying its artefacts, its cultural relevance – is actually a fiction. There’s no rift, in other words, and if there is, it’s largely fictional, and like all fictions is maintained to promote the kind of superficial gloss that Orientalism has thrived on: a separation of the material from the ideological in the West’s dealings with the East. more..

Embracing Aekiya Râjyaya, Orumiththa Nâdu

Oct 21 (CT) Interim Report dated 21 Sept 2017 of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly of Sri Lanka in relation the unitary character of the State mentions: “…. Therefore, the English term Unitary State will not be appropriate for Sri Lanka. The Sinhala term ‘Aekiya Raajyaya’ best describes an undivided and indivisible country.  The Tamil language equivalent of this is Orumiththa Nadu”. The proposal is to remove the English expression unitary State more..

Party leaders meeting next week to iron out delays to LG polls

Oct 20 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today in Parliament proposed to hold a Party Leaders’ Meeting next week to sort out remaining legislative issues and clear the path to hold the much delayed Local Government polls. The Premier made this proposal when Joint Opposition (JO) Leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena raised concerns over the possibility for LG polls to get delayed even beyond January due to fresh legislative issues that have cropped up.  more..

Several injured in two attacks involving sword-wielding gangs in Vavuniya

Oct 20 (AD) gang of individuals wielding swords had arrived on motorcycles to carry out an attack, critically injuring two persons, at a shop in the Pandarikulama area in Vavuniya last night. Vavuniya Police said that the attack was carried out by six suspects on motorcycles at around 7.45pm yesterday and that they had also caused damages to the shop in question. Meanwhile in a separate incident four persons was injured following a clash between two groups more..

Falling meteorite maybe radioactive, researchers warn

Oct 20 (DN) Colombo University Physics Professor Chandana Jayaratne confirmed to the Daily News that reports of people sighting a fireball in the Southern skies and loud sounds akin to an explosion is that of a meteor entering the earth’s photosphere. “This was spotted around 8:30pm yesterday in many parts of the country, not just over Southern skies. Even people who were in Nuwara Eliya and Colombo too had seen a fireball in the sky,” more..

Gramashakthi People’s Movement launched by President

Oct 20 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today launched the Gramashakthi People’s Movement, aimed at the elimination of poverty from the country, at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo. The Gramashakthi People’s Movement is the flagship development programme launched in line with the vision of the President for a Sustainable Sri Lanka with a robust economy free of all forms of poverty by the year 2030.  more..

Tourism Statistics SLTDA disputes CCC

Oct 20 (CT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), in a press release, concerning the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and Tourism Statistics, said that the relevant data, with regard to tourist arrivals, isobtained from the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system of the Immigration Department. "Average duration and arrivals are mainly based on ID data. Vis-à-vis expenditure patterns of the visitor. The sample is selected from a model which considers more..

Sri Lanka seeks to restrict import of tuk-tuks

Oct 20 (EN) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the govt wants to severely restrict the import of three-wheelers as they there were too many on local roads and they were also a main cause of fatal accidents. He said the govt may not be able to totally ban the import, but he had asked Minister Mangala Samaraweera to consider measures to restrict the flow of trishaws which accounted for nearly a fifth of all fatal accidents. "About 18% of the fatal accidents involved a three-wheeler more..

Karaka Sangha Sabha Decision: With full approval of Mahanayake Theras

Oct 20 (DM) Asgiriya Chapter Lekakadikari the Ven. Madagama Shri Dammananda Thera said on Thursday the decision taken by the Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters that there was no need for a new constitution or for any amendments was with the full approval and knowledge of the Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters. He said the Maha Sangha of the three chapters would carry out a public awareness and more..

New Constitution will cripple National Health Service: GMOA Secretary

Oct 20 (DN) The proposed new Constitution will pose a great danger to the entire National Health Service in the country, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said, today. He said that the proposed new Constitution gives the powers to Provincial authorities to distort the treatment service implemented according to the National Policy. Treatment offered to various diseases such as dengue can be affected by this, he said. According to Dr. Aluthge, proposed new Constitution will also affect more..

Railway trade unions postpone strike

Oct 20 (NR) Railway trade unions have decided to postpone the proposed strike scheduled for midnight, following discussion with the Minister of Transport. Previously, Alliance of Railway Operations Supervisory Officers’ Union said railway controllers, Station Masters, railway guards and train drivers will commence a trade union action from midnight today. Convenor of the Union Lal Paranawithana said the Alliance decided to postpone the trade union action following favourable discussions more..

Attack on Rohingya refugees: Absconding monk arrested

Oct 20 (DM) The Ven. Arambepola Rathanasara Thera who is wanted in connection with the Mount Lavinia attack on 31 Rohingya refugees was arrested today at Nittambuwa by a special team of police personnel. The monk in a bus travelling from Kandy to Colombo when he was arrested on the direction of IGP Pujith Jayasundara after he received information as to the whereabouts of the monk. The police recovered two NIC's which more..

A special team to study COPE findings and take appropriate action

Oct 20 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament that he had instructed the officials of the Finance Ministry to appoint a special team of experts to study the reports of the COPE and take appropriate action on its findings. Speaker said so in response to COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti’s call for follow-up action on the parliamentary watchdog committee reports presented to the House. Tabling the fourth report of COPE that included findings on 15 public institutions more..

Jaffna Uni. students boycott lectures

Oct 20 (DM) Students of the University of Jaffna have started a boycott for five days over the solution suggested by President Sirisena during a discussion held regarding the political prisoners. The students had decided to boycott lectures till Oct 25. The fourth year examinations, which were scheduled to be held today, were also cancelled by the University administration due to the boycott. Jaffna University Students Federation called a discussion this morning regarding more..

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