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JVP press conference

Taking pink ball Tests beyond experimental stage

Oct 24 (CT) Is pink ball cricket here to stay? Will it be a permanent feature of Test cricket? Is day/night the way forward? These are yet some of the unanswered questions that are being continuously explored by the authorities. I believe the idea of day night cricket played with a pink ball is a good one. Though judging by the numbers watching the game on the grounds at UAE in the recently concluded West Indies vs Pakistan first Test doesn't support it, I am sure the effect on TV audiences more..

Megadeals and corruption: Will the crooks ever be found

Oct 24 (FT) The advent of the Coalition govt led by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe was an endorsement by the people to prioritise anti-corruption and improve governance. Despite corruption being the main reason behind the rejection of President Rajapaksa, the Govt has yet failed to convict anyone of high level fraud. The present Govt in the meantime has taken refuge by blaming all its inefficiencies on the byproducts of the poor decisions of previous administration. more..

'Leave children out of politics!'

Oct 24 (CT) In a recent publication of Ceylon Today (9) there was a report on the possible political tyranny overshadowing school education in Maligawatte. In response to the facts stated in that article, UNP MP Mujibur Rahman had expressed insights into the underlying issue. Q: What is the status of the proposed school development project for Dharussalam M.V under the project Nearest school is the best school? more..

So much ado about verbal pugilistics

Oct 24 (ST) Aiyo. Before linguistic purists direct their verbal barbs in this direction may I say in mitigation that it should be known by now that this word has gained international respectability. It has entered the prestigious Oxford dictionary which surely stamps the imprimatur of acceptability and passage into common usage. How it got there and when it made the grade might be shrouded in some mystery just now. But then who cares how it got there as some politicians might say more..

Yahapalana blues & Prez’s right to sing it

Oct 24 (ST) No one really knows what made President Maithripala Sirisena give pubic expression to any private misgivings he may have had in the way the onslaught on corruption was carried out by the agencies assigned to that task and why he singled out the Bribery Commissioner for special mention. Had his broadside, made last Tuesday, been to pull up these agencies for their incompetence, to complain over their long delays and to lambast their choice of priority in more..

Central Expressway: Tender process stuck

Oct 24 (SO) For a long time, the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (E03) has been touted as one of the most expensive highways Sri Lanka has built with nearly Rs. 1.8 billion spent on every kilometer of rock and rubble. The proposed Central Expressway connecting Kadawatha to Dambulla for which only the foundation has been laid, is estimated to cost a staggering Rs.4.3 billion per Km, i.e. Rs. 2.5 billion more than the E03. more..

Brian Senewiratne, Sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka

Oct 24 (CT) I’ve never met the author (hereafter sometimes referred to as BS), a medical doctor long settled in Australia, but have heard of his reputation as a human-rights campaigner fighting against discrimination and injustice, be they based on race, religion, caste or skin-colour. Among the recognition he has received is the Canadian Genocide Educators Award (2008). On 13 Jan 1898 Émile Zola published an open letter to the President of France accusing him of racism and injustice more..

Fiscal reforms: An imperative for sustained growth

Oct 24 (CT) Sustained growth is normally viewed from two different angles today. One is from the point of environment and depletion of non-renewable resources. The other is from the point of a country’s ability to sustain a high economic growth based on technological advancement, infrastructure and quality of human capital. Economic growth involves the delivery of an ever increasing high volume of material goods and services to people. It requires an economy to transform natural resources into more..

Palace under police protection

Oct 23 (CT) In Sri Lanka, there are millions of homeless people. There are many who dwell in inhabitable make-shift shanties. Many houses get flooded out in heavy rains and during scorching hot weather too they suffer miserably. Many of the houses lack space and sometimes inhabitants have to take it in shifts to grab some shut-eye. Smoke from cooking in kitchen pervades the houses. There are no proper washrooms or decent facilities. more..

Smells of corruption & fraud

Oct 23 (CT) Committee on Public Accounts (CPA) has stressed that due to the activities of Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) not only has the audit process been hampered it could lead to various forms of corruption, fraud and other malpractices. CPA has already expressed its displeasure at the improper conduct and maintenance and the storage of DMT documents, failure to submit the necessary documents to carry out the audit process by AG and misplacement of certain documents etc. more..

2 officers injured in minor incident in Jaffna – Police Headquarters

Oct 23 (NR) The Police Headquarters says two police officers were wounded by a minor incident that occurred in Chunnakam, Jaffna. A statement issued by the Government Information Department said the incident occurred when 3 police officers attempted to placate a disturbance between the owners of a store and 6 persons who demanded ransom. Two police officers who were injured have been hospitalised. They are not in critical condition. more..

HSBC’s alleged bogus Agri-loans hoodwink Monetary Board

Oct 23 (ST) HSBC’s Sri Lanka branch allegedly passed bogus loans to agriculture sector clients, to meet a Monetary Board (MB) stipulation that 10% of the loan portfolio of all commercial banks must go towards the agriculture sector, an investigation by the Sunday Times (ST) has found. These loans were passed before the reporting date at the end of certain financial quarters, when the figures are officially conveyed to the CB. more..

Motion in House to ensure UN 2030 goals are met

Oct 23 (ST) A motion signed by fourteen MPs for the setting up of a Select Committee of Parliament to look into and make recommendations to ensure that Sri Lanka achieves the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will be introduced to Parliament on Tuesday. The Motion will be moved by UPFA MP Duleep Wijesekera and has been signed by MPs Seyed Ali Moulana, Buddhika Pathirana, Lucky Jayawardana, Anura Jayarathne, S.M. Marikkar, Abdullah Mahrooff, more..

‘Public will be able to claim compensation from CEB’

Oct 23 (DM) Public Utilities Commission is set to introduce a set of new laws which will allow the public to seek compensation from the CEB in instances of inefficient power distribution. Speaking at an event, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya the laws would ensure the CEB discharged its duties responsibly. He claimed that despite the Public Utilities Commission being formed 7 years ago, no laws and regulations were introduced for anything related to power and energy. more..

UNESCO resolution: Govt. says no change in Lanka’s stance on Palestine

Oct 23 (ST) Sri Lanka chose to abstain during voting on UN Cultural Agency’s recent resolution on a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem due to the contentious wording of the text, and the decision does not signal a shift in its stand towards the Palestinian issue, Govt said. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson stated the contentious wording in the text prompted SL to abstain. “This is not something we wanted to take sides on and add to more..

SL & India navies discuss maritime security aboard Indian naval ship

Oct 23 (NR) Sri Lanka and India navies have focused on maritime security at a meeting held aboard an Indian naval ship in the mid seas. The 27th Int'l Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the representatives of Navies and Coast Guards of Sri Lanka and India was held onboard Indian Naval Ship Kadmatt at the Indo-Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankesanthurai. Navy officials of the two neighbouring countries discussed several issues of bilateral importance more..

CID pistol used in Lasantha’s murder

Oct 23 (SL) The fresh investigation being conducted into the murder of the founding Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge has found that a pistol, which belonged to the CID was used in the crime. Investigations have found that Wickrematunge may have been stabbed with a sharp object and shot dead using a pistol. Sources at the CID said that the pistol said to have been used for the crime was linked to former DIG Vass Gunawardena. CID sources also revealed more..

Cigarette price to increase up to Rs. 55

Oct 23 (DM) The price of a cigarette is expected to be increased up to Rs.55 with the enactment of 15% VAT, according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Recently the price of a cigarette was increased by Rs.7. He pointed out that although the cigarette price was increased up to Rs.42, the use of other related products (cigar) has not been increased. Use of these products also should be reduced but, the harm caused by cigarettes more..

TNA wants impartial probe into death of Jaffna Uni students

Oct 23 (AD) The TNA has expressed its strong condemnation over the deaths of two university students in Jaffna. TNA leader R. Sampanthan has too requested the IGP and the President to conduct an unbiased investigation with respect of the incident. The incident is believed to have taken place at around 11.30pm on Thursday when the two youths were traveling on a motorcycle towards Kokuvil. The two Tamil students of the Jaffna University were allegedly shot dead on more..

Commercial Bank’s Rs 5 billion debenture issue opens on 24th Oct

Oct 23 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s second issue of debentures for 2016 opens on Monday (24). The Bank is seeking to raise Rs 5 billion with an option to increase it by a further Rs 2 billion to strengthen its Tier II capital and to raise long term funds for expansion. The Listed, Rated, Unsecured, Subordinated, Redeemable Debentures in the denomination of Rs 100 will be offered in two tenures – Type A with a five year tenure and Type B with a 10 year tenure, more..

Three COPE reports on Bond issue

Oct 23 (DM) The possibility of presenting three reports by the COPE has arisen as there are three groups of members which hold different opinions on the Bond issue, a member of the committee revealed today. Member of COPE MP Bimal Ratnayake said that one group directly holds former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran responsible for the alleged scam regarding bonds while another group of members are of the opinion that more..

3 SL fishermen stranded in Dhanushkodi

Oct 23 (TOI) Three Sri Lankan fisherman were stranded in Dhanushkodi after running out of fuel near Indian border of International Maritime Boundary Line. The fishermen R Devanesan, 26 and his brother R Arulnesan, 25 and their brother in law, V Viji, 26 from Omanthai, Kallikulam in Vavuniya in Sri Lanka started for a fishing expedition in a fiber boat on Friday. On Saturday, they ran out of fuel - kerosene - and started drifting in open sea. After drifting entire day, more..

Depression in Bay of Bengal cause of heavy rain

Oct 23 (DM) Met Department warned that several parts of the country will experience heavy rains due to the development of a depression 1,400 km Northeast of SL at the center of the Bay of Bengal. Even though, Sri Lanka was not directly affected by the developing weather heavy showers between 100 -150 mm could be expected in the South-Western part of the country, the Central hills and the Northern Province. Thundershowers would occur at time in Northern, Western, Central, Sabaragamuwa more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lankan and American Drug Policy

Oct 23 (Island) As a prospective student of law having studied political science and international relations at SFSU I have been given the opportunity to serve a 3 month period of internship with the notable Godfrey Cooray Associates, a leading law firm in Negombo. During this time, I have been tasked with comparing the policies, codes, and approaches regarding illegal drugs in both Sri Lanka and in the US, my home country. Both nations have taken steps in an effort to curb the use more..

Old wine

Oct 23 (Island) President Sirisena is clearly unhappy. When UPFA MP Kumara Welgama’s house was raided last week in search of two state-owned vehicles, President said it was an immature act. Especially since the President has lately made some effort to demonstrate by example what political immaturity is, we have to take him at his word. This unhappiness is likely the result of being increasingly isolated in office, pressured on the one hand by voices from within the SLFP more..

Bond scam: UNP MPs challenge COPE finding

Oct 23 (ST) The COPE finding that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran was directly responsible for a controversial Treasury bond scam in 2015 is being hotly challenged by the UNP MPs on the committee. It is learnt that the COPE report has also recommended that Mr. Mahendran and officials involved be investigated and the monies recovered from the former Governor. A UNP COPE member who said he was not authorised to more..

Jaishankar meets Sirisena, discusses economic collaboration

Oct 23 (Hindu) Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar called on President Sirisena on Sunday and discussed potential Indo-Lanka partnerships in areas such as transport, energy and infrastructure. Mr. Jaishankar, here on an economic diplomacy initiative, is accompanied by an official delegation of top officials from public sector companies such as GAIL, NTPC, IOC and RITES. A team from Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) more..

Daytime runway renovation: SriLankan slashes 620 flights

Oct 23 (ST) SriLankan Airlines will have to slash a massive 620 flights off its schedule to accommodate the daytime renovation of the airport runway after agencies overrode the carrier’s request for construction to be shifted to night hours. Earlier, the airline had said more than 200 flights would be cancelled. It has now been revealed that this meant 200 flights a month–or seven flights a day. “What kills me is that my aircraft utilisation drops,” more..

CIABOC was investigating 90 politicians before DG resigned

Oct 23 (SL) CIABOC was investigating 90 politicians at the time its Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe resigned. She said that no files were closed as claimed by some politicians nor was the Commission politicised. “There are 90 politicians who are being investigated. It does not mean that I am going to close all the files. Those files are still with the investigations unit and investigations are underway. more..

National carrier corrects misinformed facts presented at media briefing

Oct 23 (AD) The staff members of Mihin Lanka, who do not have the opportunity to join the national carrier, will be given a service severance package in alignment with specified govt guidelines, SriLankan Airlines said. So far recruitment processes have been completed for a total of 130 (out of a total of 304) employees of Mihin Lanka. This recruitment and redeployment process is expected to continue until Mihin Lanka’s closure in December, more..

Caste oppression exists among Sri Lankan Tamils but is kept under wraps

Oct 23 (ENS) Despite the existence of a unified Tamil identity, SL Tamil society is rent by caste inequalities and is dived into Oppressing and Oppressed Castes.   But issues thrown up on caste inequalities do not find expression in the public domain for a variety of reasons, campaigners for social justice and researchers say. Basically, there is a lack of awareness among the oppressed castes themselves, points out Ahilan Kadirgamar, more..

Sampur suspension a Rs 40 B annual loss

Oct 23 (CT) Energy experts warn that the country runs the risk of being plunged into darkness come 2018, because of the shortsighted decisions of the govt which make this a real possibility. Energy expert Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya pointed out that national power demand had increased 10.2% between Oct 2015 and Oct 2016. "People will have to keep stocks of candles ready. He said he had given early warning for more..

JO submits proposals to new Constitution

Oct 23 (ST) Joint Opposition (JO) has submitted its list of proposals to Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, tasked with drafting a new Constitution for the country. 14-point list of proposals were submitted by JO MPs Dinesh Gunawardena and Prasanna Ranatunga. Proposals insist that Articles 2 and 3 of 1978 Constitution, which affirms SL is a unitary State and notes that, Sovereignty is in the People & is inalienable, should remain, more..

Ranil chocolate impresses Belgium master

Oct 23 (ST) It was amid some political tension that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe left Sri Lanka for Belgium. His last meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena was on October 13 at the President’s Paget Road residence in Colombo. That was to clarify statements Mr. Sirisena made at a function at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) where documents for lands and houses were handed over to war heroes. more..