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ASP comes under fire in Parliament for abusing his diplomatic powers

Aug 13 (Island) The govt has no genuine need to solve the crisis situation prevailing with regard to Lankan expatriates living in Qatar, who had been compelled to put up with injustices by SL Ambassador there, the JVP charged on Friday. Participating in a debate taken at the time of adjournment of House against Lankan Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P. Liyanage for taking over of the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha, under the purview of more..

'To resolve ministerial dilemma: Better for NPC ministers to resign'

Aug 13 (DM) Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray today suggested that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) ministers should resign so as to resolve the issue, which has arisen from the change in its ministerial composition. He said the composition had changed in the wake of the Appeal Court reinstating B. Deniswaran as a NPC minister. "With the reinstatement, the number of ministers had increased to six. This has prevented the council from taking decisions or enacting laws. more..

Dozen prison officers under probe for bribery

Aug 13 (Island) Twelve prison officers are currently being probed for allegations of taking bribes from prisoners engaged in the drug trade inside the prison, Minister Thalatha Atukorale says. He said that there were allegations that a number of prisons officials were making more than Rs. 25,000 each a day by taking bribes over a long period time. "We have taken steps to establish a special unit to stop this and it will submit reports which will be used to take action against errant officers. more..

‘Private hospital fees will be regulated’

Aug 13 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says measures will be taken in near future to reduce charges for 46 various services at private hospitals. Addressing a the Kalutara district conference of All Island Private Pharmacy Owners Association, Minister said the prices for services offered at private hospitals will be regulated and requested private hospitals to provide humanitarian services not only profitable services. more..

Colombo bus commuters praise decision to ban TVs in buses

Aug 13 (AD) The decision taken by the Road Passenger Transport Authority (RPTA) of Eastern Province to ban televisions in buses has received praise from the Colombo District Bus Passengers Association (CDBPA). Eastern province RPTA has taken this decision taking into consideration that the TVs in the buses divert the attention of the drivers and certain scenes that are telecast could make commuters uncomfortable. TVs had been set up in buses under a project which was launched in more..

Kandy Esala Perahera festival begins with Kap ceremony

Aug 13 (GDI) The historic Esala Perahera in Kandy got off to a start at an auspicious time this morning with the traditional Kap planting ceremony under the guidance of Mohottala of the Temple of Tooth, Sri Dalada Maligawa. SL's premier Buddhist procession, the historic Esala Perahera in the hill capital of Kandy got off to a start today with the first Kumbal Perahera parading the streets. Kumbal Perahara would parade the streets for the first five days from Aug 16th and the Randoli Perahera more..

'People in North will not allow a return to violence'

Aug 13 (DM) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake alleged that an unnecessary fear psychosis prevailed in the South, but people in the North would never leave any room for a return to violence. He said this by addressing a gathering of scholars on the theme People’s Govt for the protection and development of the country. Here are some excerpts of his speech, “We should understand that Ranil and Basil no longer have a right to speak about more..

Activities of Ava group: Police launch hotline number

Aug 13 (DM) The police in Jaffna have introduced a special telephone number ‘076-6093030’ to complain on activities of the ‘Ava’ group and launched a campaign to create awareness among the general public against group whose activities had created a fear psychosis among the people in the North. This had been done by sending police officers in groups to street corners armed with leaflets that were distributed among the people in which they explained the methods more..

Devolution proposal: State Minister awaiting response

Aug 13 (Island) State Minister Wasantha Senanayake said that he was awaiting a response from political parties and the Indian High Commission to his proposal to explore the possibility of what he called a fresh approach to addressing the national question. Senanayake said that he had presented his proposal to President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, more..

CEB to pay twice the value of ACE power plant

Aug 13 (Island) CEB is set to pay the owner of ACE Power – Embilipitiya over Rs. 2.73 billion in the next three years as capital costs alone though the govt assessor has valued the power plant at only Rs. 2.3 billion, it has been revealed at the COPE during its inquiry into power purchase agreements between the CEB and independent power producers (IPP) last week. CEB is scheduled to pay ACE Power owners Rs. 436m more..

Detainees clash on Welikada Prison rooftop

Aug 13 (NR) Two Welikada prison detainees have sustained injuries following a clash between two groups at the Welikada Prison premises this evening. Two detainees have been reportedly hospitalised, however a spokesperson at the Department of Prisons said the situation has been contained. A protest launched by a group of female inmates at the Welikada Prison over several demands is currently underway. Prison Reforms Ministry said the group is protesting against more..

Yala Block One closed from Sept. 2 to Oct. 31

Aug 13 (DM) Block one of the Yala National Park, considered to be the main tourism zone of Yala, would be closed from September 2 to October 31, Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department, M.G.C. Sooriyabandara said. “This is to ease the stress on animals considering warm season,” he said. He said the department used to close down one of the five blocks in the park once a year owing to ecological reasons. “The animals also need a rest,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka gets US military funding as China vies for influence

Aug 13 (AFP) US announced Monday it would grant Sri Lanka US$39 million to boost maritime security as China develops its strategic hold on the Indian Ocean island. State Department will provide the funds as foreign military financing, pending congressional approval, US embassy in Colombo said. "We look forward to discussing with the govt of SL how this contribution can support our Bay of Bengal initiative and more..

Eelam Map at Temple festival: TID summons Jaffna Journo and 5 others

Aug 13 (CT) Jaffna journalist Uthayarasa Shalin and five other residents of a Jaffna suburb have been summoned to Colombo by the TID. They have been summoned in connection with the display of a map of Eelam during a Hindu temple festival in Aanaikkottai, Jaffna recently. Along with the journalist, the other five, include members of the temple’s youth forum, administration members and a priest of the temple. They have been told to appear individually on different dates. more..

Hayleys group to sell assets to reduce debt

Aug 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's Hayleys Plc, a diversified group, is planning to sell some of its assets to settle debts taken to fuel an aggressive expansion drive and focus on high return businesses, officials said. Hayleys borrowed heavily over the past year to buy the country’s largest consumer durable retailer Singer Plc for 12.5 billion rupees. It also acquired Sri Lanka Shipping Company Ltd for 4.9 billion rupees to become the country’s largest ship owner with 22 vessels. more..

Sri Lankan media is foolish: Rajitha

Aug 13 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratna decried SL media recently, stating that the media does not serve any purpose to the public and often criticizes any initiatives taken by the Ministry of Health. He added that a weekend English newspaper has criticized him for being elected as the Vice-President of the WHO. “I was conferred with this post as an appreciation to the programme that I initiated to provide healthcare service to all. more..

Buying expensive chairs simple for cash rich WPC: Chief Minister

Aug 13 (DM) Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said it was nothing out of the ordinary for a rich governing body like the Western Provincial Council to import chairs for the use of provincial legislators at a cost of Rs. 640,000 each. He however reiterated that the decision to import these chairs at such a cost was not his alone. He was addressing the electoral organization meeting of the SLFP in Chilaw which was initially scheduled to be conducted at the Chilaw Urban Council premises. more..

Peradeniya Uni faculties All bar engineering reopen today

Aug 13 (CT) All faculties, except the engineering, of the University of Peradeniya, are to be reopened today, Vice Chancellor Professor Upul Dissanayake revealed. “The decision with regard to the opening of each faculty would be made by the Deans of the faculties,” he added. The deadlock at the University emerged when the administration decided to stop the students, who have not marked 80% attendance, from sitting for exams. Owing to this decision, the students of the Faculty of Engineering, more..

Over 34,000 people infected with dengue

Aug 13 (Xinhua) The number of patients suffering from dengue in Sri Lanka has risen to over 34,000 so far this year, with capital Colombo reporting the highest number of infected patients, statistics from the Epidemiology Unit showed here Monday. So far in August, 1,075 patients have been diagnosed with dengue from across the island while 6,221 patients were reported last month. Some of the other worst affected districts were more..

'MPs cannot challenge Speaker's verdicts'

Aug 13 (NR) Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri today denounced a threatening statement made by MP Udaya Gammanpila saying MPs cannot challenge the verdicts pronounced by the Speaker under standing orders. He said such blatant accusations and intimidations are a threat to the democracy. MP Gammanpila said the joint opposition will be forced to disregard the office of the Speaker, if Speaker Karu Jayasuriya continued to act against the group’s interests. more..

Bungling National Olympic Committee shoots down archers

Aug 13 (CT) Officials of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) has given and are still giving SL archers the runaround and has all but ruined their chances of competing in the Asian Games to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia from August 18 to Sept 2, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. The following is the sequence of events that led to a situation where the SL Archery Association (SLAA) and the archers ended up getting short-changed by the NOC: 1. The SLAA held trials as early as April 2018 more..

'ඉසුරට රත්තරන් පුටු ගේන්න දෙන්නෙ නැහැ'

National Export Strategy 2018-22

Aug 13 (FT) In the previous two parts of this series, it was pointed out that the National Export Strategy or NES released by the Export Development Board (EDB) was, though belated, a welcome development. It had paved the way for Sri Lanka to move away from the domestic economy-based economic strategy, pursued by the previous administration, to an export sector-based economic strategy, pursued by the previous administration, to an export sector-based economic strategy. more..

Man-made derailment ends

Aug 13 (CT) Railway strike was called off yesterday following discussions between the Railway Trade Unions and Prez Sirisena. The Railway strike which commenced last Wednesday (8) led to a chaotic situation particularly for the students sitting for the GCE A/L Exam. However, President’s intervention has led the Railway Trade Unions to call off the strike which had lasted for the past five days. A difficult situation was faced by students sitting for the A/L exam and the office workers more..

New homes for Dunsinane estate workers under Indian housing project

Aug 13 (DN) Over 400 estate workers from the Dunsinane Estate in Pundaluoya in Nuwara Eliya were vested with land ownership for houses that was constructed under the Indian Housing Project in the plantation area. In a special message by Indian PM Narendra Modi, he congratulated the new owners and hailed their efforts for actively participating in building those houses. more..

If Speaker doesn’t recognize us, we won’t recognize him: Udaya

Aug 13 (DM) If Speaker Karu Jayasuriya constantly refused to recognize JO as the Main Opposition in Parliament and MP Dinesh Gunawardane as Opposition Leader, the JO would stop recognizing him as the Speaker, MP Udaya Gammanpila said. MP said that all points why the Opposition Leader Post should not be given to him had been proved wrong with evidence. “We have a strong case in our favour. more..

29 arrested in Jaffna round-up

Aug 13 (CT) At least 29 persons were arrested in connection with a spate of violence in several areas of the North, as the Police and the security forces stepped up operations to stem the rise in lawlessness in the region. The suspects were rounded up from safe houses in the Police areas of Jaffna, Chunakam, Manipai and Kopai and an assortment of sharp instruments that included seven swords, a hatchet along with 8 motor-cycles more..

Index of industrial production up 0.4%

Aug 13 (EN) Production in Sri Lanka’s industrial sector increased by 0.4% in June 2018 from a year earlier, data from the government statistics office showed. The Index of Industrial Production, complied by the Census and Statistics Department, recorded a value of 104.8 in June. Index points over 100 shows an increase in industrial activity during a time period, compared to the index’s base year of 2015. more..

‘Protecting tourists a key priority for Police Force’

Aug 13 (Island) IGP Pujith Jayasundara says 25 new Tourist Police stations would be established across the country to ensure the safety of tourists. The IGP made this assurance at a meeting with the Chairman and senior officials of the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and the officers of the Tourist Police Division, at the Police Headquarters in Colombo, on Friday. IGP also said a new uniform would be introduced to more..

Jayasumana urges govt to review lifting of ban on glyphosate

Aug 13 (Island) Prof. Channa Jayasumana pointed out that the govt had lifted the ban on glyphosate weedicide on July 11 in spite of their efforts to convince the administration of the pressing need to continue with it. He said that ministers Navin Dissanayake and Mahinda Amaraweera had spearheaded the project to lift the ban on the harmful agrochemical. Referring to the unprecedented damages awarded to more..

JVP tries to utilize National Audit Service Commission to target WPC

Aug 13 (Island) The JVP said that it would seek the intervention of Chairman of the National Audit Service Commission Gamini Wijesinghe to stop the allocation of funds and privileges to the Opposition Leader, Leader of the House, Chief Government Whip and Chief Opposition Whip of the Western Provincial Council in violation of the Constitution. WPC member Lakshman Nipunaarachchi said that more..

Geneva never dealt with UNSG Panel of Experts’ allegations

Aug 13 (Island) The Geneva-based UNHRC hadn’t dealt with UNSG Panel of Experts (PoE) allegations. "Allegations in the Secretary General’s PoE report, if at all, are for a local investigation process in Sri Lanka to examine," Director General (Legal) of the Foreign Ministry C.A.H.M. Wijeratne said. Wijeratne said so in his capacity as the Foreign Ministry Information Officer, in response to the The Island query: more..

System glitch briefly shuts down interbank ATM services, money transfers

Aug 13 (ST) SL’s interbank ATM services and real-time fund transfers between different banking institutions were down for several hours on Friday after LankaClear, the country’s largest payments infrastructure provider, experienced technical difficulties. Customers of one bank found that they could not use their cards to withdraw money from ATMs of other banks, while money transfers from one bank to another more..

Social Media: The inevitable source in modern days’ life

Aug 13 (DM) Overheard during school pick-up run. You will have two hate marks on your Facebook page, a young kid obviously annoyed at something tells his mother. “What did you say, where did you learn that, you don’t even have a Facebook page,” the incredulous mother blurts out, her eyes wide as marbles at what she just heard. This eight-year-old, who presumably does not have a Facebook account is nevertheless aware of more..

Geo politics of energy & SL’s energy security

Aug 13 (DM) Sri Lanka’s energy demand has seen significant increases in the last decade, by 2020 it is predicted that the demand will be almost double from where it was at 2010. While there is a serious rise in the domestic energy demand in the last decade so has been the serious transformation of the national, regional and global energy security landscape. Sri Lanka is currently reeling from industrial strike actions in multiple sectors by trade unions and political party affiliates more..

Strikes

Aug 13 (DM) On Wednesday July 8, at around 3 pm, the engine drivers, railway guards and a few other affiliated trade unions -- with no prior notice -- suddenly went on strike. The union representatives tell us that the salary anomalies due to these workers have not been met by the govt over a time. With the cost of living skyrocketing, one could not be blamed for feeling the poor engine drivers, station masters, railway guards et al were justified in demanding their dues. more..

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