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Bond Scam: Ranil's agent at COPE, Sujeewa Senasinghe, draws flak for his conduct

Aug 13 (Island) Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe’s conduct in the COPE came under severe criticism from his fellow COPE members yesterday for his attempt to intimidate and threaten witnesses of the controversial CB bond issue, a senior COPE member said. Minister threatened and tried to extract information in a manner harmful to the ongoing COPE investigation on former CB Governor Mahendran’s involvement in bond scam more..

National question must be resolved in new Constitution: TNA

Aug 13 (FT) The resolution to the national question must be found in the new Constitution that is currently being framed, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan told visiting Norwegian PM Erna Solberg yesterday. At a meeting between the visiting Norwegian PM and the Leader of the TNA and Leader of the Opposition in Colombo yesterday, Sampanthan also brought to the notice of the Prime Minister of the various issues faced by the Tamil people in the North and East. more..

SC’s power over legislature should be clarified: Lawyers

Aug 13 (NS) Lawyers called for the matter concerning the extent of the supervisory/supervising powers of the Supreme Court over the Parliament to be resolved in the new Constitution. Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said that they were for the supremacy of the Constitution as opposed to the supremacy of the Parliament. Those who went to the Supreme Court against the VAT (Amendment) Bill, did so on the basis that such was not discussed in Cabinet, he noted, adding that in this case more..

Don’t do in dinning room what is done in toilet: Speaker tells MPs of both sides

Aug 13 (Island) Incidents during the debate on the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill in the House on Thursday had caused huge damage to the dignity and decorum of Parliament and both the govt and the Opposition should be ashamed of it, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said. He said the Joint Opposition MPs were entitled to stage protests but they had to be mindful of when and where they should do so. more..

GMOA re-initiates Tamil teaching for interns

Aug 13 (Island) GMOA would re-initiate the Tamil Language training programme for intern medical officers today at its office after a lapse of four months. GMOA member, Dr. Udai Gunewardhane said the 11-day Tamil training programme to be held at National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) in Agalawatte would benefit about 85 pre interns. 1,165 pre-interns were to receive the training. However, with the internship appointments to be given in the near future only 400 more..

SAITM – Govt in high stakes endgame

Aug 13 (NS) Crucial discussions have commenced between the Govt and the administration of the SAITM on the proposed public-private partnership (PPP), with the view of reaching a mutually beneficial deal. SAITM had earlier proposed for public-private participation in management of Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital. Govt in response stated that it was willing to negotiate the matter and come to a solution. “SAITM is willing to reach a negotiated arrangement on this issue, more..

'Prez- JVP moved amendments to OMP Bill'

Aug 13 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the controversial Office on Missing Persons (Establishment, Administration and Discharge of Functions) Bill had the backing of a staggering two-thirds majority in Parliament, though the Joint Opposition (JO) behaved as if it could have thwarted that important piece of legislation. The Bill needed only to be passed with a simple majority, minister said. more..

JVP to complain to Office of Missing Persons

Aug 13 (CT) The JVP is planning to officially complain to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) about its former Party Leader Rohana Wijeweera, former Secretary Upatissa Gamanayake and former Politburo Members Shantha Bandara, H.D. Herath and others who were allegedly apprehended by the then government during the terror period of 1987-89. JVP sources said, this decision had been taken by the party after the OMP Bill was passed in Parliament on 11 August. more..

Mega Colombo Port City project to transform Sri Lanka into investment hub: CHEC

Aug 13 (Xinhua) The China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Port City Colombo, the parent company constructing a mega multi billion dollar Port City project in capital Colombo, on Friday said that the project would transform Sri Lanka into a viable investment destination in South Asia. Following the signing of a tripartite agreement between the CHEC Port City Colombo, Urban Development Authority and Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development on Friday, more..

Sri Lanka to create international financial zone where people can also park their money

Aug 13 (ENS) Sri Lanka has come to an agreement with China to create a Colombo International Financial City (CIFC) which will not only be an international financial services center, but a place where people can park their money, Minister in Charge of the Megapolis project, Champika Ranawaka said here on Friday. Speaking to the media after the Ministry of Megapolis, the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and more..

PM in China: New ties with economic superpower

Aug 13 (DM) As part of what is widely seen as a major foreign policy shift by the National Government, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will today begin a six-day official visit to underline the new relationship with Beijing. The complex, international, geopolitical dimensions or dynamics today involve socio-economic and political issues. So is it with the Sri Lanka-China relationship. The new chapter involves socio-economic and political factors with the world’s new economic superpower. more..

Contamination of rebels’ blood or their lives?

Aug 13 (DM) The former head of the women’s political wing of the LTTE Subramaniam Sivakamialias Thamilini was again in the news from early this month for two reasons. Firstly, Rs 300,000 of the proceeds from the sales of the translation of her autobiography was donated to the Maharagama Cancer Hospital where she was treated immediately before her death by the publisher of the translation, veteran film director Dharmasiri Bandaranayake and her husband M Jayakumaran on August 5. more..

White –vanning culture and the lucrative industry of abducting Tamils for ransom

Aug 13 (DBS) August 11th 2016 was a day of well-deserved pride for the people of SL. Parliament on that day passed legislation to set up an office of missing persons (OMP). Minister Mangala Samaraweera hailed the passage of the OMP bill as historic. Addressing the media soon after the Bill had been ratified, Minister said the new law would give relief to the loved ones of thousands from north and south of the country who had disappeared. more..

Sexual performance enhancing drugs are no magic bullet for happiness

Aug 13 (ST) It is easy and exciting but very dangerous. Many just drop by a pharmacy, pick up that drug which is supposed to enhance performance or extend the thrill, over-the-counter and not give it a second thought. Beware, is the gentle warning from Sexual Medicine Specialist Dr. Lasantha Malavige, who reiterates that there is nothing wrong with sexual performance enhancing drugs but the problem lies with misusing or more..

PM geared to create an education system sans politics

Aug 13 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe has emphasized that the present Govt will not be engaged in doing politics within education aims. Joining in the 51st Colombo Camporee 2016, PM revealed that a decision has been taken to recruit 5000 to fill vacancies in remote areas. The 51 Colombo Camporee is being held at the Vihara Mahadevi Park. 3050 scouts, Cub Scouts and Singithi Scouts are participating. more..

Susanthika consultant for Sports Ministry

Aug 13 (DN) Sri Lanka’s Olympic Silver medalist Susanthika Jayasinghe has been appointed as a Consultant of selecting athletes for international events and coaching them, the Sports Ministry announced yesterday. Jayasinghe with her knowledge and experience in international athletics, should be able to spot talented athletes and recommend them for the national selectors when picking teams for international competitions. more..

No sugar shortage, assures CAA

Aug 13 (SL) As a result of the recent cocaine seizure of sugar containers at the Sri Lanka Customs it was suspected that there will be a sugar shortage in the country to which Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) responded by assuring that there will be no such issue. Chairman of CAA Hasitha Thilakarathna said there will not be such issue as the authority checks it on a daily basis and no such issue was so far detected nor more..

Tea earnings plummet

Aug 13 (NS) Earnings from tea exportation are expected to see a sharp drop of nearly Rs 40 billion this year owing to adverse weather patterns, ban on certain widely used weedicides and the lack of quality fertilizer. SL had earned a revenue of US$ 1.34 billion through tea exportation last year. However, experts pointed out that productivity had dropped by 15% already this year and would drop further by Dec this year. more..

New blood-alcohol concentration for drivers

Aug 13 (NS) The National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) has proposed in a bid to eliminate drunk driving that the maximum blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of drivers be gazetted as 0.03 grams per 100 millilitres. Chairman of the NATA, Dr. Palitha Abeykoon said that this would amount to one drink for the road, which he added would not be quite sufficient in terms of the alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream. more..

Experts decry Railways’ apathy towards local technology at crossings

Aug 13 (ST) Engineering experts say the Railways Dept is yet to provide a suitable solution to safeguard unprotected rail-gates over the years, even though engineers have come up with low cost local solutions. The concern over the safety in level crossings was discussed following several accidents, after gatekeepers of 600 unsafe railway crossings protested over their salary increase. more..

Faiszer orders removal of Colombo’s unauthorised pavement hawkers

Aug 13 (DN) The Colombo Municipal area has about 1,158 unauthorised pavement hawkers, a survey conducted by the Police Environmental Protection Division of the DIG’s office, Colombo revealed. Police revealed the statistics at a discussion with Minister Faiszer Musthapha at his ministry. According to statistics, Colombo has about 720 pavement hawkers of which 633 are in pavements in Pettah. more..

CPC, IOC joint venture to operate 84 oil tanks in Trinco

Aug 13 (DM) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Indian Oil Company (IOC) were to form a joint venture to operate oil 84 tanks in the upper region of the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm, Minister Chandima Weerakodi said. Mr Weerakodi, replying to a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the Cabinet had already approved a paper submitted by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to this effect. more..

Some PinHeads think better than other pinheads

Aug 13 (CT) SL tour operator Thilak Weerasinghe, who had a vision with sports tourism, began a sports project single handedly, introducing the now LSR Colombo Marathon (LSR being the abbreviation of his company name). For this marathon to continuously carry on for sixteen years seems to tell us, it has its appreciative participants who have been increasing with each year of its running. It is with the enthusiasm of such participants, that these distance running events have gone to more..

Appeal to President to pardon and release war hero

Aug 13 (Island) NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera urged President Sirisena to pardon and release war hero and member of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) Sgt Sunil Ratnayake, who is now ib death row. He said Ratnayake had fought against the ruthless LTTE in defence of the country. Presidential pardon had been given to 187 persons by the govt and among them were drug dealers, rapists, those engaged in serious financial frauds and LTTE cadres more..

Ada Cartoon

Three A/L students hospitalised following clash in Akuressa

Aug 13 (AD) Three students sitting for the ongoing GCE A/L exam were injured and hospitalized following a clash between two groups in the Akuressa town this afternoon. A group of students and another group had met at the Akuressa town today in order to resolve a dispute which had occurred at a clothing store in the Akuressa area. However, a fight had broken out when a woman among the group had started assaulting the students with a belt. At that point, an individual who is more..

Unruly behaviour by Govt, JO MPs prevented proper debate: JVP

Aug 13 (DM) Members of the Govt and the joint opposition had prevented a proper debate on the Office of Missing Persons Bill (OMP), the JVP said. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told Parliament that the govt members exhibited a stubborn attitude in getting the legislation passed and this had prevented the JVP from getting certain things clarified and introduce amendments. "We wanted to seek clarifications on certain clauses of the Bill and state our objections to more..

De Silva and Chandimal lead SL fightback

Aug 13 (CI) Sri Lanka: 214 for 5. Hardly an inspiring score at stumps on the first day of a Test. Runs ground out, just a few wickets here and there, Australia probably on top. Nope. This was not the kind of day that can be judged from the closing score. It was a day on which Sri Lanka's top order capitulated to be 26 for 5. A day on which Dhananjaya de Silva, in his third Test, led the recovery with a brilliant maiden century. more..

Price of hope including VAT

Aug 13 (CT) The Rajapaksa regime had a method in its madness. Ranil’s regency of the Maithripala presidency has retained the madness and abandoned method. Their reforming gusto is bluster and bombast. Underneath lies a blatant disregard for accountability. The Foreign Employment Bureau is a case in point. Foreign Employment Bureau in its website promulgates that it is mandatory for all Sri Lankans leaving for Employment Abroad to register with the SL Bureau of Foreign Employment. more..

De Silva joins Kaluwitharana and Moin

Aug 13 (CI) 1: Number of batsmen who have made a hundred at No. 7 or lower from a team score lower than Sri Lanka's 26 for 5, when Dhananjaya de Silva came in to bat in this innings. Moin Khan had hit 117 against Sri Lanka in Sialkot in 1995-96 with Pakistan struggling at 15 for 5 in their second innings. 1: Number of Sri Lanka batsmen at No. 7 or lower to have hit a Test century against Australia before de Silva. Romesh Kaluwitharana had made 132 at the same venue in SL's first innings in 1992. more..

Sri Lanka, not pitches, won this series

Aug 13 (CI) On the eve of this match, captain Angelo Mathews had a pointed message for those who sought to attribute his side's series win purely to spinning pitches and Australian unfamiliarity with same. "I'm hearing that the Aussies have not played good cricket, and the wickets were poor - I mean, come on, you've got to grow up. We play on the same wicket." Within minutes of Mathews saying these words, more..

Lebanese family in custody for using forged passports

Aug 13 (Island) Three members of a Lebanese family were arrested at the BIA for using forged passports. Immigration and Emigration Department personnel arrested a couple and their son when they attempted to enter the country on forged passports. They are being questioned by the CID. The mother and the son had forged passports issued in Britain while the man had a forged passport issued in Germany. Meanwhile, three Palestinian asylum passports had also been more..

Ranjan to file preliminary objections against DV Upul's demand for damages

Aug 13 (AM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake sought to file preliminary objections against the case filed by former Southern Provincial Minister D.V. Upul's demand for damages. Ramanayake's lawyers made this request from Colombo District Court, on several grounds. Ramanayake argues that the jurisdiction in the case does not fall to Colombo District Court. Also he said that the said incident does not warrant the payment of damages. District Court gave Ramanayake until Nov 25 to more..

Senasinghe gets an earful for trying to derail COPE investigation against Mahendran

Aug 13 (CT) Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe has received an earful from senior COPE members for allegedly adopting an intimidating manner during the questioning of officials of Central Bank over the bond scam involving ex-Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Yesterday, several officials including Deputy Governors of the Central Bank were ordered to appear before the COPE for further inquiries on the bond scam; more..

Youth claims he was assaulted by minister Range Bandara

Aug 13 (AD) A 22-year-old youth who has been admitted to the Chilaw General Hospital claims that he was assaulted by State Minister Palitha Range Bandara. The incident had reportedly taken place at around midnight yesterday near the Pallama town. Minister had handed over a youth to Pallama Police stating that the latter was found drunk and in the middle of the road while he was traveling in his official vehicle and therefore was arrested by his security officers. more..

Mahinda S. blames JO for not doing its job

Aug 13 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that had the Joint Opposition really believed the Office on Missing Persons Bill posed a threat to Sri Lanka, the grouping could have moved the Supreme Court against it. Having failed to take legal recourse due to negligence on the JO’s part, Minister Samarasinghe alleged that the grouping was playing politics with a vital issue. Kalutara District MP Samarasinghe was addressing the media at the Govt Information Department. more..

Central bank net buyer of forex in July

Aug 13 (EN) Central bank has bought US$ 204.56 million from commercial banks in July amid renewed foreign investor inflows into bond markets and the bank had sold only US$ 53.90 million, with its Treasury bill stock being steady. In June the central bank also bought 178.7 million dollars but also sold US$ 194.02 million. When there are foreign inflows, at a given interest rate the banking system can either given more credit more..

Indian commerce minister to visit Sri Lanka end of August

Aug 13 (ENS) India’s Minister of State for Commerce, Nirmala Sithraman, will be visiting Sri Lanka at the end of August on an invitation extended by Minister Malik Samarawickrama. But officials clarified that the visit would have nothing to do with the on-going negotiations between India and Sri Lanka on an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). The first ever technical or official level meeting on ETCA was held here on Tuesday and Wednesday. more..

Severe weather warning issued for most parts of country

Aug 13 (CG) A severe weather warning was issued for most parts of country today. The weather warning said that strong windy condition (up to 60-70 kmph) is expected over the country and surrounding sea area. According to the warning, the sea area extending from Puttalam to Trincomalee via Mannar and Kankasanturai and the sea areas extending from Hambantota to Batticaloa via Pottuvil can be very rough at times as the wind speed may increase up to 60-70 kmph. more..

'Stop mutual recrimination, address root causes of the ethnic conflict'

Aug 13 (ENS) Rathika Pathmanathan, a former combatant of LTTE, urges fellow Sri Lankans divided by a 30 year ethnic conflict, to stop “accusing and punishing each other, and begin addressing the root causes of the conflict” so that Sinhalese and Tamils may live together in harmony. In her slender book I Search For Myself In Darkness Called Light, published simultaneously in Tamil, Sinhalese and English, Rathika tells the story more..