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Why has KP not been charged?: Opp. Leader

Aug 26 (DN) Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan in Parliament questioned why Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) has not been charged. He raised this question from the govt when he was moving an adjournment motion on the prisoners detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. “Different people have been treated differently. Tamil prisoners are asking as to why KP has not been charged. He was a favourite of previous govt. more..

PRECIFAC to question Rishad today

Aug 26 (FT) Minister Rishard Bathiudeen will be questioned today by the anti-corruption commission over allegedly extending a Letter of Credit (LC) for the import of a rice consignment of questionable quality. He was summoned to appear at the police unit of the commission last week but he requested another date to appear before the police investigators of the PRECIFAC. According to PRECIFAC officials, Bathiudeen will be questioned to find out why he extended the LC. more..

Mahela surprised over Smith’s actions

Aug 26 (CT) Former SL Skipper Mahela Jayawardene has shown his surprise over the decision of the Australian Skipper Steven Smith to head home in the middle of the one-day series which is now level 1-1 with three more ODIs and two T20s to be played in the series. "It is surprising to see Smith going back home to prepare for a SA tour when this one is not yet finished. Would any other Cricket Captain done this?" tweets Mahela who came back to Sri Lanka on Wednesday more..

JMO report: Businessman clubbed to death

Aug 26 (DN) The post-mortem conducted on the body of millionaire businessman Mohammed Sulaiman, 29, of Kotelawala Avenue, Bambalapitiya yesterday revealed that he died after being struck on his head, above the left ear, within an hour of abduction. Chief Judicial Medical Officer of Kegalle Hospital Ramesh Alagiyawanna in his report said Sulaiman’s death was caused by a blow with a blunt weapon on his head. more..

PM orders probe into Police failures

Aug 26 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered a full inquiry into the manner in which the Police probe of the abduction of Bambalapitiya businessman Mohammad Sulaiman has been proceeding, in a sequel to information that a decomposing body found on Wednesday in Mawanella could be that of Sulaiman. PM ordered Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayake to direct a thorough inquiry into the incident, specifically to ascertain why Police had failed more..

CID seeks AG’s advice on Aksha Sudhari

Aug 26 (DN) CID conducting investigations over an allegation that popular teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari had defrauded an Indian of Rs.140 million informed Court yesterday that it has concluded investigation and sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding the incident. Therefore, Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishanta Peiris fixed matter for Dec 8. In this case, teledrama actress Aksha Sudhari who is alleged to have had an affair with an Indian, had defrauded Rs.140 million. more..

Bond Scam: Partners in Crime?: COPE in dilemma over contradictory evidence

Aug 26 (Island) Evidence given by the officials of Central Bank regarding the bond issue is contradictory, according to the minutes of the 44th meeting of the COPE held at Parliamentary Complex on Aug 12. COPE has resolved to consider whether investigations regarding bond issue should be carried out based on evidence already given by officials or they need to be called to give further oral evidence. more..

PM refers lack of facilities affecting independent commissions to Speaker

Aug 26 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe referred the issue of lack of facilities for the independent commissions to the Speaker. The PM, responding to a point of order raised by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who drew the attention of the House to an article by Ratnajeevan Hoole, a member of the Elections Commission. MP said the writer of the article had been critical of the Constitutional Council and as well as the conduct of the Elections Commission while more..

Rishad informs Parliament of loss from imported rice consignment

Aug 26 (FT) The Govt has incurred a loss of Rs. 5 billion after it was unable to sell 83,554 metric tonnes of rice imported over the last two years. With the Corporate Wholesale Establishment coming to a standstill, 257,853 metric tonnes was imported through Lanka Sathosa Ltd. at a cost of Rs. 17.3 billion. However, by selling these imports at a reduced price, Lanka Sathosa has incurred a loss of Rs. 14 per kg of white rice, Rs. 9 per kg of nadu rice and Rs. 15 per kg of ponni rice. more..

Govt ready to accommodate amendments to OMP Act: PM

Aug 26 (DN) The govt is ready is accommodate any amendment to the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Act which had been missed at its Committee Stage, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament. PM made this observation when JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake queried the govt’s stance on the amendment proposed by JVP which had been missed. MP Dissanayake pointed out more..

Trumpet has sounded, at judgment we stand

Aug 26 (DM) On the railway track last week in Chettikulam there was a horrible elephant tragedy which needs to be a trumpet call as to how serious Sri Lanka is in its commitment to protecting and promoting biodiversity -- the world environmental theme for this year. On August 18, three baby elephants and a mother elephant were killed when they were hit by the Mannar night mail train heading towards Colombo. Reports say a herd of about twenty five elephants had attempted to cross more..

A great academic and a pioneer in social work education

Aug 26 (DM) The sad news of Prof. E.G. de Silva’s demise reached me only a few days ago. On March 29, 2016, he had peacefully passed away at the ripe age of 90 in Pittsburg in the U.S.A., where he lived almost half a century. He used to visit SL with his wife on a regular basis, and spend four or five weeks with his relatives, friends and pupils, enjoying their company. He relished meeting them over a dinner, a lunch or a cup of tea, engaged in going down memory lane and cherishing good old times. more..

Dumbara nindagama residents forced to become gypsies!

Aug 26 (SL) Dumbara Nindagama has a key significance in the recent social discussions regarding land issues. For many years, the residents of Dumbara Nindagama have been doing everything they could to obtain legal titles to their ancestral lands. Although this issue was reported in the media from time to time, it received little attention from the authorities. As such the residents are continuously being harassed more..

Envoy rejects rumours over Sri Lankan school closure in Qatar

Aug 26 (P) Sri Lankan Ambassador to Qatar, Prof (Dr) W M Karunadasa, clarified that the Stafford Sri Lankan School Doha will not be closed, as suspicion has been created in the community following a letter issued by the embassy on conducting board meetings of the school. He also expressed desire for expansion of the school on a new premises. “There are rumours going on about the school and that has created fear among more..

Tracing war missing still a dangerous quest in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (IPS) As Sri Lanka readies to begin the grim task of searching for thousands of war missing, those doing the tracing on the ground say that they still face intimidation and threats while doing their work. The govt will set up the Office for Missing Persons (OMP) by October following its ratification in parliament earlier this month. The office, the first of its kind, is expected to coordinate a nationwide tracing programme. more..

UN Chief to visit Jaffna during Sri Lanka trip

Aug 26 (PTI) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will visit a resettlement site in Jaffna and meet President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during his trip to the island nation later this month. Ban will leave for Singapore later this week, on the first leg of the trip that includes visits to to Myanmar and Sri Lanka for official visits, to China for the G20 Summit and the Lao Republic for the annual ASEAN-UN Summit. more..

Ranatunga bemoans SL reliance on spin

Aug 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's heavy reliance on its spin bowlers threatens to undermine their chances at the next cricket World Cup on the faster pitches of England, according to former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their first and so far only World Cup triumph in 1996, told reporters he had been heartened by Sri Lanka's recent whitewashing of Australia in a home Test series and more..

Runway closure costs SriLankan airline $50 million

Aug 26 (EN) Loss-making national carrier stands to lose some $50 million in revenue when the only runway at the Colombo int'l airport will be shut during much of the day for three months. Sri Lankan which is the largest single carrier out of Colombo airport will see 17% of its seat capacity affected by the 8.30 am to 4.30 p.m. closure of the runway from Jan 6 to April 6. "Runway closure will put a $50 million hole in our revenue," more..

Video: Important to build capacities to prevent human trafficking: FM

Aug 26 (AD) Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera today said that the govt is determined to reinforce stringent domestic measures in order to curb the considerable number citizens falling prey to human trafficking or human smuggling. “As we emphasize on safe and orderly migration, there is a considerable number of our citizens falling prey to human trafficking or human smuggling” he said. more..

Now, Mano proposes revolutionary cabinet paper to solve language problem

Aug 26 (Island) National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Minister Mano Ganesan said that he would submit a revolutionary cabinet paper to strengthen ongoing efforts meant to induce the Sinhalese to learn the Tamil language. He said the proposed cabinet paper would seek a policy decision regarding the Sinhalese acquiring proficiency in Tamil language before being absorbed into public sector. more..

Japan, SL exploring port infrastructure deals to counter reliance on China

Aug 26 (Kyodo) Japan plans to dispatch a team to Sri Lanka in the coming months to inquire about the potential for infrastructure investment in the key port of Trincomalee, a govt source said. The move is aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation through infrastructure and helping Sri Lanka achieve its goal of reducing its dependence on Chinese assistance, the source said. For Japan, closer cooperation with SL more..

Company within company in Namal’s HelloCorp

Aug 26 (ST) Namal Rajapaksa’s financial dealings during the tenure of his father’s presidency continue to be under scrutiny. He is once again in remand custody, charged with money laundering over the acquisition of a call centre by one of his many companies. FCID has filed charges against 30-year-old Mr Rajapaksa, who was only released on bail on July 18 in a separate case. In that one, he is alleged to have misappropriated Rs. 70 m more..

Sri Lankan stocks end at 2-wk low; diesel duty hike hurts

Aug 26 (Reuters) Shares ended at a two-week low on Friday in moderate volume as investors booked profits, while an increase in excise duty on diesel dragged on Lanka OIC, pulling down the overall index. Finance ministry on Friday said it had increased the excise duty on diesel by 10 rupees with effect from Aug 20, but there will not be any price increase in diesel at pumps. Shares in Lanka IOC fell 9.8% on Friday after the news on excise duty hike reached the market. more..

Regaining lost independence

Aug 26 (CT) The seeming regaining of the lost independence of the Central Bank was resonated by the speech made by CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy at the two-day CIMA Business Summit inaugurated at a leading Colombo hotel on Tuesday. Development Strategies and Int'l Trade Minister, Malik Samarawickrama, who was the chief guest at this event, said that with Govt of SL's coffers virtually dry, GoSL's involvement in development works will be through PPPs. more..

ලංකාවේ ටුක් ටුක් ප්රශ්න

Embracing globalisation: The case of SL

Aug 26 (CT) Some of the new economic initiatives announced by the Sri Lankan government about integrating the economy with the wider world, initially acquiring land to create special economic zones where large scale investment projects from India and China are to be invited to locate, are a refreshing departure from an economically dysfunctional post-independence mindset of nationalist pre-conception of the national interest as a zero sum game with the world beyond: more..

Trial against Lalith, Anusha on Sept. 20, 21

Aug 26 (Island) Colombo High Court trial against Anusha Palpita, the former Chairman of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and Lalith Weeratunga, the former Secretary to the ex- President, Mahinda Rajapaksa was yesterday fixed for Sept. 20 and 21. Yesterday witness Saheer Anwar testified at the trial. The two accused have been indicted for abuse of public funds amounting to Rs. 60 million, to distribute Sil Redi in the run-up to the presidential polls of January 2015. more..

A Burning issue over coal tenders

Aug 26 (DM) Coal is inherently dirty. Once you add allegations of fraud, manipulation, illegality and wastage of public funds into the mix, the sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide from coal is the least of our worries. Health risks can be attended to medically but the nature of the coal tender process means that unless one is in the industry itself, the technical complexity of it complicates matters so much that rest of us more..

Health Ministry overhand confirmed

Aug 26 (Island) Health Ministry finally admitted that it planned on setting up a Human Resources Department for the first time. Earlier when GMOA raised the issue, there was no response from the ministry. Spokesman said there was a pressing need for such a department as it had approximately 150,000 employees. Minister had submitted a Cabinet paper prepared with assistance from Prof. Gunapala Nanayakkara, who had outlined the methodology that should be observed in more..

Five Commissioners appointed to Mediation Board

Aug 26 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed five Commissioners to the Mediation Board, Department of Govt Information said. The five come under the Chairmanship of Retired Supreme Court Judge Hector S. Yapa, and include retired judges Nimal Dissanayaka, Chandradasa Nanayakkara and judges M. Somasunderam and Palila Jurampathy. Mediation Boards Commission consists of five members appointed by the President for a period of 3 years, Justice Ministry said. more..

Army officer who assaulted Upali Tennakoon identified

Aug 26 (AD) Army intelligence officer who was accused over the assault on the former editor of the Rivira newspaper, Upali Tennakoon, has been identified by the veteran journalist and his wife in the identification parade at the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court today. The identification parade was held today before Gampaha Acting Magistrate Mahesh Herath with the presence of Tennakoon, his wife and another eye witness. more..

Yahapâlanaya euphoria short lived: FF

Aug 26 (CT) With the coalition government celebrating it’s first year anniversary this month, the Friday Forum has said that the Yahapâlanaya euphoria among the public has been short-lived as the govt has faltered in several areas which has caused deep concern. In a statement issued today, Friday Forum, which calls themselves an informal and self-financed group dedicated to democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law’ has urged the govt to redouble its effort, more..

President's Official Website hacked

Aug 26 (AM) President's official website came under a hacker attack late last evening. A group calling itself the Sri Lankan Youth posted a statement in Sinhalese on the web page. The message read: Dear Mr President, We are extremely displeased about the decision to hold GCE A/L in April since the Sinhala/Hindu New Year falls in between the exam dates. Therefore, reconsider that decision. Furthermore, take care of the security of Sri Lankan websites. more..

President asked to make detailed response to allegations

Aug 26 (CG) Transparency International SL has noted with concern the recent media allegations published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) against President Maithripala Sirisena. The allegations connect Snowy Mountain Engineering Company (SMEC), an engineering company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with alleged requests for political donations connected to President dating from 2009 more..

Need of the hour is a statesman to pull country out of mess: Vidura

Aug 26 (Island) Kalutara District MP Vidura Wickramanayake said that the govt was entangled in an unholy mess and there was a great deal of uncertainty, while the SLFP too was heading for disaster. He said, "Don’t be surprised if Ranil Wickremesinghe contests on the SLFP ticket and wins the next Presidential election!" He said "The govt lacks cohesive policy and a clear vision while the SLFP members in the govt ranks are advancing the UNP agenda for their personal gains." more..

Video: New policies will be unveiled at SLFP convention: Shantha

Aug 26 (AD) Former MP Shantha Bandara says that 65th anniversary celebration of the SLFP will be a historic event as the party’s leader will deliver a special speech during the event unveiling several policies. He stated that the policies and vision of the late S.W.R.D Bandaranayaike, founder of the SLFP, have been prepared in a manner which suits this day and age. Bandara, who is the President of the SLFP’s Youth Front, urged members of the party who are threatening to boycott the convention more..

HelloCorp inquiry: Sujani Bogollagama released on strict bail conditions

Aug 26 (DM) Sujani Bogollagama, who was arrested by the FCID into the two cases conducted under Money Laundering Act, was released on bail by Colombo Additional Magistrate. She was released on cash bail of Rs. 100,000 with four sureties of Rs.10 million each. Magistrate imposing strict bail conditions, ordered suspects to produce sureties with appropriate documents to prove their assets to represent suspects. more..

Tittawella appointed SCRM Secretary

Aug 26 (DM) Mano Tittawella has been appointed as the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) with effect from March 29 this year, a statement issued by the SCRM said today. The SCRM, which is the apex body created by the Cabinet in December to coordinate all reconciliation related activities in SL, is established under the PM’s Office. The Secretary General reports directly to the PM and through him the President. more..

SL hikes excise duty on diesel to Rs 13 a litre

Aug 26 (EN) Sri Lanka’s finance ministry has raised excise duty on diesel by Rs10 a litre to Rs13, a move that will erode profit margins of the listed Lanka Indian Oil Corp and state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). CPC chairman T. G. Jayasinghe said the corporation will now lose money on diesel sales as well and that an increase in retail prices is yet to be decided. The share price of LIOC fell almost 10% to Rs37.80 on the Colombo stock exchange Friday. more..

'I brought them from SL to be safe here'

Aug 26 (MO) A father of two brothers who drowned with their three best friends at Camber Sands is furious after it was revealed lifeguards will finally be stationed on the beach days after they died. Londoners Nitharsan Ravi, 22, Kurushanth Srithavarajah, 27, Kenigan Nathan, 19, his brother Kobi Nathan, 22, and Inthushan Sriskantharasa, 23, died together on the hottest day of the year. more..