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FCID a threat to public servants: JO

Aug 26 (DM) The FCID has become a threat to the private sector and to public servants, the joint opposition said. JO MP Bandula Gunawardena said some public servants had tendered their resignation out of fear of being questioned by the FCID and urged the govt to reinstate them without delay. "The people will not be able to get anything done from the State sector if these public servants leave," he said. MP Dinesh Gunawardane said the hunting of private sector employees by FCID was a disturbing more..

Maldives opposition meet in Sri Lanka to hatch plan against President Yameen

Aug 26 (AFP) Maldives' dissident former president met opposition groups in neighbouring Sri Lanka on Friday to hatch a plan to topple strongman president Abdulla Yameen. Ex-president Mohamed Nasheed, who recently won asylum in Britain after being jailed by Yameen's govt, was among several exiled opposition groups meeting in Colombo, two people in Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party said. "The opposition leaders are meeting in Colombo to work out strategies to legally topple Yameen," more..

Weedicide ban raises costs, reduces crops of loss-making plantations

Aug 26 (EN) Regional Plantation Companies have said an illogical and arbitrary govt ban on an imported weedicide has raised production costs at a time when they are already suffering heavy losses owing to lower commodity prices. Both tea and rubber estate fields have become overgrown with weeds after the govt’s “arbitrary banning of glyphosate without a suitable alternative,” Planters’ Association said. more..

Hirunika summoned to High Court

Aug 26 (AM) Regarding abduction of a youth, UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra and eight others were ordered to appear in the High Court to collect indictment by the Colombo Magistrate Court today. The Attorney General filed indictment against Hirunika and eight of her supporters on 29 counts including abduction, threatening and intimidation, in the beginning of the month. The incident took place on Dec 21, 2015, when a youth was allegedly abducted and later released by more..

Can Aponso step into Herath’s boots?

Aug 26 (CT) Rangana Herath has been the leader of the Sri Lankan spin attack for years following the retirement of legendary Muttiah Muralitharan. The left-arm spinner has proven to be unplayable for several oppositions as recently experienced by the Australian Team where Herath claimed 28 wickets in the three Test matches. With Herath, 38 who has already retired from ODIs and T20s nearing the end of his career SL tried out many spinners in the second spinner's role with more..

Sri Lanka benefitting from China's infrastructural support: Minister

Aug 26 ((Xinhua) Sri Lanka highly appreciates China's assistance in developing key areas of the country including the Colombo Port and has allocated 15,000 acres in the southern coast of Hambantota for further Chinese investment. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that China-built Colombo Int'l Container Terminals (CICT), first deep-water terminal in South Asia with the capacity to handle the largest container more..

Sri Lanka: Families of missing persons learn to cope together

Aug 26 (ICRC) Today was no ordinary day for Ashoka. 26 May 2016 began at 4:00 am as she prepared breakfast and lunch with the help of her mother and neighbours. Ashoka, her mother and a group of others would be commemorating their missing relatives later, by donating lamp holders to their community temple and holding a poojah (prayers). The day after, Ganeshamma too began her day at 4:00 am. After completing her chores, she whispered a prayer at altar in her bedroom, more..

25% expatriate workers remit 60% of foreign earnings

Aug 26 (Island) Sri Lanka was currently having a very constructive dialogue with the UN and the wider international community as the new govt had embraced the policy of engagement by abandoning the previous govt’s policy of self-isolation, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of Colombo Process (CP) 4th Senior Officials’ Meeting and the 5th Ministerial Consultation at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, he said, "We have taken note of the useful more..

Tamils continue to face racial discrimination in Sri lanka, says UN Committee post review

Aug 26 (FP) Tamils continue to face discrimination in Sri Lanka, a UN committee stated recently, and questioned the island-country if Indian Tamils were allowed to get back to their homeland – while reviewing a report on the anti-discrimination efforts undertaken by the country. No cases of sexual violence – during the horrific civil war – had been submitted, even though this had affected thousands of women, more..

A way out of the ethnic imbroglio

Aug 27 (CT) For several weeks the emphasis in regard to the ethnic problem has been placed on the setting up of four institutions beginning with the one to deal with missing persons. All four have to do with the past, not with the future. But for long it has been axiomatic that our future requires as an essential imperative the finding of a political solution for the ethnic problem. Strangely, nothing is heard about that these days. Situation seems to be identical with what prevailed under last govt 2009-2015 more..

Fast-track reforms to address skill gaps

Aug 27 (FT) SL Human Capital Summit (HCS) served as a platform for a dialogue between policymakers, business leaders, industry experts and global thought leaders. The conference also served as a platform to identify solutions to bridge the skill gaps which would enable Sri Lanka build a future-ready workforce. During the sessions the speakers suggested several initiatives industry leaders and govt can undertake towards maximising job opportunities in the identified sectors. more..

'Govt heading in right direction'

Aug 27 (SL) UNP MP and former member of WPC Harshana Rajakaruna believes that Good Governance regime has achieved great mileage in critical areas within the short period of its one year in power. He said that even though the govt’s efforts are genuine, Sinhala extremists are trying to break down the reconciliation process to gain political mileage by spreading false rumours. He assured that govt is heading in the right more..

Treasury officials’ dilemma

Aug 27 (NS) Around 85 treasury officials are supposed to have decided to leave the boards of state enterprises to which they have been nominated, to represent the shareholdings of the govt. The issue has come up because some of the officials who had served on such boards are disturbed as they have been questioned over unlawful transactions or irregularities taken place during the previous govt. Usually, all state officials in civil or military service are responsible for more..

Apolitically examines good governance

Aug 27 (NS) The topicality of good governance has been accentuated since January elections 2015. It has been topical since bad governance is one of the root causes of all evils within our societies. For example, decisions of national importance had been taken in modalities such as kitchen cabinets, monitoring MPs, and two three politically elevated bureaucrats. There had been no public hearings at least for large scale projects where public money is spent. more..

'OMP bill is superfluous'

Aug 27 (SL) UPFA MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, now a member of the JO, is of the view that true reconciliation can only take place when both parties in the issue are willing to reconcile and make a genuine effort in this regard. He said that given the present stand of the TNA, reconciliation will never take place. He pointed out that the ordinary Tamil people have no issues with Sinhala majority, but TNA is using LTTE politics more..

Jaffna Investors Forum

Aug 27 (CT) Jaffna Investors Forum organized by the Northern Province Governor, Reginald Cooray, with the participation of the first Tamil Central Bank Governor, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, while exploring the possibilities of opening up the Northern Province extensively for healthy investments in the future highlighted the tussle between the Northern Governor and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in coming to terms in making the war-torn Northern Province an economically vibrant region. more..

Banality of evil

Aug 27 (FT) Namal Rajapaksa, MP, the eldest son of former President Rajapaksa, was interviewed recently on television. By and large the tone of the lengthy interview, nearly two hours in duration, was defensive, an attempt at validating a period characterised by the most vulgar form of family rule seen in this country since independence. Unlike what was the norm when his father ruled, the panel of interviewers, considering that before them was one of the most powerful more..


Will the OMP address what is missing in the justice system – The law?

Aug 27 (CT) The law relating to the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) is now part of Sri Lanka’s statute books. That is a good enough reason for all citizens to learn what is involved in an enforced disappearance. Some clarity on the matter may help in making use of this statute in many different ways. Enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka often involve five stages: illegal arrest, illegal detention, torture and other ill treatment, killing and the disposal of the body. more..

Editorial: Who guards the guards?

Aug 27 (Island) In a turn of events replete with irony Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has told the media that legal action will be instituted against those who make allegations of corruption against President Maithripala Sirisena. Obviously, an allegation of graft two leading Australian newspapers have made against the President has sent the govt reeling and its spin doctors are doing their damndest to shore up the crumbling image of their administration. more..

Santa Arjuna’s tall tree talk

Aug 27 (Island) Do you think Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has any relationship to the Christmas trees?," asked Christree. "Come on, why do you ask such a thing?," asked Treeman. "Because he planted that Christmas tree at Galle Face Green." "So why should he be related to the tree; he planted it for it to grow tall … tall." "It’s just because he has this knack for planting his kith and kin, in places that they can grow well and give the best fruits, more..

SLFP expects 50,000 at Kurunegala convention

Aug 27 (FT) SLFP expects to draw 50,000 people to the party’s 65th convention to be held on 4 Sept in Kurunegala, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He stated that calculation was made without considering party heads, district leaders, district organisers, provincial councillors and provincial council members. “The party’s Central Committee has directed that each organiser can only bring between 100 and 250 people from each electorate and that amount should not be exceeded. more..

‘Six bn rupee loss suffered by plantations while glyphosate ban issues mount’

Aug 27 (Island) Chairman Planters’ Association of Ceylon,(PA) Roshan Rajadurai said at a press conference on August 23 that the plantations were continuing to register losses. Trade union demands for higher wages could not be fulfilled. He said the PA agreed that wages had to be increased, but under current projections of poor prices for tea and rubber, and reduced production, because weeds and wild underbrush had overrun arable tea land, the future of the industry was bleak. more..

Operation Pacific Angel concludes in North

Aug 27 (FT) The multinational team led by US Pacific Command concluded their week-long assistance program in Jaffna, providing general medical care for approximately 4,000 people and renovating six schools that serve a total of 1,100 students. “I want to thank all the members of Operation Pacific Angel for not just improving lives of Jaffna-area residents through better schools and free access to healthcare, more..

No privatisation of state ventures: Yapa

Aug 27 (Island) Govt would not privartise any profitable or unprofitable public ventures, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said on Thursday. He said, however, govt was planning to restructure some unprofitable state institutions under the public-private partnership. Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) claimed Wednesday the govt was planning to sell several profitable state ventures including Litro Gas, Colombo Hilton and Lanka Hospitals to the private sector without setting up more..

Monitor all animal populations: Scientists

Aug 27 (NS) Veterinary clinical scientists called for action to be taken with regard to instances of wild animals over-exceeding the carrying capacity of jungles in the country, as at present there was no plan to tackle such. Head of Department of Veterinary Clinical Science of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University of Peradeniya, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Clinical Studies Dr. Ashoka Dangolla said that no efforts were being taken to diagnose more..

Govt criticized for dipping into Cess

Aug 27 (NS) Economists criticized govt moves to dip into the Cess funds belonging to State entities such as the SL Tea Board and the SL Tourism Development Authority. Professor at the Dept of Economics of Uni of Colombo, K. Amirthalingam said that the practice of collecting the Cess tax is that it is collected for a specific purpose. “Sri Lanka, however, has no guaranteed measure in place with regard to this particular tax,” he said. more..

Ex-LTTEr escapes from Prison Hospital

Aug 27 (DM) An ex-LTTE cadre who was undergoing treatment at the Jaffna Prison Hospital while being remanded at the Jaffna Prison has escaped from hospital on Wednesday. The inmate, who was transferred from the Anuradhapura Prison to Jaffna, had been remanded under charges of possessing of illegal weapons. The accused named Rasaiya Anandarasa, identified as an ex LTTE member had informed the prison officers about an infection after him being injected with a drug more..

Former TNA MP Piyasena refused bail

Aug 27 (DN) Former Digamadulla District TNA MP Podiappuhamy Piyasena who was arrested for allegedly misusing a vehicle belonging to PM’s Office was yesterday further remanded until September 9 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Meanwhile, a bail application filed on behalf of the former MP was yesterday refused by Magistrate on the basis that there is no exceptional circumstances to release him on bail since he has been charged under Public Property Act. more..

Another teenager makes his way into ODI squad

Aug 27 (DN) Selectors continued to keep faith on performing youngsters when they included 19-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler Lahiru Kumara in the 16-member squad named for the third ODI against Australia on Sunday. Educated at Trinity College, Kandy, Kumara was one of the top performers in the SL Under 19 team’s recent tour of England where he bowled them to a series victory in the second U-19 Youth test at Northampton more..

BASL calls on the private bar to focus on systematic pro bono work

Aug 27 (NS) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) called on the unofficial bar to make the aspect of pro bono services more focused and systematic. Speaking about legal aid, President of the BASL, President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam said that pro bono work done by a junior under the supervision of a senior provides the opportunity for career advancement and development. Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka (LACSL) is doing much with the resources at its disposal. more..

Maithri’s Tribute to a Friend

Aug 27 (CT) President Sirisena yesterday became the first SL President to deliver a condolence speech in Parliament with a special visit to the House to participate in the Condolence Vote for late MP M.K.D.A.S. Gunawardana. President joined in the condolence vote soon after Leader of House Lakshman Kiriella, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Rajitha Senaratne had concluded their speeches. President arrived in the House around 2 pm, while Minister Senaratne was on his feet. more..

Ban won’t meet Wiggy

Aug 27 (CT) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will not meet CM of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, the most outspoken advocate in the north who contends that ending of the war did not signify an end to the ethnic conflict. His name is not on the list of persons the SG will be meeting during his visit to Sri Lanka. Ban, instead will meet Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray as well as TNA Leader Sampanthan more..

Meeting for action against A/L exam frauds

Aug 27 (DN) A special meeting with all relevant officials had been scheduled for next week to decide on the future course of action with regard to incidents of A/L Exam frauds on misusing quota for the underprivileged districts, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He was replying to an Adjournment Motion moved by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake over the incidents of exam frauds where students who live in other districts outside the Nuwara Eliya district, have been sitting for more..

Duminda loses control of SLFP website

Aug 27 (CT) Several portfolios held by SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake are to be transferred to a few party seniors, a top SLFP source said. It is learnt that Dissanayake, since becoming the Party General Secretary, had failed to effectively sustain the party machinery, while simultaneously trying to strike a balance between portfolio duties and those as General Secretary. Source added that even towards the end of last week reports favourable to Joint Opposition more..

Heated arguments on OMP Bill

Aug 27 (DN) Speaker endorsed the certificate on the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Bill this week making it a valid piece of law casting out all doubts over its acceptability. The Bill was passed into law amidst pandemonium in Parliament on August 11. Joint Opposition (JO) MPs, who themselves flouted the Standing Orders of Parliament by charging into the well of the House when the Bill was taken up, found fault with more..

Cheaper Medicines very soon: Rajitha

Aug 27 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne informed Parliament that prices of pharmaceuticals would be reduced within a fortnight. He made this announcement in response to a question raised by a JVP MP, adding that pharmaceutical prices would be reduced by importing high quality medicines, at affordable rates for patients, from countries such as Russia. "By importing pharmaceuticals from countries such as Russia we will be able to reduce costs of medicines significantly. more..

69th WHO South East Asia regional committee session in Colombo

Aug 27 (GDI) 69th session of World Health Organization South-East Asia Region (WHO-SEARO) regional Committee will be held from 5-9 Sept in Colombo. Regional Committee has eleven Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, SL, Thailand and Timor Leste. SEARO meets annually to discuss its programs and budget which is hosted by a member country. Every year, the world Health Assembly adopts 15-20 resolutions more..

PM laments poor performance of some Treasury officials

Aug 27 (DN) The performance of some Treasury officials appointed to various public institutions was zero, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. He said Treasury officials assigned to SriLankan Airlines, the Ports Authority, Petroleum Corporation etc were not able to reduce the losses incurred by these respective institutions in any way. He added if experts are appointed to such places it should be done in accordance with the law. more..

Court summons Daisy Forest

Aug 27 (CT) Colombo Magistrate's Court has summoned Daisy Forest, Grand Aunt of Yoshitha Rajapaksa, to appear in Court on 31 August. The order was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate Augusta Atapattu. She was summoned to be questioned about a controversial Rs 51.2 million land purchase. Police have asked Court to issue an order for Daisy Forest to appear before the FCID, but Court ordered Daisy Forest to appear before the Magistrate's Court on Aug 31 instead. more..