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Development Disruption!

Aug 27 (FT) National carrier, SriLankan Airlines yesterday announced to its customers the changes in flight schedules due to the scheduled maintenance work on the runway of the country’s main international airport at Katunayake. The changes to its schedule will be made over a three-month period commencing from 6th Jan 2017 to 6th April 2017, due to the closure of BIA for eight hours a day from 0830 hours to 1630 hours each day for maintenance work on the runway. more..

Seasoned Sri Lanka hand Taranjit Sandhu to be India's next envoy

Aug 27 (ENS) Taranjit Singh Sandhu will be the next Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka succeeding Y.K.Sinha who has completed his term. An old Sri Lanka hand, Sandhu was Political Counselor in the Indian High Commission in Colombo between 2000 and 2004, which covered the 2002-2004 Norway-brokered peace process in Sri Lanka. Born on Jan 23, 1963, he did his schooling at The Lawrence School, Sanawar, more..

Dy Minister says manner of facing allegations important

Aug 27 (Island) Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said levelling allegations against politicians was normal but the manner of facing them was important. He was responding to a query regarding the bribery allegation against President Sirisena published in The SMH and The Age newspapers. Two newspapers alleged that when President Sirisena was Agriculture and Agrarian Services Development Minister he had solicited a bribe from an Australian company to award a contract to build a dam. more..

Bank loans at concessionary rates for ex-LTTErs

Aug 27 (DM) The Govt has decided to grant bank loans at concessionary rates to ex-LTTE combatants for self-employment purposes, officials said. The parliamentary oversight committee of the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Ministry has discussed this matter and decided to proceed with the granting of loans at low interest rates to the ex-combatants reintegrated into society after rehabilitation. “We have to work out the modalities,” an official said. more..

President concerned about corruption charge but doubts credibility of source

Aug 27 (ENS) President Sirisena is concerned about the charge made by Fairfax Media that in 2009-2011, when he was Minister of Agriculture, an Australian company was asked to give a donation to his political party to get contracts for World Bank-funded sewerage and dam projects. President ordered AG to investigate the charge even as he issued a statement denying that he had ever indulged in corruption in his political life or more..

Ban’s visit; some reflections on the UN

Aug 27 (DM) Next week’s three-day visit to Sri Lanka by the United Nations outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives us an opportunity to reflect on the ties between our country and world body and the role the UN is playing or not playing in international politics and socio-economics. Mr. Ban completes his second five-year term as UN chief at the end of this year and has built a good reputation among the big powers or five permanent members and also other countries though more..

Need for Sri Lanka to tread with caution

Aug 27 (DM) The Joint Opposition must surely be faulted for having neglected to challenge the constitutionality of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill in the Supreme Court during the time available to do so. The JO’s theatrics in the well of the House on the day the Bill was passed, amidst chaos, hardly compensate for this lapse. The OMP is the first of the so-called reconciliation mechanisms being implemented by the govt in compliance with the 2015 Geneva resolution. more..

'SL should address fears on ETCA urgently'

Aug 27 (FT) A visiting Indian Minister who was one of the key speakers of Sri Lanka’s Human Capital Summit held on 11-12 August said that Sri Lanka should seek to address any concerns or fears its citizens may have on the envisaged Indo-Sri Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Framework Agreement (ETCA), because secrecy, fear and caution will prevent Lankan citizens exploring full potential out of the partnership. more..

SLMC split on reforms

Aug 27 (NS) Reformists within the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have made revelations of a rift within the Party which is threatening to weaken its stronghold in the East. Several stalwarts of the SLMC including its General Secretary, Hassen Ali and Chairman, Basheer Segu Dawood have called for an overhaul of the Party structure and its constitution, alleging that the current leadership was adopting a dictatorial approach. more..

Spread the word of what is happening at Pallekandal shrine

Aug 27 (ST) The feast is over, held amidst a large crowd at the St. Anthony’s shrine at Pallekandal, within the Wilpattu National Park (WNP) in early July, but the burning issues linked to the clearing of a Protected Area (PAs) and expansion of the shrine still linger. The activities by a section of the Roman Catholic Church within the Wilpattu National Park around the Pallekandal shrine are clear violations of more..

BJP accuses Congress of supporting the LTTE with arms

Aug 27 (CG) India’s ruling BJP has accused the Congress party of supporting the LTTE with arms when it was in power. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu accused Congress of raking up needless controversies for reaping political gains and being soft on terrorists and hard on nationalists. “It was the Congress regime that supported LTTE with arms and ammunition and later sent peace-keeping forces to SL resulting in more..

10,824 food items unfit for consumption destroyed

Aug 27 (Island) The Health Ministry said steps had been taken to destroy 10,824 food items found to be unfit for human consumption from the beginning of the National Food Safety Week on Monday (22) to Thursday (25). Legal action had been taken against 536 eateries, groceries and supermarkets. About 14,722 bottles of soft drinks had been seized as the colour coding system for sugar content had not been indicated on them. more..

Vidura questions Finance Minister’s knowledge of economics

Aug 27 (Island) Kalutara District MP Vidura Wickramanayake on Thursday said the country’s Finance Minister was clueless about the plantation industry and his knowledge of basic economics was negligible. He said, "The once flourishing tea industry in Sri Lanka which produced the best teas in the world popularly known as Ceylon Tea had received a paralysing blow with the transferring of its Cess fund to the Treasury. more..

Snuff targeting schoolchildren, floods country through legal loopholes

Aug 27 (ST) A decade-old legal loophole is allowing addictive substances containing nicotine to flood the country, with schoolchildren allegedly the prime target. Recent seizure of two stocks of a powdered substance identified as SVS snuff (dunkudu) has brought this matter into refocus. In Sept last year, Customs officials confiscated 75,000 vials of SVS snuff imported from India. Importer had tried to get the stock cleared more..

Sri Lanka national security think tank collaborates with top regional think tanks

Aug 27 (MoD) Secretary to Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi chaired the inaugural discussion on Regional security perspectives organized by the Institute of National Security Studies of Sri Lanka (INSSSL) with the collaboration of the COSATT at the ministry premises on Friday. Secretary of Defence, speaking on regional security perspectives said "The INSSSL would serve as an important arm in framing more..

NPC working against reconciliation: Jaffna MP Angajan

Aug 27 (Island) The TNA controlled Northern Provincial Council would obstruct President Maithripala Sirisena’s reconciliation programme by advancing its own agenda, Jaffna District UPFA MP Angajan Ramanathen alleges. He said the Buddhist temples could be in the Northern Province like kovils, mosques and churches situated all over the country. Answering a query that NPC’s resolution banning the construction of more..

Presidential Secretariat asks McKenzie for details on report

Aug 27 (DM) The Presidential Secretariat has requested the Australian-based Fairfax journalist Nick McKenzie for more information on the allegations which appeared in Australian media implicating President Maithripala Sirisena. Claiming he had no knowledge about the allegations in Australian media reports that he had requested Rs.2.5 million from the Australia-based Snowy Mountain Engineering Company (SMEC), more..

Good signs for the badly- affected hearing impaired

Aug 27 (ST) Hearing impaired people face many hurdles due to a lack of sign language translators in government offices, Social Services Department’s senior sign language interpreter Chammi Nishara Dias said. She said Sri Lanka has 25 special schools for differently abled children as well as many vocational training centres but the government has only six sign language interpreters including two experts. “These people face many difficulties and are sometimes subjected to more..

Govt recovers 200 acres of State land sold on forged deeds

Aug 27 (ST) The Govt recovered 200 acres of State land in the Aalankudawa area in Kalpitiya, that had allegedly been sold to investors involved in tourism, through the use of forged documents. Former Pradeshiya Sabha members and a Provincial Councilor are said to be among those involved in this scam. A female employee of a foreign mission in Colombo and an Indian singer are reported to be among those duped into purchasing State lands by these racketeers. more..

Both are breaking the rules of a fair game?

Can so much be done with so less?

Aug 27 (CT) Aiming at the Olympics of 2024 Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara has plans to do scientific tests on 375,000 school children. These tests, it is hoped, would reveal which sport a particular student is naturally best suited for. Then 50,000 of the most excellent of them will be selected and recruited to the programme Kreeda Shakthi for training to take part in the 2024 Olympics. These probably will make up the contingent for the 2024 Games. more..

Why SL men make women uncomfortable

Aug 27 (CT) If there’s one thing all my female friends have in common, it’s that all of them have been stared at, catcalled, dry-humped and masturbated at. It’s not that all of them are alluringly sexy (sorry, folks) or go out in leather and heels every day. It happens whether they’re wearing jeans, shirts, skirts, hijabs, flat, sneakers. One of them is a work colleague who helped me pick out a shirt for a wedding the other day. She could barely make it across the road to Liberty Plaza more..

MP’s Code of Conduct to be adopted shortly

Aug 27 (ST) The draft Code of Conduct (CoC) for SL’s lawmakers, which was circulated among MPs in April. will be adopted shortly, Parliamentary official said. “Adoption of the CoC was discussed by party leaders this week and, with a few amendments suggested by MPs, it would be put to the House and adopted within the next few weeks,” the official said. CoC comprises 8 sections namely, purpose of the code, scope of the code, duties of MPs, more..

Rs 9 mil worth duty-free vehicle for every MP

Aug 27 (ST) MPs elected to this Parliament will be entitled to import vehicles costing around Rs 9 million, using the duty-free permits issued to them, according to the order by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act. The vehicle, if purchased by paying duty, would cost nearly threefold more. Parliament, in addition, will take up for debate this and several other Orders by the Finance Minister on Wednesday. more..

Plastic bag turned out to be a deadly Hakka Patas

Aug 27 (ST) Mystery still surrounds the tragic death of a 10-year-old boy in Hambegamuwa who died of injuries caused by a Hakka Patas bomb last week. The victim had been playing cricket with his younger brother in their garden on Aug 18 when the ball had got lodged in a nearby tree. The boy had managed to retrieve the ball after climbing onto a some rocks situated by to the tree. While retrieving the ball, he had noticed a plastic bag hidden in the tree and brought the bag down. more..

Stand-in captain, retiring star in focus as teams scrap for lead

Aug 27 (CI) Three days ago, there was no reason to expect that this third ODI would be particularly headline-grabbing - at least, not beyond Dambulla hosting day-night cricket for the first time in six years. Then, Tillakaratne Dilshan announced his impending retirement, Steven Smith flew home and handed Australia's captaincy to David Warner, and, suddenly, there was more than your average amount of interest in the match. more..

Industries approved for Hambantota Port may be shifted to Trincomalee

Aug 27 (EN) Several investments approved to invest in an industrial zone bordering Hambantota Port by the last regime may be offered Trincomalee instead, Ports minister Arjuna Ranatunga said. "We are discussing with them the offer Trincomalee (Port)," Ranatunga said. Sri Lanka is now developing a plan to develop Trincomalee, a port city in North East Sri Lanka with the help of Surbana, a Singapore state planning company, which will include the harbhour, he said. more..

Wild elephant attack on van: death toll climbs to two

Aug 27 (AD) A five-year-old boy who was critically wounded following wild elephant attack on a van in the Karuwalagaswewa area this morning has succumbed to injuries bringing the death toll from the incident to two. The boy was transferred from the Puttalam Hospital to the Colombo National Hospital following the incident and was receiving treatment when he succumbed to injuries there. One person was killed and another 10 were injured after a wild elephant attacked a van at more..

Pressing engagements in New Delhi led to cancellation of Indian Minister’s visit

Aug 27 (ENS) Indian Minister of State for Commerce, Nirmala Sitharaman, who was to come here on Aug 25 for a short visit at the invitation of Minister Malik Samarawickrama, cancelled her visit on account of pressing engagements in New Delhi. It is learnt that she had to present in New Delhi at an important meeting on trade and economic affairs to be addressed by PM Narendra Modi, and also to prepare for the Indo-US more..

Elephant Complex book review: Sri Lanka, a beautiful but blood-soaked country

Aug 27 (IANS) Sri Lanka has to be the most beautiful country I have ever seen, says John Gimlette, an accomplished travel writer who journeys to the island nation at the end of a long and brutal civil war. Anyone who has seen the country will more than agree. Marco Polo too felt it was the world's prettiest island. And an Englishman wrote in 1803 that Sri Lanka deserves the name Paradise. But as John discovered, there was as much blood as there was beauty. more..

Curbing crime: PM to summon top cops to Temple Trees

Aug 27 (DM) In the wake of the latest abduction and murder of a Colombo businessman, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will summon senior police officers to Temple Trees next week to brief them on steps to be taken to curb crimes and drug trafficking. PM has told this to several ministers including Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake yesterday. He had told Minister Ratnayake and others that there was no point marking police day if the police were unable to nab those who commit crimes. more..

Check history of areas with mass graves: Forensic experts

Aug 27 (NS) Forensic experts highlighted that in looking into cases of missing persons and disappearances through skeletal remains in mass graves and vice versa, one had to initially find out the historical facts of the place and question those in the vicinity. Senior Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Colombo, Prof. Ravindra Fernando, who was a nominee of more..

Plans to sell Kahatagaha Mines opposed

Aug 27 (LT) It is reported that the govt is planning to arbitrarily sell Kahatagaha Graphite Mines to Lanka Graphite Ltd. A discussion regarding has been held yesterday between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Rishard Badurdeen, Chairman of Kahatagaha Mines and representatives of Lanka Graphite Ltd. at the Prime Minister’s office at Temple Trees yesterday. It has been discussed to make available 49% of the shares of Kahatagaha Mines to Lanka Graphite. more..

Labourers in office work: Faiszer

Aug 27 (DN) Labourers employed by Local Govt Institutions, are engaged in office activities, it was revealed at a discussion held by Minister Faiszer Musthapha with the officers of Local Govt Authorities in Colombo. Minister Musthapha initiated a programme to discuss with the officers about issues and future plans of Local Govt Authorities who had their terms ended. Officers said there is a lack of labourers to collect garbage in most Local Authorities. more..

Ceiling on election expenditure

Aug 27 (NS) Govt has commenced discussions to formulate new laws on election-related expenditure, including implementation of campaign finance reforms and the introduction of expenditure ceilings, adding that they were likely to be introduced by PM as Minister of National Policies. Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana said that although legal initiatives were yet to be taken in this regard, discussions pertaining to more..

Al-Qaeda attempting to recruit youth from SL

Aug 27 (CG) Al-Qaeda is attempting to recruit youth from Sri Lanka and south India. In a attempt to counter the propaganda drive by Islamic State (IS), Al-Qaeda is now translating its publications and propaganda materials into regional Indian languages such as Tamil and Malayalam. According to reports, the terror group’s media outlet, the Global Islamic Media Front, earlier this month formed a new group to translate the group’s videos, messages and articles into the regional languages. more..

Video: Restaurant owner shot dead in Pilimathalawa

Aug 27 (DM) A person has been shot and killed in the Pilimathalawa area in Peradeniya. Police said that two unidentified gunmen who came on a motorcycle to a restaurant in Pilimathalawa and shot the owner of the establishment before fleeing. He was rushed to the Peradeniya Hospital in critical condition, however succumbed to injuries afterwards. The deceased is a 30-year-old from Nanu Oya in Pilimathalawa. The body has been placed at the Peradeniya Hospital while more..

The best from Dilshan's school of unorthodoxy

Aug 27 (CI) England got 229 on one of the lower-scoring venues in the world, and thought they had plenty. The comfort with which Dilshan ran down this target occasionally verged on the comical. He socked Graeme Swann through cover early in his innings, then set about slapping the England quicks through the off side, planting that front leg and sending Chris Tremlett through cover point with particular abandon. more..

Dilshan's age-defying numbers

Aug 27 (CI) Less than two months short of his 40th birthday, Tillakaratne Dilshan will make his last appearance in ODIs for Sri Lanka on Sunday. Dilshan finishes his career as one of only 11 batsmen with 10,000 ODI runs. His career spanned nearly 17 years and he is one of only two players - the other being Pakistan's Shoaib Malik - to have played in ODIs this year having made his debut in this format before the turn of the century. SL are looking for established openers in time for more..

SL couple arrested for forging documents

Aug 27 (TOI) A SL Tamil couple was arrested by the Tirupur city police on Thursday for obtaining Indian passports and ration card by forging documents. Police sources said that the couple and their two children planned to go to Sri Lanka from Madurai airport in April 2016. However, the immigration officials managed to trace the identity of the couple and informed the ministry of external affairs who conducted a detailed inquiry and finally lodged a police complaint on Thursday. more..