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The LTTE overseas network: A bunch of sadistic idiots

Feb 1 (CT) The following is a commentary on an article written by DBS Jeyaraj in which he exposes the overseas LTTE network’s plot to assassinate TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran in two instances: December 12th of 2016 and January 13th of 2017. The plot to assassinate Sumanthiran, however, did not succeed or materialize due to certain unforeseeable circumstances. Never forget, the LTTE overseas network is still alive and well. Had the LTTE succeeded in killing Sumanthiran, more..

Education and empowerment: the journey of Sri Lankan refugees

Feb 1 (GV) Sri Lankan refugees living in the camps of Tamil Nadu in India have been able to take control of their uncertain future through education. The story of their journey inspires many refugee communities who wait in uncertainty for a durable solution to their plight. The 1983 violence and subsequent uncertainties forced a silent exodus of Sri Lankan Tamils to seek asylum in India as well as other countries in Asia, Europe, America and Australia. Following the riots, more..

'Not a divided country but a federal state'

Feb 1 (CT) Former TNA MP and Leader of EPRLF Suresh Premachandran commenting on the plot to assassinate MP Sumanthiran said, the issue itself is contradictory. "There is a contradiction within the ministry and the armed forces. We are still confused if it is a cooked up story or a serious issue. If there are people actually plotting against MP Sumanthiran, it is a very serious issue. It must be handled in a different way. more..

The disappointing 19th Amendment

Feb 1 (CT) Back in Colombo in early April, I went ahead and introduced my proposed 23rd and 24th Amendments to the Constitution. During the previous year Vasantha Senanayake and I had discussed proposing some changes, since we felt we had an obligation to make clear the need for reform. He had put forward a Bill then to reduce the size of the Cabinet and was astonished at the reaction. Apart from strong arm tactics from Basil, the President had called him in and told him more..

Right to know and right to ignore

Feb 1 (ST) The gestation period of an Asian elephant is around 20-22 months. The Asian elephant we are acquainted with has taken much, much longer-some 12 years to finally get the Right to Information (RTI) law into an operational stage. One cannot blame the UNP which proudly flaunts its elephant symbol, for gestating for that long. Despite then PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s best efforts from the time he promised a freedom of information Bill introduced in 2004, it was still-born, aborted more..

You can’t tell me to get out

Feb 1 (NS) ජරා ලෙඩ හදාගෙන එනවා මෙතන, උඹ පලයං (Get out! You come here after contracting such filthy diseases.) This was the manner in which Kumudini was treated after being diagnosed with HIV. The Matron of the hostel, run by the plastic recycling company Kumudini worked for went so far as to physically push her while she retorted thus. Kumudini didn’t know she had contracted HIV from her boyfriend, more..

Tall stories and hallucinations

Feb 1 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne is on record as having said that the probe into the MIG deal during the tenure of the previous govt will reveal many truths. But before we come to that, can we at least have some truths about what's happening about the dozens of yet unsolved cases before the FCID, CIABOC and Courts? If the Minister expects us to tremulously hold our breaths until then, he's on another planet. The reality on planet Earth is that the FCID & CIABOC have proved themselves as more..

Playing with a straight bat!

Feb 1 (NS) Veteran coach Nelson Mendis is a little concerned that the present generation of cricketers doesn’t read literature on cricket. There are occasions when he wants to dispense magazines he has read, but often there are no takers. Mendis who follows the game on and off the field even now, says that it is difficult to find complete cricketers today because players lack the passion for the game. He is Director Coaching of CCC School of Cricket. Designation wise, he is the Chairman of more..

Athuraliye Rathana Thero

Ranjan’s rumblings and alleged illegal excavation in Divulapitiya: Stop the rhetoric

Feb 1 (DM) Our politicians take to politics to become rich overnight. Having joined politics, they disregard their primary responsibilities towards the people and the country. Similarly, they work steadfastly their way to amass wealth. They pay only lip service and do not strengthen the pursuit of investigations into illegal excavation, sand mining, and deforestation of State lands, serious fraud, corruption or abuse of power. The incumbent Govt seems to have failed to expedite even a single corruption allegation more..

Gold hidden under tongue

Feb 1 (DN) Two Sri Lankans bound for Trivandrum, India were held at the BIA yesterday, after Customs officers found four gold nuggets, weighing 108 grams hidden beneath their tongue. Customs officers had found that the two individuals had difficulty talking when they had stopped the duo for a routine inspection of their hand luggage. Further inspection revealed that the two were hiding two gold nuggets each beneath their tongue. The gold seized were worth about Rs. 1 million. more..

Shady games at schooling

Feb 1 (NS) Grade One admissions to govt schools is yet again on the discussion table. With the dawn of the new academic year, the whole fraudulent documents racket has raised its ugly head. Parents want to gain the advantage of a popular school for their children, by hook or by crook. Consequently, there is an organized group of individuals, dedicated to breaching the law, reaping the monetary benefits by taking advantage of more..

Sri Lanka need top order to stand up

Feb 1 (CI) Eleven innings into this tour now, Sri Lanka have one major question hanging over them still: when will the top order finally fire together? It had been ground down and blown away in the Tests, before in the T20 series one win was the outcome of Angelo Mathews' heroic lone heaving, and the other the result of Seekkuge Prasanna's late blitz - three of the top five having played decidedly modest innings, though Niroshan Dickwella did hit a fine half-century. more..

Tharanga to open in second ODI

Feb 1 (CT) Skipper Upul Tharanga will be celebrating his 32nd birthday tomorrow (2), but the mood to celebrate will depend on the outcome of the second ODI to be played here in Durban today. The match will be played as a day and night game starting at 5 p.m. SL time. Tharanga, who started his career as an opener, has scored 13 centuries batting in that position, before being shifted to the middle order in recent times. He returned to the opening slot in the last T20 in Cape Town more..

Is there are a hidden pattern to cricket selections?

Feb 1 (DN) The manner in which certain players have been picked for the national team since the current Sri Lanka Cricket administration took over leaves room for a lot of questioning as to whether it is being done to satisfy the voter base and thereby depriving the country of the best team to represent it. The selection of players like Chaminda Bandara (SLPA), Thikshila de Silva (Chilaw Marians), Kasun Madushanka more..

Strategic position paper for consideration by top teams of NMSJ, Purawesi Balaya & FUTA

Feb 1 (FT) This is an open letter submission to the leaders of National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) initiated by late Most Reverend Maduluwawe Sobitha, Purawesi Balaya and Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA), who were the shining stars that organised a collective, that became a people’s movement and gave rise to the power booster force behind the Yahapalanaya commitment-based political movement, which managed to achieve more..

DMK, AIADMK wrangle over Katchatheevu in Assembly

Feb 1 (ENS) The issue of ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka became a point of intense debate once again in the State Assembly on Tuesday with the Treasury and Opposition Benches wrangling over it. While winding up the debate on the Governor’s address, Leader of Opposition MK Stalin touched upon the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen and questioned the status of a project relating to deep sea fishing. Making an intervention, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, more..

Vehicle assembling gimmick to cost coffers heavily

Feb 1 (DN) A minister’s effort to obtain cabinet approval to provide duty rebates for used vehicle parts imported to the country to be used by an automobile assembly company has raised alarm bells in the industry. A top official of the CMTA said they are very concerned about the amnesty proposed to be given to the auto assembling company situated in Minuwangoda. Company had received BOI approval in 2009 to assemble more..

VAT increases on alcohol has no effect on consumption: Fitch

Feb 1 (DN) Fitch Ratings believes firm demand will absorb higher prices caused by the introduction of VAT. The govt introduced VAT of 15% on alcoholic beverage manufacturers on Nov 1, 2016. We feel that the inelastic demand for refined alcohol and rising per capita income should allow companies, including Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka and Lion Brewery. Successive SL govts have consistently used excise taxes as a tool to boost revenue to bridge budget deficits. more..

Tilko Jaffna to invest Rs 600 million on expansion, hotels

Feb 1 (DN) Tilko Jaffna City Hotel is looking to build a city hotel in Colombo and have expanded their foot print in Jaffna as well with three new hotels.The company which has interests in London is also looking at acquiring a travel company. Tilko Managing Director Thilak Thilagaraj said with the increasing number of local and foreign travellers to Jaffna they bought two bungalows and converted them to hotels in Jaffna. “The Park View Hotel offers 10 rooms while more..

Strike against Ranjan’s outburst called off

Feb 1 (CT) Public servants throughout the Gampaha District returned to work yesterday after walking out in a protest demonstration last Monday, castigating Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for allegedly using harsh language in connection with supposed plans to prosecute the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary, who is being accused of being allegedly involved in an illicit sand excavation project. more..

Cuba opens doors for SL trade, investment

Feb 1 (DN) Cuban Ambassador to SL, Juana Elena Rodrigues invited the Sri Lankan business community to explore business opportunities in pharmaceutical, renewable energy, agro-food, tourism and real estate development and agriculture sectors in Cuba. Speaking at a seminar on Bilateral Trade between Sri Lanka and Cuba organised by the National Chamber of Commerce, she said as bi-lateral trade volumes between the two countries is currently below its potential level. more..

HNB partners PickMe to facilitate cashless rides

Feb 1 (FT) Your next ride in a PickMe could be cashless. SL’s most popular mobile app for transportation has picked the country’s largest private sector bank, HNB, as their payment solutions provider for Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards. As SL’s largest acquirer of Visa and MasterCard, having 44% market share, HNB is now also the first and only bank in SL to facilitate an in-app (mobile) payment gateway which allows Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cardholders more..

Property in Ireland: I won't respond to FB claims: Anura Kumara

Feb 1 (DM) Referring to claims that he owns a property in Ireland, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said he had no interest in responding to claims made on social media. Earlier this week, several pictures of a letter from the Irish Revenue Department addressed to one Anura Kumara Dissanayake was circulated on Facebook. The letter addressed to Anura Kumara Dissanayake was dated Oct 16, 2016 and referred to a property on more..

Arrest made in Ambalangoda triple murder

Feb 1 (ITN) Ambalangoda Police have succeeded in apprehending another suspect over the triple murder that was committed in the Idanthota area in Ambalangoda. This suspect was arrested last night from the Pereliya area in Hikkaduwa. Suspect was taken into custody along with a three wheeler. Based on the information revealed, three wheeler used for the transport of the murderers was taken into custody along with its driver. Six suspects were earlier arrested over the triple murder more..

Blind Cricket T20: SL beat New Zealand

Feb 1 (CT) Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 214 runs in their opening game of the Blind Cricket T20 World Cup played in India yesterday. Openers Ruwan Wasantha (B2) - 170 (69) not out and Suranga Sampath (B3) – 146 (53) not out scored 334 runs without losing their wickets which is an international record in the Blind Cricket history. In reply New Zealand were able to score only 120 runs for seven wickets at the end of 20 overs. Sri Lanka: 334 for 0 wicket in 20 overs more..

Wigneswaran mulls Northern Council war crimes accountability mechanism

Feb 1 (ENS) Chief Minister of Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran has suggested that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) explore the legal possibility of instituting its own independent war crimes accountability mechanism in the absence of an int'l judicial mechanism recommended by the UNHRC in Sept 2015. Wigneswaran said this while speaking at a function in Vattakandaal Tamil Mixed School in more..

India, Singapore FTAs will not lead to major FDI inflows: IPS

Feb 1 (DN) Trade agreements with India and Singapore will not lead to a major turnaround in FDI inflows to Sri Lanka, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka Deputy Director Dr. Dushni Weerakoon said. Highlighting economic impacts of the proposed China - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, Dr. Weerakoon noted that the FTA will have a different impact on Sri Lanka’s economy as under the China-Sri Lanka trade agreement model, state-backed investors follow the govt while more..

Police mulling dress code change

Feb 1 (CT) Police Media Spokesman DIG Priyantha Jayakody said that a change in the official dress code for all Police personnel is under study by way of a questionnaire sent to all Police divisions in the country to be completed and returned to the department before 9 Feb. Jayakody said the questionnaire will also be given to media personnel and other professionals shortly. He added Police top brass have decided to change the existing police dress code in keeping with the times more..

Massive Divulapitiya Sand Scam stopped

Feb 1 (CT) Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) officials have ordered D.W.L. Appuhamy, father of MP Indika Anuruddha, to stop soil mining in Ihala Madampella, Divulapitiya after GSMB officials on an observation visit to Divulapitiya discovered that 61000 cubic meters of soil had been excavated using a category B permit, which only allows the removal of below 500 cubic metres of soil. more..

Don't eat croton warns Dr. Jayasumana

Feb 1 (DM) A medical expert said croton leaves were not edible and as such urged people not to consume them. Dr. Channa Jayasumana, who heads the Pharmacology and Toxicologist Department of the Rajarata University's Medical Faculty, said the croton plant contains oil which was violently purgative and irritating qualities and is also suspected of being a co-carcinogen. “Even when dried the plant retains its poisonous properties. Although certain South East Asian more..

No cause for panic

Feb 1 (DN) There is no cause for people to panic about the discovery of a new type of malaria mosquito larvae from Pesalai in Talaimannar unless the simlar type of mosquito/larvae is found from any other parts of the country, Anti Malaria Campaign Director, Dr. Hemantha Herath said. “Nevertheless, it is recommended that people living in Mannar Island and the sourrounding areas of Jaffna be vigilant on clean water mosquito breeding sites such as water tanks,” Dr. Herath said. more..

Presidential Commission of Inquiry to submit report on CB bond scam in 3 months

Feb 1 (FT) Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) appointed to look into the controversial CB bond issue has been given three months to furnish a report after ascertaining if there had been any irregularity or corrupt practice in the transaction and if so to identify those behind it. Three-member commission appointed by President Sirisena will inquire into the issuance of Treasury bonds during the period from 1 Feb 2015 to 31 Mar 2016. more..

Work on second stage of the Central Expressway begins today

Feb 1 (ITN) Work on the 2nd stage of Central Expressway will commence today. Work is slated to be launched under the patronage of PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. Second stage construction will be carried out from Mirigama to Kurunegala. The construction of the Central Expressway will link the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Northwestern and North Central Provinces. With the completion of work, travelling between these Provinces can be undertaken within a very short period. more..

AAVA strikes again

Feb 1 (CT) Jaffna Police have begun investigations into an incident where the AAVA Group is alleged to have thrown a petrol bomb at a trade stall situated at Sarasavi Street in Nallur on 30 January. The AAVA Group members, besides having hurled the petrol bomb, had also attacked two persons in the street with sharp weapons. Police said the attack had been carried out in the style of stunt scenes witnessed in South Indian movies. The incident had taken place in the night. more..

SAITM wins major battle against SLMC

Feb 1 (CT) The Court of Appeal issued a verdict yesterday stating that the SAITM private university in Malabe has the legal authority to award a Medical Degree, and ordered the Sri Lanka Medical Council to take steps to duly register students who obtain the Medical Degree from this institution, as qualified medical practitioners. The Appeals Court issued this order in response to a Writ Petition filed by two students of SAITM, more..

Statue of Liberty collapsing into a Trump

Feb 1 (DM) Whatever may be the agendas, excesses or domineering power of the United States, its democracy with checks and balances works powerfully as we see in the aftermath of newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump’s apparently cruel and merciless order banning entry for people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Mr. Trump’s executive order, a campaign promise made by him, was suddenly executed last Friday - sparking huge protests by hundreds of more..

Nugegoda 2015 to Nugegoda 2017

Feb 1 (DM) Watching the live telecast of the parliamentary debate on the bond scam, the predominant impression I was left with was that the PM has a crisis of legitimacy; the bond scam has blown a hole below the watermark of his incumbency. SLFP and JVP speakers went for the jugular during the debate and there was blood in the water.    Attending the mammoth Nugegoda rally on Jan 27, 2017 and participating as a speaker who had not only been on the stage and read out more..

SL’s ability to benefit from Madrid Protocol hobbled by local delays

Feb 1 (DN)  Sri Lanka’s ability to benefit from the Madrid Protocol is hobbled by the delays in local trademark registration, Verite Research (VR) said. Despite the significant growth in resident trademark applications during the last decade, number of trademarks registered a year have stagnated,” VR Executive Director Nishan de Mel said. “SL businesses go through a lengthy & costly process to register their trademarks abroad. more..

'We will be the decisive force at the next Presidential Election'

Feb 1 (DM) Minister Champika Ranawaka who completes his 10th year today as a Cabinet minister under two different govts says he has achieved a lot for the country. He says he is committed to protect the current govt. Q: How do you look at your ten years as a Cabinet Minister under two different govts?  A: In our country, alternative political forces are scared to take up governmental responsibilities. They relish in the habit of criticizing with more..