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Corrupt Vs Corrupt: FM orders to probe delay on inquiry of smuggled timber stock

Feb 1 (GDI)   A large stock of timber had been seized by SL Customs in 2014 while it was smuggled through SL. The illegal timber stock had been seized by the Customs during the previous regime, and no action has been taken with regard to the seizure for three years thereby denying the govt its due penalty or proceeds from auctioning. He pointed out that Customs Dept should be held full responsible for the liability. more..

Army’s Chief of Staff invited as Juror

Feb 1 (CT)   In a rare recognition, by an international non-military organization of a national military establishment, The World HRD Congress invited Major General H.C.P. Goonetilleke, Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Army to its Silver Jubilee global forum as a Juror. Over 1,400 leading lights of human resources development, from 133 countries, will attend the showpiece event slated to be held in India. more..

Call to probe SSP for accepting bribes

Feb 1 (SL) A Senior DIG of the Northern Province has come under severe criticism for his alleged involvement in accepting gifts from his subordinates. A complaint had been lodged by a Senior Superintendent of Police on January 17 at Vanni DIG’s office seeking the Police Department to hold a departmental inquiry and to submit the complaint to the Bribery Commission for necessary action. more..

SLC to probe Premier League first-class match

Feb 1 (CI)   Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will launch an independent inquiry into a pivotal first-class match in which the pattern of scoring has aroused suspicions among other clubs in the league. The result of last week's Tier B Premier League match between Panadura Sports Club and Kalutara Physical Culture Club had helped secure Panadura Tier B title, but 2nd-placed Ports Authority has since voiced concerns about the game to SLC. more..

Eating croton and jak leaves: I was misquoted, says Agri DG

Feb 1 (ST) A distortion of parts of a presentation he delivered at a workshop is being used by those with a political agenda, Director General (DG)- Dept of Agriculture, Dr. Rohan Wijekoon charged. A statement attributed to the DG, telling people to eat croton and jak leaves during the drought, has caused widespread controversy over the past few weeks. At the Peraliyaka Erambuma protest rally organised by JO in Nugegoda on Friday, more..

Global Tamil Forum condemns alleged attempt to harm M A Sumanthiran MP

Feb 1 (AT)  Global Tamil Forum (GTF) a Diaspora organization, in a statement has expressed that it was deeply shocked and horrified to hear the news of a plan to assassinate the TNA’s Member of Parliament Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran in Jaffna. GTF and diaspora Tamils the statement said, that they were immensely relieved that the alleged plan failed and are grateful to all whose timely action helped preventing the dastardly act. more..

Rajapaksa blames SL govt of dropping guard on LTTE

Feb 1 (PTI)   Former Lanka strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa has blamed Sirisena Govt for letting the guard down on LTTE by downsizing intelligence operations on the group's erstwhile strongholds in the Tamil-dominated northern regions. Rajapaksa, two term former President who oversaw the ending of country's two-and-a-half decade-old separatist war led by LTTE in 2009, also blamed President Sirisena's policies more..

Auditor general bares US$100mn dubious LakSathosa rice deal

Feb 1 (EN) A dubious rice deal stretching across two administrations involving Ministries of Industries and Commerce and Finance costing the tax-payers over a 100 million dollars up to late 2016 has been uncovered by the auditor general. LakSathosa, one of a series of state owned enterprises incorporated by electing ruling class in recent years as a private company without an Act of Parliament losing billions of rupees more..

Sri Lankan State banks to part finance central expressway

Feb 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run Bank of Ceylon and National Savings Bank will loan Rs 23.2 billion to finance a section of Central Expressway, which connects the capital Colombo with the hill city of Kandy. The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake for the Road Development Authority (RDA) to get loans from National Savings Bank and People's Bank for phase II of the expressway, the information office said in a statement. more..

Metamorphosing galle face to an iconic landmark

Feb 1 (CT) Many are the beautiful and most recognizable places of the world. Some of them breathtaking. awe-inspiring, spine-tingling, hair-raising, heart-stopping, list goes on. These sentiments and expressions not exaggerations but genuine and often spontaneous responses of people upon sighting a supreme natural wonder or seminal piece of living art constructed and erected for the viewing pleasure of the world’s public in major cities. Whether it’s the Eifel tower in Paris, more..

Vidura Wickramanayake

Good governance and corruption

Feb 1 (GV) Good Governance is a key challenge Sri Lanka has faced and spectacularly failed to deliver for most of its modern history. This challenge is not only about individuals, but is systemic, spread across all spheres: socio-economic, political, judicial, cultural, arts and science. Most countries across the world have also suffered the scourge of corruption. Some have succeeded in partially alleviating its pernicious influence; most, like Sri Lanka, have failed. more..

Astrologer Vijitha Rohana granted bail

Feb 1 (NR) Astrologer Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni arrested and remanded on charges of making false predictions regarding the fate of President Sirisena has been released on bail. The astrologer was released on a cash bail of 10,000 rupees and two sureties of 1 million rupees each. Astrologer, who was arrested yesterday by CID, was produced before Court and was granted bail last night. However due to his failure to meet bail conditions Vijitha Rohana was remanded overnight. more..

Illegal vehicle assembly complex raided: 54 vehicles found

Feb 1 (DM) At least 54 vehicles, which were illegally assembled, causing a loss of Rs. 325 million to the govt, were recovered by the Panadura-Walana Central Anti-Corruption Unit and SL Customs during a raid yesterday. Anti-Corruption Unit launched an investigation in connection with a petition which stated that vehicles parts were being imported illegally and sold after they were assembled in the country. more..

Standard quality helmets compulsory from April 1

Feb 1 (DN) Wearing standard quality helmets will be mandatory for motorcyclists from April 1, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. This initiative is supported by the Sri Lanka Standard Institute and the Consumer Affairs Authority. He addressed this at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to awarded compensation for family members of road accident victims. 215 deaths and 400 injuries had been recorded in 2015- 2016 by road accidents daily. more..

Video: Contrary to media and SLASA claim, Ranjan was soft

Feb 1 (CT) A new video contradicts the claim that Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake verbally abused Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary. Broadcasting a distorted version of an event, a section of media had accused that Deputy Minister verbally abused the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary in public recently. However, a new video, which recorded the full conversation, raises questions over the claims made by them, has grossly understated what the first video in fact demonstrated. more..

Sri Lankan travelers caught in Trump’s immigration dragnet

Feb 1 (AC) In the chaotic aftermath of U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban, news has emerged that 71 individuals from 20 countries – most of which were not on the U.S. travel blacklist – were detained Tuesday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Those detained, according to No Ban JFK, a coalition of volunteer attorneys camped out at JFK, include a Malaysian and a Chinese national, more..

Is a top head about to roll?

Feb 1 (DM) Political circles are abuzz with the talk about a reshuffle of the top team these days. There is a strong demand by the opposition to sack a certain purohita holding a key portfolio and this demand is being backed by a sizable section from the govt. This has fueled the speculation about a shake-up of the top team in the offing. Meanwhile, there is a growing general consensus that an astute and well educated person completely free from taint of corruption should hold this key portfolio, more..

Highest foreign remittances recorded in 2016

Feb 1 (GDI) Year 2016 has recorded the highest foreign remittances amounting to USD 7241.5 million (Rs. 1054.5 b), said Minister Thalatha Athukorala. In 2015 the foreign remittances received was USD 6980.3 million and it amounted to Rs. 949 billion. Therefore, compared to 2015 the increase in 2016 is USD 261.3 million which amounts to Rs. 105.5 billion which is a 3.7% increase. In rupee terms the increase is 11.11%. She thanked the migrant workers who worked hard and more..

Plea to set up research station in Kachchativu to underscore SL sovereignty

Feb 1 (ENS) SL think tank Pathfinder Foundation (PFF) has called for the immediate setting up of a Marine Science Research Station on Kachchativu island in the Palk Strait to strengthen Sri Lanka’s case for sovereignty over the island which is disputed by TN politicians and fishermen. “From time to time, there have been demands by interest groups in Tamil Nadu for retrieving the island, which was allegedly more..

Sri Lankan to be investigated over accident in Solomon Islands

Feb 1 (STN) POLICE have been urged to investigate a Sri Lankan, who was involved in an accident at the Mendana Avenue in Honiaraon the night of Saturday 29th October,2016. The Sri Lankan Yugan Kulasekera who was in his mid-40s was the IT Manager of the Pan Oceanic Bank (POB) and was drunk at the time of the accident. Sources have relayed the information and urged the police to investigate him after noticing that the investigation into the accident has vanished completely - more..

Video: JO complains to BC against P. Harrison

Feb 1 (DM) The JO complained to the Bribery Commission (BC) today against Minister P. Harrison of causing a loss of Rs.10 billion to the State when releasing stocks of paddy on one occasion to produce animal feed and on the other for human consumption. It said the Paddy Marketing Board, which comes under the purview of the Rural Economic Affairs Ministry, had sold 200,000 MT of paddy to three private companies at Rs.24 a kilo in July,2015 for producing animal feed more..

Video: Delimitation committee chairman has become an actor: Faiszer

Feb 1 (AD) Minister Faiszer Mustapha says that the Chairman appointed by him to the Delimitation Appeals Committee has ultimately ended up becoming an actor. He said that the committee’s chairman had first submitted a report comprising the signatures of just three the members.  “It’s a good thing that I did not accept it at that moment because the Attorney General said that all five members need to sign the report more..

Abortions to be legalised?

Feb 1 (NR) Ministry of Justice is considering the legalisation of abortions for girls under the age of 16 who suffer medical conditions. The Justice Ministry issuing a communiqué said a broad discussion must be held on legalising abortions in the country especially in relation to teenagers who have medical conditions and taking into consideration underdeveloped foetuses. According to Article 303 of the Penal Code, abortion is considered a crime. However legal provisions have been made more..

Missing SLT manpower employee found

Feb 1 (DM) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Manpower Union Vice President M.S. Mangala who was reported missing since Saturday, was found abandoned in Ingiriya this morning. According to the complaint lodge with the police, the Union activist had gone missing while returning home in Pannipitiya. Police said he was dropped off by a van in the Ingiriya area. He had then lodged a complaint with the police stating that he was abducted. The manpower employees commenced a protest, more..

Video: Police fire tear gas at protesting port employees

Feb 1 (DM) Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesting harbour employees at the Lotus Road in Colombo.  Heavy traffic reported in the Colombo Fort area due to a protest march by employees of the Colombo Port. Lotus Road was temporarily closed off due to the protest march, which caused severe traffic congestion in the area and on nearby roads. The protest march, organized by Ports Protection Union Front more..

5 members of Jaffna motorcycle gang arrested

Feb 1 (AD) Police have arrested five suspected members of the motorcycle gang responsible for attacking several individuals using sharp objects and torching a shop in Jaffna. The suspects were arrested following operations carried out in Jaffna and Kopai along with 4 swords, a hand axe, a tomahawk and a motorcycle, the police spokesman’s office said. They will be produced before the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court today, police said. CCTV footage released to media more..

Hirunika questioned by bribery commission on Duminda

Feb 1 (CG) MP Hirunika Premachandra has been questioned by the bribery commission on claims she had made on former MP Duminda Silva. Premachandra had recently claimed that several malpractices were taking place in the Prison Hospital where Duminda Silva was receiving treatment while serving a death sentence. Hirunika had requested Minister in charge to conduct a proper inquiry and temporarily suspend service of Medical Officer in Charge of Welikada Prison more..

Four more men accused of smuggling 72 Sri Lankan Tamils into Canada go on trial

Feb 1 (VS) Less than a week after four men accused in a human smuggling case involving Tamil migrants walked free, four more men charged in a similar case saw their trial open in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. Last Wednesday, a jury found three men charged with smuggling 492 Sri Lankan Tamils into Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea in 2010 not guilty. The judge in the case declared a mistrial for the fourth accused. more..

Govt that promised to catch thieves is detained by thieves: JVP

Feb 1 (LT) It is very doubtful that yahapalana govt will take action against the large scale bond fraud that has taken place in the Central Bank says Information Secretary of JVP Vijitha Herath. He said this responding to a question asked by BBC. Mr. Herath had the interview with BBC service while on a visit to UK representing SL Parliament on an invitation by the UK Parliament. He has said that CB bond scam had taken place two years ago but no legal action has been taken against it. more..

National Think Tank praises President for strengthening Pirivena education

Feb 1 (PSL) The National Think Tank praised the mission carried out by President Sirisena to strengthen and take forward the Pirivena education in the country. This was expressed when the members of the National Think Tank met the President at the Presidential Secretariat today (31).  Director of Pirivenas Professor Ven. Nambiriththankadawara Gnanarathana Thero offered his special thanks to the President for the programmes initiated under Prez’s directive more..

Govt’s goal is to take country forward: Prez

Feb 1 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the objective of his govt is to take the country forward, together with all people. He was speaking at a ceremony to vest the new Out Patients Department and the ward complex built at the Kalavanchikudi Base Hospital in Batticaloa, with the public today. President stated that all development activities in the Eastern Province should be completed within next 3 years. more..

Security in the north is compromised: MR

Feb 1 (NR) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today blamed the govt for the alleged instability in the Northern Province. He said he predicted an escalation of violation in the country after his downfall from power. Former President Rajapaksa was defeated by the then common candidate Maithripala Sirisena in Jan 2015. Following the election defeat MP Rajapaksa attributed his loss to the support extended by the voters of the North and East to President Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Student-Prefect clash at Royal College

Feb 1 (DN) A complaint was lodged against 10 prefects of the Royal College, Colombo, yesterday, for allegedly assaulting and torturing fellow students. “The students who underwent the incident came to the police station to file a complaint,” Police said. Asked what the complaint was about, the Cinnamon Gardens Police said it was a fight that had erupted between the students and the prefects of the school. Sources close to Royal College said the students went to police station after more..

'No reason to be surprised by SAITM verdict'

Feb 1 (AD) JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake says that there is no reason to be surprised by the verdict delivered by court regarding SAITM and that both plaintiff and respondents in the case accept the private medical college in Malabe.  He charged the complaint was against the Health Minister, who had publicly informed court through parliament regarding Health Ministry’s decision to continue backing legalizing of the SAITM. more..

Sri Lanka’s ICT policy gone off road

Feb 2 (CT) Catalyzed by the energy generated by working together against an impending ‘Y2K issue’, the Sri Lankan IT industry came to its first stage of maturity at the turn of the millennium in a unique act of collaboration to forge an ICT Roadmap for the new decade. The resulting document was seen by many a donor as a strong indicator of the true potential of the industry hitherto not visible. Roadmap document provided the impetus for the Sri Lankan govt to be able to bring more..

Gift Horses

Feb 2 (CT) In the national tragedy that is the health of our faming families, no one seemed to have asked the question ‘was the health of our faming communities always like this? After all, with a farming history of over two thousand years, such a dire situation within the farming community should have been recoded. The fact is there is no such record of the massive numbers of the rural population afflicted with Kidney failure, liver problems, cancers, diabetes etc. more..

'I will fix it like Duterte'

Feb 2 (CT) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake is no stranger to controversy. Last week, his attempts to draw attention of Divulapitiya Divisional Secretary H.M.L.S. Herath to illegal soil excavation in Akaragama, led members of Gampaha District Administrative Services Association to the streets demanding an apology as SL Administrative Services Association interpreted the incident as unnecessary interference. more..

Be Careful of pitfalls

Feb 2 (CT) Former President of America Ronald Reagan has stated that a race is destroyed through racism. The Ministers and MPs of the SLFP, knowingly or unknowingly have been caught up in a serious conspiracy of the racist, powerful, extremist and corrupt force in our country where political traps of death which take on various types of disguises are set up. They strongly tell the people that the System of Executive Presidency should not be abolished and that it should continue. more..

Trumpism similar to Nazism

Feb 2 (CT) US President Donald Trump's recent visitor ban on citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, at least being temporarily debarred from visiting the USA, is similar to what Adolph Hitler did to the former Weimar Republic of Germany after he seized power 84 years ago in 1933. Nazi Germany's first shots of racial discrimination began with the ban of Jews, its own citizens, from holding jobs in the public sector and ending up, six years later, by sending them to concentration camps, more..