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Drug addiction at school level: It all starts with a small pill

Oct 6 (ST) Rashid* was going through the early stages of heroin withdrawal. The 23-year-old from Dematagoda had only entered the rehabilitation centre last week, and after injecting heroin for 5 years, he was agitated and restless. He had been experimenting with prescription medicines since he was only 13. He admitted to having abused a range of such drugs, including Artane, Diazepam, Morphine and Restoril. more..

Video: Mahinda claims govt. had 2 LMG firearms ready at Jana Balaya

Oct 6 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa claims that two LMG firearms belonging to the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) had been prepared at the Jana Balaya Colombata protest to be fired at its participants in case of a tense situation. The police also operate as a criminal gang at present and the police operations carried out to curb the criminal incidents are insufficient, he further pointed out. more..

SriLankan Catering boss inked unauthorized outsourcing deals; holes in IT system

Oct 6 (EN) A former general manager of state-run SriLankan Airlines' catering unit had inked deals for outsourced workers without board approval and there were loopholes in software system that allowed overcharging by manipulating attendance, a commission of inquiry heard. Some suppliers had also not provided workman's insurance and defaulted on Employees Provident Fund payments breaking rules and laws, more..

Demons in Paradise removal: Devapriya removes film in protest

Oct 6 (DM) Malaka Devapriya, a young, budding film producer, has taken a decision to withdraw his film Bahuchithawadiya from the Int'l Cinema Festival in Jaffna as a mark of protest against the recent removal of the film Demons in Paradise directed by Jude Ratnam from the festival. Bahuchithawadiya is Devapriya’s debut effort. The film Demons in Paradise which was submitted for screening at the prestigious more..

No long-term national policy: JVP

Oct 6 (CT) Criticizing the two major political parties, the UNP and SLFP, leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the wrongs they have committed can be exhausting. “The problem in Sri Lanka is that there is no long-term national policy. Usually national policies are valid for a long time and ruling parties cannot change them according to their whims and fancies,” added Dissanayake highlighting the fact that the National Intellectuals Org more..

Delay due to documentation issues: BoI

Oct 6 (CT) The project for a Euro 488 million ‘integrated high speed production plant’ has been delayed due to insufficient documentation, according to the Board of Investment (BOI) which also claims that they were unaware of Ministerial involvement in the project, said approval for the proposal was delayed due to documentation issues and time-related problems in their itinerary to meet with the investor. more..

Saudi Arabia rejects visa applications of local pilgrims planning to travel ...

Oct 6 (ST) Saudi Arabia has started rejecting visa applications of local pilgrims who book their travel to Mecca on carriers other than SriLankan Airlines or Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), despite the Civil Aviation Authority of SL (CAASL) saying it cannot sanction such a monopoly. CAASL has alerted Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SL of the matter. Visa requirements are, however, the prerogative of the receiving State. more..

Defence gets lion’s share of Budget 2019 with over Rs306bn

Oct 6 (ST) Budgetary allocation for the Defence sector next year will go up further to over Rs 306 billion, according to the Appropriation Bill for 2019. Of this, close to Rs 275 billion will go towards Recurrent expenditure, while Capital expenditure will account for around Rs 32 billion. The highest allocation of Rs 290 billion in 2018, also went towards the Defence sector. Defence allocations cover the Ministry of Defence, SL Army, more..

Safari Tourism

Oct 6 (CT) Sri Lanka is among the top 10 destinations searched for on the internet by the global tourist interested in safaris. This was said yesterday by Lithuanian Ms. Akvile Pareigyte, who runs an internet marketing site from Dubai, at a tourism summit held at the BMICH. She said that in respect of interest in safari tourism, SL was on par with Kenya. Good news for the island with tourism being SL’s third largest foreign exchange (FX) earner and the island aiming to make tourism more..

What next for GMOA cartel?

Oct 6 (DM) The Supreme Court (SC) on Sept 21, 2018 upheld the Court of Appeal (CA) ruling of January 2017 that requires the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to provisionally register the petitioner, a medical graduate of SAITM. The SC ruling had left the GMOA and its protesting allies in complete disarray as to what would now be the fate of their two-year plus Anti-SAITM campaign. The SC ruling also raises issues as to what the fate of the present SLMC should be. more..

Chandima Weerakkody

Porter Ambassador ASP Liyanage introduces Rajapaksa sons as honourable

Oct 6 (CT) Spectators were left shocked when Chief Guest and SL Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P. Liyanage introduced Former President Rajapaksa’s sons Yoshitha and Rohitha as honourable at the introduction of CH & FC’s team prior to their game against the Doha Rugby Football Club in Doha yesterday. Due to the current blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, Doha Rugby Football Club is inviting overseas teams to play friendly rugby encounters in Doha. more..

Germany receives sapling of Sri Maha Bodhi

Oct 6 (FT) Marking yet another milestone in Sri Lanka-German diplomatic relations, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin ceremonially received a sapling of the Sacred Sri Maha Bodhi on 27 September. A delegation led by senior Buddhist monks including Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thero-Atamasthanadhipathi, Chief Sanghanayaka of North Central Province brought the sacred sapling from Sri Lanka to Germany. The sapling was presented to SL’s Ambassador to Germany Karunasena more..

Burglary in SL envoy's house in Pakistan

Oct 6 (ET) In a blatant case of security lapse, burglars entered Sri Lankan High Commissioner’s home and stole some lamps and taps. Although the value of the stolen goods was not high, the fact that intruders managed to enter and exit the residence of an envoy was shocking. An official of the SL High Commission filed a report with the Margalla police stating that thieves have stolen brass lamps and bathroom taps from more..

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Azeez chairs Social Forum 2018 of UNHRC

Oct 6 (FT) The 2018 Social Forum of the UNHRC has kicked off at the United Nations in Geneva, with Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez as the Chairperson-Rapporteur, alongside High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Michelle Bachelet and Council President Vogislav Suc. This three-day forum will address the possibilities of further promoting human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them, through a thematic focus. more..

A biography Piyadasa Sirisena to be published next year

Oct 6 (Island) The biography which will be in Sinhala, fulfills a long felt need. Though there are numerous publications including research works on this towering nationalist of the early 20th century there is no composite or complete book that captures all aspects of his varied and eventful life. A man who has literally written himself into the history of this country, Piyadasa Sirisena through his prodigious literary efforts compiled 19 novels, many short stories in addition to poetry. more..

Constitutional Council: Vacancies likely be filled by Oct.10: Karu

Oct 6 (DM) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said the five vacancies in the Constitutional Council (CC) would be filled by Wednesday from some 15 applications submitted by civil society groups. Their term of office of six members of the ten-member CC expired on Sept 22. Under the 19th Amendment, PM, Speaker and Opposition Leader act as ex-officio members of the CC. Five members are required to be appointed by the Prez from more..

Aluthgama Dhammananda Thera’s cremation today

Oct 6 (CT) Senior Member of the Karaka Sabha of the Malwatte Chapter, of the Siam Sect, Ven. Aluthgama Dhammananda Nayake Thera, passed away on the early morning of 2 Oct at the General Hospital, Kandy after a brief illness. He was born in Nov 1915 in Aluthgama near Thumpone in the Kandy District. He was ordained as a novice under the tutelage of the then Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter, Ven. Pahamune Dharmakeerthi Sri Sumangala Thera and Ven. Aluthgama more..

Kandana shooting suspect commits suicide

Oct 6 (NR) The chief suspect of the shooting aimed at an underworld gang member in Weligampitiya, Kandana that saw a female killed has committed suicide by jumping into the Udugam Oya in Ja-ela. Police Media Spokesman said the suspect was arrested in A'pura last night. While on the way to Colombo the suspect had informed police officers of wanting to use a toilet. Accordingly the suspect had attempted to attack the police officers and later plunged into the Udugam Oya. more..

Sri Lanka is the star of my movie odyssey

Oct 6 (DM) The road to Kitulgala winds from the Indian Ocean, past buffalo standing in paddy fields, to the Sinharaja rainforest where parakeets chatter at monkeys swinging through jungle palms. It’s a road I have wanted to travel all my life. It’s in Kitulgala, where the jade green Kelani River cascades over granite boulders on its journey from Highlands to the ocean. And it’s where one of the most memorable landscapes in film history was short. more..

'All hospitals to be computerized by 2019'

Oct 6 (NR) Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne says all hospitals in the country will be computerized by the end of 2019. He said all old medical equipment used at hospitals will be digitalized by next year. Minister said a key policy is to computerise the entire health service adding 50 hospitals have been computerized in 2016. Minister noted he was confident thereafter that this can be done at all hospitals, as those in the health service have the basic knowledge to operate them. more..

SL tariffs, land stumbling blocks for factories

Oct 6 (EN) State regulations, protectionist para-tariffs and lack of industrial land in Sri Lanka has stopped competitive new industries from taking root in the island, a research from Harvard Uni said. "Because of taxes and para-tariffs and the limited land in industrial zones, govt had to regulate who came in and went out," Harvard Uni Center for Int'l Development Research Fellow, Tim O'Brien said. "It favoured SL companies with proven track records rather than newer companies," more..

Washout leaves England short of acclimatisation in demanding conditions

Oct 6 (CI) England will go into the one-day series against Sri Lanka short of match practice and time to acclimatise after their second warm-up match was abandoned without a ball bowled. Heavy rain in Colombo left puddles around the ground at the P Sara Oval meaning England couldn't back up Friday's performance where they eased to a 43-run victory on Duckworth-Lewis in a chase truncated by bad light. more..

England hires Prasanna Jayawardena as temporary consultant for SL tour

Oct 6 (AM) England has hired former SL wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardena as a fielding consultant during the series against SL. Jayawardena retired from int'l cricket several years ago and has maintained a low profile since his retirement. He was seen working with the English cricketers during the practice match against SL in Colombo today. However, Cricket analysts describe England's move as a way of gathering in-depth information and advanced knowledge of more..

Showery condition expected to enhance over the island

Oct 6 (AD) Prevailing showery condition is expected to enhance over the island during today and tomorrow, Dept of Meteorology said. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the most parts of the island. Very heavy rainfall about 150 mm can be expected at some places in the Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa, North-western and Western provinces. Heavy falls about 100 mm can be expected at some places in North-Central & Southern provinces & Mannar, Vauniya dist. more..

President turns to JO with a proposal for MR-led caretaker govt

Oct 6 (NR) In a desperate attempt to retain the presidency after 2020, President Maithripala Sirisena has pitched an idea to the Joint Opposition to form a Caretaker Govt after defeating the budget of his own govt in November. The President, according to top political sources, had turned to the Joint Opposition after the UNP turned down his idea to make him the party’s Common Candidate at the next Presidential election. more..

Sajith laments international organisations ignoring housing projects

Oct 6 (Island) Housing and Construction Minister and Deputy UNP leader Sajith Premadasa says the international organisations which do not give a cent to help organise public events to celebrate the World Habitat Day squandered money on parties at five star hotels. Premadasa said so at a public meeting at the handing over of a newly built model housing scheme Jagath Nivahangama in Kotawehera in the Kurunegala District. The meeting coincided with the world habitat day. more..

Video: Army ready to assist police in Jaffna when requested: Commander

Oct 6 (AD) Commander of the Army, Mahesh Senanayake, says the SL Army is ready to provide any assistance requested by the police to bring the situation in the Jaffna Peninsula under control. He was referring to the increased activities of criminal gangs such as Aava Group in Jaffna. He stated that Sri Lanka Police is fulfilling its duties to the maximum in the Jaffna Peninsula and that the army and navy are standing by readily to provide any assistance if necessary. more..

People should not be dying in pools, the sea, dams, lakes, rivers and streams

Oct 6 (ST) In the afternoon of April 7 this year, a group of trippers arrived at a holiday property in Huluganga, Panwila, which boasted a natural rock pool and a scenic view of the Knuckles range. An hour later, under a light drizzle, they walked to the pool in Daluk Oya through the Mulberry Estate on which the guesthouse stood. The management later claimed they were advised to be careful. And that a man who escorted them more..

Hambantota port could soon become a forward military base for China’s navy: US

Oct 6 (AD) China is using debt diplomacy to expand its global influence, US Vice President Mike Pence alleged, citing example of a SL port which he said could soon become a forward military base for Beijing’s growing blue-water navy. Pence said China was offering hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to governments from Asia to Africa to Europe to even Latin America. Yet the terms of those loans are opaque at best, and the benefits flow overwhelmingly to Beijing,” more..

Garbage disposal in Colombo a serious crisis: Rosy

Oct 6 (NR) Mayor of Colombo Rosy Senanayake says a serious crisis has surfaced regarding the disposal of garbage in the city of Colombo. The crisis has arisen due to the decision taken by the National Land Reclamation Corporation to increase the fee of one ton of garbage from 3,000 rupees to 5,000 rupees. She said the Colombo Municipal Council incurred an expenditure of 349 million rupees for garbage disposal in 2017. Mayoress Senanayke said there is a problem in more..

Sri Lanka forex reserves down US$ 1.4bn to US$ 7.18bn in September

Oct 6 (EN) Sri Lanka's forex reserves have fallen by US$ 1.4 billion to US$ 7,180 million by end Sept 2018, from Rs. 8,584.54 billion in August, amid maturing hedging deals and debt repayments and interventions, official data show. Central bank had made interventions of US$ 731 million in 2018 Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said on Oct 2 and purchases of US$ 551 million, which seems to indicate more..

From Doosras to dooshanaya

Oct 7 (SO) Terror strikes the batsman when having to face the deadly Doosra ball from a Sri Lankan bowler. It was Sri Lankan cricket – in the name of legend Murali – which invented that artful (and often fatal) style of spin bowling. Today, a rival cricketer appears to be more alert for corrupt tactics by Sri Lankan players and administrators rather than the finer art of the game. Today, SL cricket is becoming more notorious than famous. While names like Jayasuriya and Aravinda live on more..


Oct 7 (CT) Floods in May 2016 and May of last year, killed and injured several and made hundreds or more homeless and destitute in Colombo and in the suburbs. Hopefully such disasters will now be a thing of the past due to an ongoing US$ 313 million World Bank (WB) Project to protect Colombo and its environs from flooding. Nonetheless, a test case is how this project, to be completed by 2020, will face the ongoing monsoonal rains. Four years into implementation, project has already delivered more..

Activists raise concerns ahead of Reparations Bill debate

Oct 7 (SO) In anticipation of Wednesday’s parliamentary debate on the Bill to establish an Office of Reparations, civil society groups and activists have voiced concerns that as it stands, the legislation could create an office that is weak and dysfunctional. Chairman of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), Saliya Peiris has hope for the Bill, if the office is implemented in the spirit in which the law is being introduced, but others are urging more..

Royal take charge of the Hayman Trophy in spite of loss

Oct 7 (ST) In spite of losing the second leg at 7-8, Royal managed to take charge of the of the 27th Dr. R.L. Hayman Trophy at 16-15, making them the proud custodians of the glittering Trophy after a lapse of seven years at the Sugathadasa Swimming Complex yesterday. Royal won the first leg 9-7 but were off colour in the return game yesterday going down in spite of close exchanges. Royal went into the lead early and went to add two more goals but the Thomians were never ready to surrender more..

Halt waste and extravagance in the wake of economic woes

Oct 7 (Island) Despite some reassuring noises from the Central Bank, the rupee keeps depreciating and the repercussions across the national economy must necessarily be pervasive. We’ve already had a fuel and gas price increase and given the way the global oil markets are behaving, it is unlikely that local prices will remain frozen at current levels over any length of time. They are most likely to go up further. Up until now, the govt has not revealed the oil pricing formula. more..

Tsunami awareness comprehensive package the need of the hour

Oct 7 (CT) After the fallout of the Indonesian tsunami that occurred on 28 Sept, causing the deaths of over 1,500 people and injury to over 2,500 has now raised concerns at home. Even though SL was never warned of an oncoming tsunami in the wake of the Sulawesi earthquake, public were apprehensive. This is a clarion call to revisit and study SL’s preparedness. While pointing out that SL is prepared to face a latent more..

Policing the Police

Oct 7 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena has had enough of the Police Department, so he said at this week’s Cabinet meeting, though what made him come to that conclusion is not clear. What we know is that he wants heads to roll; from the topmost officer – the IGP to unspecified lower rankers. It was not too long ago that the President wanted, and got the Minister in charge of the Police replaced. If one is to hazard a guess, it has something to do with his recent public pronouncement that more..

Playing it your style!

Oct 7 (ST) My dear IGP Pujith, I thought I must write to you because your behaviour and the conduct of the entire Police force has become the focus of attention in recent times. All of you are becoming a bit like our cricket team- just when we think you can’t descend any lower, you seem to find a new depth to which you sink. High ranking police officers at the DIG level have been accused of allegedly plotting to assassinate Maithri and Gota, no less. Your own conduct has come under a cloud more..