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Face the Nation

Returning land to civilians is a promise that needs follow up

Oct 9 (CT) Soon after his return from New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly, President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the return of all land in the Northern and Eastern provinces that are owned by the people of those areas. He issued these instructions during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force overlooking the development of the Northern and Eastern provinces. President has instructed the Presidential Task Force to plan out a time frame & a proper structure more..

EPF, the Central Bank and CSE

Oct 9 (Island) This note is prompted by the Reports in The Island of Oct 4 and 5 about relations between CB, EPF and CSE. All three entities were created by different Acts: the first two by the Monetary Law Act 58/1949 and the Employees’ Provident Fund Act 15/1958. Both acts have been revised periodically. Monetary Board was created by MLA. The administration of that act rests with the Monetary Board. The chairman of the Board is also the Governor of CB, which came into existence more..

Demons in Paradise axed from JICF

Oct 9 (CT) The prestigious Jaffna International Cinema Festival ran into controversy following a decision taken by the organizers to withdraw the movie, Demons in Paradise of Director Jude Ratnam from the scheduled screening. The movie criticizes the actions of the LTTE during 30 years of bloody war in Sri Lanka. Demons in Paradise had been scheduled to screen on 5 Oct, at 6:45 p.m. at the Majestic Cineplex, Jaffna. more..

Editorial: The crucible of GFSE

Oct 9 (Island) The Grade Five Scholarship Examination (GFSE) results have been released. The best performers and their parents are walking on air while others are sulking. This, we see year in, year out. Some parents even mete out cruel punishment to their unfortunate progeny who fail to score enough marks. Numerous shocking incidents have been reported, where low-scoring students were beaten mercilessly or even burned with heated spoons, etc. by their frustrated parents. more..

Lankan Cricket in turmoil in its real meaning

Oct 9 (ST) Finally, the tiger has come to the village and thus has begun its business. Yes, for almost two years or more, we, at the Sunday Musings, were shouting our throats dry tiger, tiger – all’s not well at the cricket’s broth. But nobody seemed to care. So, the despicable just rolled on unabated, so much so, that people began to live by the Goebbels’ theory – the SL version now. Last week, we shouted out about the impending cricket disaster saying we were at the doorstep of the biggest more..

Judge calls for fresh inquiry

Oct 9 (ST) Justice Rohini Marasinghe has called for a fresh inquiry, respecting the rules of natural justice into the allegations of match-fixing against Panadura CC and Kalutara PCC. Justice Marasinghe has made this recommendation after evaluating the reports of the inquiries conducted by the SLC appointed Disciplinary Committee led by Asela Rekawa and the Appeal heard by Palitha Kumarasingha PC. more..

Unemployment up to 4.6% in Q2

Oct 9 (CT) The number of unemployed persons in SL reached 381,834 during the second-quarter of 2018, recording an unemployment rate of 4.6%, up from 4.5% recorded during the first-quarter of this year and the same quarter of last year. The economically-active population totalled 8.35 million during the second-quarter of this year, of which 65.9% were males and 34.1% were females. The labour force participation rate declined to 51.1% during 2nd-quarter, from 52% in 1st-quarter more..

'ICC has no objection to Labrooy’s dual role'

Oct 9 (CT) ICC has clarified their position regarding Graeme Labrooy playing a dual role as Chairman of Selectors as well as ICC Match Referee. In a press release, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) claimed they sought clarification from ICC over the matter and ICC Senior Manager of Umpires and Referees, Adrian Griffith, sent the following reply regarding the matter. “When the position of Chairman of Selectors was offered to Graeme, he immediately consulted us and we saw no conflict of interest with more..

SL win 5 medals at Para Asian Games 2018

Oct 9 (CT) Sri Lanka had a glorious start to the Asian Para Games, as the Para athletes did what the regular athletes couldn’t do, by winning five medals (One Gold, Three Silvers and a Bronze) in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday. Competing in the same venue as the Asian Games, Sri Lanka made a clean sweep in the 200M T42 category. Amila Prasan won the Gold medal competing from lane eight clocking 26.01 seconds. more..

Mark Wood hopes lengthened run-up will lengthen his run in England ODI side

Oct 9 (CI) Mark Wood hopes that a new lengthened run-up could be the secret to a sustained run of match fitness, as he prepares for the start of England's 5-match ODI series in SL on Wednesday. Wood's ability to generate sharp pace from a short and explosive run-up has been a key reason why he has been considered a point-of-difference bowler in recent seasons, but it has also contributed to a spate of injuries, not least in his troublesome left heel, on which he has undergone numerous more..

Justice Wickramasinghe elected Gender Representative of Indian Ocean Region

Oct 9 (Island) Justice Kumudini Wickramasinghe was elected Gender Representative of Indian Ocean Region at the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association 18th Triennial Conference held in Brisbane, Australia (CMJA - Sept 2018) last month. Justice Wickremasinghe is currently a Judge of the Court of Appeal of SL. She was nominated as the SL Representative and elected as the Gender Representative of Indian Ocean Region. She was enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law in the SC more..

Sri Lanka entering a dark era of long queues for food and basic goods: Cabraal

Oct 9 (Island) Woeful mismanagement of the economy coupled with the resultant steep fall in foreign reserves and the unjustifiable depreciation of the rupee will leave the govt with serious cashflow problems in the future and the general public will have to stand in queues across the country every single day for hours at a time pushing, shoving and grunting for their basic necessities, such as, milk, sugar, soap and even bread, more..

Sri Lanka to work as collaborator to gain from regional integration: Malik

Oct 9 (FT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama said SL has to see itself as a collaborator alongside the other regional economies, rather than a competitor in the narrowest sense, while describing India as a big prize they intend to take advantage of. Addressing the launch of World Bank’s South Asia Regional Flagship Report, he said that at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty around global trade integration, South Asian region had much to gain from greater regional integration. more..

Spinners to the fore as England and Sri Lanka prepare to do battle

Oct 9 (CI) It's been damp in Dambulla since England's arrival in Sri Lanka. But with the first ODI of their 5-match series looming on Wednesday, their credentials as a white-ball force are about to face a tricky test, against a team who have been in the doldrums of late, but who still know how to perform in their own conditions. And with just a solitary (and rain-shortened) match in Colombo with which to get their preparations fine-tuned, England risk going into the series undercooked. more..

Alleged youth abduction case: Hirunika to plead guilty

Oct 9 (DN) Defence Counsel appearing on behalf of MP Hirunika Premachandra informed the Colombo HC that his client is expecting to plead guilty for her alleged involvement in the abduction of a youth using a Defender. Counsel Anura Seneviratne appearing on behalf of Hirunika Premachndra informed court that his client is seeking a short cut method to finish off the alleged abduction case. more..

Match-fixing could become criminal offence in India and Sri Lanka

Oct 9 (DT) Match-fixing could become a criminal offence in India and Sri Lanka for the first time if pressure by the International Cricket Council persuades govts to legislate against corruption. Cricket’s anti-corruption unit are currently in Sri Lanka to lobby the govt to make match fixing a criminal offence as they investigate cases of corruption on the island. Alex Marshall, the chairman of the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, met with the country’s PM and President last week. more..

Stress on govt of SL coordinating closely with vehicle exporters and importers

Oct 9 (Island) The principal need of the govt of SL coordinating closely with exporters and importers of vehicles to Sri Lanka, emerged as a key point at a forum held in Colombo by the SL Automobile Association in Japan (SLAAT) recently, a SLAAT press release said. The release - The SL Automobile Association in Japan (SLAAJ) held their first ever Automobile Convention in Sri Lanka. Present at the event was Chief Guest President Maithripala, along with Guests of Honour, Dhammika Perera more..

‘Sirisena a prisoner in UNP-led govt’

Oct 9 (Island) The SLPP alleged that President Maithripala Sirisena, in spite of being the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, was a prisoner in the UNP-led administration. SLPP Chairman Prof. Peiris asserted that Prez Sirisena was incapable of dealing with what he called an unprecedented police conspiracy. He emphasized that the govt owed an explanation as regards its failure to take DIG Nalaka de Silva, more..

Postbox installed atop Pidurutalagala

Oct 9 (DM) Dept of Postal Services installed a postbox on the top of Pidurutalagala (Mount Pedro) which is the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. It has been done for the benefit of tourists hiking the mountain to send postcards as souvenirs to their relatives and loved ones. According to the statement, there is an outlet selling postcards and stamps for both local and foreign tourists. A postman from the Nuwara-Eliya main post office will be dispatched on a daily basis more..

Edirisinghe Brothers Launch Sri Lanka’s Second Hybrid Hub Facility in Piliyandala

Oct 9 (DM) Edirisinghe Brothers Limited (EBL) announced the launch of Sri Lanka’s second purpose-built facility - dedicated for the servicing, repairing and battery conditioning of Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles - in Miriswatte, Piliyandala. Edirisinghe Brothers' Hybrid Hub, launched two years ago with its first centre located in Colombo adjacent to the Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Khettarama, has established itself as The Hybrid Vehicle Experts in the county. more..

Corrupt bureaucrats, uncompetitive local industries blocking trade liberalisation

Oct 9 (DM) The largely uncompetitive local industries and corrupt bureaucrats are exploiting the public perception to delay trade liberalisation and the necessary reforms for their personal gains, as the govt and academics have so far failed to engage the public in a policy dialogue to properly communicate the benefits of free trade. Joining a panel discussion yesterday at the launch of the World Bank Group’s regional trade report more..

FM to speak on SL’s fiscal position today

Oct 9 (DN) Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera will speak on the country’s fiscal position in Parliament today. Parliament is to take up an extensive debate today on the country’s economic performance so far this year. A full day’s Adjournment Debate has been facilitated on the Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2018 of the Finance and Mass Media Ministry and it will be moved by the UPFA. The report was presented to Parliament on July 17. more..

Prez commences official visit to Seychelles

Oct 9 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at the Seychelles International Airport this morning (8) commencing a two-day official visit on the invitation of Seychelles President Danny Faure. He was received warmly by Senior Minister Ms Macsuzy Mondon, State Secretary for Cabinet and Public Services, Mohamed Afif, Seychelles High Commissioner to SL, Conrad Mederic, Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Seychelles, Tikiri Gunathilake and senior officials. more..

TGTE PM Ruthrakumaran ousted

Oct 9 (CT) The governing body of the Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), has removed their so-called PM, Viswanathan Ruthrakumaran, from the position following a No-Confidence Motion brought against him, by the organization’s German Representative S. Pathmanathan. A majority of the members of the TGTE, from various parts of the world have pointed out that Ruthrakumaran was no more more..

Terms of 3 PCs’ lapse in Oct: SLPP

Oct 9 (CT) The terms of three Provincial Councils (PC) will expire by the end of this month, however the Govt is yet to hold the PC Elections, said the Chairman of SLPP Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday. “Today, the term of the Central Provincial Council expires. Tomorrow, the term of the Wayamba PC will expire. On 23 Oct, the term of the Northern PC will also expire. However, this Govt has tricked citizens of all ethnicities and continues to postpone the PC Polls,” he added. more..

APRACA forum in Colombo: Focus on SMEs, entrepreneurship & developing value chains

Oct 9 (DN) The inauguration ceremony of the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association’s (APRACA) regional policy forum was held at Hilton, Colombo yesterday. The forum will be continued till October 10 at the same venue. Foreign delegates from member countries are also participating in the event. It is after many years that SL is hosting the forum which will discuss challenges and tools to enhance access to finance by MSMEs (Micro Small Medium Enterprises) in Asia Pacific Region. more..

Ranil kicks off trading at London Stock Exchange

Oct 9 (FT) Giving a fresh impetus to longstanding and growing bilateral ties with the UK, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday inaugurated the trading of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), one of the world’s oldest, which has a growing investment in Sri Lanka. The symbolic yet significant start of trading was ahead of the Invest Sri Lanka Investor forum organised by CSE and SEC and also hosted at the LSE and more..

Do not politicize the rupee

Oct 9 (DM) Sri Lanka Rupee had its sharpest depreciation in history during the past four months with US$ which stood at Rs.160 in late June had risen up to Rs.170 last week. The govt is struggling to cope with the situation. Yet it is now clear that the situation is beyond control and no solution is being suggested either by the govet or any other political party that criticizes the govt for not taking action to reign in the galloping rupee. The neck-breaking pace of rupee depreciation has become more..

Demons in Paradise: Is Jaffna ready for full scope of freedom ?

Oct 9 (DM) Jaffna International Film Festival that began last week has removed Jude Ratnam’s internationally acclaimed ‘Demons in Paradise’ from screening. The decision to remove the film - that depicts the gradual but predictable degeneration of Tamil militancy into one of cannibalizing its own- was treated with a muted reaction in the South. In the North, save a few genuine, and time tested activists of the calibre of Rajan Hoole, the majority tended to justify the censorship of the movie. more..

Current exchange rate gives real value of LKR

Oct 9 (DM) Minister Malik Samarawickrama, in an interview with the Daily Mirror, speaks about the rupee depreciation and the current status of the Govt. He also responds to allegations of a powerful Minister trying to seek bribe. Q: What are the plans being contemplated by the Govt to tide over the crisis triggered by the fast dwindling rupee value against the US currency? A: What I would say is that it is not an economic crisis. more..

Nine years after war's end, Sri Lankans wait for govt to return property

Oct 9 (TRF) Sri Lanka has failed to fulfill pledges to return properties to thousands of people forced from their homes during decades of war, many of whom now live in desperate poverty, researchers said on Tuesday. Thousands of acres of land taken over during the war are still held by govt forces who set up security posts and buffer zones, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. State agencies such as the wildlife department more..

PM-headed committee to devise procedures for NE housing project

Oct 9 (ST) The Cabinet has mandated the setting up of a committee headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to submit procedures for financing and implementing an initiative to build 25,000 brick-and-mortar houses for the war-displaced through a consortium of humanitarian agencies. The project is to be led by UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), more..

Nearly a Million Lankans completely blind

Oct 9 (CT) Nearly a million Sri Lankans suffer from total blindness or are close to it, Director of the Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Unit, Dr. Thilak Siriwardhane said. In the majority of the cases, blindness was due to cataract. Addressing a media seminar, in view of the World Sight Day - 2018, to be commemorated on 11 Oct, Dr. Siriwardhane said that one of the major causes of cataract was diabetes. more..

Sri Lanka has potential to more than double its exports to SA region: World Bank

Oct 9 (Island) If trade barriers are overcome, trade within South Asia can increase three-fold, from $23 billion to $67 billion, suggests a new World Bank report. Sri Lanka has the potential to more than double its exports to South Asia. Increased intraregional trade will provide a greater variety of goods and services at cheaper prices for Sri Lankan consumers, better access to inputs for producers and exporters, more..

'Sri Lanka primary exports may exceed US$1.5bn target easily'

Oct 9 (EN) Sri Lanka may easily exceed a 2025 target of 1.5 billion dollar exports in spices, fruits and vegetables and fisheries with primary agriculture exports growing 40% last year. Minister Daya Gamage said a number of initiatives have been started by the ministry, including the construction of 23 agro processing zones, 10 mega fisheries zones, and entrepreneurship support for primary industries. more..

Harsha breaks with Erdogan, Trump over rates

Oct 9 (EN) A minister in Sri Lanka has taken a radically opposite approach from Turkish President Recep Erdogan and President Donald Trump by urging a central bank not to give weapons to undermine a national currency by printing money at low rates. SL's central bank had intervened heavily to protect its unstable peg with the US dollar in September, after allowing excess liquidity to build up in the weeks before, more..

Faculties of Education diploma awarding convocations cancelled abruptly

Oct 9 (Island) The Ministry of Education has canceled he diploma awarding convocations for Faculties of Education leaving the thousands of graduands and organizers in a quandary. The ministry conducted the convocation of the Siyane Faculty of Education on Oct 5. Arrangements had been made to conduct the convocations for Wayamba Faculty of Education tomorrow , Mahaweli, Peradeniya and Sri Pada faculties more..

Video: Special HC to hear Gotabaya’s case daily from Dec 4

Oct 9 (AD) The Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar today issued an order to conduct daily hearings of the case against the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from December 04. The case was filed against the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others for allegedly misappropriating Rs 49 million of state funds to build the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial Museum. When the case was taken up more..

Supreme Court rules clauses in 20A need 2/3 majority and referendum

Oct 9 (AM) The 20th Amendment to the Constitution hit a fresh snag today when Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri conveyed to the House that certain clauses of the amendment required a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the approval at a referendum. He made this statement while announcing the opinion of the Supreme Court on the draft of the 20th Amendment to the constitution presented by JVP MP Vijitha Herath. more..