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Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference in Colombo on Oct 22-23

Oct 15 (GDI) Sri Lanka will hold the Int'l Maritime Conference Galle Dialogue - 2018, organized by the SL Navy in partnership with Ministry of Defense, for the ninth consecutive year on 22nd and 23rd October at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. The two-day conference under the theme Synergizing for Collaborative Maritime Management will bring together local and foreign scholars and experts in maritime and naval affairs representing over 35 countries to share their views. more..

SLNS Sagara and SLNS Suranimala return home on completion of a successful tour

Oct 15 (SLN) SLNS Sagara and SLNS Suranimala, Naval ships belonging to the SL Navy which left the island for India on 6th Oct, reached the Cochin harbour in India on 8th Oct, and the ships were welcomed by the Indian Navy in compliance with naval traditions. Defence Attaché of the SL High Commission in India Captain Suresh de Silva was also present on this occasion. Later on, Captain Janaka Nissanka Commanding officer of SLNS Sagara and Captain Chandima Silva, more..

'Govt committed to protecting environment'

Oct 15 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a special program will be prepared to protect the environment during the next 10 years. He said the policy of the Govt is to protect nature, and Sri Lanka is striving to protect the environment together with the help of int'l organisations. PM emphasised that protection of the environment along with its development is everyone’s responsibility, and that the natural resources of the country more..

Mixed reactions to CC appointments

Oct 15 (SO) There are concerns over the appointment of the three members to the Constitutional Council (CC), despite the fact that they are highly qualified in their fields, National Coordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Manjula Gajanayake said. “The CC was introduced to help create a clean political society. Three members representing civil society are appointed to ensure that this happens,” he said. The appointment of new civil society more..

Further import controls unnecessary unless fuel prices rise: Malik

Oct 15 (DM) Minister Malik Samarawickrama said further import cuts would not be necessary unless there was a sharp rise in fuel prices in the global market. he said that things appeared to have stabilized at the moment. Asked about his recent visit to Bangladesh, he said he explored the possibility of developing the apparel industry for the benefit of both countries. For example, he pointed out that Bangladeshi apparels such as Jeans and T-shirts could be warehoused in SL for more..

Cabinet approval for IOC joint venture: NTUC files fundamental rights Petition

Oct 15 (CT) Convener of the National Trade Union Centre and Member of the NCPC, Wasantha Samarasinghe, had last Friday, filed a Fundamental Rights Petition in the Supreme Court praying the Court to suspend the Cabinet Paper, which has granted approval to the Indian Oil Company (IOC) to enter into a joint venture on the China Bay Oil Tank Farm in Trincomalee. The petitioner further prays Court through petition more..

Video: Rice prices reduced

Oct 15 (AD) SL’s largest rice producers have agreed to slash rice prices in support of the govt’s efforts to provide relief to local consumers, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. The rice producers, after in-depth discussions with the Minister, agreed to reduce the price of rice by Rs.10 per kilo and mark this price reduction on their rice packs. He further discussed about paddy purchasing in the Yala season and about the measures taken to make the 2018 Maha season, a successful cultivation season. more..

Protesting parents locked in

Oct 15 (Island) Parents of 19 students, suspended from the South Eastern University’s Faculty of Technology, have commenced a hunger strike at the university demanding that the suspension be lifted. There are 14 mothers and five fathers engaged in the hunger strike. The agitating parents complained that the administrative officers had locked them inside the university premises without any facilities. The parents went to the university to meet the VC on Saturday, but in vain more..

Indian Ocean Economy becoming global growth pole’

Oct 15 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the need to maintain Freedom of Navigation and Freedom of Digital Connectivity in the Indian Ocean for the region to grow and prosper and the need for a shared understanding in order to maintain peace and security. PM was delivering the keynote address at The Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future conference in Colombo where representatives of 40 more..

Zero tolerance for corruption within judiciary: CJ Nalin Perera

Oct 15 (SO) The newly appointed Chief Justice pledged that he will maintain a zero tolerance policy with regard to corruption within the judiciary to enhance the integrity and accountability of the judiciary. Nalin Perera, a career judge with a service spanning over three decades was appointed as the 46th CJ last week, succeeding CJ Priyasath Dep, who retired on Friday. CJ said that during his term in office he would strive to address many issues gripping the legal system including delays more..

President says proper measures being taken to overcome economic crisis

Oct 15 (FT) President Maithripala Sirisena on 13 Oct reiterated that the present economic crisis was not only limited to Sri Lanka but many countries in the world were facing this challenge. “Certain individuals issue statements saying that they can do what the Govt cannot,” the President said, requesting them to work for the country in a responsible manner. Participating in a ceremony to open the new Mahara administrative building on 13 Oct, President Sirisena added that while more..

Budget 2019: Wiggy wants TNA vote tied to release of LTTE suspects in custody

Oct 15 (Island) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said on Friday said that he had requested the TNA leaders to vote against the budget in Parliament in Nov. if the govt did not release Tamil detained under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Addressing the media at the Chief Minister’s office in the NPC, the Chief Minister said that he had conveyed his request to the representatives more..

Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights & USA

Oct 15 (DM) Liberal-minded Sri Lankans have for long looked on the US as a bastion of democracy, a defender of freedom, democratic values and a promoter of human rights the world over. The various statements made by the different arms of the US govt condemning perceived human rights violations -as during Sri Lanka’s three-decade long ethnic war; election malpractice -as in Russia’s presidential election; authoritarian behaviour of govts cracking down on peaceful protests - more..

Demons in Paradise and Dissent

Oct 15 (DM) The Jaffna Int'l Cinema Festival, held earlier this month, lost considerable credibility, both as a film festival and as an event of international standing, following the controversial removal of Jude Ratnam’s courageous film, Demons in Paradise. Among many films that address ethnic violence and the armed conflict, this film is different because it critically interrogates the consequent brutal turn within Tamil militancy. The arbitrary removal of the film from the festival programme, more..

Lines of Fire within Mark Field’s Paternalist Message

Oct 15 (DM) Mark Field’s visit to Sri Lanka is very, very significant. His pronouncements are threaded by the paternalistic air of an Etonian schoolmaster pontificating to students. That should not be allowed to mask the Sword of Damocles that is above the SL body via the UNHCR as the instrument of the Western international community. Field’s title as Minister for Asia and the Pacific gives the game away. more..

Concrete elevated highway from Kelanitissa to Galle Face

Oct 15 (ST) The US$ 300 million proposed elevated highway aimed at easing traffic congestion in Colombo city will get underway in December this year, with the money coming from the ADB as a loan, officials said. Bids have already been closed for the 5.3 km project from Kelanitissa power station junction via the Colombo Port premises to Galle Face (Chaithiya Road and Galle Face Roundabout) and Fort, more..

Amaraweera debunks Caretaker Govt

Oct 15 (DN) Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday debunked the idea of a Caretaker Govt arrangement noting that it was a deliberate lie to mislead the public and create political instability. “Formation of a Caretaker Govt has become a hot topic these days. But we have no idea about who is spreading this lie. A new govt could only be formed after an election and not by conspiring,” he added. more..

Gotabhaya should be JO’s choice: Bandula

Oct 15 (Island) Top JO spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said that wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa should be their presidential candidate at the 2019 national election. He asserted that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was the most suitable person to lead the country as he had a vision. Gunawardena said so when The Island asked whether he had the backing of the JO. The Island raised the issue in the wake of more..

'Compensation shouldn’t be paid to terrorists'

Oct 15 (Island) Gampaha District MP Sudarshini Fernandopulle said that compensation to those who took up arms against the State could never be endorsed under any circumstances. Fernandopulle said that she was horrified by the ongoing moves to sanitise the LTTE and thereby encouraging those who still believed in dividing the country on ethnic lines. The rebel SLFPer said that she had voted against more..

Govt trying to legitimise corrupt uniform deal: JO

Oct 15 (Island) JO MP Sisira Jayakody alleged that Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu had intervened on behalf of an Indian supplier to pressure the SL govt to accept 12,178,248 metres of substandard school uniform material ordered in Dec. 2015 outside tender procedures. Jayakody said that instead of taking action against those responsible for the illegal transaction, the govt at the behest of India more..

Experts make five recommendations for preventing elephant-train collisions

Oct 15 (CT) Elephant researchers and experts opine that recommendations, which controversially include the erection of electric fences, put forward by the observation team inquiring into elephant-train collisions will do more harm if not employed suitably. The team, appointed after the recent incidents where 12 elephants were killed after they were hit by oncoming trains on two separate occasions, has recommended more..

‘Mihin received Rs.300 mn from LankaPuthra in 2006’

Oct 15 (DN) Even before Cabinet approval was granted for the setting up of Mihin Lanka Ltd, the Lankaputra Development Bank had given Rs.300 million out of its capital to Mihin Lanka, flouting the banks usual procedure on the mere strength of a letter sent by the Presidential Secretariat. Acting General Manager of the Lankaputra Development Bank Ranjith Dissanayake disclosed this in his evidence before the PCoI more..

Intl. assistance to probe Namal Kumara and Nalaka de Silvas voice samples

Oct 15 (AD) The CID has decided to render the international assistance to examine whether certain parts of the alleged conversation between DIG Nalaka de Silva who was in charge of the TID and the Director (Operations) of the Anti-Corruption Force Namal Kumara have been destroyed. According to the CID, this decision was taken as the prevailing technological methods available in the country are inadequate for this purpose. more..

It is better to resign if it's everyone's wish: IGP

Oct 15 (DM) IGP Pujith Jayasundara said yesterday that it would be better for him to resign if it were the wish of everyone that he do so. He said this in response to questions about his decision to resign raised by journalists. In reply the IGP said, “I think I have done enough. I have been working for the police department for 33 years. I have not taken even a pittance from anyone. It is known to those concerned. more..

CBOs financially empowered to supply water to rural masses

Oct 15 (Island) Financial assistance was granted to community-based organisations in Kandy district and water tanks were donated to several temples in the area under the patronage of Minister Rauff Hakeem recently. "Steps have been taken to construct large scale water supply projects as a solution to the drinking water issue in the Kandy district. But since these activities take time, we have implemented small-scale water projects to resolve the water issue in some areas" more..

The fate of the rupee: Time to stop playing the blame-excuse-blame games

Oct 15 (FT) As I have presented in a previous article titled Rupee’s Sad Destiny of One-way Journey to Depreciation, it has been a historical tragedy that the rupee has fallen in value ever since the country had gained independence in 1948. At that time, the rupee was exchanged for Rs 3.32 per US dollar. In terms of dollars, a rupee was worth 30 US cents. This was more or less equal to the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Singapore dollar that amounted to 33 US cents. more..

Bandula Warnapura

Rajarata Medical Faculty in jeopardy: Padeniya’s ghost

Oct 15 (CT) All academic staff of Faculty of Medicine, Rajarata University have stepped down from their administrative positions of the faculty leading to a possible break down of medical education, Colombo Telegraph learns. The troubled faculty of Medicine started as a political patchwork following the dubiously constructed chemistry paper at the GCE Advanced in year 2005 which resulted in 180 extra students becoming eligible to enter in to the stream of medical sciences more..

TISL to track govt’s anti-corruption commitment

Oct 15 (NR) Transparency International Sri Lanka today launched an online platform to track the progress that has been made in key anti-corruption commitments made by the govt. In May 2016, Sri Lanka along with 42 governments and six international organisations met in London for the Anti-Corruption Summit, resulting in a bold Global Declaration Against Corruption. Sri Lanka was represented by President Maithripala Sirisena and made several pledges broad-based. more..

Sri Lanka to count number of coconut trees using drone technology

Oct 15 (DM) The Plantation Industries Ministry together with the Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) plan to employ the application of drone technology and an online coconut land registration to boost productivity and yield of the coconut plantation in the country. Minister Navin Dissanayake recently inaugurated the CCB’s initiative to monitor and to collect data of coconut plantation across the country using drones. more..

The New Chief Justice

Oct 15 (CT) On the recommendation of the newly re-constituted Constitutional Council Justice Nalin Perera was appointed as 46th Chief Justice of SL by Prez last Friday. It is after a long gap a career judge has been appointed as CC, to the topmost position in the Judiciary. There were instances where several career judges with their vast experience not only in handling the bar and bench but also serving in various parts of the country with dedication to their career were overlooked. more..

Gamini Senarath & 3 others: Case on Oct 23

Oct 15 (DM) The case against former president’s chief of staff, Gamini Senarath and three others was fixed for Oct 23 by the special Trial-at-Bar today. On this date the Court will also check whether the prosecution had handed over the documents on the case to the defense. The trial will be heard daily beginning Oct 29. The three-member bench of the High Court Trial-at-Bar comprising Justices Sampath Wijeratne, Sampath Abeykoon and Champa Janaki Rajaratna had decided on more..

Will lodge bribery complaint against Buddhika: ASP Liyanage

Oct 15 (DM) SL Ambassador to Qatar A.S.P. Liyanage said he would lodge a complaint against Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana with the Bribery Commission for allegedly aiding corrupt officials. He said that the deputy minister was aiding and abetting the Sri Lankan school in Qatar’s former management, which he said was corrupt. He said he would also file a defamation case against the deputy minister. more..

Will take care of debt issues of Belt and Road projects: China

Oct 15 (DM) China’s Vice Finance Minister Zou Jiayi has acknowledged debt issues with some of its Belt and Road projects, saying the govt will strengthen macro-supervision on the debt sustainability aspect of its overseas investments, the Reuters reported on Saturday. “The debt sustainability issue of Belt and Road (projects) is a complicated issue, but we will take care of it,” Zou told a panel on the sidelines of annual IMF and World Bank meetings in Indonesia. She said China could optimize more..

Sri Lanka moots higher fines, compulsory community service for marine polluters

Oct 15 (EN) Sri Lanka’s marine environment is under serious threat from virtually unchecked pollution owing poor public attitudes and weak law enforcement by authorities, a marine environment expert has warned. “If Kenya banned plastic bags in one night and Rwanda followed it, why not Sri Lanka?” asked Terney Pradeep Kumara, general manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) in the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy. more..

Trinco oil tank farm: Handing over to IOC irks CPCWU

Oct 15 (CT) The Ceylon Petroleum Common Workers’ Union (CPCWU) claims that the Govt has gone ahead with the agreement to handover the China Bay Oil Tank Farm, in Trincomalee, to the Indian Oil Company (IOC) despite recommendations on 16 tanks that could have been utilized efficiently. Secretary of the CPCWU, D.J. Rajakaruna, in the fallout of the reports that claimed that the Cabinet more..

Removing IGP not the solution: SF

Oct 15 (DM) Minister Sarath Fonseka said the removal of IGP would not resolve the issues faced by the police department unless action was taken against the senior police officials in charge of police divisions such as the Organised Crimes Preventive Division. “I highly criticized in parliament certain shortcomings of the police department. Specially, I criticized the conduct of the senior police officials of the organized crimes Preventive division who had responsibility to control more..

Aava sword supplier arrested

Oct 15 (CT) A person who had supplied swords and daggers to the controversial Aava group was arrested by the Police Special Task Force yesterday (14). The suspect was arrested in Jaffna yesterday morning on a tip-off received by the Chunnakam Police. Police said that the suspect was in possession of a sword at the time of his arrest. The Police had also been able to detect the telephone call exchanges he has had with Aava group regarding supply of weapons. more..

Video: President observes development projects in Polonnaruwa

Oct 15 (AD) The constructions of the technological museum of Polonnaruwa came under the inspection of President Sirisena yesterday. This is the first comprehensive technological museum built after 150 years. This technological museum is comprised of cubicles composed of the technology descending from pre- historic era and of the most significant milestones of state patronage through the ages. more..

PHU to seek Court of Appeal assistance against Vijayakala

Oct 15 (DM) While claiming that the legal action against MP Vijayakala Maheswaran was not taken in a proper manner on her statement on the resurgence of the LTTE, the PHU said it would seek legal assistance at the Court of Appeal against MP Vijayakala. PHU Propaganda Secretary Thushara Dissanayake said the Police had carried out a wishy-washy investigation into the Vijayakala’s statement. “Vijayakala’s statement has breached Article 114, 115, and 120 of the Penal Code, more..