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JVP defends War Reparation Bill to the hilt

Oct 22 (Island) The JVP said some racist elements had dubbed the recently passed Office for Reparation Bill as a move to help former LTTEers as they wanted to instigate communal disharmony. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the Office for Reparation Bill had been given various interpretations. The objective of the bill was to compensate those who had been affected by political and civil conflicts. more..

SL family get residency after 8-year battle

Oct 22 (Stuff) A year after they pleaded to avoid deportation to Sri Lanka, a Queenstown family have been granted residency and are giving back to the community that supported them. "I am so happy," an emotional Dinesha Wijerathne said, while working in her new chef job at the community project Let's Eat. "I just want to thank everybody." Husband Sam Wijerathne, a taxi driver, said they had struggled for 8 years to reach more..

Renewal of PPAs with mini hydro power plants: CEB heading for billions in losses

Oct 22 (CT) With the Cabinet granting approval to extend the terms of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Mini Hydro Power Plants, where the PPAs have expired and providing a high tariff of Rs. 8.86 per unit, CEB internal sources allege that a loss of Rs 1.2 billion is being suffered by the CEB. Since the PPAs of more than 100 Mini Hydro Power Plants are due to expire from time to time, CEB Engineers Union (CEBEU) points out that more..

US-China trade war gives local exporters new partnership chances: EDB

Oct 22 (FT) Sri Lanka’s exporters have the opportunity to exploit the tariff war between the US and China to attract new foreign partners, the Export Development Board (EDB) said, noting that the environment for exports remained positive with 60% of the total export targets for 2018 being achieved in the first nine months. “SL export companies have a great opportunity to explore, with many US companies now looking at more..

JVP to launch protest against govt

Oct 22 (Island) JVP said its protest campaign scheduled to commence shortly could continue until the govt was ousted. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the govt was incapable of ruling the country. "UNP leader who used to praise the open economic policies now talks of protectionist policies. Govt is hell bent on promoting its FTA with Singapore." He said that the govt had lost its bearings and was now in a quagmire. more..

SL, India focus on Indian Ocean identity

Oct 22 (GDI) The importance of working towards the creation of an Indian Ocean identity while joining a collective endeavour in the Indo-Pacific region was emphasised during talks between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. The importance of further widening the tasks of the Indian Ocean conference organised by the India Foundation was also emphasised during the talks, more..

Status of BOI Director General Duminda Ariyasinghe still uncertain

Oct 22 (LBO) The status of Board of Investment Director General (DG) Duminda Ariyasinghe remains uncertain. Last week the BOI had rejected reports that he had tendered his resignation. Other sources have said that he has been dismissed by the appointing authority, President Sirisena. There has still been no official word from the BOI DG on this matter. Ariyasinghe is one of the longest serving senior officials at the BOI. more..

Displaying LTTE flags in UK: SL wants stern action

Oct 22 (DM) The Sri Lankan Govt had highlighted the British Govt the importance of implementing its Terrorism Laws and taking stern action against the four individuals who were arrested for displaying the LTTE flags. Minister Champika Ranwaka, who is in the UK, had expressed these views when he met with Mark Field, Minister for Asia and Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. more..

Plight of Plantation Workers

Oct 22 (CT) The plantation workers in the central hills have been agitating for a pay hike of Rs 1,000 per day for the past several weeks throwing a big challenge to the tea estate managements in the country. Whatever their differences, all major trade unions representing the plantation workers have come together in support of the pay hike demand of the plantation workers. Following the agitation of the plantation workers, the trade unions had engaged in talks with the estate managements over more..

'No confidence in Athula and Susitha'

Oct 22 (CT) Following a three year effort by Dr Athula Kahandaliyanage in protecting and perpetuating the illegal appointment of Dr Susitha Senaratne, quasi director of Sri J'pura General Hospital (SJGH) occupying the office of Director SJGH without as much letter of appointment, the majority of the specialists of SJGH have delivered a letter of no confidence on Kahandaliyanage and Susitha Senaratne. This letter, addressed to the Minister Rajitha Senaratne was delivered to more..

JVP press conference

IPS’s State of the Economy Report 2018 is a demonstration of ...

Oct 22 (FT) Economists are at the receiving end of society today when it comes to economic crises. They have been blamed not only for giving confusing advice, but also for failing to predict accurately the oncoming economic catastrophes. Critics say that they have been good at analysing what has happened in the past. But, when it comes to future, their predictive power has been stunted. Their failure to predict the global economic crisis of 2007-8 has been an often quoted instance. more..

'Govt should go on in one direction'

Oct 22 (DM) Govt should go one direction without going on two directions, State Minister Wasantha Senanayake said over the week end. Mr. Senanayake who was speaking to journalists after the launch of the book F.R. Senanayake, an illustrious son of Sri Lanka on Saturday at the SL Foundation said the govt should go on in one direction. “Govt seemed to be going on in one direction at the moment and it is better for the country if it goes on in one single direction,” more..

Amend counterterrorism bill: HRW

Oct 22 (HRW) Sri Lanka’s draft counterterrorism law significantly improves upon the current, abusive Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) but needs further safeguards against rights violations, Human Rights Watch said in a commentary released today. Parliament should amend the bill to fully comply with international human rights standards and resist pressure to roll back its reforms. more..

Sri Lanka allows online direct sales to overseas buyers

Oct 22 (EN) Sri Lanka has set up a regulatory framework that would allow companies to do business-to-consumer, known as B2C, sales to online buyers overseas up to the value of US$ 3,000 each, the finance ministry said. Companies or exporters in Sri Lanka can now send goods without submitting CUSDEC or Customs declaration application to the Sri Lanka Customs, a statement said. However, at the end of each month, exporters have to submit one CUSDEC application more..

Modi plays Gandhi tribute song by Sri Lankan artistes to PM

Oct 22 (DN) Indian PM Narendra Modi operated his tab to play a new version of an ancient Gujarati Bhajan song to entertain PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Mrs. Maithree Wickremesinghe after hosting them and their delegation to lunch at Hyderabad House on October 20. The song sung during the Indian Freedom Struggle is an all time popular hit in India. PM Modi, a Gujarati himself once held the post of Gujarati CM. The essence of the song titled Vaishnawa Jana tho means, more..

Video: Angunukolapelessa prison inmates call off protest

Oct 22 (AD) The protest launched by the inmates of Angunukolapelessa Prison has been called off. The inmates have agreed to come down from the observation tower following discussions with the authorities. A group of inmates of the Angunukolapelessa Prison are engaged in a protest since yesterday against the deployment of STF officers for the security of the prison. Firstly a group of 40 inmates had got on to the roof of more..

Introducing Integrity Idol 2018: Public voting starts

Oct 22 (FT) Transparency International SL (TISL) has revealed the five idols selected by the panel of judges for Integrity Idol 2018, a first of its kind endeavour in Sri Lanka, which seeks to Name and Fame those in the public service who go above and beyond the call of duty to serve the nation with integrity. The public will be able to vote for their Integrity Idol by SMS from Friday, 19 Oct to 12 noon on Thursday, 1 Nov. Videos of each Integrity Idol are available on more..

England cricket fans advised on alcohol on Poya Day matches

Oct 22 (DM) Ahead of the 5th ODI between SL and England in Colombo on Tuesday and/or Wednesday, the reserve day which falls on the Vap Full Moon Poya Day, British High Commission in Colombo has issued a travel advise to supporters of the English team, who are in Sri Lanka on the use of alcohol. “Alcohol won't be on sale on Oct 24, which is a religious holiday in Sri Lanka, and drinking in public on this day could be seen as culturally insensitive. It could lead to arrest,” more..

Video: UN charges against Amunupura may rebound on Army: GL

Oct 22 (DM) The UN's request to repatriate Kalana Amunupura, the Commander of the SL contingent in the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali will have serious repercussions on the entire army, SLPP said today. SLPP Chairman G.L. Peiris said serious allegations, such as those of shelling UN sites and hospitals in Puthukuduirippu and Puthumathalan and torturing and killing LTTE surrendees have been levelled against more..

Sri Lanka seek to convert slim pickings to series consolation

Oct 22 (CI) Maybe the rains have done Sri Lanka a favour. At least there is no chance England can beat them 5-0, as India and South Africa have done over the past 21 months. But although the visitors have been comfortable victors - as expected - in the matches that have been completed, there are slivers of hope for Sri Lanka. Firstly, the middle order has been semi-competent - Dasun Shanaka producing Sri Lanka's best innings of the series in the fourth ODI, while Thisara Perera has maintained more..

Gang caught with 3,000 rounds of T-56 ammunition

Oct 22 (Island) More than 3,000 rounds of T-56 assault rifle ammunition, 32 rounds of MM 9 ammunition and a toy pistol were seized from four underworld figures taken into custody by the Siyambalanduwa police near the Heda Oya Bridge, yesterday. Among the suspects were two women. They were arrested while they were travelling in a van. The ammunition was being transported on a contract given by an underworld figure named Jayalath Sudda serving a prison term at more..

President inaugurates Galle Dialogue 2018; International Maritime Conference

Oct 22 (PMD) The Galle Dialogue 2018; Int'l Maritime Conference was inaugurated today in Colombo under the patronage of Prez Sirisena. The two-day conference organized by Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the SL Navy for the 9th consecutive year will be held under the theme Synergizing for Collaborative Maritime Management. Representatives from 50 countries and 17 organizations and foreign scholars more..

Prominent monk complains of obstructions in North and East

Oct 22 (Island) Venerable Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Anunayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter addressing the ceremony to present the Sri Sannasa of the title Shasanamamaka Janaprasadana to Minister Lakshman Bandara Kiriella said that the implementation of Buddhist religious and archaeological projects had run into resistance in the North and East. Ven. Dhammadassi Anunayake said that SL being a predominantly Buddhist country, the authorities should take serious note more..

Sri Lanka to call for bids to develop Mannar Basin natural gas find

Oct 22 (EN) The SL govt will soon call for bids to develop an offshore natural gas deposit in the Mannar Basin with the aim of getting fuel for a power plant nearby, officials said. Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) Director General Vajira Dassanayaka said they will first offer the M2 block where Cairn India found natural gas in two test wells. Govt officials are meeting this week to decide on the tender, he said. PRDS also has got investor interest in other blocks in Mannar Basin, more..

Cricket’s match fixers

'Cabinet memo on school uniform material withdrawn following adverse publicity'

Oct 22 (Island) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Ministry of Education had withdrawn a controversial joint Cabinet memorandum to procure 8,468,609.75 metres of substandard uniform material of Indian origin at a cost of USD 11,871,369.90, Joint Opposition MP Sisira Jayakody yesterday said. Although Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, the govt had abandoned the deal due to adverse publicity, Jayakody said. more..

Case against Ravi postponed due to Chief Magistrate’s absence

Oct 22 (AD) Colombo Magistrate’s Court has ordered to take up the complaint filed against former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake for allegedly providing false evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate the Issuance of Treasury Bonds. The complaint was scheduled to be taken before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake today. However, due to the absence of the Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, case was postponed to Nov 5 more..

National inflation slows in Sept to 0.9%

Oct 22 (EN) SL's nationwide inflation slowed to 0.9% in the 12-months to Sept 2018 from 2.5% a month earlier, the lowest since Jan 2016. Consumer prices during the month fell 0.8% to with the National Consumer Price Index falling to 124.4 index points in Sept 2018 from 125.4 index points in Aug 2018. “The deceleration in year-on-year inflation in September was driven by both the base effect & monthly decline in food prices,” more..

Govt explains stance on Hyatt & Hilton hotels

Oct 22 (NR) Ministry of Finance says it intends to utilise the funds received through privatising Hilton and Hyatt hotels for the common welfare of society. Issuing a statement the Finance Ministry said the decision to divest the two hotels was reached during a Cabinet of Ministers meeting and was also proposed in several budget speeches. Hyatt Hotel, which is partially completed, has been funded by the EPF, Sri Lanka Insurance and Litro gas incurring cost of over Rs.15 billion. more..

Video: 'Welgama’s remarks detrimental to JO'

Oct 22 (DM) The recent remarks made by UPFA MP Kumara Welgama on his objection to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, were baseless and detrimental to smooth functioning of the Joint Opposition, the PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila said today. MP Welgama recently made remarks that he was firmly against Gotabaya Rajapaksa becoming the Head of State, adding that since he was holding the US citizenship, it was impossible for him to contest the upcoming Presidential Election. more..

CID arrests SLC Chief Financial Officer

Oct 22 (DM) The CID today arrested the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) over an attempt to commit financial fraud. SP Ruwan Gunawardane said the CFO of SLC Vimal Dissanayaka was arrested at his residence in Homagama. He was arrested for allegedly requesting to transfer funds amounting to US$ 187,084 from Sony Television Corporation to his personal account in a bank in US. more..

The Hindu mess & N. Ram’s Tweet on the Raw (or RAW) matter?

Oct 23 (CT) A.S. Panneerselvan ran a story this morning in The Hindu (00.00am, 22 October 2018) titled Don’t blame the messenger, referring to the controversial front page report of the same newspaper five days ago by Meera Sirinivasan on “Sri Lankan President Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination,” with the pretentious claim “for a responsible media organisation, telling the truth is imperative even if it means reporting tactless utterances.” more..

Dealing successfully with the past needs a public & truthful process

Oct 23 (CT) For reconciliation to become a reality in SL, no section of society should feel it is being marginalized or ignored. In a recognition of the need for all of society to be engaged, the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) is about to commence a campaign to generate empathy for victims. The value of public processes in giving a place to those whose sorrows have been long ignored to speak their truth was seen at the public consultation organized by the OMP in Colombo last week. more..

Trunk call to railways

Oct 23 (SO) Could Sri Lanka prevent elephant deaths by train collision? A positive step has been taken by the Ministry of Transport with the recent appointment of a Committee to Prevent Elephant Deaths by Train Collision. While the Committee plans to establish long term measures within a period of 2 years, collisions could be reduced 80% by short-term measures said Dilantha Fernando, GM Railways. more..

Fruitless search for honest politicos

Oct 23 (ST) At a public meeting not too far from Colombo last week President Maithripala Sirisena asked a pertinent question. Like Pontius Pilate he did not wait for an answer, probably because he knew what it was. The question posed was not only relevant but crucial right now seeing the accusations flying around about high-level corruption not only at the political level but also among state officials. Prez Sirisena should surely know. His own chief of staff and another state official more..

Of fake news, technology & verbal ballistics

Oct 23 (DN) Something happens. A news is born. It proliferates in earthly space and time getting altered all the way. Often the same story has different versions. This was so long before the advent of telephone or wireless technology, showing how potent is the word of mouth. My grandmother used to say one (hen-) feather would produce seven (hen-) feathers. (Eka kikili pihattak pihatu hathak venawa.) As news spreads it generates news about the news. The process follows ad infinitum. more..

The Pacific White Shrimp controversy

Oct 23 (CT) The Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeusvannamei) also known as the King Prawn is a variety of shrimp that has become popular as a less expensive and fast growing shrimp species and is currently farmed in countries such as Thailand, India, Vietnam, Brazil and the Philippines. On 16 Jan 2018, the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources approved the import of the Pacific White Shrimp for Taprobane Frozen more..

The BOP heading for a deficit in 2018

Oct 23 (ST) The balance of payments that was in surplus last year is likely to be in deficit this year. This reversal of the balance of payments surplus of US$ 2.01 billion last year is mainly due to the unfavourable developments in global financial markets that led to outflows of foreign investments from SL. The expectation at the beginning of the year was that this year’s balance of payments (BOP) surplus would exceed last year’s surplus and contribute to ease massive debt repayment more..

Edtorial: Yahapalana Shylocks

Oct 23 (Island) Former Minister Chandima Weerakkody has called govt’s fuel pricing formula an affront to the people’s intelligence. He views it as a mechanism contrived to jack up fuel prices continually and raise funds for a spendthrift govt. He is one of the ousted SLFP ministers who never miss an opportunity to settle scores with the govt. However, he seems to have struck a responsive chord with the irate public reeling from seemingly never-ending petroleum price hikes. more..