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Dumindra Vs Duminda: Reply to Harsha De Silva’s remarks on Dumindra Ratnayake

Oct 26 (CT) Dear Dr. De Silva, I’m writing to you after reading your Facebook post titled Thank you Dumi. The loss is certainly ours! Chairman of the BOI is an onerous position where he is expected to serve the institution positively. He is not a passenger just to be Chairing the board with no substantive contribution. During the 1st six months of 2017 the envisaged investment of the 29 agreements signed was 2748M US$. During the 1st six months of 2018 during Dumindra’s regime more..

Khashoggi’s murder: Danger in trading democratic rights for economic prosperity

Oct 26 (CT) Social media was flooded this week with the photograph of Salah Bin Jamal Khashoggi, son of the slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, meeting with Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, de facto ruler of Saudi and the man considered responsible for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The emotions of Salah, a captive in his own country, are chilling to contemplate. As a young man banned from leaving his own country, Salah had little choice over finely choreographed more..

'Removal of state bank directors defined by Acts of Parliament'

Oct 26 (SO) Conceding that the President was entitled to request the Govt to reconstitute the Boards of state banks, State Minister Eran Wickremaratne explained that changing of Bank Boards is legally defined in an Act of Parliament, after inspired leaks across the media last week claimed the Boards of the Peoples’ Bank and the Bank of Ceylon were dissolved with effect from midnight last Wednesday (17). more..

Prez furthers patriotic agenda as rift with UNP widens

Oct 26 (DM) The gulf between President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP is widening by the day. Alongside, President Sirisena is increasingly toeing the patriotic agenda. The national minded approach of the President came to the fore once again at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting as he expressed dismay over the move to recall Lieutenant Colonel Kalana Amunupura who served as the commander of the SL Army contingent deployed for UN peace keeping in the West African nation of Mali. more..

Notes for a Manifesto: Health, the most precious gain

Oct 26 (DM) One of the most quoted references of Gautama Buddha’s teachings on well-being is the 204th verse of the Dhammapada, contained in the Sukhavagga or the Discourses on Happiness: Arôgâ paramâ lâbhâ; san tutthi paramam dhanan; vis âsa paramâ nâthi; Nibbânan paramam sukhan; Acharya Buddharakkitha; translates it as follows: Health is the most precious gain and contentment the greatest wealth; a trustworthy person is the best kinsman and Nibbana the highest bliss. more..

With a rapidly ageing population, Sri Lanka contends with Dementia

Oct 26 (Roar) Take a cursory glance at Soma, and you would see a sweet old lady with bird-like frailty and soft hair. However, a few seconds of observation tells us that something is not quite right: she is wandering in and out of her room, talking animatedly to the air in front of her, and seems to neither see nor hear us. “She was such a superpower back then,” says Felicia Sallay, as we watch Soma. “She took care of my children more..

Politics, theory and practice

Oct 26 (DN) The attempts being made by the Joint Opposition under the leadership of the Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa to topple the current Yahapalana govt appears to be a never ending fiasco. The move is not a new thing. It was launched when the Yahapalana govt was formed after the general election held in 2015. Since then little more than three years have lapsed but no govt had been toppled and the Yahapalana govt continues to remain in power though politically more..

Edtorial: Bitter mangoes

Oct 26 (Island) An elderly woman who has pleaded guilty to stealing 19 mangoes from her neighbour’s garden is to be sentenced by the Anuradhapura Magistrate’s Court shortly, according to a front-page news item we carried yesterday. Immediately below it was our lead story, which revealed an attempt by the Foreign Ministry to obfuscate the issue of the govt’s failure to have former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s extradited from Singapore over the bond scams. more..

මෛත්රී ගෝඨා ඝාතන කුමන්ත්රණ කථාවේ ...

Wigneswaran’s new party: Debut at PC polls or Presidential election?

Oct 26 (Island) Former Chief Minister of the now dissolved NPC C. V. Wigneswaran made the long anticipated move to form a separate political party, last Wednesday, in Jaffna and announced the formation of the Tamil Makkal Kuttani, which translated into English means the Tamil People’s Alliance. The rift that was simmering within the TNA in the past few years has now come into the open. This will have implications not merely for the politics of the North but for Southern politics as well. more..

SLC sacks booze supplier for England tour

Oct 26 (Island) SLC on Thursday sacked its food and beverage supplier for selling booze without a licence during England's tour of the island, sparking a mid-match raid by tax agents. The decision followed revelations that tax officers seized bottles of whisky and wine being served to England fans during the fifth ODI in Colombo. The island's cricket board said its hospitality partner, Classic Destination, did not obtain the necessary licences to serve hard liquor at the ground. more..

Kamindu Mendis: Next big thing in cricket?

Oct 26 (Island) Exactly a decade after SL unleashed Ajantha Mendis to deadly effect humbling world's best batsmen in the Asia Cup final, the selectors have thrown his namesake to the deep end. Twenty-year-old Kamindu Mendis is the talk of the town after being named in the squad for the one off T-20 International against England at RPS. He is expected to play the game on Saturday. Much like Ajantha, Kamindu has played more..

Colombo shocker could cost World Cup places: Trevor Bayliss

Oct 26 (CI) Trevor Bayliss has warned Tuesday's poor performance in Colombo could cost players their chance of making the World Cup squad. England suffered the worst loss - in terms of runs - in their ODI history and, while Bayliss reasoned the experience could provide a useful wake-up call, he also stressed that time was running out for several players to press their case for selection. England now have only one ODI series left - against West Indies in the Caribbean in Feb and March more..

Army to help Jaffna war-torn people stand on their feet

Oct 26 (DN) Jaffna has witnessed unprecedented development under the present Northern Commander Major General Darshana Hettiaarachchi. He has tirelessly and effortlessly ploughed into re-building Jaffna and had done so with nothing up his sleeve except for one objective and that was to see the wellbeing of the poorest segments of the Northern Tamils. It is not an exaggeration to say that his eyes drowned in tears as he recalled their sordid plight. more..

Collective agreement on tea deadlocked

Oct 26 (FT) A bearish plantation industry yesterday said they were heading towards a perfect storm, with a dip in production, low prices at auctions and negotiations over a new collective agreement with workers hitting a stalemate, and expressed concerns that the sector may not be able to hit their earnings target for 2018. The Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA), representing the Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs), more..

Hosts strongly placed Second Youth Test

Oct 26 (Island) Chasing a target of 351 runs to win Bangladesh Under-19s were 75 for one wicket at stumps on the penultimate day of the second Youth Test at Katunayake on Thursday. They were 287 runs still behind the target when Tanzid Hasan Tamim was trapped lbw by Rohan Sanjaya for 37 runs. However Sajid Hasan and Tawhid Hridoy kept their cool to deny further wickets as they reached 75 for 1 wicket at close. Earlier Chamindu Wijesinghe top scored for the hosts with 55 runs. more..

Namal Kumara alleges SF behind DIG Nalaka

Oct 26 (DM) Anti-Corruption Force Operations Director Namal Kumara said that in his initial statement to the CID, he had mentioned that Minister Sarath Fonseka’s name and questioned whether Fonseka had got to know about it. Namal Kumara alleged that Sarath Fonseka had close rapport with former DIG of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) Nalaka Silva. “In my first statement to the CID, I have revealed that Fonseka had close links with former DIG Nalaka de Silva. more..

BoC and People’s Bank stable: Harsha

Oct 26 (FT) State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva defended the stability of Bank of Ceylon (BoC) and People’s Bank in Parliament, dismissing criticism and assuring that they remained unaffected by the currency depreciation. Dr. de Silva told Parliament the two state banks were stable and the President had called for a restructure in order to increase productivity. “The two state banks, BoC and People’s Bank, are not unstable. more..

Milo sends six young football players to Barcelona

Oct 26 (Island) Six young football players flew to Barcelona for a fully sponsored coaching camp by Milo. Milo’s Road to Barcelona, kicked off with an All-Island under-12 Football tournament, where six best performed players were selected after an extensive training for an all-expense paid trip to one of the leading football clubs in the world FC Barcelona. Partnering with the Ministry of Education and the Schools’ Football Association, MILO’s Road to Barcelona, developed local football more..

TSIA laments high taxes on tile and sanitaryware imports

Oct 26 (DN) Tiles and Sanitaryware Importers Association (TSIA) said that a level playing field should be created between them and the local manufactures. “While 51% of the market share is owned by local manufacturers, the importers are surviving in the industry with a 49% of market share,” said President, TSIA, Kamil Hussain. “There are only three local manufactures that are provided with 100% plus protection and a fuel subsidy for their production. more..

JVP vows to defeat Counter Terrorism Bill

Oct 26 (Island) The JVP said it would go all out to defeat Counter Terrorism Bill, which it called draconian. JVP MP Vijitha Herath, said that the new bill was aimed at suppressing dissent. "The govt, on Sept. 17, presented the draft Counter Terrorism Act of 2018 to Parliament to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The CTA was much worse than the PTA. The new bill seeks to give power to the police to suppress trade union struggles." more..

$ 50 million ADB funds for health system

Oct 26 (FT) The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a grant and loan package totaling $ 50 million to support the development of a more responsive and efficient primary health care system in four underserved SL provinces. “Sri Lanka has made impressive gains in ensuring access to and quality of health services for all,” said ADB Social Sector Specialist Brian Chin. “But challenges remain, including a dramatic increase in noncommunicable diseases, more..

16 SEUSL undergrads arrested for contempt

Oct 26 (DN) Akkaraipattu Police have arrested 16 undergraduates who had been forcefully occupying the Administrative Block of the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL) since October 12. They are in Akkaraipattu Police custody at present. The University has been made Out of Bounds for the 16 undergraduates and students from the Faculty of Technology had staged a protest demanding that their fellow undergrads be taken back without any conditions. more..

'Dissolve Cabinet, form caretaker govt'

Oct 26 (DM) Prez Sirisena should immediately dissolve the Cabinet and establish a caretaker govt with the support of all political parties, MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said. He said the country was going through a rough patch and there were agitations taking place, mainly in response to the alleged plot to assassinate President Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

PM inaugurates NYSF Games

Oct 26 (CT) The opening ceremony of the National Youth Sports Festival (NYSF) 2018 got underway yesterday with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as Chief Guest. More than 3,000 athletes are set to take part in 3-day competition, which begins today with 20 finals on the cards. Asian Junior Gold Medalist Aruna Darshana, Silver Medalist Pasindu Kodikara and Youth Olympic finalist Dilan Bogoda are set to take part in today’s events. Festival Torch was lit by the best athletes of last year’s competition. more..

State Minister pushes for District Councils

Oct 26 (Island) State Minister Vasantha Senanayake has proposed the introduction of District Councils to the Parliamentary Select Committee working on a new Constitution. Senanayake, who is also the President of the Council for Liberal Democracy told The Island that basically his proposal was based on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Minister initially wrote to the Speaker, who tabled the proposal at the Parliamentary Select Committee working on a new Constitution. more..

Ravi raises privilege issue over drone videoing his residence

Oct 26 (CT) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake complained to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that his private residence was being monitored illegally via a drone camera by an individual who is allegedly attached to two TV stations. Karunanayake, raising a privilege matter during yesterday’s Parliamentary sittings queried from Speaker Jayasuriya, if permission had been given to operate a drone camera in HSZ more..

Tea revenue declines by Rs. 800 million from Jan-Sept

Oct 26 (FT) Revenue from tea exports in the first nine months of the year showed a decline of Rs. 800 million, with production dropping by 3.5 million kg as all categories of bulk tea, packet tea and tea bags showed a decrease. For the period Jan-Sept 2018, exports totalled 212.3 million kg compared to 215.8 million kg for Jan-Sept 2017, recording a decrease of 3.5 million kg. On a cumulative basis, all the main categories of exports such as bulk tea, packet tea and tea bags have shown a YOY decrease. more..

British High Commissioner raises concerns over delay in holding PC elections

Oct 26 (CT) “Many people will be disappointed that the term in office of a sixth of Sri Lanka’s nine Provincial Councils has expired without voting for new representatives taking place or planned,” Dauris tweeted this morning, a day after the terms of PCs expired. “Timely elections are key to ensuring that the values of democracy flourish in our countries,” the British High Commissioner also said. Dauris’s statement also follows a strongly-worded letter from Elections Commission Chairman more..

Ammo deal with underworld Major, 2 soldiers arrested

Oct 26 (CT) The Second-in-Command of an Army camp in Ampara and two other soldiers were arrested yesterday, for allegedly supplying nearly 3,000 rounds of live ammunition to underworld operatives, Police said. They said the suspects had supplied a total of 2,958 rounds of live Type 56 ammunition to a group that was arrested at Siyambalanduwa on Sunday (21). Second-in-Command, described as an Army Major, more..

Defense statement of case against Dhammaloka Thero begins

Oct 26 (AD) Presenting the defense statement of the case against Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero over the alleged illegal possession of an elephant calf commenced today (25). Defending attorney, President’s Counsel Prasanna de Alwis presented the statements before the Colombo HC Judge Sampath Wijeratne. He states that the way Attorney General (AG) has presented the charge sheet for the case is completely illegitimate. While the plaintiff has said that the defendant had illegally kept more..

Sri Lanka- South Africa Partnership Forum held in Colombo

Oct 26 (MFA) 7th Session of the SL-South Africa Partnership Forum was held on 16 Oct at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo to review political and economic relations and strengthen cooperation between the two countries. SL delegation to the Partnership Forum was led by Sumith Nakandala, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs while the South African delegation was led by Dr. Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director General, Dept of International Relations more..

Video: Grade 5 Scholarship Exam no longer compulsory

Oct 26 (AD) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has instructed officials to cancel the circular which makes sitting for the Grade 5 Scholarship Exam compulsory for all students. He said that he has instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to cancel the said circular. Minister had taken the decision after considering the recommendations of the review committee appointed with regard to the restructuring more..

FCID seeks AG’s advice regarding Namal, four others

Oct 26 (DN) The FCID conducting investigations against five suspects including Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaksa for their alleged involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.15 million in a company owned by Namal Rajapaksa, yesterday informed Court that they have sought the Attorney General’s (AG) advice regarding the future course of legal action against the suspects. When this money laundering case came up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage, more..

New constitution: Second interim report on Nov 7 ?

Oct 26 (CT) The second interim report of the new constitution is to be presented to the Constitutional Assembly by the steering committee on Nov. 7. A senior official attached to the Constitutional Assembly told Daily Mirror that a document was due to reach them on November 7, but declined to reveal what the document would be. However, the Daily Mirror learns from reliable sources that the document referred to is the second interim report on the new constitution. more..

Prez stands firm on East Container Terminal issue

Oct 26 (Island) Prez Sirisena has reiterated that the development of the East Container Terminal (ECTA) of the Colombo Port would be handled exclusively by SL Ports Authority (SLPA). Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe explained Prez’s stand, at the weekly media briefing. He said the Cabinet would finalise the matter on Tuesday. He ruled out the possibility of the Prez giving in to combined pressure from India and UNP. more..

Is Sri Lanka beautiful at heart?

Oct 26 (DM) Little Sri Lanka is sure to get a bit cocky now with travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet naming the island to be the top tourist destination in 2019. Well, is there anything wrong in being proud of this achievement given that SL has had little to celebrate after the civil war and after the island’s administrators were seen as a ruthless bunch by the world in how they quelled the tiger rebels? According to Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka has topped the list of travel destinations more..

Need is South Asian outlook; not Global

Oct 26 (DM) Last week, no less a person than the most trusted ally of President Sirisena, the General Secretary of the UPFA Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said there were four RAW agents in the Cabinet, whose names would be exposed in due time. Wonder why RAW would want to spend on four moles in the Cabinet when one or two at the most can tell them all that they wish to hear at half the cost. General Secretary of Prez Sirisena’s SLFP Minister Duminda Dissanayake said, more..

The big media divide

Oct 26 (DM) If a foreigner who can read both Sinhala and Tamil goes through the newspapers published in SL in those two languages he might conclude that he was reading newspapers published in two countries. There is such a vast and strange gap between the priorities of Sinhala and Tamil newspapers. Currently it is the conflict between the two main parties in the Govt and the attempts or pretense by certain circles to more..

Peace education for prisoners

Oct 26 (CT) The Peace Education Programme is presently implementing a volunteer-run programme of healing in 24 locations in SL including in prisons/correctional facilities, rehabilitation clinics, administrative centres, social services departments and with youth and war veterans for the purpose of reducing violence in society. Global Advisor of the Programme, Paul Bloomfield, said that programme which is conducted free-of- charge more..