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Good Shepherd sisters skip 150th jubilee to aid Sri Lanka blast victims

Nov 1 (GSR) The Good Shepherd sisters in Sri Lanka have been taking care of widows and orphans from the island nation's civil war for 26 years. For their 150 years in SL after coming from Ireland, their charism has always been to tend to women and children. So, it came naturally for them to find a way to rush to the aid of the children left bereft after the Easter bombings in SL in April. They decided to take the money set aside for their 150th jubilee more..

Disabled voters hampered by lack of facilities, say activists

Nov 1 (ST) Disability rights organisations say that more should be done for disabled voters to exercise their franchise at the upcoming prez election. According to the National Census it is estimated that 1,617,924 persons live with some form of disability, a sizable amount which can have a direct impact on the results of the election they point out. Where ever possible, polling stations must be situated in buildings that are easily accessible more..

Sri Lanka Tourism plans Rs. 30 m outdoor campaign in Belgium

Nov 1 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism yesterday announced plans to launch a Rs. 30 million outdoor advertising campaign in tram stations in Brussels, in a bid to lure more high-end Belgian tourists to the country next year. “For 2020, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) is planning to launch an outdoor advertising campaign in tram stations in Belgium,” Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga told journalists, more..

No investigations and no accountability in attacks on refugees & asylum-seekers

Nov 1 (AI) Six months after they were violently forced out of their homes, there has been no police investigations into and no accountability for the threats and violence faced by refugees and asylum-seekers in Sri Lanka, Amnesty Int'l and Minority Rights Group Int'l said in a new report published today. In the days after the Easter Sunday massacre, where an armed group killed more than 250 people in 3 churches and 3 hotels more..

Malaysian High Court to decide on bail for LTTE-linked suspects

Nov 1 (NST) The bail for 12 people, including two assemblymen, who were charged with supporting and possessing items related to the LTTE will be decided at the High Court. This is after Sessions Court judges Rozina Ayob, Azman Ahmad, and Azura Alwi allowed an application by lawyer Ramkarpal Singh, for the matter to be referred to the High Court. The judges said there was a merit to refer the case which falls under Section more..

Southern H’way link to BIA expressway opens on Nov 5

Nov 1 (ST) Outer Circular Highway (OCH) between Kerawalapitiya and Kadwatha will be declared open for the public on November 5. The opening of the section will enable those using the Southern Highway to travel to the Katunayake International Airport, making use of the expressway. The OCH connects with the Katunayake expressway via Kerawalapitiya. The construction has been completed at a cost of Rs 66.9 billion. more..

Disenfranchised; voters complain they are off the list

Nov 1 (RN) Dozens of people in the Colombo District have been taking to Social Media to complain that although they sent their forms in at the right time, they do not appear on the electoral list and have not received their polling cards. These complaints are not unusual at any election period, but some of these complainants say they did submit their names and still have not been registered. One complainant alleges that the names of some more..

Video: UNP-led political parties ready to ink accord to form new coalition

Nov 1 (AD) The political parties led by the UNP are ready to ink the agreement to unify under the new coalition named Democratic National Front today. The accord will be signed ceremoniously at Colombo. Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has also attended the event. According to reports, the former President-led group will join this new alliance as an alternative party of the SLFP. more..

2019 Prez Election and the aftermath

Nov 1 (FT) Following the announcement of the results of the Prez Election on 17 Nov, and the new president swearing in, the ugly political system that has prevailed so far will end up giving way to an equally repulsive political system. It is the old prez system introduced by J.R. Jayewardene with all the powers concentrated in the presidency which could do anything other than making a woman a man that will cease to operate. Thereafter, the 19th Amendment will come to effect in full swing. more..

Prime Minister

Nov 1 (CT) UNP/UNFGG Leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the press at Temple Trees on Wednesday said that he would continue as PM even after the Prez Election due in another 15 days' time on 16 November. This is on the presumption that the UNP MP and Minister Sajith Premadasa contesting under the NDF ticket would win this Poll. Meanwhile, as per the Parliamentary seating as at June of last year, as found on the Parliament website, UNP/UNFGG together more..

Manifesto launch of Sajith Premadasa

14 Lankans nabbed with gold jewellery worth more than Rs.30mn

Nov 1 (DM) Fourteen Sri Lankan passengers were arrested with gold Jewellery worth more than Rs.30million at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning while attempting to smuggle them into the country, Customs media spokesman Sunil Jayarathne said. He said the male passengers aged between 30 and 50 were residents of Colombo and the suburbs. They were arrested by the customs officials attached to the airport arrival lounge, he said. more..

Candidates unconcerned about safety of Media

Nov 1 (RN) Free Media Movement is deeply concerned that none of the major Prez Candidates has drawn attention to the safety of journalists in this country. Issuing a statement to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, which falls on Nov 2, it pointed out that the campaign has not drawn attention to this vital issue. The statement also “expressed its deep displeasure that the present govt which came into power with the promise to bring justice for more..

Sajith will implement his promises: Malwatte Mahanayaka

Nov 1 (DN) Although promises made by most politicians and political parties are normally forgotten when they came into power one can confidently expect Sajith Premadasa to implement his pledges to the letter going by the experience of his past performance as a MP and a Minister, Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayaka Thera of the Malwatte Chapter observed yesterday. more..

Explosives-detecting robots in action at BIA

Nov 1 (AD) Two explosives-detecting robots, a donation from the Chinese govt to SL Police, were into action at the BIA starting from today. Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) unit attached to the BIA were introduced to the two new robots by Chinese officials. Named Robot Inspection Dog, these robots will be deployed at the arrival and departure terminals of the airport. The Chinese govt has donated three such robots to Sri Lanka, each worth over Rs. 80 million. more..

US says MCC grant needs SL public support

Nov 1 (EN) Sri Lanka’s parliament must approve a proposed grant of 480 million dollars by the United States govt’s Millennium Challenge Corporation to ensure it has public support, the U.S. embassy said. “Parliamentary review and approval are required by MCC to ensure the grant assistance agreement has the support of the govt and the people,” a statement said. SL’s Cabinet of ministers has just approved the MCC grant aimed at improving transport and land administration. more..

Warner steers Australia to series sweep of SL

Nov 1 (CI) Sri Lanka were better, the crowd was bigger, but the result was the same. Australia's experienced campaigners led by David Warner, Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins, were once again clinical in their home comforts to whitewash SL 3-0. They held SL to a sub-par total of 6 for 142 before mowing it down with seven wickets and 14 balls to spare. The difference was Australia's power-hitting, placement and brilliant running more..

'Sajith’s manifesto is a dream shop'

Nov 1 (AD) UPFA MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says that the election manifesto unveiled by Sajith Premadasa is a dream shop while also comparing it to a small novel. He alleged that they had somewhat delayed the released on their manifesto as it would be emulated by Sajith Premadasa. He said that as they had predicted even in the last minute it had been clear that certain parts of SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto had been included into Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto. more..

Crown Royal Holdings begins shipping, resort operations and courier services

Nov 1 (FT) Crown Royal Shipping Services, which functions under Crown Royal Holdings Ltd. (CRHPL), recently commenced shipping operations, with Maldivian company Equatorial Lines Ltd. to provide cargo transportation between Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Opening up international cargo transportation between a global network and Sri Lanka, CRHPL’s Crown Royal Security Services, which is a licensed shipping agent as well as a freight forwarder and NVOCC Operator, more..

AG orders police to immediately record statements from Sri Ranga and ex-DIG

Nov 1 (AD) Noting the inaction of the police with regard to investigations into the fatal accident involving a vehicle of J. Sri Ranga, the Attorney General has instructed the Acting IGP to record statements from the former MP and former DIG Amarasiri Senaratne with immediate effect. In a letter to the Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, Attorney General Dappula de Livera has also instructed to submit the complete IB extracts more..

Premadasa presents Environmental Charter endorsed by renowned conservationist

Nov 1 (Island) SL’s commitment to wildlife is inspiring, says world renowned conservationist Valmik Thapar, who has spent 44 years working with wildlife. He said that even in India at a given time it was difficult to get 300 people on a platform, praising Sri Lankans who give jobs to focus in the field of nature and wildlife. He said that his visit as nothing to do with any politics here nor was he here to instruct on his forte of cat species as he did not know much about the situation here. more..

AG reminded to brief court on legal action against Vijayakala’s statement

Nov 1 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today (01) reminded the Attorney General to brief the bench on legal action that would be taken against State Minister of Education Vijayakala Maheswaran over her statement concerning the now-defunct LTTE. When the case was taken up before the Colombo Magistrate this morning, the officers of the CID told the court that the investigations on the case have concluded and all of the relevant reports have already been directed to Attorney General. more..

Govt warned of debt crisis tipping point, austerity need

Nov 1 (EN) Sri Lanka is at a potential tipping point of a debt crisis with annual debt repayment estimated at US$ 5 billion, requiring bi-partisan support for reforms and austerity measures, govt has been warned. Foreign debt repayments over 2018-22 amount to a massive US$ 14.9 billion, said a new report on SL’s debt crisis by a group of independent economists and analysts, who noted an IMF loan to the island was only US$ 1.5 billion. more..

John Keells Holdings Sept net down on Easter Sunday hit, taxes

Nov 1 (EN) John Keells Holdings (JKH), SL’s largest listed conglomerate, said its net profits for the September quarter fell 55% from a year earlier to 2.3 billion rupees amid weaker tourism and a tax charge. Earnings per share for the quarter were 1.74 rupees. For the first six months of the 2020 financial year, JKH posted 2.49 rupees in earnings per share. The JKH share closed flat at 157 rupees on Friday. Revenue for the September quarter grew 3% from a year earlier to 33.7 billion rupees, more..

‘CBK-UNF MoU has no political basis’

Nov 1 (NR) SLFP says the MoU signed between Former Prez Chandrika Kumaratunga and the UNF this morning has no political basis. SLFP MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said all those who disagree with the decision of the SLFP to join forces with the SLPP will rally together with the party once again. MP said they don’t believe by signing an agreement with Sajith Premadasa, former Prez can achieve her desired results adding that the move does not have a political basis. more..

Elephant dies carrying tourists on safari

Nov 1 (LB) Devastating footage has been released shows an elephant which had died after reportedly being forced to carry tourists on safari in Sri Lanka. Shocking images of the deceased animal have been shared in the hope it will see action taken to protect wildlife in Asia. Animal rights activists say the photographs show the kinds of abuse innocent animals are forced to endure as part of the tourist trade. In the heartbreaking video, more..

Kanjipani Imran re-remanded till Nov 15th

Nov 1 (NR) Underworld kingpin Mohamed Najim Mohamed Imran alias Kanjipani Imran has been further remanded till the 15th of Nov over a case filed on charges of intimidating a police officer. The order was issued by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. The case was filed against Kanjipani Imran following an investigation carried-out by CCD over the alleged threats made against a police officer. Police Officers attached to the Keselwatte Police had carried out a drug raid more..

Moody’s affirms 3 Sri Lankan banks’ ratings

Nov 1 (LBO) Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the long-term/short-term local currency deposit ratings of Bank of Ceylon (BOC), Hatton National Bank (HNB) and Sampath Bank at B2/NP. At the same time, Moody’s has affirmed the long-term foreign currency issuer ratings and long-term/short-term foreign currency deposit ratings of these three banks at B2 and B3/NP respectively. Moody’s has also affirmed Baseline Credit Assessments (BCAs) and adjusted BCAs of the three banks at b2. more..

Denuwara Menike marks first journey

Nov 1 (DM) The imported new luxury S14 Chinese Power set named Denuwara Menike made its first journey to Badulla this morning, the Railways Department said. They said the express train would be operating between Badulla and Colombo Fort from today. The launching ceremony of the train service was held at the Fort Railway station and the train left for Badulla at 6.45 a.m this morning. more..

One dead in flooding, 23 missing

Nov 1 (RN) DMC reported today that 1 person residing in Matara District died and 4 people are injured due to heavy rain. A total number of 23 people are missing and 20,336 people belonging to 5,262 families were affected due to heavy showers in Kandy, Moneragala, Kegalle, Rathnapura, Badulla, Puttalam, Kurunegala, Hambantota, Jaffna, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Gampaha and Matara districts. 639 houses have been partially damaged while 23 houses have been more..

‘Cabinet nod for separate service of In-Service Advisors’

Nov 1 (DN) Kurunegala District UNP MP and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told the Daily News yesterday that he received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday (30) to establish a separate service of In-Service Advisors (Teacher Instructors’ Service). Accordingly, the qualified and experienced teacher instructors would be recruited in a formal manner for this new service shortly under the Education Ministry considering it as a national service. more..

Video: FR petition filed against signing of MCC agreement

Nov 1 (AD) A Fundamental Rights (FR) petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking an interim injunction against the signing of certain agreement with the U.S. including the MCC, ACSA and SOFA by the govt of SL. FR petition has been filed by Attorney-at-Law Darshana Weraduwage while the Attorney General, President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana and more..

Newest sacred site, Madhu Shrine

Nov 2 (DN) The scroll or the traditional Sannas Pathraya (scroll) declaring the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu as a Sacred Site was presented by Prez Sirisena to the Bishop of the Diocese of Mannar Most Reverend Dr Emmanuel Fernando at the Prez’s Office on Tuesday (29). Our Lady of Madhu, SL’s holiest Catholic shrine, is venerated by Sinhala Buddhists and Hindu Tamil communities too. The site attracts thousands of local and international visitors, especially during the annual feast. more..

National security or political expediency?

Nov 2 (CT) Prez contender Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) has made national security the focal point of his campaign. He and his supporters have enough ammunition in their arsenal in the Easter Sunday bombings. Security lapses of the kind during the Yahapalana term of office would not and did not happen during ten years of Rajapaksa rule. Unable to ignore the issue, the other leading contender, Sajith Premadasa (SP), has waded in by promising citizens to revamp entire security apparatus more..

'We reject the Tamil Parties' 13 proposals'

Nov 2 (CT) MP of the UPFA for Kandy Keheliya Rambukwella says the nation's youth believe that Gotabaya is the alternative and there is a difference of 1.7 million votes between Gotabaya and Sajith. Q: What does the SLPP think the outcome of the upcoming Prez Election will be? A: There is not even a tiny bit of doubt about our victory. The reason for our optimism is that we took the result of the last LG Elections in 2018 more..

Constitutional Coup in retrospect

Nov 2 (DN) A year ago, the country withstood a serious challenge to its governance and govt. Constitutional Coup launched by President Sirisena marked a low point in the constitutional and political development of the country in as much as the decision of the SC and the role of civil society and other political actors in reversing it, held out and indeed holds out, the hope that at the end of the day, democratic principles, practices and institutions lie firmly embedded in our body politic. more..

Contest for state power: JVP’s coming of age & its challenge

Nov 2 (CT) During the present contest for power in terms of the Prez election, an interesting question is whether the JVP led alliance i.e. NPP will become the third force in SL politics? Some may argue that it is already the third force. In the absence of other credible alternatives with mass appeal, it is yet to be seen whether the JVP led alliance will become so in terms of the votes gained on Nov 16th? Whatever the case, evolution of the JVP from its smaller beginnings in the late 60s as more..

Chinese gang rape victim worried Gotabaya’s victory will deny her justice

Nov 2 (CT) The Chinese national who alleged that she was gang raped by SLPP politician and former Southern Provincial Councilor Krishantha Pushpakumara AKA Raththaran and his goons, says that the Police has failed to apprehend the culprits openly defying court orders adding that eventual victory of SLPP prez aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa will deny her justice forever. Speaking exclusively to The Colombo Telegraph, more..

Editorial: The Prez and MCC

Nov 2 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have asked the govt to put the signing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant agreement on hold until the presidential election is over. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has told the media the pact will be signed before 16 November; will he change his mind in keeping with the presidential directive? The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has also urged the govt not to proceed with the signing of the MCC pact. more..

Muslims should turn left

Nov 2 (FT) To start with, let us briefly review some of the important landmarks in the history of Muslim community in this country since it set foot in the eighth century. For more than a millennium and until the beginning of the 20th century, Muslims enjoyed a unique and exemplary period of peaceful coexistence and prosperous living that is incomparable with any other Muslim minority anywhere in the world. In this regard, this community is indebted to the boundless hospitality more..