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Petition against ex-President Sirisena for pardoning murderer before SC today

Nov 29 (Island) The fundamental rights violation petition filed against former Prez Sirisena for granting a presidential pardon to murder convict Jude Anthony Jayamaha of Royal Park will be supported in the Supreme Court today. The petition says that Jude Anthony Jayamaha was a drug addict, convicted of the brutal killing of Yvonne Jonsson in her Royal Park apartment, by beating her against the steps of her apartment. The killer convicted of murder on July 11, 2012, more..

Govt should intervene to probe Shafi, Hisbullah cases

Nov 29 (DM) MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said the govt should intervene to investigate the incidents of Dr. Shafi Shahabdeen and the controversy involving Shariya University of former governor M.A.L.M. Hisbullah without any political involvement. The Thera said that he expected the govt would carry out its responsibility in dealing with these issues. “It is regrettable in the way the previous govt and more..

Tokyo gives additional grant for mine clearance

Nov 29 (Island) The Govt of Japan has provided an additional grant of US$ 635,420 (approx. Rs. 110 million) to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for humanitarian demining activities in Northern Sri Lanka. The grant contract was signed yesterday at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between Japanese Ambassador Sugiyama Akira and Country Director of MAG Valentina Stivanello. The project will contribute to the efforts of the Govt of SL in ensuring that mine-contaminated areas are safe, more..

Police Media operations to be brought under MCNS

Nov 29 (DN) The Police Media operations is scheduled to be brought under the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) with the aim of streamlining the Tri-Forces and Police Media operations. Police Media Division which operated under its Spokesman SSP Ruwan Gunasekara, had suspended its operations from last Wednesday. Mobile phone of the Police Media Spokesman and all telephones of the Police Media Unit have been disconnected since yesterday. more..

Alleged abduction: Swiss embassy denies Sri Lanka access to its employee

Nov 29 (Island) Swiss embassy in Colombo has declined to give Sri Lanka, conducting an investigation into an alleged abduction of one of its employees, access to the person concerned. Sources said that the CID had been denied an opportunity to record the alleged victim’s statement. Sources said that the investigations had been hampered by the failure on the part of the detectives to question the alleged victim. more..

Schools must be mosquito free when opening for 1st term in 2020

Nov 29 (DM) Education Ministry instructed its officials to conduct a countrywide dengue prevention campaign in schools prior to the commencement of the O/L exam and again before the reopening of schools for the first term in 2020. Ministry said the officials had been advised to conduct cleaning programmes even on Sundays without disturbing the exams. “Instructions have been given to the Provincial Education Directors, Zonal Education Directors, Principals of all Teachers’ Training more..

'SL to follow a non aligned foreign policy'

Nov 29 (DN) International Relations State Minister Susil Premajayantha said all steps will be taken by his ministry to safeguard Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty in a manner that would prevent any international interference in its domestic affairs. “Sri Lanka would follow a non aligned foreign policy while protecting its independence and sovereignty without leaving room for any foreign country to interfere in its domestic affairs,” Premajayantha said. Susil Premajayantha who emphasised that more..

Hopes for boost in Indo-Lanka ties

Nov 29 (FT) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who arrived in New Delhi last evening on his first State visit since assuming office, will push for more Indian investment and possibly wider financial support for Sri Lanka, while assuring its closest neighbour of continued friendly relations. Rajapaksa left the country last afternoon on the two-day State visit, accompanied by Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, more..

Indo-Lanka Accord 2019

Nov 29 (DM) Indo-Lanka Accord does not describe happiness. It was an agreement that belonged to a different time, a different context and obviously associated with people who have since passed on. The bad taste notwithstanding, the years between 1987 and 2019 haven’t been without their positives. India helped SL’s war on terror with intelligence information that were of critical importance. India shared intelligence information regarding the possibility of a terrorist attack on Easter more..

Can President win over minorities ?

Nov 29 (DM) Many people in the South seem to be overjoyed by the election of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Prez at the Nov 16 election with an overwhelming support of Sinhala Buddhists. In a precise sense, they are jubilant over his election without relying on minorities. Interestingly, a majority of Tamils and Muslims view their almost en bloc support to NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa, who is also the UNP deputy leader, as a great achievement despite his defeat. more..

Women indebted to microfinance companies receive Lifeline

Nov 29 (DM) The stated aim of microfinance companies is to uplift the lives of rural communities by providing them with financial assistance. In SL, the provision of financial services to rural households was largely recognised with the 1986 Janasaviya programme. Thereafter many microfinance companies mushroomed in the country. But today, rather than being institutions of financial upliftment, microfinance companies have more..

Union leader delivers reform message to rescue loss-making Sri Lanka Post

Nov 29 (ST) The Postal Department, now functioning under the brand name Sri Lanka Post, is running at a big loss of Rs 6,000 million and successive governments are to blame, says a trade union leader. Joint Postal Trade Union Alliance Convenor Chintaka Bandara said Sri Lanka lags far behind times compared to the giant strides other countries have taken to develop their postal services. Saddled with a staff of 26,781 and more..

SAG 2019: Let the games begin

Nov 29 (ST) As Sri Lanka gear up for the 13th installment of the South Asian Games, which will be officially declared open in seven days in Kathmandu, Nepal, the island nation will pin hopes on its athletes to rake up more medals than they claimed in 2016. In the 2016 South Asian Games (SAG) held in Guwahati and Shillong in India, Sri Lanka fielded 484 athletes in 23 sports and finished off second in the medals tally with a total of 186. more..

EC Chief informs Prez of his retirement

Nov 29 (AD) Mahinda Deshapriya has informed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he would be stepping down from his post as the Chairman of the Election Commission, says the Office of the Speaker. The Speaker’s Office said the Election Commission’s chairman has briefed Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of his decision. However, the Speaker, commenting on the matter as the chairman of the Constitutional Council, more..

Lost elephant seal pup closely guarded on unique visit

Nov 29 (ST) A young southern elephant seal – the largest of all seals – was spotted by amazed witnesses near Unawatuna this week, the first time an elephant seal has been spotted in the northern Indian Ocean. Southern elephant males can be more than 7m (20 feet) long and weigh almost 4,000kg. These massive creatures take their name from their trunk-like inflatable snouts with which they produce loud roars, more..

Cabinet decides to stop oil palm cultivation forthwith

Nov 29 (DM) Galle District Secretary Somarathna Widanapathirana said that a decision taken by the Cabinet at the meeting that was held on Nov 11 to immediately stop the cultivation of oil palm in Sri Lanka has been conveyed to him. He said so yesterday while explaining the matters at the District Environmental Committee that was held in Galle District Secretariat. He informed the police officers who attended the meeting more..

President holds bilateral talks with Indian PM

Nov 29 (AD) Bilateral discussions between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Indian PM Narendra Modi are currently underway, according to reports. The discussion between the two leaders is taking place at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi. President Rajapaksa will later call on his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind. President Rajapaksa was accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan today (29) more..

Modi announces $400m line of credit to SL

Nov 29 (AD) Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa has extended an invitation to Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit SL as the first head of State to arrive in the island nation during his tenure. The two leaders delivered a joint statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi this afternoon (29). After meeting with Modi for bilateral talks, Rajapaksa also announced the release of all Indian fishermen boats currently in SL custody and vice versa. more..

SC prevents Royal Park convict from travelling overseas

Nov 29 (RN) The Supreme Court issued an interim injunction a short while ago preventing recently pardoned Royal Park murder convict Shramantha Jude Jayamaha from travelling overseas. Supreme Court Justices Vijith Malagoda and Gamini Amarasekara issued the order today after considering a petition that challenged Former Prez Sirisena’s controversial decision to pardon Jayamaha. The now 32-year-old Jayamaha more..

Video: Want to take ties with India to higher level: President

Nov 29 (AD) SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday said he would strive to take his country’s bilateral relationship with India to a very high level. Speaking to reporters after a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, he also said both India and Sri Lanka need to work together on issues relating to security and overall welfare of the people of the two countries. Rajapaksa arrived in Delhi on Thursday more..

Christmas Cheer

Nov 29 (CT) Govt's tax reductions, tax abolishments and the hike in one particular tax only, coupled with the merger of another with it, presented by Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa at his first Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, giving consumer cheer this Christmas season, would result in the liberation of a sum of Rs 527 billion from the clutches of the tax man, to the hands of the consumer, on a net basis, in respect of five taxes only, vis-a-vis next year's budget estimates, as found on more..

Unanswered question

Nov 29 (FT) Evidently the Tamils ​​in the north and particularly the Muslims in the east have voted en-block for Sajith Premadasa while a vast majority of Sinhala Buddhist voters in the south voted for Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This Prez Election clearly shows a pattern of voting where major ethnic groups – Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim had cliqued into three separate groups according to their race and religion, in casting the vote. Another highlight of the Prez Election is the unprecedented role played by more..

Tax Reform: කථිකාචාර්ය ඉන්ද්රජිත් අපෝන්සු

Justice Minister and UN delegation discuss drugs and prisoners

Nov 29 (DM) A delegation comprising the Director of Operations of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Miwa Kato and Head of Global Maritime Crime Program Alan Cole have met with Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Law Reforms Nimal Siripal De Silva. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Justice Human Rights and Legal Reforms on Thursday. “At the discussion, the Minister and the delegation expressed views regarding the taking of illegal drugs and illegal drug trafficking more..

SC reserves order in businessman Mohamed Shiyam’s murder appeal

Nov 29 (Island) A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday reserved the order in respect of the murder of businessman, Mohamed Shiyam. Among the accused are the former DIG of Police Vass Gunewardena, his son Ravindu and four others. They were convicted by the High Court Trial-at-Bar of the murder, conspiracy and aiding and abetting the crime. The convicts consequently appealed to the Supreme Court, seeking to set aside the conviction and the sentence. more..

Govt to proceed with Suraksha Insurance scheme

Nov 29 (DM) Rejecting media reports that the Govt had decided to suspend the Suraksha Insurance scheme, Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said the Govt would proceed with the scheme project as it is an enormous aid for school students. “Suraksha Insurance scheme project is one of the pivotal projects that has been implemented for students in the recent past,” he said. He said the Govt had realized more..

Over 78,000 dengue cases reported this year

Nov 29 (AD) The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health says that a total of 78,429 suspected dengue cases were reported to the Epidemiology Unit from all over the island so far this year. In the month of Nov, 2019, alone 14,921 suspected dengue cases were reported to the Epidemiology Unit from all over the island. Approximately 46.0 % of dengue cases were reported from the Western province. The highest numbers of dengue cases were reported during the 29th week of 2017. more..

'SL to focus on India, China, Japan for FDI'

Nov 29 (EN) Sri Lanka wants to target India, China and Japan for foreign investments with measures taken to raise investor confidence, State Minister for investment promotion, Keheliya Rambukwelle said. “We will not look at favorites when it comes to international relations, but we are very particular about India and China including Japan,” Minister said, after assuming duties at his office in Colombo. He said the three countries were important especially in terms of logistics. more..

Maithripala to continue active politics: SLFP

Nov 29 (DM) Former Prez Maithripala Sirisena will continue to engage in active politics even after the general elections, SLFP Senior Vice President Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa said. He told media personnel that the former Prez had informed this during the last SLFP Central Committee meeting. “He will remain as the Chairman of the SLFP in future as he does currently,” Prof. Piyadasa said. more..

Govt must respect people’s mandate: Sunil

Nov 29 (NR) The JVP says the govt must respect the mandate they received at the 2019 Prez Election and work towards upholding governance. Speaking at a media briefing JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said the incident involving an employee of the Switzerland Embassy in Colombo, could severely affect diplomatic relations. The MP questioned if such incidents will not affect the economy and tourism. He also questioned the the implications such an incident will have on the future of SL, more..

Discussions underway regarding Opposition Leader issue

Nov 29 (DM) Discussions have commenced with regard to resolving the matter relating to the Opposition Leader’s post and the UNP leadership, several party seniors including General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Thalatha Athukorala said. They informed the joint press conference held yesterday that these matters will be decided upon without delay. “There is no crisis in the party, but we will discuss the matter and arrive at decisions shortly,” more..

President assures release of Indian boats in Sri Lanka’s custody

Nov 29 (AD) President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has assured that steps will be taken to release the Indian boats that are currently held under the custody of SL. Addressing the joint statement delivered alongside Indian PM Narendra Modi this afternoon, he said this matter was discussed at length during the bilateral discussions between them. “PM Sri Narendra Modi and I discussed several important issues this morning. more..

FMM concerned about Police Media closure

Nov 29 (RN) Free Media Movement (FMM) is expressing concern about the abrupt closure of the Police Media unit without the introduction of an alternative for Media to obtain information from the Police. In a press release issued this evening, Nov 29, the Media Watchdog said that the right of journalists and through them for citizens to be informed about incidents that impact on their lives has been violated. By closing down the Police Media unit this right has been blocked, it added. more..

Begging in trains to be banned from Dec. 1st

Nov 29 (NR) Begging inside trains will be banned from the 1st of Dec. Railways Superintendent Dilantha Fernando said the decision was reached after State Minister of Railways CB Rathnayake engaged in an observational visit to the Maradana Railway Station today, and questioned commuters on the issues they experience in the railway system. Although the decision was reached many times in the past, its implementation was not enforced stringently. more..

UNP leadership crisis: Ranil prepared to listen to majority: Wijepala

Nov 29 (RN) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is willing to hold discussions with former deputy leader Sajith Premadasa and then take a decision on his next move, UNP MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi said. This, Hettiarachchi said, will be in line with the request made by a majority of UNP MPs. Earlier this week, 57 UNP MPs signed a letter to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya requesting him to recognise Premadasa as Opposition Leader. more..

CHR says women underrepresented in new govt

Nov 29 (Island) More women should have been appointed as ministers, state ministers and dy ministers, executive director of Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) Surangi Ariyawansha said. Fifty-four, Cabinet, State and Deputy Ministers had been appointed but there was only one woman in the list, she said. Sri Lanka was a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which calls for the equality of women. more..

Confidence boost by SL govt will draw foreign funds to rupee treasuries: Cabraal

Nov 29 (EN) SL’s new govt will boost confidence and attract more funds into rupee Treasury bills and bonds, Nivard Cabraal senior economic advisor to PM said. “Govt will instill confidence in the economy, which will attract foreign investments into Treasury bills and bonds,” Cabraal said. SL is cutting value added tax from 15 to 8% from December and has also announced other tax cuts in a bid to boost the economic activity which has taken a beating due to 2 currency crisis coming in close succession. more..

Sri Lankan born Wignaraja next UNDP Asia and Pacific Director

Nov 29 (UNDP) Kanni Wignaraja is set to assume her role as Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on 1 Dec 2019. Ms. Wignaraja, who is from Sri Lanka, was appointed as Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator of the UNDP by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. She brings to the Asia-Pacific Bureau and region a wealth of experience in the field of more..

Third term of schools ends today

Nov 29 (AD) The third term of studies of all govt and govt-approved schools will come to an end today. The first term of 2020 will accordingly commence on the 2nd of Jan. In the meantime, the GCE O/L Exam 2019 is scheduled to be held from Dec 2nd to 12th. A total number of 717,008 candidates have registered themselves to sit the exam at 4,987 exam centers across the island. The vouchers for school uniforms are to be handed over to the students by the second week of January. more..

FMM concerned about Police Media closure

Nov 29 (RN) Free Media Movement (FMM) is expressing concern about the abrupt closure of the Police Media unit without the introduction of an alternative for Media to obtain information from the Police. In a press release issued this evening, the Media Watchdog said that the right of journalists and through them for citizens to be informed about incidents that impact on their lives has been violated. By closing down the Police Media unit this right has been blocked, it added. more..