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Prez declares open development projects completed under Pibidemu Polonnaruwa

Nov 3 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena today (2) handed over several developments completed under Pibidemu Polonnaruwa district development programme. Prez declared open the water pump station and the tower in Kaduruwela established in order provide safe drinking water to the public under Polonnaruwa Water Supply Project. Polonnaruwa Water Supply Project has been implemented at a cost of Rs. 2240 million more..

US$40m OPEC Fund loan finances key highway in Sri Lanka

Nov 3 (DM) The OPEC Fund for Int'l Development, OFID, has signed a US$40 million loan agreement with Sri Lanka to co-finance the rehabilitation of an 18 km section of the A017 Highway in the southern region of the country. The project, known as the Rehabilitation of the A017 Road Corridor Project (Rakwana–Suriyakanda) and co-financed with the govt of SL, is expected to help promote trade, reduce travel costs and time, more..

Opened Lotus Tower still closed to public; TRC and military to run it

Nov 3 (ST) The Lotus Tower, which was ceremoniously opened in September this year, remains barred to the public with the Telecom Regulatory Commission of SL (TRCSL) now planning to run it with the use of the military. The deployment of army, navy and military will be a temporary measure, said P R S P Jayatilake, TRCSL Chairman. He also said the date on which the Lotus Tower will finally be accessible to the public is not yet decided. more..

100 arrested with drugs at Facebook party in Dehiwala

Nov 3 (AD) Dehiwala Police has arrested 100 persons at a party involving drugs held at a hotel on the Dehiwala beach. The arrest has been made last night based on a tip-off received by the Dehiwala Police Station. Reportedly, 83 males and 17 females have been arrested at the party organized through Facebook. The arrestees aged between 18 and 48 years are residents from Ambalangoda, Kalutara, Kurunegala, and more..

Sajith makes written request to Gota for a debate

Nov 3 (NR) NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa in a formal letter called on SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a one-on-one debate before the prez polls. “On Wednesday, I invited you to take up the challenge of facing the nation at such a debate. Unfortunately, I am yet to receive a response from your campaign. Some of your advisors have alluded to the absence of a written invitation even in this age of more..

Muhyiddin denies LTTE detainees abused during detention

Nov 3 (NST) Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied allegation that those held on suspicion of having ties to the LTTE were tortured and intimidated during their detention. He said based on the information given to him by the IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and officers involved with the case, the detainees were not abused. According to Muhyiddin, the detainees also did not make any formal complaints in the court room more..

Polls monitors flay candidate list

Nov 3 (CT) A group of independent polls monitors are to submit a proposal to raise the Prez candidate deposit from the present Rs. 75,000 to at least Rs. 2.5 million to discourage also ran hopefuls, Executive Director of the PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiaarachchi said yesterday. He said, the matter had already been unofficially raised with the Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya and a draft proposal towards this end would be prepared more..

SLFP patron CBK faces expulsion

Nov 3 (ST) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, now patron of the SLFP, faces expulsion for being engaged in a deal with the NDF. Enraged by the move, the SLFP’s de facto leader Prez Sirisena has summoned an urgent meeting of the party’s Central Committee, its policy making body, for Tuesday night. He will recommend her expulsion from the SLFP together with party members who are backing her. more..

A centrist social compact

Nov 4 (CT) The hullabaloo over sanitary pads has served a salutary purpose. It has exposed our collective confusion over what is poverty and what is development. Other than National Security that acquired a new urgency in the light of the Easter Sunday massacre, poverty and development are the two central issues dominating the furious debate on who should be our next president. The subject of menstrual hygiene of women/girls who constitute 52% of the population was first taken up more..

Boomerang lesson for Yahapâlanaya

Nov 4 (CT) During the same period in 2014, nearly five years ago, the echoing clamor of the people of the island nation was to end nepotism, corruption, waste of public funds and bring democracy that would create a just society which upheld key features of a righteous democracy such as freedom of expression, equality before and equal protection of law and right to stand against discrimination, cruelty and degradation. Thousands gathered and voted for a just society based on principles of more..

'Sajith Premadasa's victory is assured'

Nov 4 (CT) Minister and UNP General Secretary, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, says if fraud occurred in the CB Bond Issue, deliver a judgment about that immediately. Q: Do you support Sajith Premadasa genuinely? A: Yes, we work with genuine intentions. However, we want the UNP to win. When the Party takes a decision, we get together, irrespective of our personal stands. Ranil Wickremesinghe took this decision more..

CBK's ascendancy

Nov 4 (CT) Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (74), Sri Lanka's fourth Executive President (Nov 1994-Nov 2005) displayed exceptional political cunning. She is best known for successfully exploiting the naivety, indecisiveness and weakness of UNP/UNFGG Leader and PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe (70), thereby sending the UNP - Sri Lanka's single largest political party at one time - into the political wilderness for a record 21 years (1994-2015), save two years in between. more..

SLFP’s charge of the light brigade

Nov 4 (ST) Patron Saint of the SLFP chapter and the Party’s former Prez of SL twice over, Chandrika Kumaratunga flew home from her London base last week after receiving an SOP – Save Our Party – text message from senior party stalwart, Kumara Welgama. The man from Kalutara, the 68-year-old Welgama had been keeping the onerous problems that had been plaguing the SLFP in these recent months on his shoulders like Atlas keeps the sky on his head, but the mounting weight of it more..

Water crisis in the Wet Zone

Nov 4 (CT) Farmers in the Harispattuwa area in Kandy have noted that they have abandoned the cultivation of paddy and other plants that require a substantial amount of water to grow, due to the difficulties they face in obtaining water. However, official sources who requested to remain unnamed, clarified that these circumstances occurred not only within Harispattuwa, but also within the entire Kandy District. more..

Extracts from Tamil Tigers' debt to America

Nov 4 (CT) Daya Gamage worked at the American Embassy in Colombo, as the Sole Foreign Service National and a Political Specialist. He retired in 1994 and has been living in Las Vegas since retirement. He has been able to share his knowledge, understanding and his intimate professional association with the US Department of State in the form of a book - Tamil Tigers' Debt to America. While assuring the facts contained in his book cannot be found anywhere else, more..

Editorial: Publish audit report

Nov 4 (Island) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is reported to have consulted the Attorney General’s Department on whether to release the forensic audit report on the bond issuances from 2007 to 2015, as it could have an influence on the polity in the run-up to the upcoming presidential election. One is baffled. If the findings of the auditors are likely to influence the voters then that is all the more reason why they should be made public without further delay. more..

JVP Press conference

This land of glorious promise and perpetual failures

Nov 4 (ST) As SL’s Prez election counts down to a tense culmination in two weeks, let us have the comfort of imagining in a parallel and more hopeful universe, that following the crushing defeat of the Rajapaksas in 2015, its newly formed Pohottuwa Party had cleansed its ranks of the highly corrupt, the highly murderous and the highly racist, modeling itself on the lotus bud that it had chosen as its symbol. As many would cackle, this would perchance have been wondrously impossible, more..

HSBC launches supply chain finance platform in Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (TM) Global banking giant HSBC launched its supply chain finance (HSCF) platform in Sri Lanka at an event in Colombo on Thursday (31). The bank noted that this is the first supply chain finance on web-based platform launched by HSBC in Sri Lanka, following its successful implementation in France, Canada, Australia, the UAE, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The launch event focused on the modernisation and disruption of the supply chain more..

Forces involvement in campaigning raises red flags

Nov 4 (SO) Ministry of Defence and Law and Order last week strictly warned military and police personnel that the only political activity they could engage in was the casting of votes on election day. The directive comes amid concerns raised especially in the Eastern Province that SL Navy personnel in civilian clothes were engaged in campaigning heavily for SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

An election roaring with promises

Nov 4 (Island) Staggering balance of payments deficit; widening trade deficit; unimaginable investment-savings deficit; uncontrollable Fiscal deficit; Indebted to the public; indebted to banks; indebted to the corporate sector; indebted to international organizations; Treasury bonds; CB Bonds; Samurai bonds; Int'l bonds; One would think that I am insane. But these are some terms one would not miss when reading daily newspapers. They are not alien to Sri Lankans any more. more..

AASL names 55 athletes for SAG

Nov 4 (CT) Athletics Association of SL (AASL) named a team of 55 athletes to compete at the forthcoming South Asian Games 2019 in Nepal from 1 to 10 Dec. AASL wanted to name two athletes per event, and they indicated that the event organisers agreed to allow two athletes per event for visiting countries; but the Sports Ministry had informed them to reduce the team, hence they have been forced to cut down on the squad by naming just one athlete for certain events, especially for some more..

SL kicks off key tourism push at WTM today

Nov 4 (FT) Sri Lanka will kick off its biggest on-site tourism promotion post Easter Sunday tragedy at the three-day World Travel Market (WTM) beginning today in London. The fresh push for destination marketing has got a big boost as SL is the Premier Partner at the WTM, the leading global event for the travel industry, attended by over 50,000 int'l travel trade professionals. Premier Partnership deal with WTM London will mean more..

SL plays Ireland in opening match of qualifier

Nov 4 (DN) The fixture and match-ups for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia have been finalised, following the completion of the Qualifier event in the UAE. Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland have secured their places at The Big Dance, to be held in seven host cities across the country from 18 Oct – 15 Nov 2020. Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Oman will join SL in Group A of the 1st round, with 4 teams competing in Geelong from Oct 18-22. more..

Fonterra prepares food industry for new 2020 regulations

Nov 4 (TM) SL’s health authorities have taken steps to help improve dining experiences by introducing the new Premises Registration Regulation under the Food Act, with the purpose of standardising safety and quality processes across the food service industry. This new regulation, which will be implemented from 1 Jan 2020, requires all establishments involved in the manufacturing and processing of food or beverages to meet the new standards in order to register their more..

All-Island School Games 2019: Ratnayake Central, Petes retain titles

Nov 4 (Island) As it has been the case during the last few years, the school goers kept athletics fraternity’s hopes alive for better days ahead as they showcased promise and lowered many meet records at the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship, which concluded with Ratnayake Central and St. Peter’s defending the titles at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Sunday. The organisers, Sports Dept of the Ministry of Education more..

Young Wenurika makes Thanamalvila’s presence felt

Nov 4 (Island) Young sprinter Ravidi Wenurika of Wijayapura K.V., Thanamalwila made her schools presence felt throughout the five-day All Island Schools Athletics Championships as she established two new meet records on her way to winning three individual golds at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Wenurika coached by her schools’ Physical Training Instructor W.G.J. Udayanga won the Under-12 girls’ 100 metres, 60 metres and the long jump. She clocked 13.59 seconds to clinch the gold more..

Swimming National C'ships: Killer Whales, Visahka clinch Senior titles

Nov 4 (CT) The curtain fell on the third and final day of the National and Junior Swimming Championship 2019 at Sugathdasa Swimming complex yesterday, with Killer Whales Aquatics and Visakha Vidyalaya winning the senior Boys' and Girls' overall titles, while Lyceum International School Wattala and Nugegoda dominated to win the Junior Boys' and Girls' titles. Killer Whales scored 356 points while Army Aquatic Sports Committee was far behind with 136 points in second place. more..

CB Chief lists focus areas for incoming president

Nov 4 (FT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy last week said macroeconomic fundamentals were more consistent and predictable going forward and listed out some of the key economic challenges for the incoming president and govt. Pointing out that the Central Bank had put in place a new framework to maintain sound macroeconomic fundamentals, he said it was the new leadership that had to drive growth more..

Sri Lanka inks agreement with Russia on sidelines of INTERPOLITEX-2019, Moscow

Nov 4 (FT) A Sri Lankan delegation headed by Ministry of Defence of SL Additional Secretary (Law and Order) Thusitha Wanigasingha participated at the INTERPOLITEX-2019 exhibition, which commenced on 23 October at the All-Russian Exhibition Centre in Moscow. INTERPOLITEX is the largest exhibition in Russia and one of the largest in Europe, dedicated to the means of protecting state and public security. The event was officially opened by Russian Federation Dy PM Yuri Borisov. more..

Why are presidential contenders silent on long postponed PC polls?

Nov 4 (Island) All Prez candidates must declare their stance on holding provincial council elections, CaFFE said. CaFFE acting executive director, Manas Makeen said that the tenure of all provincial councils was over. "The tenure of some provincial councils ended years ago. The provincial Council elections were to be held before the prez election. Now there are rumours that the next general election will be held next. That means provincial Council elections might be further delayed." more..

Lord Naseby seeks full disclosure of Sri Lanka war dispatches

Nov 4 (Island) Lord Naseby believes that the British Govt is continuing to deliberately withhold information about the conduct of Sri Lanka’s armed forces during the final phase of the offensive to defeat the LTTE in 2009. On Wednesday (30), the distinguished Conservative peer tabled a question to UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the House of Lords seeking full disclosure of British diplomatic dispatches from Colombo more..

Govt holds forum with development partners

Nov 4 (FT) Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs recently held a forum with development partners. At the meeting the progress and achievement of the Ministry on Resettlement and Rehabilitation and reconciliation initiatives were discussed. The discussion was centred on land release, mine action (mine clearance, mine risk education and victim assistance), resettlement, more..

Sri Lanka to conduct adult tobacco survey

Nov 4 (EN) SL will conduct an adult tobacco survey, as part of a global research spearheaded by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US. Cabinet had given approval to a proposal for Dept of Census and Statistics to conduct the survey. CDC will give a grant of US$ 217,000 to support the 2019/2020 global survey. SL has seen a long term decline in tobacco use and legal cigarette use. But due to high taxes there has been a shift at some income levels to alternatives more..

Video: I will complete goals in manifesto within my tenure: Gotabaya

Nov 4 (AD) Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prez Candidate of SLPP, stated that he will complete everything that is said in his manifesto during his tenure as President. He says that his manifesto contains practical goals that can be achieved rather than promises. Rajapaksa stated this speaking at a public rally held in Dematagoda. This rally was attended by the grandson of the late President J.R. Jayawardena, Pradeep Jayawardena. more..

Cabinet approval unlikely for appointment of PR agencies for Sri Lanka Tourism

Nov 4 (FT) With the last Cabinet meeting of the current Govt scheduled for tomorrow, sources close to Sri Lanka Tourism said that it is highly unlikely that the proposal to allocate Rs. 550 million to appoint public relations (PR) agencies would receive approval. SL Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) was to appoint PR agencies for 13 key tourism source markets for the next two years, namely, the UK, Germany, France, China, India, Japan, Russia, Australia, Benelux, Poland, Ukraine, and more..

SL upgrades Colombo FIR control centre

Nov 4 (EN) Sri Lanka has upgraded air navigation infrastructure in Colombo Flight Information region which controls air traffic over most of the central Indian Ocean area. The Colombo FIR (VCC FIR) stretches 600,000 square nautical miles with 14 routes. Colombo FIR runs till Chennai FIR on the North, Male in the West, Melbourne in the South and Jakarta FIR in the East. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga inspected the newly upgraded centre operated by state-run Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. more..

Sivajilingam resigns from TELO

Nov 4 (Island) Former Chairman of TELO M.K. Sivajilingam informed Secretary of TELO that he would resign from the party over the party’s objections to his presidential candidacy. Sivajilingam said that TELO had commenced a disciplinary inquiry against him for contesting the presidential election. "They have taken action against me for acting against the party. There is no need for me to tolerate this. I am resigning," he told media. more..

Video: We have no deals with anyone in North: PM

Nov 4 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that UNP led alliance or Prez Candidate Sajith Premadasa have nor entered into an agreement with any political party or organization in the south, either secret or publicly. He mentioned this attending several UNP public rallies held in Jaffna. Pointing out that Prez Candidate Premadasa has published his manifesto, PM said that he invites all North and Eastern political parties to join them in the exercise of building a modern and developed SL by more..

Heavy rains affect over 20,000; One death reported

Nov 4 (CT) The inclement weather experienced around the country, over the past few days, resulted in one death and has affected over 20,000 families, according to the DMC. The DMC, yesterday, noted that 20,364 individuals of 5,269 families have been affected due to the heavy rains, floods, high winds, lightning and earthslips. The affected areas were Kandy, Moneragala, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Hambantota, Badulla, Jaffna, Puttalam, Matara, Mannar, Vavuniya, more..