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Avant-Garde case: AG files 7,573 charges against 13 suspects

Sep 11 (DN) Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC yesterday filed indictments comprising 7,573 charges in connection with the Avant-Garde arms trafficking case against Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Yapa Senadhipathi and 12 other accused. This is the highest number of charges in a single case in SL’s legal history and is in connection with what the AG’s Department has named as High Seas Arms Trafficking Case. more..

Ashu hopes two thirds majority to abolish Exe. Presidency possible

Sep 11 (DM) It is not too late to abolish executive presidency through the current Parliament if all honest MPs come together, UNP MP Prof. Ashu Marasinghe said today. He said that it would be possible to muster a two-third majority in Parliament to abolish the executive presidency if the honest MPs come together. He said the 20th Amendment which has been presented to the House by the JVP which aims at abolishing the Executive presidency could also be considered. more..

UNF parties not briefed on details of Ranil-Sajith meeting: Hakeem

Sep 11 (AD) SLMC says the political parties affiliated to the UNF have not yet been briefed on the details of the crucial discussion held between the UNP leader PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and deputy leader Minister Sajith Premadasa. SLMC leader Minister Rauff Hakeem said his party is of the view that the presidential candidate to be nominated from the UNP must be a winnable candidate. The decision that would be made by the leaders of UNF’s minor parties will be tabled at a future meeting of more..

'No truth to reports that India influenced SL players not to play in Pakistan'

Sep 11 (IANS) Sri Lanka Minister Harin Fernando has rejected claims made by Pakistan Minister Fawad Hussain Chaudhry that India forced the players of the island nation to opt out of their upcoming tour against the Men in Green. Fernando, who is SL’s Sports Minister, said that 10 players have opted out of the tour purely based on the 2009 incident when their team bus was attacked by terrorist which left 8 people dead and more..

18,000kg haul of refuse tea seized at Wattala

Sep 11 (AD) A suspect has been arrested along with 18,000kg of refuse tea in a raid carried out by the Organized Crimes Prevention Division (OCPD). The OCPD officers had raided a warehouse owned by a private company at Sri Wickrama Road in Wattala at around 4.30 pm last evening (10). Two scales have also been seized along with the massive refuse tea haul. The suspect aged 50, who was identified as a resident of Welamboda area, was handed over to the custody of Wattala Police. more..

Rathupaswala shooting suspects indicted

Sep 11 (NR) Attorney General has filed indictments on suspects involved in the Rathupaswala shooting incident at the Gampaha Trail-at-bar. The case pertaining to the 2013 Rathupaswala unrest is being heard before a special three member bench following a request made by the Attorney General. During today’s sitting the AG served indictments on 94 counts against the Rathupaswala shooting suspects. Case was heard before the bench comprising of judges Menaka Wijesundara, more..

TNA spells caution over Presidential hopeful

Sep 11 (CT) TNA Jaffna District MPs during talks they had with Minister Sajith Premadasa in Jaffna, pointed out that they would decide on who they would support at the forthcoming Prez poll, once the UNP announces its Presidential candidate. Minister Sajith Premadasa who was in Jaffna recently held talks with TNA Jaffna District MPs, M A Sumanthiran, Mavai S Senathiraja, D Sidharthan and E Saravanapavan detailing more..

Govt depoliticised the country: Thalatha

Sep 11 (CT) Minister Thalatha Atukorale stated that due to wanton corruption, fraud and cheating under the previous regime the country had gone backwards. She charged that those in the previous regime had carried out the task of placing foundation stones for so-called development projects as a mere media show. Minister noted that through the many development projects initiated by the current Govt, big time businessmen here had not been allowed to pilfer public finances unlike in the past. more..

State Teaching Hospital to offer services for fees and free

Sep 11 (EN) Cabinet of ministers had given clearance for a newly acquired former private hospital to offer fee based and free services. East Colombo Teaching Hospital, formerly a privately owned Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, has been cleared to operate a mixed service model where health services will be given free as well as for a fee. Ministry of Health acquired the hospital which also had a private medical college after Prez Sirisena agreed to protests by the GMOA. more..

SLRC takeover shows ill-effects of executive presidency: Ashu

Sep 11 (RN) Bringing the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under the purview of the Ministry of Defence demonstrates the adverse effects of the executive presidency, UNP MP Prof Ashu Marasinghe said. He said the UNP strongly condemns Prez Sirisena’s surprise decision. President, on Monday, issued an extraordinary gazette notification announcing the takeover. “This country has historically been plagued with more..

PM to appear before PCoI next Monday

Sep 11 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will appear before the PCoI investigating corruption in the current administration at 9.30 am on Monday. Earlier the Commission had asked him to appear today. However, the PM issuing a statement informed the Commission about his inability to appear today, as he would be attending an event in Mannar, however, said he could do show up on Monday. He would be questioned on the questionable Cabinet decision to approve DPJ building to lease out to more..

FMM slams MoD's takeover of Rupavahini

Sep 11 (CT) Free Media Movement (FMM) vehemently condemned the takeover of the SL Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) by Ministry of Defence (MoD) using Presidential powers. In a statement issued in this connection the FMM said: "The takeover is even more worrying and critical since we are in a context where there are preparations for an election. FMM is extremely concerned regarding this development under a Prez who came into power under more..

Dysfunction of Sri Lankan state makes reform impossible: Razeen Sally

Sep 11 (AD) International renowned economist Dr. Razeen Sally says that the incumbent govt in Sri Lanka came to power without an economic plan and never developed one and that with elections coming up the country is faced with a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. The SL-born economist, who is a Visiting Associate Professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National Uni of Singapore, more..

Ruwan doubts plot for another constitutional coup

Sep 11 (DM) Taking over of SL Rupavahini Corporation by President Maithripala Sirisena creates doubts whether he was plotting another constitutional coup similar to what had taken place in Oct 26, Non-Cabinet Minister of Mass Media Ruwan Wijewardene said today. He told a news conference that it was a serious matter to take over the Rupavahini Cooperation at a time an election is within sight. “The President may be trying to take political advantage at the election. more..

Bid to compensate families of LTTE cadres ahead of prez poll, an election bribe: JO

Sep 11 (Island) JO MP Sisira Jayakody alleged that the Finance Ministry was planning to grant Rs 6,000 each to the families of those missing during the conflict and after the successful conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, in the run up to the coming presidential election. MP claimed that the govt surreptitiously accommodated the families of those who fought for the LTTE. He said that the controversial project was being implemented in support of the UNP presidential campaign. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket to reassess security in Pakistan after terror threat

Sep 11 (CI) SL's forthcoming tour of Pakistan has been thrown into doubt after SL's govt is said to have received news of a possible terrorist threat on the SL team. Team was scheduled to leave for the tour in less than two weeks, but the tour now hinges on a reassessment of the security situation in Pakistan. One security assessment - described as meticulous by an SLC official - had already been conducted, with the board formerly convinced more..

Hobson’s choice with Prez Candidates

Sep 12 (Island) Two recent articles published in The Island were eye-openers. The first was titled Presidential Elections and the Peoples Options by a group of eminent persons collectively known as Friday Forum. The other was titled Milinda reminds seven cold economic truths as politicians go into overdrive with promises by former politician and minister Milinda Moragoda. The Friday Forum has highlighted several of the ills prevailing in the country and its governance. more..

Remembering Professor S H Hasbullah

Sep 12 (CT) Remembering my dear friend Hasbullah (11.09.1950 – 25.08.2018) is personally a very emotional, difficult and painful task for me. We were very close and intimate friends for nearly three decades. Hasbullah’s untimely sudden death was a great loss to me. Even after one year of his demise my memories of him are fresh and heavy in my mind. It may take a long time for me to recover, for he made an impact on my life. He was such a dynamic personality. more..

Northern land issue accelerated

Sep 12 (TM) The land issue in the North has been accelerated with steps now being taken to identify the owners of the private property being occupied by the military in the North. A TNA legislator also sent an urgent letter to the Governor of the Northern Province urging him to immediately address the issue. TNA MP S. Sritharan said that he had written to Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan over several acres of private land more..

Faith healing or Fake healing?

Sep 12 (DN) Recently there were news reports of several deaths at a faith healing session in Horowpothana. There were several versions of the incident, comments and criticism, blaming the integrity of the organisers and the ignorance and gullibility of the attendees. First, let us examine what faith healing means. Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something, a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction. more..

Clash over trash ends?

Sep 12 (DN) The Metro Colombo Solid Waste Management (MCSWM) project consists of four components; the loading station in Kelaniya, the unloading station, construction of the sanitary landfill in Aruwakkalu, and improvements in rail transportation with necessary equipment and machines. The unloading station and the landfill site will be located 170km away, in Aruwakkalu in the Puttalam District in the North Western Province. Nearly 1,200 MT/day of Municipal Solid more..

Election monitors warn of violence

Sep 12 (TM) Election monitoring bodies have warned that the upcoming prez election could see a rise in election violence due to its significance to key political players in the country and that there may even be attempts to delay polls. Election Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said he hoped to discuss with the other two commission members in the coming weeks as to when they would call for nominations for more..

Editorial: A chill down spines

Sep 12 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne’s revelation that 50% of private bus drivers and conductors are addicted to crystal methamphetamine, popularly known as ICE, must have sent a chill down many a spine. They have graduated from cannabis to ICE! Public roads are becoming increasingly dangerous. Last year, as many as 3,097 lives were lost in 2,949 road accidents. more..

Day of terror in Matara

Sep 12 (CT) At least two persons were killed and nine others, including three Policemen, sustained injuries in separate incidents within the Matara and neighbouring Elpitiya Divisions within a period of 24 hours starting late Thursday evening, Police said. One person, described as a vehicle grabber, employed by a finance company, was chopped to death inside the complex of the Kamburupitiya Bus Stand, while three more of his colleagues were wounded in the day light knife attack. more..

Ramesh Pathirana

Prof. Tissa Vitarana celebrates 66 years in active politics

Sep 12 (CT) A commemoration meeting was held for Prof. Tissa Vitarana, leader of the LSSP on 30 Aug, which also happened to be his birthday, to mark 66 years of political life. The well-attended meeting was held at the Dr. N.M. Perera Centre in Colombo. JO and MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, CP leader D.E.W. Gunasekera, DLF leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara, DVJP leader Kalansooriya, General Secretary of the Socialist Alliance Raja Collure, Democratic People's Congress leader more..

Cruelty of political extremism & misuse of eugenics?

Sep 12 (CT) The victims are mainly orphans, disabled, the sick and old people. They come from marginalized ethnic groups and lower classes in society. Already Jews have been persecuted and exterminated. The turn has come to eradicate the so-called defective other sections of society considered to be a barrier in creating a superior and pure German nation to dominate the world. Above is the background of the German drama-movie released in 2016 named Nebel im August more..

Fast-tracked liquor licenses at Tourism Zones; Ella first in line

Sep 12 (TM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently instructed the Ministry of Finance to issue a gazette to ensure the tourism establishments situated in areas declared as Tourism Zones are provided liquor licenses through an expedited process. Sources from the Department of Excise told us that under this scheme, Ella is likely to be the first to be declared as a Tourism Zone by the Govt due to lobbying by more..

Under-19 Asia Cup: Lanka up against India, BD meet Afghanistan

Sep 12 (DN) Defending champions India U19 will face off against hosts Sri Lanka U19 in their semi-final of the Under-19 Asia Cup at the P. Sara Oval today while Bangladesh U19 and Afghanistan U19 tussle in the other semi-final at Moratuwa’s De Soysa Stadium. India U19 dominated Group A and qualified by winning all three fixtures, while Sri Lanka suffered one defeat out of three matches and finished second in Group B. SL have blown hot and cold in the competition and lack consistency more..

We need to become a strong outfit: Packeer Ali

Sep 12 (ST) Sri Lanka football national coach Nizam Packeer Ali told the reporters that the physique of his players and the fitness level is below par compared to the players of Turkmenistan, who inflicted SL a 2-0 defeat at the 2022 FIFA and 2023 AFC Asia Cup Qualifier match played at the Racecourse ground in Colombo on Thursday. “Turkmenistan is a tough team. It’s a commendable effort of our players, who restricted a team like Turkmenistan only for two goals. more..

Chalith, Sanduni, Vinod continue record breaking spree

Sep 12 (Island) Sprinter Chalith Piyumal of Lumbini College and hurdlers Sanduni Kumarasinghe of Ratnayake Central and Vinod Ariyawansa of St. Aloysius’ College, Ratnapura improved meet records for the second time in their respetive events as familiar power houses dominated day two of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics C'ship at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Wednesday. Kumarasinghe improved the meet record of more..

SC to hear petition against pardoning Gnanasara on 5 Dec.

Sep 12 (FT) Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered to hear two petitions filed against the Prez Sirisena's decision to pardon and release BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero on 5 Dec. The Prez on 23 May granted a presidential pardon to the hard-line Buddhist monk, who was serving a six-year jail sentence for contempt of court. The two petitions filed by Sandya Eknaligoda, wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and the CPA, state that more..

‘Culture of integrity vital for sustainable growth’

Sep 12 (DN) Ensuring a culture of integrity in public sector in Sri Lanka will help fight corruption, ensure transparency and lay the foundations for sustainable growth, Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe said. She said that she firmly believes integrity is something that people have to develop from their childhood. “It is the way you mold your life from the beginning. I’m a great believer that even if you didn’t have integrity yesterday, there is nothing to prevent you’re having integrity more..

Army Chief appointment a sovereign decision by Head of State: SL Rep. to UNHRC

Sep 12 (FT) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador A.L.A Azeez yesterday reiterated that the recent appointment of the Army Commander is a sovereign decision taken by the Head of State and “external attempts to influence decisions and internal administrative processes of public service promotions in Sri Lanka are unwarranted and unacceptable”. more..

PM of Bahrain affirms strengthening cooperation with Sri Lanka

Sep 12 (FT) Welcoming the newly appointed Ambassador of SL to Bahrain Pradeepa Saram at Riffa Palace, Manama, PM Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa affirmed Bahrain’s interest in strengthening cooperation and friendship with SL and wished her success in her diplomatic mission. Conveying greetings and best wishes from Prez and PM of SL, Ambassador Saram expressed the gratitude to the Bahrain govt for the support extended to SL at regional and int'l fora. more..

Effective public financial management crucial, yet often overlooked: CB Governor

Sep 12 (DN) Effective public financial management is a crucial, yet all too often overlooked conditions for achieving prosperity with govt activities accounting for nearly half of the global economy,” CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. He said that accountants in the public sector have a higher responsibility to act professionally and ethically as they involve in executing transactions, worth millions of dollars of rupees. He made these views delivering the keynote speech at more..

Sri Lanka’s provincial administration on the brink of collapse

Sep 12 (ST) SL’s provincial administration is on the brink of collapse as there is no legal authority for the currently dysfunctional Provincial Councils to collect revenue and make legitimate payments, official sources said. Provincial Councils receive revenue from levying taxes, grants by the Govt, loans advanced from the Consolidated Fund, and other receipts. Fund raising provisions have been stipulated in Section 19 sub-section (1) more..

200 vendors apprehended for selling wheat flour for higher prices

Sep 12 (AD) The Consumer Affairs Authority says legal action would be sought against 200 vendors who sold wheat flour for prices higher than the approved price. However, the Prima Ceylon (Private) Limited has informed its dealers that the increased prices of wheat flour would not be reduced. Prima and Serendib hiked the price of wheat flour by Rs 5.50 per kilogram with effect from Sept 6th. Accordingly, the revised price of Prima and Serendib wheat flour kilogram now stands at Rs 95.50. more..

Racism will not be tolerated at the University of Ruhuna: VC

Sep 12 (Island) Vice Chancellor of the Uni of Ruhuna Senior Prof Sujeewa Amarasena said that he would not tolerate racism or allow racism in sports or academic activities at the University. He said that the uni with over 9,000 internal and 20,000 external students had not so far encountered any racism. "The instigators will be dealt with severely if it does take place," he warned. Prof. Amarasena made these remarks at the closing ceremony of the 13th SL University Games held at more..

Akila resurrects closed case against person who gives evidence against him

Sep 12 (Island) Out of 429 files that dealt with disciplinary inquiries in the Ministry of Education, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had only given written instructions on the file of the former acting Commissioner of Educational Publications I.M.K.B. Ilangasinghe, who has complained that he was transferred after giving evidence which was unfavourable to minister, before PCoI investigating corruption in the current administration. more..