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FMETU condemns placing SLRC under Prez

Sep 12 (Island) Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union has condemned the placing of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation under the purview of the Ministry of Defence headed by Prez Sirisena. The FMETU in a statement signed by its General Secretary Dharmasiri Lankapeli and its President Karunaratne Gamage said that transferring to the SLRC from the Media Ministry to the Defence Ministry was a result of ongoing dispute between Prez Sirisena & govt headed by PM Ranil W. more..

'UNF to name Prez candidate next week'

Sep 12 (DM) The UNF will announce its presidential candidate next week, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said today. He said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP's Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa will soon meet leaders of the constituent partners of the proposed United National Front (UNF) led by the UNP to finalize the policy and work programme of the UNF. They are expected to meet the leaders of the TNA, SLMC, ACMC, TPA, more..

Reforming the judicial & regulatory agencies

Sep 13 (CT) KK, I won’t tell you his real name, is good natured and a reliable friend (I have suffered him from schooldays) but he is also regarded as a pain in the butt because of the chaotic, topsy-turvy, upside-down emails of epic length he inflicts on his friends. If you learn Greek or Sanskrit or whatever, and if you have the everlasting patience to decipher, they do often address important issues. Two big issues that have been KK’s bee-in-the-bonnet for many years are telecom tariffs and systems, more..

Migration to Australia by boat: An unrealistic adventure

Sep 13 (CT) This topic received public attention recently due to the case of Tamil family that had come by boat and to be deported to Sri Lanka after they exhausted all legal avenues to remain in Australia and a visit by an Australian Major visiting SL advocated against any Sri Lankan attempting to come to Australia by boats. The liberal-national conservative govt in power has adopted a hardline approach to such arrivals compared to the previous Labour govt that allowed people who arrive by boat to come on shore. more..

Drop in tourist arrivals affects turtle hatchery

Sep 13 (SO) Nuwan Kannangara has to pay for the maintenance of his family’s turtle hatchery in Kaikawala, Induruwa, out of his pocket with no local or foreign tourists visiting the hatchery on Tuesday and less than 15 by Wednesday evening. Induruwa Sea Turtle Conservation Kannangara’s family runs, sees up to 30 tourists daily during SL’s off season and up to 70 tourists per day during the season. However, following the Easter Sunday attacks that left 259 dead more..

Bhikkhuni Sasana: The gravel road to purification

Sep 13 (DN) Bhikkhuni Sasana is the right kind of narrative that epitomises gender equality in the Buddha’s spiritual community. This equal ease of access regardless of gender was not achieved in a day. The proposal to establishing an order for the ladies was met with rejection from the Buddha at the outset. The Buddha’s initial move came to be scoffed at by certain quarters including the feminists. They lose no time to question if the woman cannot attain Nibbana, the ultimate goal in the Buddha’s teachings. more..

Role of lawmakers in SL refugee crisis

Sep 13 (DM) The present elections hype created by the three main political parties brings with it many promises, but little has been spoken about the issues bothering minority Tamils. Tamils have become a forgotten lot after the civil war in the country concluded in 2009. And despite many Tamils fleeing or leaving the country on their own will during the past decade Tamil politicians have shown a lukewarm attitude in changing the negative environment in the areas in which this minority lives in, the north. more..

'Everyone wants a new generation leader'

Sep 13 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says the candidature for the prez election will be given to the person deemed fit by the country. Q: You too expected to be chosen as the UNP candidate for the presidency. Various Buddhist monks mentioned your name. Where do you stand now? A: Buddhist monks named me because the Upcountry needs leadership. We need a leader who is capable of serving the people. UNF has always gained a majority of its votes from people living in the Upcountry. more..

Japan has plans to remember JR

Sep 13 (DM) Japan making elaborate arrangements to mark the 113th birth anniversary of the late SL President JR Jayewardene on September 16 (Monday) makes Sri Lankans reminisce the good times the islanders enjoyed under his regime. Jayewardene was a shrewd politician and was even globally known as SL’s first Executive President. He travelled far and wide as a statesman. When compared with the relationships Sri Lanka had with other countries, Jayewardene had a special place for Japan. more..

In the light of fire?

Sep 13 (CT) Six Pakistani policemen and two civilians were killed when terrorists attacked the SL cricket team that was on its way to the stadium for the day's play way back in 2009. We note this, and especially not the injuries to Mahela Jayawardene, etc. to make this point: that at the end of the day, what mattered was that eight men, policemen and drivers plus an idle onlooker, died under the killers' bullets, unleashed by a series of shots from the most dangerous weapons carried by terrorists. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Editorial: An exercise in futility

Sep 13 (Island) The govt has suddenly remembered the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who was instrumental in making the 2015 regime change and the UNP’s return to power possible. One of the conditions he put forth for throwing his weight behind the yahapalana movement was that the executive presidency had to be done away with urgently after the change of govt. Yahapalana administration reneged on that promise, after being ensconced in power, and the Thera went all out to have that promise fulfilled, but in vain. more..

UNP remains un-U; economy is in tatters; corruption uncovered everywhere

Sep 13 (Island) When I was young, only Japan was ahead of us in Asia. Now only Afghanistan is behind us so sayeth PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. The Island on 3 Sept followed this quote with a list of country negatives as identified by Pathfinder Foundation’s Milinda Moragoda - seven cold economic truths. We knew of these but reading them stated concisely, convinced us of the degree of govt mismanagement. The seven are (abbreviated): 1. Govt spends twice as much as it earns in revenue. Therefore the huge borrowings. more..

Moody’s warns SOE liabilities rising

Sep 13 (FT) Moody’s Investors Service yesterday warned liabilities of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in several countries including Sri Lanka have increased and could pose contingent risk to Govt balance sheets. The new report looked at challenges posed by SOEs in Asian economies and warned that as explicit or direct liabilities are primarily driven by Govt guarantees, govts that provide a larger quantity of such support also end up correspondingly more vulnerable. more..

Sri Lanka to play Ireland in first ever Test next year

Sep 13 (DN) Sri Lanka will play their first ever Test match against newcomers Ireland at home in February next year. However the one-off Test will not be part of the ongoing World Test Championship. Sri Lanka and Ireland have so far met in only in ODIs and T20Is and Sri Lanka have been victorious in both formats. The two countries have met in 4 ODIs between 2007 and 2016 and in one T20I in 2009. Ireland and Afghanistan were elevated to Test status in June 2017 and became the 11th and 12th full members of the ICC. more..

U-19 Asia Cup: India and Bangladesh through to finals after rain washes out play

Sep 13 (DN) India Under 19 and Bangladesh Under 19 teams are through to the finals of the U19 Asia Cup after rain washed out both semi-finals in Colombo and Moratuwa respectively. Sri Lanka and India were drawn to play one semi-final at P. Sara Oval while Afghanistan and Bangladesh were scheduled to play the second semi at the De Soysa Stadium in Moratuwa. Play was not possible at both venues due to heavy downpour and the matches were called off at 2.15 pm local time. more..

Sir John Tarbat Senior Championship 2019: Rathnayaka CC, Peter's are champs

Sep 13 (CT) St Peter's College Colombo clinched the Boys' title for the second consecutive year while A. Rathnayaka CC Walala sealed the Girls' c'ship at the 21st edition of the Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletics C'ship 2019 concluded at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. St Peter's collected 171 points, while former champions St Benedict's College Colombo became runner-up with 95 points. Walala collected a staggering 304 points, while Holy Cross College Gampaha emerged runner-up with 100 points. more..

IT/BPM sector professionals to enjoy wide-ranging benefits

Sep 13 (Island) Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) is partnering with CH17, the specialists in corporate loyalty management services to introduce an exclusive Privilege Card for professionals engaged in the IT/BPM industry. SLASSCOM Member companies can enroll their staff for the program who will be entitled for multiple benefits and privileges from partner merchants and retailers of consumer products and services, who are registered with CH17. more..

Asgiri Mahanayaka Thero writes to IGP to investigate

Sep 13 (DM) Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana in a letter sent to the Acting IGP had pointed out that the inhuman assault and the punishment on two novice monks in a temple in Horowpothana were tragic and it had set a bad example for other laymen. Most Venerable Thero further mentioned that it was the duty of the monks to edify the novice monks in accordance with correct religious Bramhachari lifestyle if they are engaged in any misbehaviour and more..

I have majority support: PM tells loyalists

Sep 13 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told a group of loyalists on Wednesday that he commanded majority support of the party’s Working Committee. A team of UNP MPs, who are loyal to him met him and assessed his strength at the party’s Working Committee which has the authority to ratify the party’s nominee for the presidency. Ministers Lakshman Kiriella, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Sagala Ratnayake, Ravi Karunanayake, Daya Gamage, John Amaratunga and his son-in-law and more..

AG orders probe into slow progress of Keith Noyahr abduction case

Sep 13 (FT) Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera has ordered acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne to investigate into the two-month delay by the CID into journalist Keith Noyahr’s abduction case. AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated the AG had brought to the attention of the acting IGP that the CID’s delay to report back to the AG’s Department was an unfortunate situation. AG had previously instructed the CID to update him on how an investigation could be conducted into more..

Video: Must give international-level English education for students: Sajith

Sep 13 (AD) Minister Sajith Premadasa says the field of education must adapt to the modern development trends. He stated this addressing an event held at the Hindu National School in Rajawella, Kandy. The number of school children in Sri Lanka, the backbone of the country who will be taking over the country’s future, stands over 4.4 million, the minister said while emphasizing on giving them the best possible education. The minister also said modern trends of development of the world, more..

Ex-CJ exposes crooked way Mahapola Education Trust Fund was divested of SLIIT

Sep 13 (Island) Former Chief Justice and Head of the Mahapola Education Trust Fund (METF), Justice K. Sripavan told the PCoI that the METF board of trustees had not authorised the agreement between the Trust and Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), in 2015, making the institute an independent body. Justice Sripavan told the PCoI that the two appointees to the board of trustees by Ministers Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Sarath Amunugama had signed the agreement with SLIIT more..

Attempt on Kabir’s official ahead of Easter carnage: Zahran’s assassins identified

Sep 13 (Island) An eyewitness, yesterday, identified the gunmen who made an abortive bid to kill Mohamed Razak Taslim (37) at Danagama in the Mawanella police area on March 9, 2019. Taslim was coordinating secretary to UNP Chairman and Minister Kabir Hashim. They were identified at an identification parade. The police identified them as Mohamed Sarif Adam Lebbe and Ahamed Milhad. They were among three persons produced at the identification parade. The attempt on Taslim was made on more..

7 Pakistani drug traffickers including a woman get life imprisonment

Sep 13 (DM) Seven Pakistani suspects including a woman who were found guilty of possessing, trafficking and importing heroin were sentenced for life imprisonment by the Negombo Magistrate on Aug 28, police said. They said the suspects were arrested by the Customs officers at the Katunayaka Airport and handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB). The first suspect Andul Kashfi was arrested on March 13 for possessing 425 grams of heroin. The second suspect Khan Abbas was arrested on April 25 more..

Rupavahini chairperson explains Defence Ministry take-over

Sep 13 (DN) Instead of trying to find fault with Prez Sirisena for having gazetted the SL Rupavahini Corporation under the Defence Ministry, it is important to take note of the incidents which compelled the President to take this decision within a few hours, said the Chairman of the SL Rupavahini Corporation Inoka Sathyanganie Keerthinanda. Addressing a media briefing together with the Director General of SRC Saranga Wijeratne and senior management more..

Video: Manoj Sirisena appointed to fill Gajadeera’s vacancy in Parliament

Sep 13 (AD) Southern Provincial Council (SPC) member Manoj Sirisena has been appointed to fill the vacant Parliament seat following the demise of MP Chandrasiri Gajadeera. The Elections Commission said the gazette notification regarding the relevant appointment was issued yesterday. Manoj Sirisena is in the forefront among the candidates of the previous General Election who were not elected from the UPFA list for Matara District. He also served as the Southern Province Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, more..

Video: Shantha Bandara’s name sent for vacant Kurunegala UPFA MP seat: Amaraweera

Sep 13 (AD) General Secretary of UPFA says that he informed the Elections Commission that he has suggested Shantha Bandara’s name for the vacant UPFA National List MP seat. Last month, Bandara resigned from his post as a National List MP with the hope of returning to the parliament via the preferential votes list to honour the trust placed on him by the Kurunegala public at the last general election. However, The District Returning Officer of Kurunegala had appointed H.M.D.B. Herath to fill more..

Rs 1 bn deal on Jayasinghe building: JO defends its role in parliament, faults UNP

Sep 13 (Island) Joint Opposition spokesman Susil Premjayantha, on Wednesday, (11) rejected accusations that the JO had failed to address the questionable lease agreement on a building to house the Agriculture Ministry. Premjayantha said that the JO, including MP Wimal Weerawansa’s party, the National Freedom Front (NFF) had opposed the transaction and were critical about it. Premjayantha said so in response to The Island query at Opposition Leader’s Office media briefing. more..

Ambassador Jayatilleka inaugurates lecture series at Russian Military Academy of General Staff

Sep 13 (FT) On 4 Sept, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary ofof Sri Lanka Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka visited the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Russia’s highest military education and research institution for senior-rank officers of all services. Established in 1832 by Russian Emperor Nicholas I, the Academy was developed into the most prominent centre of research in military art, strategic studies, operational tactics, more..

Suspension of benefits to docs N&E Hospitals face closure: GMOA

Sep 13 (CT) GMOA warned that due to the decision taken to suspend benefits that are given to doctors serving in the North and East, the hospitals in the two Provinces could face immediate closure. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that if the Govt decides to increase benefits and salaries of a chosen few and if they attempt to create a crisis within the State sector, the GMOA will not think twice and press ahead with an unprecedented nationwide strike, thereby crippling the health sector like never before. more..

Sri Lanka students allowed to work in new UK immigration route

Sep 13 (EN) UK has launched new visa for students from SL and other territories to remain in Britain two years after graduation and work in a new immigration route, British Commission said. “This is excellent news for SL students who want to study overseas,” UK High Commissioner for Colombo Sarah Hulton said. “It will give them the flexibility to build on a first class UK education with the opportunity to work and get life experience. It’s a win-win for the UK and for SL.” more..

Light Rail set to be SL’s first women-friendly public transport system

Sep 13 (DM) Japan Int'l Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide technical assistance to strengthen the Gender Action Plan (GAP) for Colombo Light Rail, towards making it the first woman-friendly public transport system in SL. Memorandum for this assistance was signed between the Secretary of the Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development and Chief Representative of JICA SL Office on Sept 10. The Colombo Light Rail from Malabe to Fort is financed under JICA’s concessionary loan scheme. more..

Cops looking for Sri Lankan woman who slashed husband's private parts, neck

Sep 13 (TS) A woman took the knife to her husband's private parts and neck while he was sleeping in their rented home in Meru near here on Thursday morning. Acting Ipoh OCPD said in the incident which happened at around 12.36am, the victim, a Sri Lankan national aged 40, was left with serious injuries. “Early investigation at the crime scene uncovered a weapon believed to be the knife used in the attack. “Police are also actively looking for the suspect, the victim’s wife, who is also a SL national. more..

Minister’s photo mania increased cost of school uniform vouchers by 25%

Sep 13 (Island) The cost of printing school uniform vouchers could have been reduced by about 25% if photos of the President, PM, Education Minister and the State Minister had not been printed on the reverse thereof, the PCoI investigating corruption in the current administration was informed, yesterday. Suriyaarachchi, General Manager of Printcare Secure Ltd, told the commission that they had printed over four million vouchers for 2019 and quoted Rs. 2.09 each. more..

PCB rules out shifting Sri Lanka home series to neutral venue

Sep 13 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made it clear it will not shift the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka, scheduled to be held later this month, to a neutral venue. Sri Lanka’s tour to Pakistan appeared well on track before their Prime Minister’s Office received reliable information of a possible terrorist threat on their team, while touring Pakistan. Following this, Sri Lanka Cricket said that they need to reassess their plan for the Pakistan tour. more..

No provision in UNP constitution to assume party leadership

Sep 13 (DM) There is no provision in the UNP Constitution to enable anyone running for presidency to take over party leadership if he emerges victorious at the prez poll, a minister who is a senior party member said. Minister who did not wish to be named said the earlier provision which said the person who becomes the prez candidate of the party should take over the party leadership if elected president was removed during the time Late Gamini Athukorala was the General Secretary of the UNP. more..

Purchase of oil bowsers from highest bidder caused Rs 11.3 mn loss

Sep 13 (Island) Although Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Ltd (CPSTL) insisted that oil bowsers it procured have the exhaust system at the front to prevent sparks causing a possible disaster, almost all private oil bowser operators used vehicles that had exhaust system at the back, it was revealed at the PCoI. It was earlier revealed that the state had incurred a loss of Rs. 11.3 million when CPSTL bought five 13,200-litre oil bowsers from a bidder who had quoted the highest price. more..

The UNP’s primary focus should be preventing split before election

Sep 14 (CT) A media report recently stated that 18 candidates have already expressed their intentions to run for the upcoming Presidential election. The Elections Commission is expected to announce the election on Sept 30. Nominations will be accepted between 16-21 days after the formal announcement and given the timelines of the announcement of the election and the acceptance of nomination papers, the much-anticipated election is likely to be held during the last week of November. more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa at Viyathmaga: Vision with an authoritarian zeal!

Sep 14 (CT) Gotabaya Rajapaksa has unveiled his national strategy or vision as a presidential candidate with an authoritarian zeal. This is clear from his Viyathmaga speech. He should be commended however for his fairly clear expression of views and objectives. His definition of objective of govt was the following at the outset. “The objective of any govt should be to develop a prosperous nation of productive citizens, living in a disciplined society with content families.” more..