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The more things change, the more they remain the same

Sep 16 (ST) It has always been an interesting curiosity that politicians trained in law in SL appear to be far more blissfully unconscious of basic legal principles than their colleagues who at least do not engage in hair splitting explanations when abusing power. Indeed, it is better to be upfront and admit the naked trampling of the law in the interests of brute political expediency rather than try to explain this abuse on preposterous grounds that are scarcely commonsensical let alone legally more..

Ruwan takes President to task for placing Rupavahini under his wing

Sep 16 (ST) Coming out of his shell, UNP State Minister of Defence and Minister of Media Ruwan Wijewardena struck a blow for media freedom this week when he condemned his Minister, the Minister of Defence and Prez for his arbitrary takeover of State owned TV channel Rupavahini under his Defence Ministry and thus under his wing. In a no holds barred letter, Minister told Prez on Monday: ďAccording to audit reports, Rupavahini Corporation is incurring a monthly loss of over Rs.50 m. more..


Editorial: Look after veterans

Sep 16 (Island) Disabled military personnelís protest, in Colombo, entered the fifth day, yesterday, with the govt ignoring their grievances. Several shameless attempts to disperse the protesters have failed. Braving the inclement weather, the veterans remain determined to fight on, the way they did before they were put out of action. Unless the govt acts fast to solve their problems, the situation is bound to get out of hand; thousands of others have already pledged their solidarity with themĖ rightly so. more..

President's sudden takeover of Rupavahini sends cold vibes

Sep 16 (CT) Country's political fraternities who are at loggerheads with one or the other took a break as half of the country switched to a celebration mode with two high profile weddings taking place on Thursday (12). One wedding which dubbed as Janatha Wedima (people's wedding) by a political ally, as it witnessed who's who in political, legal, media and other professional fraternities in attendance, was held at Weeraketiya while the other was held in Colombo at Hotel Waters Edge. more..

Hashim unofficially opens Matara- Beliatte expressway for Namalís wedding

Sep 16 (ST) Minister Kabir Hashim, now at the eye of a controversy in the UNP, had done a good turn for the wedding of Namal Rajapaksa, MP, son of former Prez Rajapaksa, leader of the SLPP. He ordered that the Matara to Beliatte segment of the Southern Expressway be opened. That way, vehicles from Colombo to Beliatte were able to make a quick drive to Medamulana where a wedding reception was held. more..

Killing of Michelle Samaraweera: Suspect expected to be extradited from India...

Sep 16 (Island) The suspect in the rape and murder of Sri Lankan Michelle Samaraweera is expected to be extradited from India to face trial in the UK after a 10 year legal battle, according to the British media. The 35-year-old victim was raped and strangled in East London on May 30, 2009 and her body was found in a childrenís park in Walthamstow. The incident happened when she was returning to the property she was sharing with her boyfriend Greg Dale from a nearby supermarket around 1am more..

SLNS Sindurala and SLNS Suranimila arrive the island after SLINEX-2019

Sep 16 (SLN) SLNS Sindurala and SLNS Suranimila which left for India on last 5th Sept to participate in SL India Naval Exercise-2019, arrived the island. Accordingly, SLNS Sindurala arrived at Naval Dockyard Trincomalee on 14th Sept while SLNS Suranimila arrived the port of Colombo on 15th Sept and the two ships were welcomed SL Navy in accordance with Naval traditions. Commander Eastern Naval Area Rear Admiral Meril Wickramasinghe and senior officers more..

New Monetary Law Act crucial for investor confidence: CB

Sep 16 (FT) Passing the new Monetary Law Act is essential to bolstering confidence of international financial markets and rating agencies as Sri Lanka looks to borrow about $ 3 billion annually for the next three years to refinance debt repayments, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said this week, outlining provisions in the proposed legislation to make the monetary authority more transparent and accountable. more..

Legendary Sangakkara to inspire youngsters as chief guest

Sep 16 (ST) Itís a matter of a day and few hours before the Dialog 4G-the Sunday Times Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2019 is finally revealed to the nation. School cricketers from all parts of the country ó boys and girls ó are set to gather at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre in Colombo on Monday (16) to receive the honour for all their hard work put in on the field during the school cricket season of 2018/2019. A total of 56 awards are to be given away among over 200 award winners in more..

Asian 7s Rugby Series: Dilshan dominates as Tuskers win both games

Sep 16 (ST) Danush Dayanís Tuskers gladdened the hearts of rugby fans by producing two stunning performances against South Korea and Chinese Taipei, when the second leg of the Asian Rugby Sevens Series got underway at Huizhou in China yesterday. Janindu Dilshan starred in the openng game against South Korea, which was won 28-5, by touching down twice. Kevin Dixon and Jason Dissanaike also went over in this four-try win. Dilshan, Dixon (2) and Thilina Wijesinghe more..

Sirisena drops move to seek another sc ruling over his term of office

Sep 16 (ST) For UNPís deputy leader Sajith Premadasa, becoming a candidate at this yearís presidential election is so close and yet very far. This is what he learnt during his latest dialogue with UNP leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe last Tuesday night. It was not only the partyís supporters but also a vast segment of the countryís voters who were held spellbound in the hope that a decision would come that night. more..

Sobitha Theraís movement calls for Sajith-Karu alliance

Sep 16 (SO) The UNF can attain victory at the 2019 Prez polls, only if all three leaders of the camp, Party Leader Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leader Minister Sajith Premadasa and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya stand together on the same stage, the Bhikkhu Front of the National Movement for Social Justice announced yesterday (14). Sangha Nayaka of the North Western Province Ven. Mugunuwatana Siddhatta Nayaka Thera said only the unity of UNF leaders can carry forward more..

Event management company for Dubai Expo soon

Sep 16 (TM) A tender committee is expected to be appointed soon to call bids for an event management company that would manage SLís participation in the much-awaited Dubai Expo 2020. Committee will be appointed by Ministry of Development Strategies and Int'l Trade together with the Export Development Board (EDB), and the tenders are expected to be called by early next month. National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) CEO Shiham Marikar said that more..

Sri Lanka sells US$ 76mn in August after liquidity injections

Sep 16 (EN) SLís has sold US$ 76.4 million to defend a soft-dollar peg, which shortly after tens of billions of printed money on top of a period of prolonged excess liquidity from unsterilized dollar purchases. The central bank US$ 128 million from the interbank market in July to inject base money into the banking system. The CB effectively stopped mopping up injections on July 11 after selling down its Treasury bill stock from more..

SEC unbowed (so far) in catching manipulators

Sep 16 (ST) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is revving its resources to serve justice which has preempted other investors to seek justice. Certain traders who lost heavily a few years ago from transactions done through some broking houses want their (lost) cash. These firms are fielding calls from some investors, sources said. In the latest in a series of actions instituted by the SEC to bring capital market manipulators to book, a stockbroking firm paid compensation to more..

SL gets applications for two casino licenses

Sep 16 (EN) Two parties have applied to open income tax files for casinos in SL but no licenses can be issued to them, after a gaming law had been enacted, govt has said. Four existing casinos operate under a de facto license in the form of a tax file opened at the Dept of Inland Revenue. Ballyís Ltd, now operating at 34, D R Wijewardene Mawatha, Col 10, had opened a tax file in 1996.01.03. Bellagio Ltd, at 430, R A de Mel Mawatha, was given a tax file on 2000.01.03. more..

SLT powered Lotus Tower to open today

Sep 16 (DN) Lotus Tower Ė Multifunctional TV and Telecom Tower is foreseen to be one of the significant landmarks and an epitome of SL economy, culture and development. Few years back, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) partnered with China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation, the main contractor of this project and signed a MoU with TRCSL to develop ICT solutions of this magnificent architectural building. more..

Minister pushes for duty-free vehicle permits for ex-PC members

Sep 16 (ST) Cabinet is to be asked for a third time to approve duty free vehicles for the now defunct Provincial Council members. Minister Vajira Abeywardena is re-submitting a memorandum for the third time on the grounds that some former councillors have already got their permits. Ministry is justifing the issuing of the duty-free vehicle permits on the ground that the former Northern PC members and some former Southern PC members had already received the permits. more..

Iíll contest the presidential polls despite any obstacles: Sajith

Sep 16 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader and Minister Sajith Premadasa reiterated that he would contest the prez elections as a candidate albeit any obstacle standing his way. He said that some people were behaving literally like snakes with kerosene smeared on them. He said these people give comments such as Sajith will not get the chance. He added that not only he would become the candidate with the blessings of everyone irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, caste or party he would gain the victory more..

Hashim, 2 ministers face expulsion from UNP

Sep 16 (ST) UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim and two Non-Cabinet Ministers face expulsion next week whilst a partnership between the SLFP and SLPP may not materialise. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, has decided to move against three loyalists of top minister and deputy leader Sajith Premadasa, for violating party discipline. This is ahead of the UNPís Working Committee meeting at which partyís prez candidate will be picked. more..

President cannot sack me: SB

Sep 16 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the Chairman of the SLFP, could not unilaterally decide to sack him, MP S.B Dissanayake said, commenting on the announcement that his party membership had been suspended. Dissanayake said: "Only the Central Committee of the SLFP can take away my membership. A number of people who took part in the CC meeting told me that they had not talked about suspending MPs. Thus, the Chairman canít take a unilateral decision." more..

Up to 100 mm rain, 80 kmph winds in West, South: Met. Dept

Sep 16 (DN) The prevailing showery conditions will continue during the next few days, Met Dept said. Showers and thundershowers will occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and North Western Provinces. Heavy rain fall of up to 100mm is expected in some areas in these provinces. Showers and thunderstorms are expected in the southern and western sea areas. Winds will be south-westerly with speeds between 30-40 kmph in the sea areas around the island. more..

PSC to ask President why he ignored warnings of Easter attacks

Sep 16 (Island) Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday carnage is to ask Prez Sirisena why he mismanaged the affairs of National Security Council and ignored the intelligence warnings of the possible attacks. PSC members met, on Saturday, at former Agriculture Ministry building. PSC members Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Ravi Karunanayake, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, more..

Expatriates of North get facility to claim land by post

Sep 16 (SO) For the first time since the end of Sri Lankaís long-drawn conflict in 2009, former residents of the North now residing abroad would be able to submit their requests to reclaim private land once owned by them, without visiting the island. The Northern Province Governor, Suren Raghavan has requested landowners in the Northern Province, now residing abroad to submit relevant documents to reclaim their land currently occupied by govt security forces. more..

SLFPís five dissident MPs un-fazed by expulsion threat

Sep 16 (DN) The five senior SLFP MPs now threatened with expulsion from the party have denied receiving any formal notification of such punitive action while two of them would not even confirm that they have actually left the party and joined another. Last week, the SLFPís General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said that five national list MPs were to be expelled from the party membership, but the MPs named are dismissing the threat. SLFP MPs in question are more..

Finance Minister orders probe into new liquor licences

Sep 16 (CT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has ordered Excise Commissioner General to conduct an immediate investigation how liquor licences have been issued by the Excise Dept without getting his approval in 2017 and 2018 and, report him within two weeks. Ministry said the protocol followed so far by the Excise Dept when issuing liquor licences is to obtain the approval of the subject minister or inform the subject more..

Sajith, Karu promoted by sections for UNF alliance

Sep 16 (EN) UNP may hold a working committee vote to select a candidate while sections of broad UNF alliance came out in support Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that a working committee meeting of the UNP will be held in the next 10 days, to decide the candidate. Earlier moves were made to come up with a candidate without confrontational vote. Reports said Purawesi Balakaya had indicated its support for speaker Karu Jayasuriya. more..

We haven't discussed with UNP: Prez

Sep 16 (CT) Prez Sirisena says that he will not allow anyone to underestimate the SLFP and he is prepared to show the Party's strength. He emphasised that when taking into account the vote base, no Prez Candidate can win without the support of the SLFP. Prez added that the SLFP has received invitations from both parties, but it didn't hold any discussions with the UNP and instead, held several rounds of discussions with the SLPP because SLFP values firstly, the motherland, more..

TNA yet not satisfied with Sajithís candidacy

Sep 16 (Island) The selection of the UNPís prez candidate would take some more time as the TNA, yesterday, has said it is not ready to accept Sajith Premadasa as the candidate of the coalition to be formed. TNA has pointed out that Premadasa will not get the votes in the N&E as his position on the national question is not clear. Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Mangala Samaraweera and Malik Samarawickrama met with TNA members more..

World tourism day

Sep 16 (DM) Since 1980, UN World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on Sept 27. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. For Sri Lankans, as Sept 27 draws closer, we remember a date; more..

Partyís announcement to enter fray and its desperate struggle for survival

Sep 16 (DM) The SLFP led by Prez Sirisena is the third major political party that has communicated to the National Elections Commission (NEC) that it would field its candidate at the forthcoming prez poll. Have the leaders of the SLFP taken this decision with confidence that their candidate would win the election? In light of the changes that have taken place in the political arena since 2015, when Prez Sirisena assumed office and also changes in the voting pattern of the people, more..

'People should reject leaders who override legal, judicial system'

Sep 16 (FT) The Colombo YMBA held a presentation and a discussion on the current situation in the country and the way forward, targeting the business community, recently at the BMICH which was attended by business leaders representing all communities. Javeed Yusus addressed the gathering representing the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre whilst Mahendra Jayasekera spoke from the Colombo YMBA. more..

SLFP readies for a method acceptable to both the party and its supports: President

Sep 16 (PMD) No opportunity will be given to suppress the SLFP and if anyone attempts to do so, there will be no hesitation to demonstrate the strength of the Party said President Maithripala Sirisena. He added that the Party is prepared to accept an arrangement in the future that will be acceptable to both the Party and its supporters and that ensures that no injustice done to the party. more..

Peradeniya University develops SLís first-ever anti-venom serum

Sep 16 (Island) The first-ever anti-venom serum developed in Sri Lanka to treat snake bites victims is expected to be introduced to the market shortly, officials said. The govt spends around Rs. 1 billion to import anti-venom serum from India, but experts have pointed out that the potency of the venom, particularly when it comes to Russellís Viper and Hump-nosed Viper in Sri Lanka, is more toxic than in India. more..

Ranil says country cannot be developed with dictatorship

Sep 16 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said a country cannot not be developed with a dictatorship and to develop the country everybody must work with commitment and dedication. Speaking at an event held in Temple Trees to hand over permanent appointments to 5,000 Samurdhi Development officers, PM pointed out that there was no need for a dictatorship or a semi-dictatorship to carry out the massive more..

Mock ops see Forces storm Central Bank to free hostages

Sep 16 (DN) The Sri Lanka Armyís ongoing Cormorant Strike X- 2019 Field Training Exercise saw one of its mock operations segments reach Colombo on Friday (13). The annual joint Tri-Service Mega Field Training Exercise (FTX), Exercise - Cormorant Strike X - 2019, began on Sept 3 and will conclude on Sept 24. In Fridayís mock operation, intelligence reports indicated an enemy terrorist infiltration at the Central Bank, more..

CPC to suspend supply to SriLankan Airlines and CEB

Sep 16 (TM) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has decided to suspend the fuel supply to two key govt institutions over pending dues if they failed to submit a settlement plan by 1 Oct. The decision was taken at a meeting held with the CPCís senior management and Board of Directors last Wednesday as a solution to reduce the losses incurred by the CPC by supplying fuel on credit, mainly to SriLankan Airlines & CEB. more..

New Eastern alliance to counter TNA

Sep 16 (TM) A new Tamil alliance is being mooted in the Eastern Province to counter the TNA. Former North Eastern Chief Minister Varadaraja Perumal, EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda, and Leader of TMVP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan are engaged in the negotiations to form the alliance. TMVP Spokesman Azad Maulana said that Devananda had talks with Pillayan at the remand prison more..

No auctioning of Indian boats

Sep 16 (TM) Sri Lanka has refused to auction seized Indian boats, saying they are not in a condition to be auctioned. The Govt of India had requested that SLís Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development look at auctioning the Indian fishing boats that were seized by the Navy due to poaching activities in Sri Lankaís waters and to return the monies so that they could give the monies to the Indian fishermen. more..