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PM’s Office takes massive Rs. 275 mn from LECO to develop Mihintale

Sep 16 (ST) PM’s Office is dipping into the Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt) Ltd kitty. A Cabinet note submitted on August 20 voices its intention to suck out a massive Rs 275 million–several years worth of LECO corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects–in one go, to develop the Mihintale World Heritage site. The move is said to have met with strong opposition from the LECO Board. However, the govt is determined to more..

Video: PM leaves PCoI after recording statement

Sep 16 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe left the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) a short while ago, after recording a statement with the Commission. The PM arrived at the PCoI probing the allegations of corruption and financial misappropriations of state institutions in BMICH earlier this morning. The PCoI will reconvene at 01.15 pm this afternoon. PM was recently issued summons to testify over a complaint more..

Sajith and UNF decide not to drag the issue

Sep 16 (DM) UNF leaders and UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa had decided to end the present deadlock on the nominee issue for the candidacy for the upcoming presidential election this week, Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) Leader Mano Ganesan said. Mr Ganesan in a Facebook post said that leaders of the UNF and Mr Premadasa had decided not to drag the issue beyond this week. He said other decisions were also made but refrained from giving details. more..

2 suspects arrested over Hanwella shooting

Sep 16 (AD) Two suspects have been arrested over their alleged involvement in last night’s shooting at Embulgama Junction in Hanwella, which claimed the life one persons and wounded two others. The Police Spokesman said that the van and motorcycle used by the suspects have also been recovered. One person was killed while two others sustained critical injuries in the shooting incident at Embulgama Junction in Hanwella on the Avissawella-Colombo main road last night. more..

ජාතික ඉතිරිකිරීමේ බැංකුව: කෝප් කමිටු විමර්ෂණය

Plight of disabled soldiers and deceased soldiers' dependants

Sep 16 (CT) All Ceylon Deceased and Disabled War Heroes' Collective, has appealed to the Cabinet of Ministers to approve a Bill which would sanction lifetime salaries for them. Three decades of separatist war has not only destroyed the lives of thousands of people, the ruthless war has even made thousands more to suffer throughout their lives being even burdens to their kith and kin. The soldiers who sacrificed their precious lives for the future generation to live in peace should be more..

Industry 4.0, disruptive technology and MAS Matrix

Sep 16 (FT) Technology has always been disruptive. When a new technology is introduced, it changes the way the humankind lives, behaves, earns, interacts and communicates. Some 10,000 years ago, when agriculture and animal breeding were domesticated through the technology available at that time, Homo sapiens stopped moving from place to place on a daily basis for hunting animals and gathering other eatables. About 200 years ago, the invention of steam power helped mankind more..

China firm vanishes with billions in Lotus Tower scam

Sep 16 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena had bared a scam running into billions of rupees in building a massive tower by Chinese firms, draining funds from SL’s cash rich telecom regulator. One apparently non-existent Chinese company had vanished with two billion rupees in the process. The contract to build the tower had been awarded in 2012 to China National Electronics Importers & Exporters Corporation (CEIEC) more..

'Presidential Election: PM indicates interest of contesting'

Sep 16 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who had indicated once again his intention of contesting for the presidency had discussed how he could muster support of other parties including the JVP for the candidate of the UNP led alliance. The Premier had indicated this at a discussion held with a group of civil society activists at Temple Trees. Venerable Dambara Amila Thera, Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, Professor Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Jehan Perera and Kumudini Samuels have more..

Six-vehicles pile up on Southern Expressway causes traffic jam

Sep 16 (CT) At least two persons were injured in a six-vehicle pileup on the Southern Expressway (E01) yesterday evening, Police said. They said the incident took place around 4.15 p.m. near the Kahatuduwa Interchange while the vehicles were plying towards Colombo. Officials with the RDA, present at the scene, attributed the pileup to excessive speed and the prevailing inclement weather. The injured persons were removed to the nearby Homagama a Govt Hospital, more..

Video: Lotus Tower officially declared open

Sep 16 (AD) Colombo Lotus Tower, the tallest self-supported structure in South Asia was vested with the public by President Maithripala Sirisena, a short while ago. The ceremony to officially declare open the Lotus Tower commenced a short while ago attended by many dignitaries including President Maithripala Sirisena, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, and the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Cheng Xueyuan. more..

JVP to contest under new symbol

Sep 16 (AD) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will be contesting for the upcoming presidential election under a different symbol that the usual Bell sign, says JVP political bureau member K. D. Lalkantha. He mentioned this addressing a public meeting organized at the Puwakpitiya area in Galewela. Lalkantha stated that their candidate will contest under a different symbol than the JVP symbol bell as their alliance has been formed by 30 voluntary organizations. more..

Health Minister sees umbilical connection between Lanka and India

Sep 16 (Island) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that India and Sri Lanka share an umbilical link and the two nations should not forget that one cannot survive without the help of the other. Addressing a seminar titled ‘Bonding Sri Lankan Indian Relationship – Solidarity Meet’ organized by the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum at Ramada Hotel in Colombo, on Friday, Minister Dr Senaratne said: "History has ample evidence to prove the relationship between the two nations. more..

Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority north shuts down to support rally

Sep 16 (AP) Shops were shut in Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil-majority north on Monday in support of a rally demanding an international probe into alleged atrocities during the nation’s civil war and an end to reported state-sponsored efforts to change the ethnic balance of the Tamils’ traditional homeland. Hundreds took part in the rally in Jaffna town. Speakers demanded an explanation of civilian disappearances during the 26-year civil war, more..

Thewarapperuma granted bail

Sep 16 (AD) The 6 suspects including Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma arrested over forcible burial of a body in an unauthorized land have been granted bail. The order was delivered by Matugama Magistrate when the case was taken up today. Accordingly, the 06 six suspects were each imposed with a bail condition of 2 personal bails worth Rs 100,000 each. The case was postponed to be taken up again on the 10th of Dec. The suspects had reportedly violated a court order and more..

Gota will fight global warming: Dullas

Sep 16 (RN) Having recognised that global warming is the most pressing problem the world is currently facing, SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa upon election will take measures to address it, MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. Speaking to the media this morning, Alahapperuma said 26 separate policy committees have been working for three months to create a new policy framework for the country. “Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a new candidate who represents a new political party. more..

’Tamils will reject Gota even if TNA asked them to vote for him’

Sep 16 (DM) Even if the TNA asked the Tamils to vote for Gotabaya, they will not accept it, Batticaloa District TNA MP G. Srinesan said. He said so when at an event to vest Gamperliya development projects with the public at the Poratheevupattu D.S. Division in the Batticaloa District. "The bell has been rung for the prez election. Many have entered the fray. One of them is Gotabaya Rajapaksa who could be described more..

China-run Hambantota port in Sri Lanka links with Thailand’s Ranong

Sep 16 (EN) SL’s China managed Hambantota Port has inked a deal with Thailand’s Ranong port with a view to developing shipping routes in the region, the company said. A joint working group will be established to develop coastal shipping in the Bay of Bengal between the two ports. Ranong Port had recently signed an agreement with India’s Krishnapatnam port. Hambantota Int'l Port says it will support Thailand’s policy of boosting trade with India and SL under Bay of Bengal Initiative more..

Wennappuwa PS member who obstructed police further remanded

Sep 16 (AD) Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha member Dulakshi Fernando, who was arrested for obstructing police officers, has been further remanded until the 23rd of September. However, her sister who arrested along with her over the same offence was granted bail. The order came from the Marawila Magistrate when the case was taken up today. The 21-year-old PS member and her sister, who is aged 16, were arrested on Aug 20 on a warrant issued by the Marawila MC. more..

Penalise players, Javed Miandad lashes out at Sri Lanka players

Sep 16 (HP) Javed Miandad recommended Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to penalise players who’ve opted out of the upcoming Pakistan collection. The previous cricketer additionally mentioned that SL gamers deciding to not go to Pakistan mustn’t have an effect on their gamers. He urged all of the Pakistani gamers to focus on placing up their greatest foot ahead within the collection. “Int'l matches should be the top priority more..

70% of Palali airport construction complete

Sep 16 (DN) 70% of the construction work by the Road Development Authority (RDA) in the first phase of the development of Palaly Airport, has been completed, according to Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. Around 55% of the construction work carried out by the Airport and Aviation Services (SL) Ltd is also completed. Following an observation tour of the Palaly Airport, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, said that the construction of all the basic structures of the first phase have been completed. more..

Nominations and Polls date out in 10 days

Sep 16 (CT) Election Commission Chairman, Mahinda Deshapriya told Ceylon Today that the date of the Presidential Election and the date for the calling of nominations will be published through a Gazette Notification within the next ten days. The date of the Prez Election and the date for the calling of nominations should be published through the same Gazette. The nominations should be accepted within 16 to 21 days after the Election Commission publishes the Gazette. more..

Unproved allegations will not stop Gota from running: G. L.

Sep 16 (RN) Insisting that there are no legal barriers to SLPP prez candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s nomination, party chairman Prof. G. L. Pieris said that no pending cases, local or international, could stop him from running for president. He said baseless allegations are being hurled against Rajapaksa by those unable to confront him politically, adding that Rajapaksa has the highest chance of winning the election. more..

No grave to bury Zion Church bomber's remains

Sep 16 (CT) The remains of the Jihadi suicide bomber, who targeted the Zion Church on Easter Sunday, continues to be confined to the Batticaloa Hospital morgue after local officials failed to persuade religious and community leaders to provide a spot at a local cemetery. Earlier, the local Magistrate had directed the Batticaloa District Secretary D.S. Udaya Kumar to find a grave for the remains of the suicide bomber. However, religious and community leaders in the region had more..

Sri Lanka issues landslide warnings amidst heavy rains

Sep 16 (Xinhua) Disaster Management Center (DMC) on Monday issued landslide warnings for several districts of the island country after the Meteorology Department warned of further rains in the coming days. The DMC said since rains had exceeded 150 mm within the past 24 hours in several areas, people living closer to landslide prone areas would be evacuated to avoid the risk of slope failures, rock falls, cutting failures and ground subsidence. more..

Plan didn’t yield expected results: PM tells PCoI

Sep 16 (DM) The plan devised by the govt to relocate the Agriculture Ministry at DPJ tower and to house its Parliamentary Oversight Committees at Govijana Mandiraya did not yield expected results, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted today at the PCoI. Testifying before the commission, he said the govt incurred losses by renting the DPJ building to house the Agriculture Ministry. more..

Muslims are deeply disturbed at religious scholar Hajjul Akbar’s detention

Sep 17 (CT) Demonised, battered and ostracised Muslim community of Sri Lanka is deeply disturbed at the detention of respected Islamic scholar Usthaz Rasheed Hajjul Akbar by the CCD since 25 August. Known for his simple life religious scholar Usthaz Hajjul Akbar has been the president of intellectually oriented SL Jama’athe Islami with around 85 branches all over the country for 24 years-from 1994 to 2018, His record of service to community and the country has been so impeccable that more..

Abolishing executive Presidency is not a viable electoral strategy

Sep 17 (CT) For the past month the issue of who will be the presidential candidate of the ruling UNP has been dividing the party and diverting attention away from its needs to develop an election manifesto that is owned by the party as a whole, and not by a faction. There are two main factions, one backing the PM and party leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the other backing its deputy leader and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa. They have different strengths and support bases. more..

Rathupaswela: Back at Ground Zero six years later

Sep 17 (SO) He pointed at the tiled floor by the entrance of the St. Anthony’s Church. “That is where it happened. They kicked him and beat him with wooden poles.” How many? “About seven of them. They were all in army uniform. Some wore helmets.” What was the man doing? “He was trying to get up. He lifted his hands to protect himself. I think he also tried to scream, but instead blood spurted out of his mouth. more..

UNP struggle nears end; SLPP-SLFP mull reunion

Sep 17 (TM) The best defence is a good offence is an adage that has been applied to many fields of endeavour, including games, military combat, and even politics. As the saying goes, parties and groups along with the presidential hopefuls of their choice are already seen engaging in vicious disinformation and misinformation campaigns against each other in order to gain mileage, with the polls regulator expected to announce the 2019 presidential election any day now. more..

Making of a kingmaker

Sep 17 (TM) The intra-party clamour for nomination has reached fever pitch, at least within the UNP. As a result of the cut-throat attempts to secure nomination for the coveted presidential race, the unity within the party seems to be in shambles notwithstanding the public posture that all is well within. Only time will tell how united the UNP will be. As things stand, the division of loyalties will be hugely detrimental to the electoral fortunes of the grand old party and ultimate beneficiary more..

'SL politics is a means of private gain'

Sep 17 (TM) Former professor of the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at the Uni of Colombo Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda asserted that religious figures should not be involved in politics and that religion should only provide a normative framework for politicians. Q: Should an elected head of state be a career politician? A: That is the usual practice. In Sri Lanka, it is very difficult for a non-political or more..

Sowing confusion and reaping chaos

Sep 17 (ST) It was sheer drama. And political drama at that! For a country replete with dramatists from Shakespeare to Osborne, it seemed easy enough to produce such modern-day fourth wall drama-not on stage but on television. For some Sri Lankans holidaying here it seemed sheer ecstasy watching the drama unfold from front row seats, as it were, in the comfort of their snug sitting rooms. As minutes dragged into hours and the Mother of all parliaments turned into bedlam, the SL visitors appeared more..

Editorial: Crippled kingmakers and reality

Sep 17 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena declared, in Ratnapura, over the weekend, that none of the parties will be able to win the next prez election, without the backing of the SLFP, which he has made out to be a kingmaker. He said that according to some opinion surveys, commissioned by political parties and foreign missions in Colombo, none of the candidates would be able to poll more than 40% of the votes, and, therefore, they would be dependent on SLFP to clear the 50% mark. more..

71 කැරැල්ලේ දෙවැනි චූදිතයා ලයනල් බෝපගේ

Declining agricultural exports since 2018 serious economic concern

Sep 17 (ST) The recent decline in agricultural exports is a serious economic concern as it has an adverse impact on the country’s export earnings, trade balance, balance of payments and on economic growth. The decrease in agricultural exports has dragged down last year’s and this year’s noteworthy export growth. Expanding agricultural exports is crucial to improve the trade balance and balance of payments. Total exports increased by 10.2% in 2017, by a further 4.7% in 2018 and more..

Presidential race: The AKD factor

Sep 17 (Island) With the JVP fielding its own candidate, the yahapalana vote bank breaks up in a very significant way. At the presidential elections held in 2010 and 2015, the JVP vote was a part of the anti-Rajapaksa common candidate’s vote bank. This time however, it will not be possible for the JVP to avoid fielding a candidate of its own if the UNP fields a party member as a candidate. Some think that Karu Jayasuriya may be able to get the JVP to stand down and obtain their vote. more..

Mathews bares his soul

Sep 17 (ST) Angelo Mathews--the 32-year-old former captain, a player of indisputable quality speaks to the Sunday Times of his rollercoaster journey since breaking into the national side in 2008. Q: When you look back on your decade of int'l cricket, are you satisfied with your achievements? A: To be honest, I’m not. I have under-achieved. I had a great run from 2013 to 2016. I played the most number of matches more..

North Governor directs sudden PHI raid in Chavakachcheri

Sep 17 (AD) Chavakachcheri Public Health Inspectors made a sudden inspection visit to 14 restaurants of the Thenmaradchi Divisional Secretariat today (16). The raid was carried out on the instructions of the Governor of the Northern Province, Dr. Suren Raghavan. Inspection was carried out at restaurants located in Chavakachcheri, Kodikamam and Mirusuvil areas of the Thenmarachchi DS to check if the restaurants are in good condition & are operated legally. more..

Global water pump giant Grundfos keen to become market leader in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (FT) Global giant in pump and water technologies, Grundfos is keen to enhance its engagement with Sri Lanka and become the market leader, a top executive of the Danish-based multinational revealed recently. Founded in 1945, Grundfos is the world’s biggest manufacturer of water pumps supplying over 17 million units annually. In 2018, its net turnover was 26.7 billion Danish Kroner ($ 4 billion or Rs. 714 billion). It has nearly 20,000 employees in 56 countries. more..