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Polls will be free and fair says PM

Sep 20 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stated the upcoming prez election would be one of the free and independent such elections in the country, during which no guns will be fired at anyone. Speaking to a gathering at Temple Trees subsequent to yesterday’s special Cabinet meeting the PM said he was confident of their victory at the presidential election. more..

2 ruggerites get 10-yr RI for sexual abuse

Sep 20 (DM) Two ruggerites of a leading school in Colombo were found guilty of sexually abusing a six-year-old boy of the same school five years ago and were sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court Judge Wikum Kaluarachchi yesterday. This incident which took place five years ago had been proven in courts and the two accused were ordered by the HC judge to pay Rs.100,000 each to the victim. more..

'Mangala insensitive and stubborn'

Sep 20 (CT) The disabled soldiers who defended the country are currently on the streets due to the arrogant and inflexible attitude of Minister Mangala Samaraweera, claimed MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera. He said, "Our country did not defeat terrorism by itself. Everyone knows that these soldiers sacrificed their lives for it. So we need to pay attention to these humble requests that they are making. more..

Prez poll: Ranil to throw his hat into the ring

Sep 20 (Island) PM and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would submit his name for the post of prez candidate to the nomination board to be appointed at the UNP Working Committee meeting scheduled to be held next week. Sources said that Wickremesinghe, after announcing his intention to contest for the presidency, would call on other aspirants to submit their names to the nomination board. more..

Economy, business community and the PM

Sep 20 (FT) The speech made by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019 deserves very careful consideration by the country due to several reasons. This will no doubt be his last speech on economic policy to be delivered to a non-political forum, an August assembly, comprising of the topmost business magnates in the country represented through that important organisation Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

GMOA shouldn’t lose human touch

Sep 20 (DM) The island-wide token strike launched by the Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) not only crippled some of the health services in the country, but also inflicted mental wounds on patients who were inconvenienced. The strike was carried out at lightning speed. Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara was quoted in the newspapers saying that the strikers never had discussions with him before launching the strike. He even termed the strike extremely unfair. more..

භූ විද්යා සමීක්ෂණ සහ පතල් කාර්යාංශය: කෝප් කමිටු

Prez informs Cabinet someone told him to fast track abolition of executive presidency

Sep 20 (Island) President Sirisena informed the Cabinet of Ministers, yesterday, that someone had requested him to expedite the abolition of the Executive Presidency. Informed sources revealed that the President having summoned an emergency meeting of the Cabinet, yesterday afternoon, had explained that the purpose was to inform them of a request made to him by someone, to discuss the possibility of re-introducing the JVP’s proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, more..

'SL needs level playing field for investors'

Sep 20 (EN) Sri Lanka will be able to improve its investment climate through liberalization of freight forwarding and shipping, industry experts and officials said at the Top German Brands 2019 forum. “German tourists and companies recognize the potential of Sri Lanka. But there still is room for improvement concerning level playing field, liberalization – freight forwarding and shipping – and land ownership restrictions related to tourism,” German Ambassador to SL, Jorn Rohde said. more..

UNP to name candidate on Wednesday

Sep 20 (DM) The UNP is to name its presidential candidate on Wednesday, September 25, sources close to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. They said he had ordered all UNP ministers and MPs who have gone abroad to return to the country in order to select the candidate on the planned date. It was reported that the PM met representatives of the UNF constituent parties to finalise on the symbol of proposed NDF and its constitution. more..

SLFP may contest presidency with new anti-corruption coalition: Spokesman

Sep 20 (DN) SLFP has started discussions with intellectual groups and certain leftist political forces to explore the formation of an anti-corruption political movement to field a candidate at the forthcoming Prez election. SLFP MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said that: “Other thanthe anti–UNP or anti–Rajapaksa political culture, there is room for an anti-corruption political culture. So various parties have invited the SLFP to take the lead for the people who have such a different ideology.” more..

Kidney diseases claim more than 6,000 lives in Sri Lanka in last 3 years

Sep 20 (Xinhua) Over 6,000 people in Sri Lanka have died from kidney diseases between 2016 to 2018, local media reports, quoting the govt said here Friday. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, answering on behalf of Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne in Parliament said that 6,481 deaths had been reported within last 3 years which includes 2,135 deaths in 2016, 2,159 deaths in 2017 and 2,187 deaths in 2018. During the period under review, there had been 17,503 kidney disease cases reported more..

Sirisena tells PSC he was not forewarned about Easter attacks

Sep 20 (RN) President Maithripala Sirisena has released the report prepared by a committee that investigated official action leading up to the Easter Sunday attacks to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the strikes, MP Prof Ashu Marasinghe said today 20 Sept. Marasinghe, who is a member of the PSC, told reporters the Committee headed by Supreme Court Judge Vijith Malagoda had made several more..

Video: Gotabaya’s cash deposit for presidential election made

Sep 20 (AD) Secretary of SLPP Sagara Kariyawasam has paid the cash deposit for the Prez Election 2019 on behalf of the party’s presidential aspirant Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The deposit was made at the Elections Commission. Meanwhile, two independent candidates, Jayantha Ketagoda and Siripala Amarasinghe along with Dr. Ajantha Perera of Socialist Party of Sri Lanka had made their cash deposits for the election within the course of yesterday. more..

Video: Tense situation at Fort railway station

Sep 20 (AD) A tense situation is reported at the Fort railway station after all the ticket counters were closed due to work-to-rule campaign by the railway trade unions. The employees of the railway service resorted to a work-to-rule campaign from midnight yesterday (19). Rail regulators, railway engineers, station masters, railway controllers and railway supervisory managers have joined the trade union action. Despite the work-to-rule action, many trains were delayed this morning more..

SC defers FR petition until Sep. 27

Sep 20 (DM) The Supreme Court (SC) today deferred until Sept 27 the fundamental rights petition contesting the extraordinary gazette notification which brought Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) under the purview of Prez Maithripala Sirisena. The bench comprised Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Murthu N.B. Fernando and S. Thurairaja Ven. Dambara Amila Thera and Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara in their petition more..

Sajith to answer corruption allegations before PCoI on Monday

Sep 20 (Island) Minister Sajith Premadasa will appear before the PCoI probing corruption in the current administration, on Monday. Prior to that Premadasa will appear tomorrow at the Police Unit attached to the PCoI. The PCoI is investigating allegations that a large number of graduates and non-graduates had been recruited to the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) on a contractual basis at the beginning of this year without a cadre requirement or training. more..

Karu dismisses reports claiming he asked for presidential candidacy

Sep 20 (AD) Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya today issued a media statement dismissing the reports of a national newspaper which stated that he had made a written request for the prez candidacy. The statement pointed out that the press release issued by the Speaker on the 17th of Sept is only a response to the appeals made by various parties asking him to contest in the upcoming prez election. He emphasized that this press release is not an announcement calling for prez candidacy. more..

Video: Avant-Garde chairman leaks telephone conversation with ex-Bribery...

Sep 20 (AD) A staggering telephone conversation between Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi and supposedly former Director General of the Bribery Commission, Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremesinghe has been revealed through social media. Taking to his Facebook account, Senadhipathi, who is currently receiving medical treatment in Singapore, released an audio clip of the telephone conversation more..

COPE hearings put off, only three members turn up!

Sep 20 (CT) Out of a total of 16 members of the COPE, only three turned up for hearings yesterday, resulting in COPE hearings being postponed. Only Chairman Sunil Handunnetti, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe and UPFA MP, Dayasiri Jayasekera were present. COPE had summoned several officials from the corruption-riddled Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for inquiry on computer data related to the alleged missing of US $ 1.8 million which occurred during the selling of broadcasting rights of more..

Gotabaya’s case postponed as chief magistrate yet to receive acquittal order

Sep 20 (AD) The Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today stated that it has not yet received the order delivered by the Court of Appeal discharging the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the Avant-Garde floating armoury case. The case filed by the Bribery Commission against Rajapaksa and seven others, alleging that they had incurred a loss of Rs 11.4 billion to the government by approving the maintenance of the floating armoury owned by Avant-Garde Maritime Services more..

Rs 6,000 interim monthly allowance to families of missing persons from Nov.

Sep 20 (AD) Cabinet of Ministers have approved the payment of an interim monthly allowance of Rs 6,000 to the families of missing persons, including the family members of the armed forces and the Police missing in action. This had been proposed in the budget- 2019 proposals presented by the Minister Mangala Samaraweera. “Across the island, in addition to heartbreak and trauma, the families of missing persons more..

IRD received 7,728 dud cheques: COPA

Sep 20 (DM) It was revealed during a recent meeting at the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) that 7,728 cheques to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) have bounced – the dud cheques have amounted to a staggering Rs.4,097 million by March 21 this year. COPA Chairman Lasantha Alagiyawanna encouraged accepting bank cheques in order to rectify the situation. He said it was vital to maintain a registry of customers who submitted dud cheques. more..

Sajith loyalists meet to explore alternatives

Sep 20 (DM) A group of UNP ministers loyal to party deputy leader Sajith Premadasa held a special meeting yesterday and explored the possibility of participating in the prez elections under an alternative arrangement since the party hierarchy is unlikely to nominate Mr. Premadasa. Minister Kabir Hashim who is the UNP chairman called for this meeting which was attended by 60 govt MPs. Minister Champika Ranawaka said the candidate should be chosen through a vote at more..

UNICEF condemns beating of child monks

Sep 20 (RN) Condemning the recent beating of two child Buddhist monks in Horowpothana, UNICEF SL said that over 80% of students in Sri Lanka experiencing corporal punishment is cause for concern. A video that went viral on Facebook recently showed two novice monks aged 11 and 14 being beaten severely by a shopkeeper who had mistakenly thought they had robbed him. Two children were admitted to hospital, more..

Relevant Minister missing, no proper answer

Sep 20 (Island) The govt was asked in Parliament, to consult its Indian counterpart to get the actual number of Sri Lankans who had migrated to India as refugees. UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila made that request when he was told that the SL govt did not have the actual numbers because those who fled SL had mostly gone by boat. Minister Gayantha Karunatillaka said that Indians who had been brought to SL during the times of British govt had gone back to India despite having applied for more..

Import of milk powder: Staggering Rs 362M spent from 2010

Sep 20 (CT) A staggering Rs 362 billion had been spent to import milk powder from 2010 to May this year, Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana told Parliament. Deputy Minister further said Rs 30.95 billion was spent in 2010 to import milk powder, Rs 36.47 billion in 2011, Rs 37.67 billion in 2012, Rs 35.27 billion in 2013, Rs 44.02 billion in 2014, Rs 31.76 billion in 2015, Rs 32.65 billion in 2016, Rs 44.87 billion in 2017 and Rs 50.31 billion in 2018 and named the importers. more..

Video: Will resign if Sajith not given nomination: Nalin

Sep 20 (DM) Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said today he would resign and go back to teaching if Minister Sajith Premadasa was not given nomination to contest the presidential election. Speaking at a media briefing, he said Minister Premadasa should contest the prez election as he was the only person who could win the poll. “People have hopes that Sajith Premadasa will be the next president. more..

Premadasa, Pčre et Fils

Sep 21 (CT) We are what time, circumstances and history has made of us. We are trapped in history. At age seventy-seven, I refuse to trap history in my mind. This essay is an obligation to history. Although JR Jayewardene introduced Executive Presidentialism, coercive cruelty of presidentialism in the public psyche of my generation is firmly linked to the presidency of Ranasinghe Premadasa. We carry the scars. R. Premadasa was the first to practice patronal presidentialism. more..

Will Sajith break with 45 days to go?

Sep 21 (CT) It took just two days for Sajith Premadasa to make up his mind, that there was no way besides the one he chose, after talks with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the issue of the presidential campaign, to continue compelling RW to go in for a reference to the UNP's Working Committee and Executive Committee, to bring to a halt the huge wastage of time that is being consumed by RW unduly playing for time to prevent SP making a dash for the Prez Election, more..

September is Literary Month: Enriching lives through reading

Sep 21 (SO) Reading is one of the first skills that we pick up. It is also the one skill we find indispensable throughout life. In fact, it would be very difficult to live if you were illiterate, even if you can speak the given language. Reading enriches our knowledge – and our lives. We have to read books for the purpose of education, but it would be a dull world if that was the only task for books. Hence, we read for pleasure and personal enrichment. more..

Presidential elections: Tamils’ choice – Gotabaya’s vision & mission

Sep 21 (CT) Over a period of 70 years, since Sri Lanka attained Independence, majoritarian racism has increasingly become a pandemic virus. Elements of ethnocracy have eaten deep into the vital organs of democracy. We have once had some eminent leaders like Mr. Wilmot Perera and a few others, endowed with strong moral fibre to repudiate racism. Noble souls of their calibre are now an endangered species – nay, almost an extinct species except, perhaps, for some principled but more..

To solve national question Right to self-determination paramount: Jayasuriya

Sep 21 (CT) The starting point to solve the national question in this country is to support the Tamil people to exercise their right to self-determination, General Secretary of the United Socialist Party (USP) Sirithunga Jayasuriya, said. "Over the years, political parties in Sri Lanka have taken different positions with regard to the national question. The Tamil people's political struggle began with the initial demand for a separate State, but during the last 10 years, more..

Candidates on one stage to address burning issues

Sep 21 (TM) The March 12 Movement led by election monitoring organisation People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) will launch an initiative to bring all presidential candidates onto one stage to respond to burning questions of the country put forth by the masses. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said that this initiative by the March 12 Movement was a first of its kind in Sri Lankan electoral politics. more..

A turquoise Tarantula from SL after 126 years

Sep 21 (SO) A new species of Chilobrachys (a genus of spider in the family Theraphosidae found in South and East Asia) emerges from a fragmented rainforest patch in Western Province Sri Lanka after 126 years. The species is named Chilobrachys jonitriantisvansicklei in honour of the conservationist and co-founder of Idea Wild, a foundation supporting biodiversity research around the globe, Joni Triantis van Sickle for his tremendous backing on conducting research in fauna and flora more..

Editorial: Bulls in a china shop

Sep 21 (Island) A drowning man clutches at anything—even straws. So does a political leader at the tail end of his or her term. President Sirisena made a similar attempt at Thursday’s special Cabinet meeting. He submitted a proposal for scrapping the executive presidency, only to be left with egg on his face when ministers, save a few, objected to it. The SLFP says that he presented the proposal at PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s request. But, the Prez has to take the full reponsibility for more..


Saparagamuwa Maha Saman Devale pageant: The men behind the magic

Sep 21 (SO) It is during September that the five-day long spectacular cultural pageant at the historic Saparagamuwa (the word hailing from ancient times, though people have got used to saying Sabaragamuwa) Maha Saman Devale at Ratnapura is held, which is considered second only to the Esala Perahera in Kandy. Festival this year was held from Sept 9 to 14. Pageant showcases the observance of age-old customs and rituals dedicated to God Saman, the guardian deity of Sri Pada. more..

The answer my friend, can you hear it?

Sep 21 (CT) As the facts lay themselves before us, what we can see at a glance is that even though we are a closing up as many as six months since Islamic terrorists in April this year, the shocking truth is that Sri Lanka has dismally fallen a further 6 points in the global level of peacefulness in the world, despite the fact that at the time for the cut-off point the Easter attacks had not been included in the analysis. The saddest truth facing us as Sri Lankans, in this day and time, more..

A listening ear just a phone call away

Sep 21 (ST) Ensconced within National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Angoda, a small, cosy and quiet room is acting as the nerve-centre for anyone from anywhere in the country to unburden themselves. Speaking softly and gently into two phones are two nurses wearing headsets, fielding the calls from across the country and providing solid support. A bell clangs across the NIMH, announcing the mid-morning tea-time more..