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The current govt. allocated the highest amount of money for education: President

Sep 24 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said the present govt led by him had allocated the highest amount of money for the education sector. The President made these comments at a ceremony to hand over the multi-purpose building at Kottapitiya Sagala Maha Vidyalaya in Polonnaruwa today (23). The President further said after assuming office, he was able to increase the annual funds allocated for university students. more..

Interim injunction issued against summoning Gota over Lalith Kugan case

Sep 24 (TM) The Appeal Court today issued an interim injunction preventing the summoning of SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapakse on the 27 Sept by the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court over the Lalith, Kugan disappearance case. When the case was called on 21st of June 2019, Gothabaya’s lawyer told the Jaffna Court that his client had been admitted to an overseas hospital for treatment and more..

Heavy rains: Thousands affected as red warning issued

Sep 24 (RN) Thousands continue to be affected as many parts of the island are inundated with seemingly ceaseless rain since Sunday. The southern districts of Galle and Matara have borne the brunt of the heavy falls, with nearly 2,000 families affected by flooding, some of whose homes have sustained severe damages. At least one death has been reported so far. Galle has been the worst hit so far, with a total of 5,199 people more..

Sri Lanka allows cars stuck at port to be cleared at old tax rates

Sep 24 (EN) Sri Lanka is allowing cars imported during 2015 and 2017 for personal use, which were stuck at port after taxes were suddenly hiked to be cleared at earlier rates. The taxes that will be charged will be the rates applicable at the time of opening of the letters of credit. About 200 vehicles are believed to be stuck at Hambantota Port after owners could not pay the higher duty. Affected persons should apply to the head of more..

A Sadder Politics sans Ranil

Sep 24 (CT) Had the powers in the Executive Presidency (EP) ever been vested in that of the Prime Minister, one would find it impossible to find a single politician in this nation who'd ever say Nay to it. Others with more honesty would settle for that power vested in the EP. George Orwell said "Power is in tearing human minds into pieces and putting them together again, in the shapes of your choosing". Unbridled power in a human hand is almost always a matter of danger. more..

Violence again at Neeravi Pillaiyar

Sep 24 (CT) Neeraavi Pillaiyar Temple at Chemmalai in Mulaitivu District is a site of controversy as Sinhalese in the area try to take-over a Saivite temple. A Buddhist priest, a Kolampe Methalangathara Thera, who for long tried to make it a Buddhist Temple, had died two days ago of cancer. This priest who put the temple in a controversial position going to court where the case still on going, had lived on temple premises demanding rights over the temple. more..

Siri Hettige

Choosing the 7th executive president: Once bitten many times shy

Sep 24 (FT) Who would be a good president of SL? This has been the popular question of discussion in the past nine months in social circles at all levels from the have a lot to the haves and the have nots. The good and the bad and the strengths and weaknesses of many potential aspirants ranging from political leaders, corporate leaders and activists to military leaders have been dissected, debated and analysed against various criteria. Criteria, viewed against a Maslownian hierarchy of more..

PSC report on Easter Sunday carnage to be presented next month

Sep 24 (Island) Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday carnage expects to submit its final report to the House during the second sitting week of next month. Chairman of the PSC Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri told The Island that the PSC was scheduled to meet at 2 pm today in a committee room of the Parliamentary complex. Deputy Speaker said that the meeting had been summoned with the objective of discussing final report of PSC. more..

Video: President directs immediate relief to people affected by rain

Sep 24 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena has directed the relevant authorities to take all necessary measures to provide immediate relief to the people affected by heavy rains. Prez has instructed to seek assistance the Armed Forces on the relief missions and to expedite evacuation of public from landslide-prone areas with the help of the Armed Forces. Prez has also stated that the budget allocations should not be made an more..

CA stays Jaffna MC’s summon on Gota

Sep 24 (DM) The Court of Appeal today issued an interim order staying the summon issued by the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court requiring former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to attend before it on Sept 27. This interim order was issued by Justice Deepali Wijesundera until Dec 3. Justice Achala Wengapulli recused himself from being a member of the Bench hearing this matter. Court directed to issue notices to Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, former Army Commander more..

SL condemns drone attacks in Saudi Arabia

Sep 24 (RN) Sri Lanka has condemned the drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil field. Issuing a statement, Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed hope today for a speedy resolution. The attack took place on 14 Sept, adversely affecting the global economy and resulting in a massive loss of total oil production globally. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of carrying out the attack. Foreign Ministry said that, as a country that suffered from terrorism for thirty years, more..

CB orders banks to reduce interest rates on loans and advances from Oct 15

Sep 24 (AD) Over the past eleven months, Central Bank has taken a number of monetary and regulatory policy measures to induce a reduction in market lending rates. These measures include the reduction of the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of CB by 100 basis points in two steps, the reduction of the Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) applicable on rupee deposit liabilities of more..

Sri Lankan man records his suicide live on his mobile phone to show his girl friend

Sep 24 (AT) A Sri Lankan man recorded his suicide live through his mobile phone with his compatriot girlfriend in his flat in Kheitan. A security source said the man had live connection with his girlfriend, who is staying in the same building, through his mobile phone. He stood on a box and tied his neck with a rope saying he would end his life. After a few minutes, he kicked the box and hanged himself. His girlfriend rushed to his flat and with the help of another Asian, they took him to Hospital more..

Imported milk powder price shoots up

Sep 24 (AD) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has approved the increase of imported powdered milk. The chairman of the Authority stated that the price of imported milk powder was increased by Rs 50.00 per 1 kilogram while the price of a 400g packet was hiked by Rs 20.00. This is the second time the prices of imported milk powder went up within the course of two months. With effect from midnight on August 1st, CAA increased the price of 1kg packet of imported milk powder by Rs 15.00. more..

Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias interdicted

Sep 24 (AD) Solicitor General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe has been interdicted with immediate effect, pending an inquiry into her alleged phone conversation with Avant-Garde chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi. Public Service Commission (PSC) has informed the Attorney General’s Department, over the phone, regarding the decision, AG’s Coordinating Officer Nisahara Jayaratne said. more..

Video: Disabled war heroes protest for 14th straight day despite rain

Sep 24 (AD) The protest launched by disabled war heroes and the families of the fallen, calling for solutions for pension salary issues, is continuing for the 14th consecutive day. Despite the heavy rainfall, the disabled war heroes are proceeding with their protest staged in front of the Fort Railway Station. The president of the All Ceylon Hindu Congress has also arrived at the location in support of the protest and to look into the condition of the protesting war heroes. more..

Administrative Service resorts to indefinite strike

Sep 24 (AD) Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association (SASA) has resorted to indefinite strike action starting from today. The chairman of the Association, Prabhath Chandrakeerthi said this decision was taken as the several rounds of discussions held with the officials of the Ministry of Finance had failed last evening. The SASA warned it would seek the support of the several other trade unions for the strike action if the authorities fail to meet their demands. more..

Swaminathan tells PCoI on corruption Northsea incurred losses earlier

Sep 24 (CT) Former Minister D.M. Swaminathan, yesterday (23), said that the State-owned Northsea Ltd. had been incurring losses for a long period, even before he took over the portfolio in 2015. Northsea Ltd. is established under the purview of Ministry of Resettlement. Testifying before PCoI Investigating the former Minister stressed that there were two or three complaints regarding the inferior fishing nets, which does not mean more..

SLPP using Easter Sunday Carnage to promote Gota: Mujibur

Sep 24 (CT) The SLPP is using its Presidential candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as the only answer for the safety of the country, UNP MP, Mujibur Rahman alleged yesterday. Addressing the media, he accused the SLPP of using the 21 April attacks to promote its Presidential candidate and impress upon the people that he was the answer to the security of the country. The Party is making national security its theme based on the attacks and the need to prevent separatism, he claimed. more..

Sri Lanka banks reject hydro project loan after endemic fish re-discovery

Sep 24 (EN) Sri Lankan banks supporting biodiversity conservation efforts refused to lend money for a mini-hydro power plant after the re-discovery of an endemic fish in the water way of the proposed project, a forum was told. Nations Trust Bank has supported multiple long term research projects yielding significant results, the forum by Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL), a private sector platform to promote biodiversity and environmental conservation was told. more..

Neglecting duties: Nalin slams Public Service professionals

Sep 24 (CT) Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara, yesterday, expressed serious concern as to why top professionals in the Public Service were unable to do their jobs properly. Addressing the Media, Bandara accused Solicitor General (SG) and former Director General of the CIABOC, President's Counsel Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe of being responsible for the release of those involved in the Avant Garde case. more..

PCB denies paying extra money to Sri Lanka for playing in Pakistan

Sep 24 (NDTV) Pakistan is all set to host SL for 3 ODIs and as many T20Is, with the first 50-over contest starting on Friday. Ahead of the series, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan said that his board is not paying any extra money to the tourists for visiting Pakistan. Wasim said the PCB has decided that it will not host any more matches in UAE, which has remained the country's home venue for a long time. He expressed that security situation in Pakistan has improved more..

Gota’s role in 2005 election campaign: Court orders TV channels to release video clips

Sep 24 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne issued an order directing 3 TV channels to handover unedited video clips to the CID in connection with statements made by MPs Udaya Gammanpila and Wimal Weerawansa. CID had earlier informed the Magistrate that they have commenced an investigation into a complaint lodged against former Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s dual citizenship. The complaint had been lodged against Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

45,000 affected by heavy rains

Sep 24 (DM) Heavy rains have resulted in a minor flood situation in several districts, DMC said today. Minor floods were reported from Badegama and Thawalama in the Galle Districts and in Millakanda, Agalawatta, Wallalawita and Bulathsingala in the Kalutara Districts. A minor flood situation was also reported from Malimbada, Kamburupitiya, Akuressa, Devinuwara and Pasgoda in the Matara District. more..

Sajith invites Tissa to join him

Sep 24 (AD) Many who have alienated from the UNP over differences of opinion are with the expectation of working for the party again, stated the Deputy Leader of UNP Sajith Premadasa. He pointed out that differences of opinion are things that can be resolved through discussion and not factors for separation. Therefore, all former MPs, Provincial Councilors, Urban-Municipal Councilors and all party representatives who have worked in sacrifice for the party and distanced from the party more..

Suspect arrested over assault on novice monks bailed

Sep 24 (AD) The suspect, who was remanded for assaulting two novice Buddhist monks, has been released on bail under a suspended five-year sentence today (24). He was arrested on the 10th of Sept and produced before Padaviya Magistrate the following day. The suspect, identified as Gammedde Chaminda Galaboda alias Utiya, was arrested after the video footage of the incident, which was recorded via a mobile phone and was widely circulated on social media. more..

Disabled war veterans to receive life-long pension equal to last salary

Sep 24 (AD) Cabinet approval has been granted to provide all the members of the Armed Forces, Police and STF who have been disabled due to the war, to receive a pension equal to their last salary even after their retirement. Ministry of Finance stated that this payment will be continued throughout a veterans’ life, with effect from today. Accordingly, all disabled war heroes will be paid their monthly salary including more..

Military option: Emotional or Rational?

Sep 25 (CT) In political science, wrote BBC’s David Molloy, populism is the idea that society is separated into two groups at odds with one another – the pure people and the corrupt elite, according to Cas Mudde, author of Populism: A Very Short Introduction. In Sri Lanka this definition may have to be revisited. Guileless it may seem, political populism manifests itself glaringly in the propaganda posters of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Presidential candidate of the SLPP. more..

Presidential interference in universities

Sep 25 (GV) Prof Sarath Chandrajeewa, Vice-Chancellor of the Uni of Visual and Performing Arts, has been removed from his post by the President of SL. No explanation has been offered. In a letter to Prof Chandrajeewa dated Sept 18th 2019, Secretary to the Prez says, “please note that His Excellency the Prez has decided to remove you from the Post of VC of Uni of Visual and Performing Arts in terms of section 34 (1) (C) of the Universities Act No. 01 of 1995 with immediate effect.” more..

'Whoever the UNP fields as candidate; we are the winners'

Sep 25 (CT) UPFA MP Dr. Ramesh Pathirana says he feels SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara is trying to court controversy by requesting that the SLPP changes the symbol of its Prez Candidate. "We must be vigilant about those who try to disturb the unity within the party". Q: What is the progress of discussions between the SLFP and the SLPP? A: If progressive parties like the CP, LSSP, JNP, PHU, MP, etc., can join more..

Sajith may electorally benefit from Ranil’s antics

Sep 25 (CT) The antics of virtual UNP leader for life and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe although appearing to deal a body blow to the prez electoral prospects of UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa, could be a blessing in disguise for Sajith if wisely handled by him and his backers. The reasons for this possibility include: 1) Dyed in the wool UNPers would realize that the best hope for a UNP Executive Prez is Sajith Premadasa who is the only candidate at present who could pose a real threat to frontrunner more..

Under the pretext of Human Rights

Sep 25 (DN) Affirming something through a declaration and denying the same in actual practice happens everywhere, but the real test of affirmation is the degree to which something is practised. When what is affirmed and what is actually practised is virtually divorced then the very act of affirmation becomes a mockery. That, unfortunately, is the situation regarding human rights in almost all developing countries. That is the situation in many countries in Asia. more..

'Sajith is more popular than Ranil or Karu'

Sep 25 (CT) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, says Sajith Premadasa is the candidate who can defeat Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "We are conducting this decisive battle on behalf of members of the Party," he said. Q: The date of the election and the day when nominations will be accepted has been declared. What has happened to the Party? A: We will announce the candidate of the UNP very soon. more..

Can poll date stall UNP splitting SLFP way?

Sep 25 (CT) Call it nemesis or what, but having got the rival SLFP split ahead of the Prez Polls last time round, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP is almost there, facing a similar fate this time round. If the UNP sinned slicing away present-day Prez Sirisena from the SLFP led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the party had handed down a personal reversal, by exploiting what now looks like dormant political ambitions of war-time Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka, now elevated to Field Marshal, as a Prez Poll ploy more..

Seven decades of UNP leadership feuds

Sep 25 (CT) "I do not intend on this occasion to indulge in any recrimination or personal bitterness. Political parties in Ceylon, both in the past and the present, had displayed a tendency not sufficiently to consult party organisations when important issues arose, the UNP was falling into the same tendency and in its best interest this should be remedied". These were the prophetic words of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in his speech after resigning from UNP to form the SLFP seven decades ago. more..

Face the Nation

Lanka’s collective failure to use Gash reports for its defence: Lord Naseby disappointed

Sep 25 (Island) Sri Lanka recently lost a golden opportunity to honour British politician Lord Naseby whose untiring efforts helped Sri Lanka to counter politically-motivated unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, propagated by interested parties. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka lacked the required political will to exploit the Conservative Party politician’s revelations. Instead, the current dispensation struggled to cope up with Lord Naseby’s disclosure in the House of Lords, on Oct 12, 2017. more..

PM Chief Guest today at Most Admired Companies Awards

Sep 25 (FT) Most Admired Companies of Sri Lanka have been selected and will be unveiled at the awards ceremony today at the BMICH. The awards are organised by the Int'l Chamber of Commerce, SL (ICCSL) together with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) SL and Daily FT. The event will be attended by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest with High Commissioner of India to SL Taranjit Singh Sandhu. A keynote address will be made by more..

Hashan confident of his Lion cubs despite Asia Cup heartbreak

Sep 25 (ST) There was much anticipation that Sri Lanka would be crowned Champions since it was played on home soil, but unfortunately they were knocked out as their semi-final clash against India was abandoned due to inclement weather. A week after their Asia Cup debacle Head Coach Hashan Tillakaratne expressed his views on the recently concluded tournament and the challenges that lie ahead of them. more..