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Video: Flexibility of SLPP needed to form an alliance: President

Sep 30 (AD) The flexibility of the SLPP is required to form an alliance, stated President Maithripala Sirisena. Sirisena said his informed his stance on contesting the election under a common symbol to the Rajapaksa brothers, yesterday (28). “I told them that we can work for the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa under a national alliance, but never under the lotus bloom symbol of the SLPP; they did not agree to it,” he said. more..

‘Sri Lanka could be only country with preferential access to vast region’

Sep 30 (DN) Sri Lanka could be the only country in the world with preferential access to China, India and the European Union under GSP plus if the partnership agreement with China ends successfully. CB Governor, Indrajit Coomaraswamy speaking at the seminar on Int'l Trade Agreements: Policy Options for SL last week said that they are trying to renegotiate the bilateral agreement in goods with India to expand it to cover services, investment in technology and training more..

Atapattu hundred in vain as Sri Lanka lose

Sep 30 (DN) Chamari Atapattu became the first ever SL women cricketer to smash a century in T20 Internationals but her superlative effort was still not enough to prevent Australia from taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Atapattu put on a show despite losing partners regularly at the other end and smashed 113 off just 66 balls to help SL register their highest total in the format – 176-7. But Australia, led by Beth Mooney’s 2nd T20I ton, had enough on board – 217-4 to withstand SL skipper’s onslaught. more..

Election monitors see gray areas

Sep 30 (Island) The National Election Commission (NEC) and polls monitors are facing a dilemma due to lack of clarity as regards laws pertaining to the period between the declaration of an election and the date when nominations are accepted. "The biggest problem is that these is a gray area and there is a lot of confusion among most stakeholders about as to what the candidates can do and cannot, and this is particularly true when more..

Sri Lanka Tourism celebrates World Tourism Day 2019

Sep 30 (Island) SL Tourism Development Authority along with the other three key institutions of SL Tourism under the guidance of the Ministry of Tourism Development organized a two-day special programme in Colombo and several other events to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day. World Tourism Day 2019 was celebrated on this year’s theme of Tourism & Jobs; A better future for all. The official ceremony commenced at 9.30 a.m. on 27 Sept at Arcade Independence Square, Col 7 more..

Mahindra & Mahindra to assemble electric three-wheelers in Matugama

Sep 30 (DN) Creating a historic land mark in Sri Lanka’s automobile industry, Mahindra & Mahindra India and Ideal Motors would initiate the assembly of Mahindra Treo electric three-wheelers in their newly built factory in Matugama. Executive Chairman, Ideal Group, Nalin Welgama, said that Ideal Motors along with global brand Mahindra, have already inaugurated its first completely knocked down facility towards the assembly of automotive vehicles in SL by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Video: First task would be to invest heavily in education: Gotabaya

Sep 30 (AD) The professionals must intervene in the state as well as politics in order to have a successful govt, says SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Stating that it is up to the officials to implement the policies of the country, Gotabaya said that legal measures are required to safeguard honest govt officials. He says that many of the students, except those who admitted to universities, are lost following the A/L exam. more..

Master Divers to invest Rs 200 mn to upscale operations in Trinco

Sep 30 (DN) Master Divers (Pvt) Ltd., leading marine services company, will invest over Rs. 200 million to increase their operations in Trincomalee and Colombo. Chairman, Master Divers, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake, said that due to south west monsoon their harbour operations in Colombo had become almost impossible and they moved some of their operations to Trinco. “We now see this as a major success and would now look at introducing warehousing facilities to Trinco.” more..

British born Lankan stabbed to death

Sep 30 (Island) British born SL Tashan Daniel, 20, was stabbed to death on Tuesday at Hillingdon underground station. He was killed when he was on his way to watch the Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest football match. The attacker, who is still on the run, accused Tashan of staring at him weirdly from the other side of the tube station platform. "Everyone at Arsenal FC is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Arsenal fan Tashan Daniel. Our thoughts are with Tashan’s family more..

Teachers, SLAS officers call off strike

Sep 30 (DN) Two major state sector trade unions, Ceylon Teachers Services Union and SL Administrative Service Association (SLASA) have decided to call of their strike temporarily from today. Govt authorities have promised to look into their salary anomalies and promotions. Meanwhile, ministerial subcommittee appointed to look into the several strike actions launched by state sector trade unions has decided to hold special discussion more..

South Korea boosts funding for new Sri Lanka Ocean University by 60%

Sep 30 (DN) The initial outlay on SL’s largest vocational skilling project announced on Aug 28 has now increased by a huge 60% from its first value. “Due to some important revisions and re-assessments on ground, the project value has been boosted by another US $ 30 million to total at US $ 80 million. This is a very large project” Daekyoo Park, tCountry Director of Korea Exim Bank EDCF Colombo Office said. Country Director Park, who was leading his team to discuss about more..

No evidence to suggest deliberate poisoning of the elephants, Wildlife officials say

Sep 30 (FT) Wildlife veterinarians say so far they have not found any evidence to suggest the elephants in the Habarana forest reserve were deliberately poisoned. Bodies of seven female wild elephants were discovered on Friday and Saturday in the Habarana-Hiriwadunna and Digampathana-Thumbikulam forest reserves. The post mortem examination of the dead elephants has revealed no evidence to suspect that the animals had been poisoned by some outside food, more..

Former Army Chief to run for Presidency

Sep 30 (AD) Former Army Commander General Mahesh Senanayake today (29) announced his candidacy for the prez election. Senanayake’s prez bid was announced at a rally held by National People’s Movement (NPM), a collective of civil organizations. Addressing the rally, Senanayake, who retired as Army Commander in August, said that Sri Lanka needs an alternative force and he believes he is that alternative. more..

Nine trains operate despite the strike

Sep 30 (DM) Nine trains will operate to Colombo Fort this morning to facilitate the commuters and to bring the office crowd to Colombo even during the strike, a Railways senior official said. He said one train each from Kandy, Maho, Kurunegala, Rambukkana, Veyangoda, Chillaw and Avissawella will arrive at the Fort Railways station this morning while two trains will from Galle. Two trains had been assigned to Rambukkana and Kurunegala following the orders of by the GMR yesterday. more..

Ranil tells civil society leaders to work for Sajith’s victory

Sep 30 (Island) Yahapalana govt had been able to restore law and order and people enjoyed unbridled freedom, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Addressing a group of civil society leaders at Temple Trees, the PM said: "Today, there are no white vans to abduct those who criticize the govt. We put an end to the white van culture. None is threatened or intimidated. Police enforce law without fear and influences from politicians. Now, people enjoy a freedom that did not exist in Sri Lanka before. more..

Wildlife Dept concludes post-mortem on mysterious jumbo deaths

Sep 30 (FT) The wildlife officials, who concluded the post-mortem into sudden deaths of seven elephants, said yesterday that they had found one male carcass among them and the causes of deaths still remained a mystery. DWLC Senior Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe said the DWLC team of four veterinary surgeons had concluded the examination to determine gross pathological changes and more..

Israeli elections and Palestinian core values

Sep 30 (DM) Driven out of their homes and lands in 1949 when the United Nations recreated the state of Israel, the Palestinians are today one of the the largest and oldest bloc of refugees in the world. Records of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in 2018 show the number of registered Palestinian refugees as some six million. That figure represented the minimum number of Palestinian refugees and constitute almost half of the Palestinians in the world (around 13 mil). more..

What type of VOTER are you?

Sep 30 (DM) The presidential election is on us. It seems that each prez campaign season brings with it no shortage of new (mostly old) ideas of how to fix what ails our country. Many of these gems involve spending a lot of taxpayer money - mainly because that’s an easy way to buy voters and contributes little practical thought -- on peripheral problems, many of which may or may not, in fact, be problems. What’s seems to be lost in these conversations is an honest and rigorous evaluation of how we got here. more..

Adverse weather: Threat of health implications

Sep 30 (TM) Last week, over a period of 48 hours, four districts received an incessant downpour which caused floods, affecting 112,845 persons, while in five districts, a total of 24,284 persons were affected by strong winds, owing to a storm sweeping across a section of the island. While 44,375 persons were provided safety in 81 locations, seven persons had been injured and one death was reported more..

Ministry proposes fourth coal unit at always breakdown Norochcholai

Sep 30 (ST) The same company that built the always breakdown US$ 1.34bn Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai—China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC)—will add a 300 megawatt extension to the existing facility using a one hundred percent loan from China, reveals a Cabinet paper approved by Ministers this week. Under the proposal from Minister Ravi Karunanayake, a fourth unit will be added to more..

Reporters under threat for accurate reporting?

Sep 30 (FT) Reporter T. Sobithan of the Virakesary has been asked by the CID to report to the Fourth Floor. What was his offence? In the Virakesary of 21 Aug, he had reported a speech by one Mariya Suresh Easwari, the Head of the Society for Those Disappeared. She has stated that, as in the past, Douglas Devananda and Varathrajaperumal have joined Gotabaya Rajapaksa again and planning to harm Tamils. more..

Rajitha wants GR defeated to forestall military rule

Sep 30 (Island) The true character of the ‘most innocent member of the Rajapaksa family’ is revealed in Kamal Gunaratne’s new book, says Minister Rajitha Senaratne. "Sri Lankans will be deprived of their democratic rights if a military ruler takes over, even for a short period," he said, addressing the 84th annual meeting of Public Health Inspectors’ Union. However, govt would ensure that no such thing would come to pass, he added. more..

CaFFE now talks of tackling last minute poll bribes

Sep 30 (Island) Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) will focus on monitoring last minute bribes given to voters that have the power to change voter behaviour, CaFFE acting Executive Director, Manas Makeen said. "In previous elections CaFFE had noted that last minute bribes like money, goods, narcotics, etc are given to voters to change their mind. While this might not play a vital role in elections where the voters have strong more..

Global Swedish giant IKEA resumes sourcing from Sri Lanka

Sep 30 (FT) IKEA, the Swedish-founded global home furnishings and appliances giant, has resumed sourcing from Sri Lanka with a planned increase in the number of products after a lapse of few years giving a big boost for the export sector. A sourcing team from IKEA Group is in the country to explore trade opportunities between the group and Sri Lankan manufacturers and exporters. more..

Candidate Anura Kumara says don’t believe other contestants

Sep 30 (Island) The country is paying for the mistake of electing wrong persons for the presidency and the voters should not make the same mistake in the coming prez election, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says. He said: "Time to time, people fell for various slogans, and voted for various persons. Only after they sat on the chair of executive president, their true colours were seen and we found that we had elected more..

Video: Petition against Gotabaya’s Lankan citizenship to be taken up in Oct.

Sep 30 (AD) The Court of Appeal has decided to support the petition, which was filed this morning (30) against recognizing former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a citizen of Sri Lanka, before the three-judge bench on the 2nd of October. Earlier today, two civil society activists Gamini Viyangoda and Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara have lodged the petition seeking the Appeals Court to deliver the relevant order to more..

Prez withdraws from UNGA

Sep 30 (TM) Prez Sirisena made a last-minute withdrawal from UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York and was represented by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Ariyasinghe. General Debate of the UNGA began on 24 Sept and ends Monday. A source at the Prez Secretariat said that Prez’s Office had made all preparations for Prez Sirisena’s visit but the office was informed at the last minute that he will not be participating. more..

Disabled soldiers call off protest

Sep 30 (AD) The disabled soldiers, who had been engaged in a protest in front of the Fort Railway Station, have called off their protest a short while ago. Disabled war heroes and the families of the fallen launched the protest on the 11th of Sept demanding the authorities provide their pension benefits even after they reach 55 years of age. On Sept 24th, the Cabinet approval was granted to provide all the members of the Armed Forces, more..

Narrow outlook on Sri Lankan Blue berets

Sep 30 (CT) The recent decision by the UN to exclude SL Service personnel from its Peacekeeping activities has made one to think whether the institution meant to bring peace throughout the world has backtracked on its objectives. It was in January this year Captain H.W. D. Jayawickrama and Corporal S.S. Wijekumara attached to the UN Peacekeeping Force from SL Army made a supreme sacrifice when they were killed in a mine attack while they were on duty in Mali and another more..

1,044 complaints against police

Sep 30 (DM) National Police Commission (NPC) had received 1,044 public complaints against police during the first eight months of 2019. Among the 1,044 complaints, 424 were against inaction and passivity of police, 304 against abuse of power, 141 against partiality, 24 against offenses connected with using liquor, 38 against unlawful detention and arrest, 19 against illegal conduct, 17 against assault, 12 against bribery, three regarding suspect-death in custody and 62 on other reasons. more..

Rohana Hettiarachchi

Dr. Anura Ekanayake: Journey from top bureaucrat to top private sector leader

Sep 30 (FT) I met Anura Ekanayake, Anura to his friends, in early 1990s when he was the Director of Planning at the Ministry of Plantations Industry. There, he was engaged in modernising SL’s three tree crops – tea, rubber and coconut – under a number of development projects implemented by the Ministry. One such project was the Tea Small Holder Development Project, funded by the ADB by way of a concessionary credit line. This project aimed at increasing the extent of tea cultivation in more..

Navy's contribution towards making island’s coastline free of waste

Sep 30 (SLA) A few more cleaning programmes of the Navy’ coast coastal cleanup drive were conducted in the Northern and Northwestern Naval Commands today (29). Accordingly, these clean-up programmes were carried out in Aliyawalei, Sillalei to Saukkad, Perunkadu, Kankesanthurei, Sand and Mandativu beaches by the Northern Naval Command. Meanwhile, the Northwestern Naval Command cleaned the Mullikulam to Pukkulam and Alankuda to Norochcholei beach areas. more..

Nivard Cabraal proposed as alternative SLPP candidate

Sep 30 (EN) Former CB governor Nivard Cabraal has been proposed as alternative candidate for the SLPP in case Gotabaya Rajapaksa is disqualified by courts, sources close to the party said. Several chief incumbents of Buddhist Temples had proposed his name to ex-Prez Rajapaksa. Cabraal was central bank governor and an key policy maker of Rajapaksa administration. On Monday Court of Appeal entertained more..

Court orders arrest of MP Hesha Vithanage

Sep 30 (NR) The Embilipitiya Magistrate’s Court ordered the arrest of United National Party Parliamentarian Hesha Vithanage for failing to appear before Court today over the hearing of a case. The order was issued by Embilipitiya Chief Magistrate Lakmini Vidanagamage today. MP Vithanage was due to appear in Court over a case related to the misuse of a plot of land amounting to Rs.20 million, but failed to appear for the hearing despite being ordered to be present. more..

'Wastage, corruption minimised due to RTI'

Sep 30 (DM) Wastage and corruption in most govt institutions had gone down after introducing the Right to Information Act (RTI), Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said at the opening of the newly constructed media centre in parliament, aimed at facilitating parliament journalists. Speaker said the RTI, which was introduced in May 2015, had been very effective in minimising wastage and corruption in most govt institutions at all levels. “The RTI was proposed to be brought in 2003 but it was more..

Retired train drivers to operate disrupted railway services

Sep 30 (AD) Dept of Railways says retired train drivers will be deployed to operate the disrupted railway services. This measure is being taken owing to the ongoing strike action launched by the railway trade unions, the Dept said. Despite the day fifth consecutive day of the strike, 11 trains had commuted this morning. Meanwhile, the Cabinet sub-committee appointed last Friday to look into the salary anomalies of govt institutions and more..

Peace and reconciliation essential for children: PM

Sep 30 (RN) Children, as the leaders of tomorrow, will go on to steer the country’s progress hence it is our responsibility to ensure peace and reconciliation in a stable country where their rights and welfare are secured, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a message for World Children and Elders day which falls tomorrow. PM further stated that “the children and elderly citizens of our nation must receive special attention from society as the elderly have contributed over half their lives towards more..

Deshal re-joins Sampath Bank Board

Sep 30 (FT) Young economist Deshal de Mel has rejoined the Board of Sampath Bank PLC as a Non-Executive Independent Director. He previously served on the Board as a Non- Executive Director (2012-2017) and was also Chairman of SC Securities Ltd. and served on the Board (2014-2017). De Mel is an economist who worked for the Ministry of Finance as Economic Advisor from July 2017 till August 2019. He is a Commission Member of SEC & member of the Board at SriLankan more..

Will Gota be stateless by Friday?

Sep 30 (RN) SLPP Prez Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa is on a cliff-edge as to whether the courts will disallow him to use his National Identity Card and SL Passport, virtually making him stateless. That will make him ineligible to contest the Presidency. Appeal Court this afternoon fixed Oct 2, 3 and 4 to hear a petition by two Civil society activists who are asking the Courts to quash the Dual Citizenship Certificate and NIC issued to more..