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Video: 293 suspects arrested over Easter attacks so far

Sep 5 (AD) Total of 293 suspects have been arrested so far in connection with the Easter Sunday terror attacks. The suspects are arrested over terror links to the Easter Sunday attacks, aiding and abetting arrested terror suspects, being active members of banned organizations and receiving training at training camps with the terror suspects. Out of the arrested suspects, 115 are currently held under remand custody after more..

PM gets cracking on helping people caught up in human-elephant conflict

Sep 5 (Island) A special committee will be appointed to look into the grievances of the people affected by the Human-Elephant conflict and provide redress, PM told Parliament. The committee would comprise MPs and be headed by the subject Minister, the PM said. PM Wickremesinghe said that the govt had already taken some steps to help those caught in the human-elephant conflict and prevent tragedies. "This committee will evaluate the progress of those programmes. more..

Cinnamon spearheads destination marketing in Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (FT) In just four months following the horrifying terror attacks that threatened to derail the fast flourishing tourism industry of SL, a strong recovery strategy implemented by key industry players such as Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts has enabled the sector to effectively address and avert an emergent crisis. Spearheading this revival, the hospitality chain has initiated a number of campaigns; an encouraging celebrity video with VIP guests who have graced Cinnamon over more..

Ahimsa rebuts Gota’s attempt to block Lasantha murder case

Sep 5 (DM) Attorneys for Ahimsa Wickrematunge have filed papers opposing the attempt by SLPP presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa to halt the case filed against him in California on the alleged extrajudicial killing of her father, The Sunday Leader founding editor-in-chief Lasantha Wickrematunge. Last week, Mr. Rajapaksa had asked the US District Court for the Central District of California – where the civil lawsuit more..

Fire erupts in Ettampitiya

Sep 5 (RN) A fire has engulfed a forested area in Ettampititya, Pannagala area earlier today , DMC said. Assistant Director-General of the Disaster Management Centre for the Badulla district E.M.L.U. Kumara said that the burnt-out area was an abandoned forest farm which was under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. Accordingly, an area of 14 hectares has been destroyed by the fire. However, the fire had been doused with the help of Air Force & Army by 2.30 pm this afternoon. more..

44 Indians overstaying visas arrested

Sep 5 (DM) At least 44 Indians were arrested by the Department of Immigration and Emigration for overstaying their visas at a construction site at Slave Island today. Assistant Controller (Investigations) M. G. V. Kariyawasam said that the Indian nationals were arrested while they were working at the construction site. “The arrested are all males and between 25 to 50 of age,” he said. He said they had overstayed nearly three months after their visas were expired. more..

Sajith outlines policy objectives in online Q&A

Sep 5 (RN) In a live Q&A session streamed on Twitter and Facebook this afternoon, UNP prez hopeful Sajith Premadasa outlined his policy objectives for a future govt under his leadership in areas of governance, economics, education and national security. Responding to a question on economic management, Premadasa said the country is facing what he called a middle income trap. “As a country, we’re faced with several more..

Video: No room for violence in Quran: Ali Sabry

Sep 5 (AD) President’s Counsel Ali Sabry has said the Quran does not in any way allow violence. He made this remark at the event held to launch Sheikh Usthaz M.A.M. Mansoor’s book titled Does Al-Quran Encourage Violence? yesterday (3) in Colombo. The Quran contains three types of verses; the incidents that have already happened in the past, predictions about what can take place in the future as well as the laws and regulations for living the life as a Muslim, Sabry said further. more..

Special needs children not being served well: Auditor General

Sep 5 (RN) Sri Lanka’s Children with Special needs have been badly served by the state, according to a report to be released by the Auditor General’s department tomorrow. The report looked at the performance of the various government agencies tasked with enabling these children to get education and employment. This report will be presented to the Committee on Public Accounts tomorrow morning. The report is said to have found many lapses in the task of enabling these children. more..

Video: Six US persons refuse their bags checked in Sri Lanka: Wimal

Sep 5 (DM) Six US persons, who had arrived in Sri Lanka in a US State aircraft, had refused to hand over their luggage for inspection at the Hilton Hotel and at the airport, NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa alleged. He said the six persons had sought accommodation at Hilton on July 30. “US personnel had not allowed the hotel security to examine their luggage through the scan machine. After some time, a Jeep bearing more..

Prabhakaran destroyed UNP: Sujeewa

Sep 5 (AD) LTTE Leader V. Prabhakaran destroyed the UNP to the point the party couldn’t produce a President for 25 years, says UNP Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. He stated this addressing the public rally organized for Minister Sajith Premadasa, this evening . According to him, Prabhakaran was aware that the economy of the country would halt if the UNP is attacked. He says that after 10 years since the end of the war, the time has now come to appoint a leader similar to the leader who more..

'No liquor licences issued to current MPs'

Sep 5 (DM) Although liquor licences were issued to owners of hotels, the Finance Ministry said that none of the current MPs has been issued with liquor licences. Ministry said liquor licences were issued to the owners of hotels approved by the Tourist Board after 2015 with the intention of developing the tourism industry. There are 4,910 licensed liquor shops and 1,100 of them are retailers, 1567 hoteliers and 554 restaurateurs. Excise Dept has issued licenses for 368 wine and beer outlets, more..

Central Expressway issues will be sorted out: RDA

Sep 5 (RN) The RDA is optimistic that the problems being faced in the construction of Phase One and Three of the Central Expressway would be resolved in a few months time. RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyarachchi said that part of the delay is because although loans have been received the cash is released to the RDA by the Treasury in stages. Central Expressway is constructed in four phases where Phase one is from Kadawatha more..

Sri Lanka looks for Easter attack survivors to help probe

Sep 5 (AFP) SL's police on Thursday issued an appeal to trace seven people thought to have survived the Easter bombings but who then went missing without speaking to investigators. Police spokesman said investigators interviewed 81 survivors, but were keen to speak with another seven who left the hospital without providing contact details. "The CID is very keen to speak with them and we are issuing an appeal to trace these people in connection with the attacks," more..

Assets exceeding Rs. 6 bn, Rs.134 mn in 100 bank accounts of suspects: Police

Sep 5 (DM) Assets exceeding Rs. 6 billion were found from suspects who had abetted the mastermind of the Easter Sunday terrorist attack, Police Spokesman said. "Lands, buildings, vehicles and other movable properties were among more than Rs. 6 billion worth of assets and the CID is seeking advice to freeze them," he said. procedures to declared the assets as prohibited," he said. A sum of more than Rs.134 million in hundred bank accounts of 41 suspects had also been more..

Freedom, democracy & independence of judiciary established in the country: Prez

Sep 5 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena said that during the past five years he had created a free environment where the judiciary be able to make decisions liberally and impartially without political interference. Prez made these remarks participating in a ceremony to open the new Court Complex in Polonnaruwa, today. The new Court Complex, comprised of three storey building and the total cost for the project is Rs.327 m. more..

My good friend Carlo Fonseka is gone

Sep 6 (CT) As I bemoan my loss as well as mankind’s, I am thankful to God for three things. First that Carlo joked about the Newton obituary at the end of this article saying it was premature. Indeed he outlasted it by 3 years. Second, it was last week that I got a chance to visit him at the National Hospital. His request to me was that I visit a 42 year old Tamil man Jesuthasan he had befriended who was alone and awaiting a difficult heart operation. That is the man Carlo was. more..

Can Gotabaya deliver on his pledges?

Sep 6 (CT) At the SLPP annual convention, Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated, "I never allowed any external forces to obstruct the fulfilment of my responsibilities to my country. I never bowed my head to anyone who opposed my country. I will never allow anyone to infringe upon the sovereignty of Sri Lanka." He again referred to sovereignty in his speech when he stated, "Our values, traditions and culture, patriotic thinking, and national sovereignty are of tremendous importance to us. more..

JVP is a Trojan Horse: Vasu

Sep 6 (CT) MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara says that some are trying to disturb the unity that exists between the SLPP and the SLFP. Q: The SLFP and the SLPP had a discussion on 27 Aug. Did you come to a decision regarding an alliance? A: Discussions must be successful. If they fail, it will be a blunder. I have faith that they will succeed. I did not take part in the discussions but this unification is necessary and logical. more..

Elpitiya as beginning and end

Sep 6 (DM) Elections to every single local govt authority in the Galle District were held on Feb 10, 2018. Except Elpitiya. That was due to a petition pleading relief over a perceived error in a nomination list being rejected. Time passed. We had the parliamentary crisis at the end of that year. We had the Easter Sunday attacks a few months ago. Even people who were aware of that election or rather non-election forgot about Elpitiya. Not any longer. With the Court directing EC to hold elections more..

Change !

Sep 6 (DM) Change is necessary, it is vital, but are our politicians geared to effect the necessary changes, are they capable or more correctly, do they recognise that CHANGE IS VITAL??? Change is important from the country’s point of view, for its very survival! In the throes of pre-election fever, it is natural for us citizens to ask who will bring the CHANGE our country desperately needs! The survival of our country hinges on the capability of our politicians to recognise and implement more..

'We are Sri Lankan nationalistic'

Sep 6 (TM) SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam said that his party believed the Tamil and other minority groups did not see SLPP prez hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a war criminal or someone who violated human rights. Q: Party representatives as well as party leaders of the SLPP and SLFP have met yet again this week regarding the proposed alliance. How important is SLFP & its voter base for SLPP election bid? more..

Making a buzz with science

Sep 6 (ST) Clear and strong are the calls for STEM, gathering momentum from across the globe. STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics has been the very focus of a group which got-together to promote just that in Sri Lanka not yesterday or today but 75 years ago. Buried in the dim mists of time are the foundations on which Sri Lanka has built up its science programmes, beginning in 1944 with the birth of the Ceylon Association of Science, which had been more..

Editorial: Questionable deals & lame excuses

Sep 6 (Island) Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) has arbitrarily extended a contract secured by a private company for printing smart driving licences—there is hardly anything smart about them!—and, thereby, caused a staggering loss of Rs. 4 billion to the state coffers, a probe conducted by the COPA has revealed. The company concerned was contracted to print the so-called smart licences for a period of seven years and it was required to train the DMT personnel, during that period, more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

132 years of service : Reflecting God’s love on earth

Sep 6 (SO) The Bible talks about fruits of the spirit. There is one beautiful religious oasis in Colombo where these spiritual fruits manifest in daily life. It is the Convent of the Religious Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary or the FMM as they are known globally. Nestled in Colombo 8 the convent is partially hidden by the large building, St. Anthony’s Nursery. Adjacent to this is a small chapel. When I entered these premises there was a sense of calm as it is a place where prayer and more..

Discovery of a potential leader and English as she should be spoke (sic)

Sep 6 (Island) Cass, as writer of this column has the prerogative to upside down it, if not inside out it. So she will start with the second part of the title. ENGLISH and here it is its pronunciation in usage that has caused steam to rise off the opinion page of the daily Island for the last couple of days. It continues with many letters written even today – Wednesday 4. Such a change to argue about language usage and not politics and presidential hopefuls, even races and religions! more..

Presidential Commission into Agriculture Building sees shift of blame

Sep 6 (SO) The controversial building, belonging to the spouse of a famous cinema actress, which was rented out to house the Ministry of Agriculture became a hot topic again over the last week. The immediate reason was that the Secretary to the PM, Saman Ekanayake was questioned about the deal last Tuesday (27) for more than five hours at the police unit of the Presidential Commission probing corruption more..

Migration to Australia by boat: An unrealistic adventure

Sep 6 (Island) This topic received public attention recently due to the case of Tamil family that had come by boat and to be deported to SL after they exhausted all legal avenues to remain in Australia and a visit by an Australian Major visiting SL advocated against any Sri Lankan attempting to come to Australia by boats. Liberal-national conservative govt in power has adopted a hardline approach to such arrivals compared to the previous Labour govt that allowed people who arrive more..

Afghanistan stun Pakistan in Under-19 Asia Cup opening day

Sep 6 (Island) Afghanistan stunned Pakistan in the opening day of the Under-19 Asia Cup at P. Sara Oval while India secured a seven wicket win over Kuwait at CCC yesterday. In a game reduced to 46 overs due to rain, Pakistan did well to restrict Afghanistan to 162 for nine but their batting collapsed chasing down the modest target as wrist spinners Shafiqullah Ghafari and Noor Ahmad ran through the middle order. Left-arm quicks Abidullah Taniwal and Fazal Haq had given their side more..

Sri Lanka scales up its domestic campaign to protect sharks with a global push

Sep 6 (MB) Decades ago along the beaches of SL, fish sellers used bicycles to transport their catch, including sharks. It was said the sharks were often so big that, when tied down to the bicycle frame, their snouts and tail fins would touch the ground at either end. But not anymore, says Hiran Jayawardene, the founder and chairman of the NARA. He says this decline is evident at shark landing sites around the country, more..

Clean-sweep danger looms for Sri Lanka against depleted New Zealand

Sep 6 (CI) With the series already wrapped up, New Zealand have the chance to seal just their second series clean sweep in a three-match T20I series, and their first away from home. However, they have an issue to deal with: a spate of injuries has thinned the squad to just eleven fit, available players. With Hamish Rutherford having flown in for the out-of-commission Martin Guptill, and Ross Taylor quite possibly still carrying an injury but having little choice but to soldier on, more..

Secret to NZ’s success in the subcontinent

Sep 6 (DN) Few teams have come to the subcontinent and been successful, but New Zealand is an exception because they have had quite a lot of success overseas in the past few years. Outlining how NZ has been able to adjust to subcontinent conditions and pitches and succeed, bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said, “There’s no doubt Sri Lanka are a very good team and a tough place to play. What we’ve been able to do as a team in the last couple of years is to win series overseas. more..

FDI projects worth $ 4.6 b approved: Malik

Sep 6 (FT) The Govt has approved $4.6 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the first seven months of 2019, Minister Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament. Minister also outlined additional regulatory changes being made to attract more investments, by improving Sri Lanka’s performance in the Ease of Doing Business rankings compiled by the World Bank. He also said that while $4.6b in projects were approved, more..

Swimming: More records set on Day 2

Sep 6 (CT) Three more SL schools records were established in the morning session of the second day in the 46th annual SL Schools Swimming Championship held at the Sugathadasa swimming pool yesterday. Hiruki de Silva of Girls' College Dankotuwa set up a new record in the Girls' Under-16 200m Freestyle event with a time of 2 minutes 19.54 seconds, erasing the 12-year-old record (2:22.07) established in 2007. Another two records were achieved when K.V.S. Deenal of more..

SLFP to nominate presidential candidate

Sep 6 (FT) The SLFP has decided it will be fielding a candidate for the upcoming Prez Elections, an official said. SLFP MP Weerakumara Dissanayake said that SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara has informed the Elections Commission of the decision. The SLFP had earlier stated that it would announce its decision on whether or not to field a candidate at its Party Convention, which was held on Tuesday. However, there was no announcement made at the convention, more..

Malinga captaincy creates deep divisions again

Sep 6 (Island) Poor leadership qualities of Lasith Malinga has come under the microscope again after the national cricket team lost the T-20 series against NZ with a game to spare at Pallekele earlier this week. Malinga was appointed as SL’s white ball captain in December last year and since then he has led the side in 14 games and not won any. Deep divisions in the side emerged soon after Malinga was appointed more..

Global tea marketing campaign to kick off in Russia this month

Sep 6 (DN) The much awaited global tea marketing campaign would finally get off the ground on Sept 25, with the first promotional activity in Russia. This would be followed up by the second promotion in Ukraine in October, Director Promotions, SL Tea Board, Pavithri Peiris said. She said according to plan Japan has been earmarked as the third country for global promotion. This would be in March next year, followed by China, she said on the sidelines of the NCE awards launch event at more..

SL-Singapore Business Council leads delegation of 26 companies to Singapore

Sep 6 (Island) SL-Singapore Business Council (SLSBC) over the years has played the role of the catalyst to its members and other SL corporates to promote bilateral trade between the two countries. This year, the SLSBC led a delegation of 31 Board level individuals from 26 local companies drawn from a multitude of industry sectors to explore opportunities. What was special this time around is that the delegation consisted of 11 Tech startups looking to accelerate growth in the region. more..

Cabinet approval to move forward Samurai bond: CB Chief

Sep 6 (FT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said Cabinet approval had been given to appoint a Steering Committee and a Technical Evaluation Committee for the mobilisation of the issuance of a $ 500 million samurai bond. Speaking at The Asian Banker Finance Sri Lanka 2019 conference, Governor said the CB would work to issue the bond in the next two months as part of its effort to broaden SL’s investment base. more..