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The beginning of the end

Oct 1 (CT) There was a debate on who was the author of the 20th Amendment. It is not a complicated document to be authored as such. The legal draftsman was instructed to undo the changes of 19A except for the limitation of the terms of the prez, duration of such terms and replacing the Constitutional Council with the Parliamentary Council with limited powers. Prez himself could do it. If the Prez wants to continue his down to earth, good, executive work of directing, guiding, more..

Imprisoning an island

Oct 1 (CT) The fate of Sri Lanka, not just the success or failure of the incumbent regime, depends on the overall model adopted and the path taken. That model and that path stem from the perspective, indeed the policy doctrine that guides the country’s leader, which then becomes the dominant doctrine of the state and govt. Just how would the President’s doctrine, that what he says must be taken as a written circular or else, work AFTER the 20th amendment is passed? more..

Land enroachment illegal activities on the rise

Oct 1 (TM) Complaints were recorded at various police stations around the country regarding individuals encroaching private lands by creating fake deeds to claim ownership, The Sunday Morning learnt. Recently, such a land racket was uncovered by the Chilaw Police when a group of people tried to sell a property worth around Rs. 2 million in Mundalama. Police arrested three suspects last Sunday while the racketeers more..

Understanding the leopard in a variety of habitats

Oct 1 (DM) Ongoing long-term work by the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT), under the purview of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, is revealing important information about the leopard population in Sri Lanka. Although the overall estimated leopard population in Sri Lanka has remained stable (Kittle & Watson 2019 IUCN Red List) human-induced leopard deaths in specific regions is on the rise. “Understanding how leopards utilise Protected Areas (PA’s), buffer areas, more..

Dereliction of duty costs three innocent lives

Oct 1 (DM) Shock waves ripped through Buwelikada in Kandy on Sept 20, an otherwise quiet Sunday morning, when a young father, mother and their infant daughter were killed in a cave-in of a 5-storey building, which then collapsed on an adjoining house. It raised several questions as to whether proper approvals were obtained and quality standards were maintained when constructing such buildings in areas known to be vulnerable to earth slips or landslides. more..

Sliding towards a grave disaster

Oct 1 (TM) Following the catastrophic disaster reported last week of a building in Kandy collapsing, concerns were raised over all illegal and hazardous constructions mushrooming in landslide-prone areas, especially in the Central Province. This issue was aggravated over the last few years as a result of the sudden influx of tourists which has led to increased commercialisation, resulting in a majority of more..

Ruwan should emulate JR

Oct 1 (CT) Today marks the 18th day since UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (71) first cousin Ruwan Wijewardene (45) was elected the Party’s Deputy Leader by the UNP Working Committee. 47 years and 4 months ago, i.e. on 1 May 1973, then UNP and Opposition Leader J.R. Jayewardene (70), an uncle of Wickremesinghe and Wijewardene, launched the UNP’s first successful political rally at that year’s May Day celebrations at Campbell Park, Borella, after the UNP’s drubbing at more..

Today is Adhi Vap full moon Poya day

Oct 1 (DN) The purification of conduct established by the prior three factors serves as the basis for the next division of the path, the division of concentration (samadhikkhandha). This present phase of practice, which advances from moral restraint to direct mental training, comprises the three factors of right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. It gains its name from the goal to which it aspires, power of sustained concentration, itself required as support for insight-wisdom. more..

Keheliya Rambukwella

Narendra Modi spikes the good neighbour drink

Oct 1 (DM) Which country would not be happy if another country said we have a you-first security policy? The cynical have the option of retorting most countries would be terrified if, for example, the USA said something like that. The world is not flat. Not all countries are equal in terms of financial might and fire power. So when SL says that she has an India-first security policy, it’s almost like saying don’t worry, we will align ourselves with your interests and we will not shift loyalty. more..

The rag must stop

Oct 1 (DN) There is the occasional letter to the editor condemning it, sometimes the issue is discussed academically, the parties regret its occurrence, but by and large, we choose to ignore the disgrace; ragging is specific to the universities, occurs outside the public view; a misfortune that happens to only a few youngsters, somebody else’s children; otherwise fortunate students who have weathered our exclusionary system of examinations to now stand at the portal of higher education, more..

'Not playing cricket extremely frustrating'

Oct 1 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Mickey Arthur has spent almost a year in the job, yet his team has played just one game in Colombo in that period. Such has been the devastating effect of the pandemic that he might end his two year stint with Sri Lanka Cricket without ever being involved in a game at RPS. This was supposed to be a bumper year for cricket in SL with the country set to host four bilateral series plus the Asia Cup. more..

Editorial: A bouquet for LRH surgeons

Oct 1 (Island) Respected surgeon Prof. A.H. Sheriffdeen, recently took up with the President of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka a complaint against the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) about an alleged delay in performing an operation on a child with a ruptured appendix. He faulted a paediatric surgeon. Now, he has found that there was no lapse on the part of the surgeon concerned and admitted that he fired from the hip. Inquiries we made with the help of some independent medical experts, more..

Business confidence nudges up

Oct 1 (FT) LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) recorded an increase of three basis points from the previous month, registering 120 in September. In the latest edition of LMD, Nielsen’s Director – Consumer Insights Therica Miyanadeniya says: “The COVID-19 situation seems to be abating, the general election has come and gone, and life is slowly returning to some sort of normalcy. However, businesses as well as the people continue to grapple with the aftereffects of the pandemic.” more..

Cost of extending maternity benefits to private sector only Rs. 4.2 b: Verité

Oct 1 (FT) Govt expenditure of Rs. 4.2 billion annually would enable maternity leave benefits to be extended across the economy, and incentivise the private sector to employ more women, Verité Research stated, recommending this be included in the upcoming Budget. Verité Research Executive Director Dr. Nishan de Mel, addressing the press, stated that this was an opportunity for the Govt to use their own more..

Susanthika's 20th year of Olympic glory celebrated

Oct 1 (DN) A special ceremony was held to commemorate 20th anniversary of Susanthika Jayasinghe's Olympic silver medal victory at the Susanthika's first school, Uduwaka Kanishta Vidyalaya in Warakapola Athinawala Village. Susanthika won the 200m silver medal in 2000 Sydney Olympics. Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa and State Minister Thenuka Widhanagamage were present at this ceremony. Minister Namal Rajapaksa said this is the best occasion to start more..

Udani Edirisinghe making her mark in a male-dominated sport

Oct 1 (ST) When 32-year-old Udani Edirisinghe gets into action as Sri Lanka’s first-ever female manager of a major domestic rugby team, her only concern will be barging into the dressing room of the boys of CH&FC. But, a seasoned campaigner in this business, Udani will fall in line with all the responsibilities as manager, while foregoing her only obstacle. “I have an assistant manager, Thusitha, a former player from Thurstan College, who will perform that duty on my behalf. more..

Exploring all options to repay $ 4.5 b in 2021: Govt

Oct 1 (FT) Targeting debt repayments of $ 4.5 billion in 2021 the Govt yesterday said it was exploring multiple options to boost foreign exchange reserves including a $ 1 billion SWAP agreement with India, attracting investment to the securities market and possible Panda and Samurai bonds, as well as receiving $ 700 million in a syndicated loan from China. State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Finance Ministry Secretary more..

Quarter of Sri Lankan MSMEs set for better times as two biz Chambers join forces

Oct 1 (FT) A quarter of Sri Lanka’s MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise) sphere is set to reap benefits as a result of the latest pact signed between a leading MSME support Chamber and a Women Entrepreneur Network on 15 September in Colombo. “The FEMpower Women Entrepreneurs Network plays a commendable role in supporting SL women entrepreneurs,” said SL’s Confederation of Micro, Small & Medium Industries (COSMI) President Nawaz Rajabdeen on 15 Sept. more..

Red Bull joins Sri Lanka Cricket as the official energy drink partner

Oct 1 (SLC) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) wishes to announce the signing of Red Bull, the world renowned Energy Drink firm as the Official Energy Drink Partner of Sri Lanka Cricket. The 03-year agreement to this effect was signed and exchanged between SLC and Red Bull on the 31st of August 2020. During the partnership period, Red Bull will provide energy drinks to the players of both teams on the match days during bilateral tours. This is apart from several other considerations, more..

Armed gang robs Katana millionaire

Oct 1 (CT) A gang comprising seven armed men disguised as officers of the Ministerial Security Division, armed with firearms, broke into the house of a millionaire businessman built on a 50-acre area in Katana, and got away with more than Rs 35 million, Police said. The gang had arrived in a motor vehicle and motorcycle and were wearing security helmets, gloves and face masks and were armed with a T-56 firearm, pistol & revolver, more..

Certain govt MPs are not favour of 20A: Opp.

Oct 1 (NR) The opposition claims that several Ministers and MPs who are part of the govt at present, are not in favour of the proposed 20 Amendment. MP Mujibur Rahman said MPs who are part of the govt could not criticize its own agenda, because they would lose their place in parliament. He out that even American citizens will have the opportunity to be in the SL Parliament, through reforms brought by the 20 Amendment. The MP stressed that individuals who made various more..

Cattle slaughter ban boosts CSE chicken stocks

Oct 1 (DM) Poultry industry stocks gained sharply on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday with the Cabinet of Ministers deciding to ban cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka. The Cabinet has granted approval to implement a proposal tabled by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa over the banning of cattle slaughter in the country with immediate effect, subjected to the implementation of relevant measures. On the back of this development, Bairaha Farms share rose Rs.8.90 or 7.88% more..

Rahman wants possible RAW mole in NTJ brought back if hiding in India

Oct 1 (Island) If Pulastini Mahendran alias Sarah Jasmine, the wife of Atchchi Muhammadu Hastun, who blew himself up at St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya, was alive and hiding in India, the govt should bring her back, SJB MP Mujibur Rahman, told the PCoI. The govt must request the Indian govt to look for her and send her back, Rahman said. “There were media reports suggesting Sarah had gone to India and more..

Spark Air part foreign investment: CAA

Oct 1 (TM) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said part of the financial investment of SL’s newest commercial international airline Spark Air would come from a foreign investor. CAA Director – Operations Lushan Fernando said Spark Air was still in the application stage, and it would operate internationally. When asked about the investors, Fernando said: “There is a foreign investor as well.” The airline will be operated similar to SriLankan Airlines, and will be a govt-owned company, more..

Malagamuwa allowed overseas travel

Oct 1 (CT) Colombo HC Judge Dhammika Ganepola yesterday, granted approval for motor racing champion Dilantha Malagamuwa to leave the country to participate in an overseas motor racing championship. The championship is due to be held in several European destinations including France. Justice Ganepola gave this order when the case against Malagamuwa and two others, charged with defrauding a Japanese national of a sum of US$ 600,000 towards constructing a luxury more..

FinCEN files: SL lumped with high risk nations

Oct 1 (ST) Several int'l banks have flagged Sri Lanka as a high risk jurisdiction in relation to money laundering, according to leaked documents analysed by hundreds of journalists worldwide. By virtue of being lumped alongside other high risk countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia and Cyprus, scores of legitimate financial transactions by SL entities have also been singled out as suspicious. But the same banks continued to move dirty money for more..

MAS Holdings doubles empowerment commitment to UN Foundation

Oct 1 (DM) MAS Holdings, the largest and leading design-to-delivery apparel solutions provider in South Asia, renewed its commitment to empower more of its employees by extending its original undertaking to provide health and well-being education and services focusing on sexual and reproductive health and awareness on gender-based violence, to its employees and the communities adjacent to its manufacturing locations. Having surpassed the target of 10,000 more..

Govt contemplates action against 4,000 factories without environmental clearance

Oct 1 (Island) More than 4,000 industries coming within the Kaduwela and Peliyagoda local govt areas were functioning without the stipulated or recommended environmental standards and the endorsement of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. Studies reveal that dumping of industrial and domestic waste into Kelani river has vastly reduced the fish population in the river. Minister has instructed the CEA to take action against more..

We are committed to protect and sustainably manage natural resources: Prez tells UN...

Oct 1 (PMD) Govt of SL is committed to protect and sustainably manage natural resources, Prez Rajapaksa said addressing the UN Summit on Biodiversity today (30). “SL is home to two UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites: Central Highlands, and Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. We are also proud of our six sites recognized under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. SL firmly stands committed to protect and sustainably manage more..

Finance Ministry to look at exiting $ 1.8 b LRT loan

Oct 1 (FT) How SL can exit from the $ 1.8 billion loan for the Light Railway Transit (LRT) system and whether it will have to repay $ 19 million already disbursed to carry out preliminary work for the now cancelled project will be explored by the Finance Ministry, Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle said. He that the Govt had already drawn down $ 19 million from an initial tranche of $ 130m made available for the preliminary work and feasibility studies conducted ahead of LRT implementation. more..

Banking and finance sector undergo significant changes

Oct 1 (ST) Sri Lanka’s banking and finance sector will undergo significant changes next year following the replacement of the specialised bank licence with commercial licences and introduction of mergers of licensed finance companies. The banking sector has been directed to get ready for necessary changes in the current banking industry landscape under the new Banking Act which will come into effect in 2021, Central Bank (CB) sources divulged. Under the new set up, the CB will be gaining more power to more..

Community physicians condemn decriminalising cannabis

Oct 1 (TM) College of Community Physicians of SL (CCPSL) raised concerns over the increased lobbying taking place regarding legalising/decriminalising the use of cannabis. “While we acknowledge the use of cannabis in traditional medicine, and as currently it is legal and available for use for that purpose in SL, we don’t see justification to change the current status quo related to cannabis legalisation in our country,” more..

Web journalist Desmond De Alwis granted bail

Oct 1 (NF) Colombo Chief Magistrate Mohamed Mihar on Wednesday ordered for web journalist Desmond Chathuranga De Alwis to be released on a cash bail of Rs. 25,000/- and two surety bails of Rs. 500,000/- each. The suspect was also ordered by the Chief Magistrate to appear at the CID on every Sunday and the suspect was also barred from traveling overseas. Chief Magistrate further said bail will be revoked if it is reported the suspect obstructed investigations after obtaining bail. more..

'Decision on PCs up to President, not heads of other countries'

Oct 1 (DM) Provincial Councils is an internal matter which should be decided by the President of SL and not by the leaders of other countries, Provincial Councils and Local Govt State Minister Sarath Weerasekera said. Speaking at an event in Padukka, State Minister said, “India cannot interfere or intimidate that we should continue with the Provincial Councils,” he said. He said ours is an Independent Sovereign country and therefore India cannot interfere in our internal affairs. more..

Two more institution to come under Auditor General’s purview

Oct 1 (DM) The govt will move an amendment to the 20th Amendment to bring Prez's Secretariat and PM’s office among the state institutions coming under the purview of Auditor General. Govt will incorporate a dozen changes to the 20th Amendment during the committee change and a bulk of them are technical changes. Earlier there was criticism levelled against the govt for exclusion of these 2 offices from the purview of AG. more..

Sandya Eknaligoda’s Journey for Justice

Oct 2 (GV) Her husband, who usually comes home after work, did not return. He always informs his wife by telephone if he has urgent work that would delay him. But no such call came that day. His phone was switched off, which was unusual. Tension builds as time goes on. Friends are contacted and asked for any information. The phone battery may have been dead. She tries to keep calm by believing that he will return but deep down in her mind, she is uneasy. That day begins with door frequently opened, more..

Port City cuts across time zones

Oct 2 (ST) It’s only early morning in Colombo, when an int'l commercial city in the Far East begins its working day. For instance, the int'l corporations that are headquartered in Tokyo or international financial businesses that are operating from Seoul opens for businesses at 10 o’clock in the morning, while it is only 6.30 in Colombo. If it is Shanghai – the modern financial city of China, or Beijing – the cultural and administrative city of China, begin their global businesses at 10 o’clock in the morning, more..

Elderly population to outnumber youth population

Oct 2 (DM) Ageing is inevitable. Did you know that Sri Lanka is the fastest ageing country in the South Asian region? The ratio of those aged 65 and above in Sri Lanka is increasing rapidly compared with the number of years it took for other developing countries in the region. Sri Lanka, with the highest ageing population in South Asia, has more than 14 million people who are over the age of 55 years. more..

A constitution for the country or a few individuals?

Oct 1 (CT) Sri Lanka’s debt to GDP ratio is expected to be more than 90% this year, and Moody’s have downgraded SL’s sovereign credit rating by two notches, saying the South Asian nation would be hard-pressed to secure funding to service its huge foreign debt. Sri Lanka was pushed down from B2 (high credit risk) to Caa1 (very high credit risk), as the coronavirus pandemic compounded its economic woes, Moody’s said in a statement. Sri Lankans should be asking themselves whether more..