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COPE report holds Mahendran responsible

Oct 22 (Island) Parliamentary watchdog committee, COPE, yesterday approved its Chairman’s report holding former Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran responsible for Treasury bond scandals. Report recommends legal action against those involved in the scams and the recovery of losses from them, according to a senior COPE member. COPE met around 9.30 am in Parliament yesterday, following heated exchanges more..

TNA condemns incident

Oct 22 (Island) The TNA has, in a media statement, condemned Friday’s incident in Jaffna, where two undergrads were killed. Full text of the statement: The TNA unequivocally condemns the incident that took place in Jaffna today, killing of 2 university students. The leader of the TNA, and The Leader of the Opposition, R Sampanthan MP met the President Maithripala Sirisena while attending an event in Trincomalee this morning and raised concerns regarding the incident. more..

Day 2: Stormy 11 hour meeting as COPE finalises CB bond issue report

Oct 22 (FT) Pandemonium reigned inside the committee rooms of Parliament for 11 hours yesterday, as the 31-member COPE tried for a second day to finalise its report on Central Bank Treasury Bond auctions between Feb 2015 and March 2016. COPE met for the second consecutive day to try and finalise the report amid allegations that UNP MPs in parliamentary committee were seeking to change the draft to absolve former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran of wrongdoing more..

President blocks police cover-up of student killing

Oct 22 (EN) President Sirisena intervened directly to stop police covering up the murder of two Jaffna university student and got five police officers immediately interdicted. Shortly after police headquarters dismissed the death of two students as a fatal motorcycle accident, Sirisena got the information department to issue a fresh statement setting the record straight. "Five police officers suspected for the case have been more..

Matthew and Kimiko win Gold on fourth day

Oct 22 (DN) Matthew Abeysinghe and Kimiko Raheem won Gold Medals on the fourth day of the South Asian Aquatic Sports Championship 2016 continued at the Sugathadasa Sports Complex yesterday. Abeysinghe won the Under 18 Boys 100 Metres Free Style event in a time of 51.26 seconds with Indias Shaly Chopra ending up second in a time of 52.32 seconds to win the Silver Medal while the Bronze Medal was won by Mafusar Rahaman of Bangladesh in a time of 53.11 seconds. more..

27th IMBL Meeting held in Northern Seas

Oct 22 (SLN) The 27th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between the representatives of Navies and Coast Guards of Sri Lanka and India was held onboard Indian Naval Ship Kadmatt at the Indo-Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankasanthurai today (21). The Sri Lankan delegation which was headed by the Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, was comprised of Deputy Director General of SL Coast Guard Commodore Sujeewa Perera, more..

Lasantha killing: Phone details reveal Sgt Maj was at home at the time of incident

Oct 22 (Island) The CID has found that the retired Army Intelligence Unit Sergeant Major Edirisinghe Jayammane who was found hanging from a rafter in his home recently with a suicide note confessing to the killing of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga was actually at his home when the killing took place in 2009. CID investigators who continued their probe into the suicide note more..

Parliamentary delegation meets Palestinian FM

Oct 22 (FT) A Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation headed by Minister of Health, Dr.  Rajitha Senaratne, President of the Sri Lanka-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Association, met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine Dr. Riyad Al-Malki. The delegation included members of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Bimal Rathnayake, Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana, K. Kader Masthan, S. Sivamohan, and the Representative of Sri Lanka in Palestine M. Fawzan Anver.  more..

Allegations of reduction in education budget

Oct 22 (DN) The allocation made for education through the budget has been reduced to one percent in proportion to the GDP, Ceylon Teachers’ Union Secretary Joseph Stalin said. He said no government has reduced the allocation for education in such a manner. He added that this year’s allocations has been reduced by Rs.109 billion. Stalin made these observations at a press conference yesterday. At a separate press conference held by IUSF at the same venue, more..

COPE meeting in chaos?

Oct 22 (DM) A COPE meeting which was convened yesterday to get the approval for the final report was reported to be in chaos last evening. According to one MP who is a COPE member, meeting was going on till late last evening with no compromise reached to finalise the report. Cope meeting is in chaos, utter chaos, one member said in his twitter message. Differences of opinions on COPE’s conclusion on the bond issue had more..

Airport crackdown on illicit immigrants

Oct 22 (NS) The Department of Immigration and Emigration has pointed out the need to crackdown on illicit immigrants arriving in the country which they claim amounts to about 10 percent of entrants to the island. Controller General of Immigration and Emigration M.N. Ranasinghe said that best standards and best practices are to be applied and implemented. He added that they were working alongside other agencies such as the airline systems, the Police, the CID and more..

Sept Tea production crashes to 15 year low

Oct 22 (FT) Sri Lanka Tea Board has confirmed Sept 2016 tea production at 19.8 million kg, down a sharp 27% on the previous year’s figure of 27.2 million kg, is the lowest since 2001 when crop yields slipped to 17.2 million kg, observed the latest tea report from Asia Siyaka Commodities.  In 2014, September figure was a record 29 million kg and in 2013 at 25 million kg and 27 million kg the year before. High Grown production of 3.9 million kg in Sept 2016 is lowest since El-Nino year 1992 more..

SL needs cuts in tax exemptions: IMF

Oct 22 (FT) Straight talking IMF head in Sri Lanka Eteri Kvintradze yesterday encouraged the Govt not to falter in its measures for revenue based fiscal consolidation calling for steep cuts in tax exemptions to bring in a simplified tax policy that would attract investment. Speaking at the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Economic Association Annual Sessions she said that tax revenue in Sri Lanka is one of the lowest in the world. Despite past reforms more..

Sri Lanka does not see the blind

Oct 22 (NS) Organizations working with training the blind or visually handicapped in mobility have criticized State institutions such as the RDA, the CEB and Water Board for their apathy with regard to the prevention of road construction-related accidents of which the blind are among the victims. The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind pointed out that while these institutions dig holes in roads during the day, they leave the pit and the areas around it unprotected, thereby causing falls, potentially more..

Culinary students present taste of Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (BN) Where can you find a four-course gourmet meal, made with fresh, local ingredients for only $20? It sounds too good to be true, but students from the Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Palamanui, in Kailua-Kona serve up unique feasts from around the globe five times a semester. This semester, the culinary program is focusing on Asian cuisine, featuring foods from Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Korea and Japan. Last month, students prepared Sri Lankan cuisine more..

Mihin Lanka wants clear skies

Oct 22 (FT) Mihin Lanka employees called for greater engagement from labour authorities on the fate of over 300 employees and insisted the govt has to provide clear details on whether they would be absorbed under SriLankan or given compensation to leave organisation. Earlier this month SriLankan announced a merger with Mihin Air, which included partial absorption of their staff from the end of October. more..

'Govt good enough for another 15 year'

Oct 22 (Island) Budget 2017 is focused on rapid development in the country thereby generating employment and bringing about prosperity to the lives of the people, said Minister Ravi Karunanayake. He points out that Budget 2017 will assure the 2/3 majority power of the current rule of good governance. He further said that the govt included proposals of the people from the grassroots level as well as opinions of the scholars, professionals & other stake holders in Budget more..

'Suitable person will be appointed as BC DG'

Oct 22 (DN) President will appoint a suitable and capable person as the Bribery Commission Director General, Minister Navin Dissanayake said. He made these remarks after opening the new office building complex of the Small Tea Estate Development Authority at Pelawatte, Battaramulla yesterday. “Institutions should go forward without any obstacle even if the head of the institution is changed. The Bribery Commission former Director General resigned on her own decision. more..

Nine new power plants

Oct 22 (NS) With the country reeling from a crushing drought which has left millions high and dry and another breakdown of the coal power plant at Norochcholai resulting in a power crisis, govt announced that it intended to add over 750 MW to the national grid by 2020 by way of the construction of nine power plants. Power plants include three hydro power plants (Moragolla, Sithawaka and Yatiyantota which add 86 MW), more..

Siriwardana leads SL ‘A’ in ODI series

Oct 22 (CT) The Under-19 star allrounder Shammu Ashan has been called in to the Sri Lanka 'A' Team. He is a consistent performer and got the call due to his recent form. Team will be captained by Milinda Siriwardana for the three one-day matches against the West Indies 'A' Team at Dambulla, Kurunegala and Colombo. Milinda has experience and he got his local side Badureliya that he captained to the top in the 2014/15 SLC T20 tournament. First match will be played on Monday. more..

WiLAT SL walks for a greener tomorrow

Oct 22 (DM) Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT), the women’s forum of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), organised a walk recently under the theme Striking a balance for a greener tomorrow for the second successive year with the objective of reducing the carbon footprint in the industries they operate and to promote and encourage green practises in one’s personal lives to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. more..

Vandersay's six-for leads SL A's series win

Oct 22 (CI) Legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay took 6 for 47 in the final innings to lead Sri Lanka A to victory. West Indies A were set a target of 333 but with no one even managing a fifty, the hosts wrapped up a 138-run victory, and with it the series 2-1. The chase had begun positively with Kieran Powell, who had briefly flirted with a career in baseball, back at the top of the order and kicking things off with a 41-ball 44. more..

Maha Oya water treatment plant inaugurated

Oct 22 (FT) The newly constructed Maha Oya Water Treatment Plant funded by the Govt of Japan was inaugurated to distribute clean water to the public after it was ceremonially handed over to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board under the patronage of President Sirisena and Ambassador of Japan to SL Kenichi Suganuma at Maha Oya on 19 Oct. Govt of Japan provided Rs. 6,300 million towards the construction of Maha Oya Water Treatment Plant in Ampara District more..

Tale of two cities

Oct 22 (CT) Yaadhum Oore Yavarum Kelir which means, To us all towns are one; All men our kin. Tamil being one of the ancient languages in the world this ancient Tamil poem was rendered by Kaniyan Punkundranar, a foremost Tamil poet who lived in the Sangam period, between 300 BCE and 200 CE, in South India. Realizing the significance of the poem which emphasizes all human beings as one family, the United Nations has taken this poem as its motto. more..

Rise of the New Untouchables

Oct 22 (Island) Harijan, Child of Hari/Vishnu is a term popularized by Mahatma Gandhi for referring to Dalits, traditionally considered to be Untouchable, under the caste system in India. Thou shalt not touch them - has emerged as the new First Commandment of Nava Paalanaya or New Governance in Sri Lanka. Next Commandment is – If you plan to or have to touch them, always keep me, the President, informed. more..

How ancient dry zone farmers defied drought

Oct 22 (Island) In modern day Sri Lanka, whenever a prolonged drought hits the dry zone a drinking water crisis is sure to follow, impacting adversely on local community and even the national economy. In contrast, the same area, most certainly under the same climatic conditions, has had a glorious ancient past, which would not have been possible if drinking water scarcity remained a problem. Sri Lanka’s modern day efforts to overcome the problem of drought in the dry zone and recapitulate more..

Understanding our blindspot to make peace building comprehensive

Oct 22 (SL) The young soldiers and Tamilians who sacrificed their lives to a cause that was created by a previous generation perhaps did not know the underlying politics of why they had to fight. The younger generation has taken a burden passed to them by certain political leaders that they have not seen nor heard. At the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa, one could study the past life during the apartheid period and understand what had gone wrong. more..


Politicisation and political storms

Oct 22 (NS) President Sirisena last week generated a political storm by declaring that he was unhappy with state agencies that took the former Defence Secretary and three former Commanders of the Navy to court. President’s comments have been given many interpretations. In response, Director General of CIABOC, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe has already submitted her resignation. President Sirisena is not known as an impulsive politician who resorts to political rhetoric on a whim. more..

No wrong signals please

Oct 22 (NS) Two major political parties of the country getting together to grapple with issues that no single party could resolve in the past is a rare but healthy development. However, like any other good thing in the world this too is not without its pitfalls. On some issues they have agreed while on others they have disagreed. There have also been occasions where ministers from one party have acted to the dissatisfaction of the other party. Such behaviour has been manifest on many more..

Protecting the mandate to fight corruption

Oct 22 (SL) There are concerns that even some members of the current administration are also not fully clean as cracking down on corruption in the former govt is in progress. President Maithripala Sirisena has said during a conference in London recently that people in SL democratically got rid of the corrupt leaders and their supporters. Sirisena had said that the govt was elected to office on the policy platform of democracy, more..

Editorial: Sale of vehicle permits

Oct 22 (Island) A lot has been written and spoken recently about parliamentarians selling their duty free vehicles and pocketing enormous profits. The culprits belong to both the govt and the Opposition. Interestingly, the MPs fight many political battles until they are red in tooth and claw. There are no rules of engagement as such when they joust for power. But, they are as thick as thieves—both literally and figuratively—where their perks and privileges are concerned. more..

Construction continues despite CMC, UDA orders

Oct 22 (SL) Several illegal constructions on the Dewatagaha Mosque property continues despite the objection orders from the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Urban Development Authority (UDA) and other responsible authorities concerned. The law enforcement of the UDA and the relevant authorities have come under criticism as two different letters issued on the same subject instructing the illegal construction to be stopped and renovated in the meantime. more..

COPE report is due soon: Is Ranil’s credibility at stake?

Oct 22 (CT) I am not a mathematician. But I still admit that mathematics is the apex of all sciences including economic science. Without mathematics I cannot imagine what kind of civilization this could be. Perhaps, PM Ranil Wickeramasinghe could better explain about it. Now, Mr. Gamini Wijesinghe, the Auditor General submitted a certain calculation based on a certain mathematical principle. more..

Working with identity: Critical consciousness & empowering humanity

Oct 22 (CT) One of the difficulties of achieving meaningful human development is in fact being human. Rousseau is right in claiming that almost all the chains that bind human beings are man-made. He meant social and cultural chains because some chains are indeed natural. For example, I cannot fly back to Peradeniya since I do not have wings. That is natural. Interestingly enough, human beings have been quite successful in breaking free of natural chains. more..

Why politicians in power cannot cope with Independent Commissions?

Oct 22 (CT) I can understand such a privilege being applied to key serving defence personnel. By definition such cadres are crucial to the maintenance of national security and the rule of law and it would be both problematic and enigmatic if they are summoned without the Commander-In-Chief knowing in advance. But for the retired who are summoned to explain some serious allegations relating to their time in office? If the charges pertain to robbing state funds, to money laundering, more..