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Lawyers urge Govt to withdraw new anti-terror and online safety laws

Sep 23 (FT) Lawyers’ Collective, a civil society group consisting of legal practitioners in SL issued a statement condemning the recently proposed Anti-Terrorism and Online Safety Bills which were published through gazette announcements this year. The collective said the Govt has failed to respond to the serious and fundamental concerns raised about the Anti-Terrorist Bill and adopt any transparent and accountable process through which the bills were explained, more..

Harin flawn abroad for urgent medical treatment

Sep 23 (DM) Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando has been flown abroad for urgent medical treatment following doctor’s advice. Minister Fernando said a condition he had in his knee had worsened over the past few days and had apparently seen his doctors who had advised him to get treatment overseas. "I participated in the opening of the Hilton Hotel in Yala and attended a TV talk show thereafter. The knee ailment which I had worsened after these two events and I sought doctor’s advice. more..

Friend speaks fondly of Sri Lanka woman allegedly killed by husband in S’pore

Sep 23 (ST) The Sri Lankan woman who was allegedly murdered by her husband at a hotel in East Coast Road was fondly remembered as a friend to many and always had kind words and a smile to give. Ms Elizabeth Campher wrote about the tragic death of her classmate, Ms Diyawinnage Sewwandi Maduka Kumari, in her LinkedIn post last week. They are classmates in La Trobe University, Australia. Both are pursuing a master’s degree in Chemical Sciences. more..

Easter attacks: State Minister alleges sinister attempt to discredit SL forces

Sep 23 (Island) State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon said in Parliament that Sonic-Sonic was the code name given to a local intelligence official, who was entrusted with extracting information from the National Thawheed Jamma’ath (NTJ). Abu Hind was an official attached to a foreign intelligence service. Sonic-Sonic and Abu Hind were individuals who had been in contact with NTJ and ISIS, according to previous investigations more..

AKD asks Pilleyan if he is still paid by intelligence services

Sep 23 (DM) Claiming that the group led by MP Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan has been paid Rs.3.5 million per month by the intelligence services, NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned whether the group is still being paid that amount. He told parliament that Pilleyan’s group has been maintained and paid from the account of the Intelligence Services. MP said this during a cross-talk with Pilleyan after Dissanayake alleged that most of those who were accused of more..

Two suspects arrested for aiding policeman complicit in Harak Kata’s escape bid

Sep 23 (AD) Two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aiding the police constable who was complicit in notorious criminal figure and drug kingpin Harak Kata’s escape attempt at the CID recently. The arrest was made by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). The organized criminal gang leader Nadun Chinthaka Wickramaratne alias Harak Kata’s, had reportedly attempted to flee from the custody of the CID on Sept 10. According to the CID, Harak Kata had been aided by more..

හිරු ටීවී පත්තරේ විස්තරේ

'We will target top-three finish at Asian Games'

Sep 23 (DN) Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) Deputy President, Group Captain Nalin de Silva expressed his confidence that Sri Lanka has a great chance to finish among the top-three teams at the 19th Asian Games Sevens Rugby Tournament, which begins in Hangzhou, China on Sunday. The Sri Lankan Tuskers will participate in this 13-team tournament under the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Flag as SLR are currently serving a suspension from World Rugby from May 2023. more..

Sajith tells Parliament about undeniable evidence linking Zahran group to Army intelligence

Sep 23 (Island) SJB leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday that irrefutable evidence had emerged, linking the Zahran group, which carried out the Easter Sunday terror attacks, to the Army intelligence. Participating in the debate on the Channel 4 exposure on the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Premadasa said that there were instances that pointed to links between the Army intelligence and the Zahran group. Firstly, there was an IP address of an intelligence officer who used more..

Mannar, Chilaw shrimp farms face scrutiny over effluents

Sep 23 (ST) After a recent field study found that a majority of shrimp and aquaculture farms across the country have failed to comply with environmental regulations, Fisheries Ministry directed relevant govt agencies, NAQDA and NARA to take immediate legal action against those farms. “Take legal action against all the shrimp farms in Mannar and Chilaw areas that don’t release wastewater in a proper way,” Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda directed more..

Prisoner art revives concern about rehab failures and inhumane conditions

Sep 23 (ST) An art exhibition has drawn attention to the untapped talent and creative potential of prisoners in SL’s overcrowded jails. Siranovu Sithuvam (unimprisoned paintings) was held this week at the Colombo Public Library as a recovery programme in celebration of National Prisoners’ Day on Sept 11. According to the exhibition organisers, Lanka Prisoners’ Fellowship, 30 exhibits were sold. The fellowship collaborated with the Prisoners’ Welfare Association and more..

Minister discusses power and energy sector reforms with IMF, World Bank officials

Sep 23 (AD) Minister Kanchana Wijesekera on Thursday held constructive discussions with the officials of the IMF and the World Bank with regard to reforms in the energy and power sectors. The meeting with IMF officials, which took place at the Presidential Secretariat, focused on the progress of reforms and cost-reflective pricing mechanisms implemented in the electricity and energy sectors. Additionally, attention was also paid to the progress of the Aswesuma more..

ගණේමුල්ල සංජීව ඝාතන සූදානමක් ?

Dropping inflation stimulates business sentiment elevation in bourse

Sep 23 (Island) The overall business sentiment at the CSE improved yesterday following the DCS announcement that SL’s national inflation rate has come down to 2.1%, which at one time moved up close to 70% last year, market analysts said. Further, the market also got a boost when world leaders and international donor agencies expressed and confirmed support for the SL economy to Prez Ranil Wickremeisghe, who is currently in New York attending the UNGA annual sessions. more..

Smugglers use novel ways to post drugs via courier services

Sep 23 (ST) On Tuesday (12), two suspects were taken into custody after an attempt of drug smuggling was thwarted by Sri Lanka Customs. The detection took place following initial investigations by the Narcotics Control Unit of Customs. According to the police, a package to an address in Maradana, Colombo had been sent through a courier service from Brazil. It contained a volleyball net and the narcotics were in the edges of the volleyball net. more..

Hanzeer Azad Maulana says ready to testify at independent international investigation

Sep 23 (DM) The first part of the article titled Who is Hanzeer Azad Maulana the Whistleblower on Channel 4? Was published in these columns last week. Even as I was writing the second part of the article, I received some interesting information about an event in Geneva relating to the Channel 4 TV documentary and Hanzeer Azad Maulana the chief whistl eblower featured in the film. While the UNHRC sessions were underway in Geneva, documentary aired on Dispatches by Channel 4 on Sept 5 more..

The row over the commemoration of Thileepan

Sep 23 (DM) Can commemorations be held without glorifying armed struggles? Two SL courts have given two different orders on the commemoration of Rasaiah Parthipan alias Thileepan, the one-time political leader of the LTTE in Jaffna who died after a twelve-day fast over five demands, in Sept 1987. Vavuniya Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday (20) rejected an application filed by SL Police to ban a memorial float dedicated to Thileepan from travelling through Vavuniya. more..

For God’s sake, give us a Gandhi

Sep 23 (DM) One of SL’s most important needs today is the emergence of a statesman of the calibre of Mahatma Gandhi to give our country leadership or guidance, which our leaders will follow. Mahatma Gandhi played a similar role in India. He peacefully and gradually played the key role in toppling one of the biggest and most powerful empires in the world, the British Empire. British wartime PM Winston Churchill degraded Mahatma Gandhi by referring to him more..

MiG deal case: AG cites Udayanga’s absence as reason for delay in concluding investigations

Sep 23 (ST) SL’s former Ambassador to Russia Udyanga Weeratunga evading the inquiry into the MiG deal was among the reasons for the delay in concluding investigations, Senior State Counsel Udara Karunathilaka, who appeared for the Attorney General, told Colombo High Court this week. Remark was made when a special motion filed by Mr. Weeratunga was taken in the Colombo HC re-questing court to issue an order to release funds from two of his bank accounts more..

How pragmatic is high-end tourism promotion?

Sep 23 (CT) After the pandemic dust has settled, the tourism industry has been outdoing its performances every year and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has now set a rather optimistic target of making the tourism industry the top foreign revenue generating sector by 2027. To do so, the plan is to attract five million annual tourist arrivals, out of which 2.5 million are high-end tourists, who will spend lavishly when in the country. more..

Lekamge flexes muscles before Asian Games

Sep 23 (Island) Javelin National record holder Dilhani Lekamge flexed her muscle ahead of the Asian Games to win the best athlete title of the Army Volunteer Force Athletics Championships concluded at Diyagama on Thursday. The athlete trained by Pradeep Nishantha threw the javelin to a distance of 59.39 metres, which is just one and half metres short of her National Record established at the recently held Asian Athletics Championships. “I had planned to compete at the Army Meet ahead of the Asian Games. more..

තරගෙට රෙදි ගලවා ගැනීමේ විවාදය

Priyadharshani stars as Sri Lanka cruise into semis

Sep 23 (Island) Inoshi Priyadharshani’s career-best returns of 4 for 10 backed up by a quick 32 from Anushka Sanjeewani helped SL brush aside Thailand by eight wickets and advance to the semi-finals of the Asian Games in Hangzhou. Chasing 79 in the rain-reduced 15-overs-a-side quarter-final, SL coasted to a win in 10.5 overs. Rain and a wet outfield had delayed the start of the game by close to an hour-and-a-half. Once the weather cleared, SL opted to field under grey skies. more..

Police submitting doctored drug samples to Govt Analyst: House committee

Sep 23 (ST) A Parliamentary oversight committee revealed that certain Police officers intentionally submit drug samples that yield negative results to the Govt Analyst’s Department. The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Just and Law-Abiding Society found at least 1,580 such false samples were submitted to the department last year alone. Police stations in Maradana (59), Peliyagoda (58), Kaduwella (58) and Borella (49) turned in the highest number of false samples. more..

Making waves with butterfly stroke

Sep 23 (ST) At just 16 years old, butterfly stroke specialist Jessie Seneviratne accomplished a milestone for any young swimmer, crossing the finish line with a timing under 30 seconds in a 50m event. A student of Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya, she became one of the latest SL swimmers to break the elusive 30 second barrier in the women’s 50m butterfly event while competing at the National and Junior National Long Course Swimming Championships, more..

Some buildings with their attributes gone forever

Sep 23 (Island) Rest houses were places we grew up with and most had existed during the later years of British rule in Ceylon. Counterpart in India was called a dakh bungalow, or so Cass remembers from staying overnight long ago in one in Sanchi. Rest houses were really what their name implied: places to rest in; mostly for govt administrators when they travelled on govt business termed circuits. There were the circuit bungalows too but they were in remote areas and with much less amenities. more..

Editorial: Of that nasty set-to

Sep 23 (Island) SL political leaders are known to exude piety from every pore and make it a point to be on their best behaviour when they appear in public. Clad immaculately in white, they speak in a measured tone, pretending that butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths and quoting from various religious texts. Perhaps, during parliamentary debates, the Dhammapada is more quoted than the Constitution, or Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice. But these self-righteous worthies show their true colours more..

ඇමතිවරු මරපු සිංහල කොටි.ගේම ගැහුවේ ත්‍රස්තවාදීන්...

Embekke: The Devale of legend

Sep 23 (SO) The third and final destination of our detour of the Daulagala road was Embekke Devale. In the early morning sunlight we visited Gadaladeniya and Lanklatilaka and it was late morning when we arrived at the Embekke Devale. Travelling towards Embekke, which is another two kilometres along the same road that winds through lush green fertile paddy fields and the typical rustic Embekke village, we caught a glimpse of an impressive landscape of rural Kandyan setting. more..

Anti-terror law to confront future aragalayas, troubling media, terrorist Muslims, impossible diaspora and insubordinate Church?

Sep 23 (FT) The Counter Terrorism Bill, originally gazetted six years ago on 17 Sept 2017 and then abandoned due to strong public criticism, has been re-gazetted on 15 Sept, re-named Anti-Terrorism Bill, with some insignificant amendments, with provisions more draconian than in the controversial Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (PTA). A debt stricken SL is now being displayed to the world as wanting to counter foreign investments, tourism, exports, etc. more..

Nipah Virus infection: A brief overview

Sep 23 (CT) Nipah Virus (NiV) is an emerging zoonotic virus. It can be transmitted to humans from wild or domestic animals. Fruit bats are the natural host for this virus. Although NiV infections were first identified in Malaysia over two decades ago, it has once again come into the headlines, on account of causing infections in six persons from the Indian State of Kerala, of whom two died. This is a brief overview of some of the characteristics of the Nipah Virus, more..

An open letter to the Prez & The judiciary

Sep 23 (CT) SL’s current election system has installed a Parliament that has only brought misery to its people. Some MPs have no people’s mandate. The country is bankrupt, and no resolution is in sight. There is a need to have a people’s Parliament to resolve people’s problems. Installing a Proportional Representation and electoral district-wise meritocratic (PR-DM) election system via a referendum will ensure electoral district representation in Parliament for a brighter future. more..

Anti-Terrorism Bill Version 2.0: Still worse than PTA

Sep 23 (FT) On 15 Sept 2023, Govt of SL published an Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATA). The Bill is presented as a revision of an earlier version that was gazetted in March 2023, when it received widespread public criticism, including from local and int'l human rights groups. An analysis of the Sept 2023 Bill reveals that although minor changes have been made, the ATA continues to be an unprecedented expansion of executive power, both in form and in its potential for the repression of citizens. more..

Power supply: CEB appeals for urgent tariff revision

Sep 23 (TM) The CEB is in the midst of a deepening financial crisis and has made an urgent appeal to the Ministry of Power and Energy for an immediate increase in electricity tariffs. This plea comes as the CEB anticipates year-end losses surpassing Rs. 30 billion, primarily attributed to tariff revisions implemented in June. The situation has deteriorated rapidly following daily losses resulting from tariff revisions mandated by the PUCSL on 1 July. more..

No free passes to the land of integrity

Sep 23 (CT) The late Professor Ashley Halpe, delivering the keynote address at the annual conference of the SL Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (SLACLALS) in 2011, pointed out the importance of liberation from our complicities. Today, more than a decade later, in a discussion with Khury Petersen-Smith at Brookline Booksmith in Boston, Ru Freeman spoke about free passes. ‘Transformation requires us to be willing to say that just because you are Sri Lankan or more..

How pragmatic is high-end tourism promotion?

Sep 23 (CT) After the pandemic dust has settled, the tourism industry has been outdoing its performances every year and the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has now set a rather optimistic target of making the tourism industry the top foreign revenue generating sector by 2027. To do so, the plan is to attract five million annual tourist arrivals, out of which 2.5 million are high-end tourists, who will spend lavishly when in the country. As of now, the average daily spending of more..

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