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'Unprecedented support for new constitution from Tamil parties'

Oct 9 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told the Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter on Saturday that Tamil political parties in an unprecedented manner extended support for the proposed Constitution. Minister Kiriella said so presenting a copy of the Interim Report to the prelate. Minister told the prelate that the Tamil political parties had not cooperated to help more..

Taiwan to send team to Sri Lanka in probe of bank hacking case

Oct 9 (CNA) Taiwan's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Monday that it was preparing to send investigators to Sri Lanka to seek further details on the reported arrest there of two suspects accused of helping hackers stealing millions of US dollars from a Taiwanese bank. However, due to the fact that Taiwan has no diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka or any govt representatives stationed there, CIB said. more..

Kabir, Malik should be brought before PCoI: CHR

Oct 9 (DM) Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said yesterday State Enterprises Development Minister Kabir Hashim and Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama, who was said to have participated in the first discussion with regard to the issuance of Central Bank Bonds in 2015, should be summoned before PCoI. more..

PM’s alleged instructions to remove direct placements are against the Vision

Oct 9 (FT) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva, in an email to this writer, has clarified that what is meant by the goal of being enriched in V2025 is not to become a rich country in terms of the World Bank classifications. Instead, It’s about a country rich in money as well as values, culture, etc. What it means is that V2025 envisages to be a prosperous nation by 2025 still remaining in the higher middle income country category which Sri Lanka will join in 2017. In the previous 3 parts of this series, more..

Case against Nalaka Godahewa fixed for further trial

Oct 9 (DN) The case filed against Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) former Chairman Nalaka Godahewa and two others who are alleged to have been involved in conspiring to misappropriate SEC funds worth Rs. 5, was today fixed for further trial on Dec 11. Colombo High Court Judge Padmini Gurusinghe fixed the case for further trial.   The three accused were indicted on three counts which come under Public Property Act. The Attorney General further alleged that more..

Chrishmal Warnasuriya

Sri Lanka revises import license fee for tea re-exports

Oct 9 (EN) Sri Lanka has cut an import license fee of 1% of import valued with freight charged on flavoured and non-flavoured tea and replaced it with a 1,000 rupee fee, according to a govt notice. Minister Malik Samarawickrama which was raised in February 2016. The import license fee are issued by gazette using the powers of the Import and Export Control At of 1969. The import control law and licensing is a key piece of legislation which promotes corruption, with licenses being used to more..

Dealing with North Korea

Oct 9 (CT) Sri Lanka considering the threat posed by the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) to peace and security internationally has adopted the UN's Security Council resolution prohibiting Sri Lankans engaging in any form of activities with the DPRK. This move by the SL Govt is not only appreciative but also timely as far as international peace and security are concerned. Sri Lanka's resolution, adopted to restrain Lankan citizens from any links with the DPRK, more..

GMOA cancels scheduled strike

Oct 9 (DM) GMOA has cancelled the scheduled strike which was to be held tomorrow following a successful discussion held with the Public Service Commission & Health Ministry officials today. GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said Public Service Commission had agreed to immediately suspend Post Internship appointment list 2017 and re-prepare the list with the participation of the transfer board which includes GMOA. more..

Revision bail petition filed by Ryan Jayalath re-fixed for Oct.19

Oct 9 (DN) The Colombo High Court today deferred for October 19 to consider a revision bail application filed by Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee Convener Ryan Jayalath. Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee Convener Ryan Jayalath arrested on charges of causing damages to public property by forcibly entering the premises of the Ministry of Health during an anti-SAITM protest had been ordered to be further remanded by Maligakanda Magistrate's Court. more..

NPC puts off decision on violent senior cop till it gets IGP’s report

Oct 9 (Island) Secretary of the National Police Commission (NPC) Ariyadasa Cooray said that the NPC would take a decision on Assistant Superintendent of Police Roshan Daluwatte assaulting a freelance journalist in police custody during a protest at Hambantota on Friday. Cooray said the NPC had asked the IGP for a detailed report on the incident and hoped that it would be made available on or before Thursday, when the NPC was scheduled to meet. more..

Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference gets underway

Oct 9 (MoD) The Galle Dialogue 2017 annual International Maritime Conference organized by the SL Navy for the eighth consecutive year at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, began today. State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene graced the occasion as the Chief Guest of the inaugural session held this morning. Former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga attended the event as the special guest of honor. more..

Police scrutinizing video footage to catch protest leaders at Hambantota

Oct 9 (Island) A clash between police and hundreds of protesters in Hambantota last Friday had resulted in police vehicles suffering damage, IGP Pujith Jayasundara said yesterday. The IGP said that among the protesters had been MPs Namal Rajapaksa and Prasanna Ranaweera. There were provincial councillors and former local govt members, he said, adding that the police were scrutinising the video footage and photographs of the incident to identify others responsible. more..

Tourist arrivals fall 2.3% in September

Oct 9 (EN) Tourist arrivals into Sri Lanka fell in September 2017 from a year ago mainly because of lower arrivals from big markets like China and Germany although the number of visitors from India, the biggest market, grew strongly. Total arrivals fell 2.3% to 145,077 in September 2017 from the year before, data showed. The biggest fall was in Germany, the second biggest European market, from where arrivals fell 15.1% to 8,574 while arrivals from China fell 14.3% to 18,939. more..

Govt has no plans to sell CPC: Arjuna

Oct 9 (DN) The govt has by no means resolved to sell the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said today. The Minister said this in Parliament, in response to a question raised by JO Leader Dinesh Gunewardena. He said that the CPC is an establishment that provides a favourable contribution to the country’s economic growth. “In addition to this, it is the main arm which more..

Shocked travel passengers travel with bleeding headless body

Oct 9 (ST) Passengers in a Colombo bound train on the southern coastal line were in for a rude shock when railway workers loaded into a passenger compartment a headless body of a person who had committed suicide.  The incident took place around 3pm some 300 metres from the Kollupitiya railway station. The man believed to be in his mid thirties was wearing a denim trouser and a T-shirt. A group of railway workers with the help of civilians in the area had picked up the headless body more..

Govt circulars should not be reason to delay any public service: President

Oct 9 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says any govt circular should not be a reason to delay or ineffective any public service. “If any circular has blocked the formality and efficiency of a professional service, it should quickly be solved through discussions”, he said. President was speaking at the 143rd celebration of World Post Day held today at Buddhi Mandapaya in Polonnaruwa. He stated all problems related to postal service will be solved through discussions in the future. more..

21 health service professionals threatens TU action

Oct 9 (DM) Joint Federation of Health Professionals (JFHP) today warned the govt that they would resort to an island wide trade union action with the participation of 21 health professions, if the Govt failed to fix the salary anomalies in the State service within two weeks. It said due to an arbitrary instruction given by the PM’s Office to increase only the salaries of the Railway Department during its recent trade union action, more..

Appropriation Bill for 2018 Budget presented to Parliament

Oct 9 (AD) The Appropriation Bill for the Budget for 2018 was presented to the members of Parliament by State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremaratne today. It has been reported that the Appropriation Bill submitted to the cabinet by Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera had an expected expenditure of Rs.3983 billion for 2018. Expected govt income was reportedly Rs.2174 billion according to the Bill. Ministry of Finance stated that the Budget for the year 2018 will be drafted more..

Wedding cancelled after intended bridegroom's wig falls off

Oct 9 (DM) An incident has been reported from a village near Ma-Oya in which the true nature of the would-be bridegroom had been discovered as a result of his wig coming off and falling at the feet of his father-in-law to be. That of course put paid to his chances of marrying his intended bride. According to a marriage proposal arranged through a match maker, there were ten relatives who came from the Rajarata area including the parents of the bridegroom to be. more..

Don’t make Sri Lanka a puppet of the Int. community: Namal

Oct 9 (NR) The Mattala International Airport was subject to discussion in Parliament today. Speaking in Parliament UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa said the govt is attempting to make the country a puppet of the international community through the Mattala International Airport and the Hambantota Port. The MP noted the govt attacks student and trade union protests in attempts to carry the term of the govt and suppress the public. more..

Sri Lanka attracts over 200,000 Chinese tourists this year

Oct 9 (Xinhua) Over 200,000 Chinese tourists had arrived in Sri Lanka till September this year with over 18,000 arriving last month alone. Over 1.5 million tourists have arrived in the country so far this year with the govt recently announcing they were expecting to achieve a 2.5 million arrival target by the end of 2017. India was the leading market with the largest number of tourist arrivals in September, followed by China and Britain. However with Sept falling under the off-peak season, more..

3 LTTE prisoners on hunger strike to refuse fluids

Oct 9 (ST) Three LTTE suspects engaged in a hunger strike at the Anuradhapura Prison since Sept 23, have threatened to stop taking fluids from today (8), unless the Govt either brings charges against them or, orders their release. A delegation of six Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members who visited the Anuradhapura Prison yesterday, failed to persuade the fasting detainees to give up their hunger strike until the delegation could meet President Sirisena to brief him on the matter. more..

'Rural culture should strengthen yet again to build a better country & a better generation'

Oct 9 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says it is necessary to strengthen the rural culture yet again to build a better country as well as a better generation. He made these remarks participating in the ceremony to vest the newly built two-storeyed classroom building at the Lakshauyana Primary School in Polonnaruwa, with the students, today. The rural culture which closely associated with the school and temple had been more..

MC, UC and PS amendment bills passed in Parliament

Oct 9 (AD) The Municipal Council (Amendment) Bill, Urban Council (Amendment) Bill and Pradeshiya Sabha (Amendment) Bill were passed in Parliament, a short while ago. Voting on the bills took place following the second reading debate. Commencing the second reading debate on the bills today, Minister Faiszer Musthapha stated that there is no need to delay the local govt elections. He assured that the election will be held in January with these amendments.  more..

FCID seeks Interpol assistance to arrest Namal’s former secretary

Oct 9 (DM) The FCID has sought the assistance of Interpol to arrest MP Namal Rajapaksa’s former secretary Ornella Iresha Silva over the court case involving alleged money laundering which is to be taken up at the Colombo Magistrate's Court tomorrow, Police Spokesman said. A few months ago the Colombo Magistrate’s Court issued an international arrest warrant through the Interpol against a former directress attached to a company of MP Namal Rajapaksa. more..

'This system cannot take our country forward, Let’s change it'

Oct 9 (LT) "Today politics has become a business a robbery. We have heard of a group of pirates in Somalia. What they do is plunder the ships that sail near Somalia waters. There is only a small difference between these pirates and the leaders of our govts. Difference is Somali pirates adorn strange garments when they plunder ships. However, our plunderers wear tie and coat or the national dress to engage in their plunder of public money. more..

Trade deficit expands despite export growth

Oct 10 (ST) The trade deficit expanded to US$ 5.3 billion in the first seven months of this year in spite of an export growth of 6.5% during this period. Although the trend of increasing export earnings continued for the fourth successive month, this 12.8% increase in the trade deficit was brought about by import expenditure increasing to as much as US$ 11.7 billion compared to export earnings of only US$6.4 billion in the first seven months of this year. more..

Abortion: A Reply

Oct 10 (GV) In an article a few weeks ago, I argued that an embryo is a person with dignity and rights, and that this must change how we see both abortion and pregnancy. There were several responses, with questions about personhood, the right to life, the duty to support others, and feminist analyses of the law. This is a reply. Embryology is messy. But there is nothing subjective about three facts: an embryo is a human organism; it is functionally separate from its mother and father; more..

'Former CJ Sarath N Silva cannot challenge a Bill passed in Parliament'

Oct 10 (SO) Constitutional Law expert and a leading figure in the Constitution making process, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne said, the Provincial Councils Election Amendment Bill which was passed in Parliament recently, cannot be challenged in a court of law because, once a piece of legislation is passed in Parliament in a due process it is considered to have been written into law, under Sri Lanka’s present Constitution. more..

Realizing Muslim women’s rights: When is the right time?

Oct 10 (CT) Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) which was enacted in 1951 has been perceived primarily as religious and minority issue. Muslim male politicians and religious leaders and govt actors for over decades have only considered it a concern to be resolved within the community. Thus this has prevented MMDA issues to be raised as a matter of equality and fundamental rights of Muslim women viz a vis the State despite the fact that MMDA is a law like any other law enacted more..

Mangala did what others should have done

Oct 10 (ST) What do Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and our yahapalanaya leaders have in common? A wall of silence that is what it is! When Myanmar’s military turned its guns on a community that has long been considered outcasts and denied any semblance of nationhood and went on a burning spree hand in glove with Buddhist hardliners, tens of thousands of Rohingyas fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. It is well known now that a major humanitarian crisis had developed more..

'I am ready to answer the Auditor General'

Oct 10 (CT) Minister of Higher Education and Highways, Lakshman Kiriella says, "Tamil parties did not get involved in preparing the '71 Constitution. They did not join in '78 either. It is now that they are joining in. In '71 and '78, the Constitution was prepared in secret. This is not how we are doing it now. We have allowed every party to join. Each party is submitting their ideas from Clause to Clause."Excerpts from the interview more..

The reality of Suicide in Sri Lanka

Oct 10 (GV) The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that close to 800,000 people die by suicide each year, with the majority of deaths occurring in low-income and middle-income countries. Many more attempt suicide. Suicide accounted for 1.4% of all deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2015. While this makes grim news, WHO also says that effective and evidence-based interventions can be implemented at population, sub-population and more..

Present Constitution: Is it Federal or not?

Oct 10 (Island) At the moment when proposals for drafting a new Constitution or amending the present Constitution are being made, it would be extremely relevant to understand the true face (nature) of the present Constitution, since it is from this premise that we will have to proceed either to abolish or amend it. Further the confusion created to obfuscate the issues demand clearance of the ground on which we stand at present. For such an understanding the observations made by more..

Face the nation

UN expert on Transitional Justice on long visit to Sri Lanka

Oct 10 (CT) The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence is due to visit Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Govt of Sri Lanka, on rather a long visit, from 10th to 23rd Oct 2017. Almost two whole weeks. According to the Office of the High Commissioner’s (OHCHR) website, Mr. Pablo de Greiff’s visit is “to examine the progress made in redressing the legacies of massive past violations and abuses, including more..

Controversy over constitutional reforms and gains that need to be protected

Oct 10 (Island) The govt has proposed that the report of the steering committee on constitutional reform will be debated in parliament at the end of the month. A member of the Steering Committee spearheading the constitutional reform project, Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne said that the Constitutional assembly would take up proposals over a three-day period beginning October 30. Finalisation of the process would depend on the outcome of the three day talks, more..

How Sri Lanka's fast bowlers have outdone Pakistan's

Oct 10 (CI) Eight of the ten scheduled days gone, and it could well be the ball of the series. Rangana Herath has bowled some contenders, and so has Yasir Shah. But in context of what the surfaces have been like for fast bowling, and especially the heat, Suranga Lakmal's dismissal of Asad Shafiq on the third afternoon in Dubai will take some beating. It was a 17-ball set-up, or 16 if you discount the very first ball, a loosener more..

Editorial:  The holy and the unholy

Oct 10 (Island) The yahapalana leaders striving to devolve more power through a new Constitution and their kindred spirits have craftily reduced the whole debate on constitution framing to two issues, to wit, the foremost place for Buddhism and the unitary character of the state. They have succeeded in diverting the attention of the Buddhist prelates away from the core issues anent the constitution making process and what is on offer by way of devolution. They have adroitly created more..