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SL troops did not commit war crimes: Basil

Oct 2 (PTI) Sri Lankan troops did not commit war crimes but the individuals within the forces may have done the atrocities during the brutal three-decade-long civil war against the LTTE, Basil Rajapaksa said. His remarks came while addressing reporters in Jaffna to launch SLPP, the new party of the Rajapaksa loyalists who want to breakaway from SLFP. He also accused the current Sirisena govt of duping the Tamil community more..

'Kusal is the key and we need to bat deep'

Oct 2 (DN) Veteran spinner Rangana Herath believes that Kusal Mendis who is 16 not out will be the key to Sri Lanka getting anywhere close to saving or winning the first Test against Pakistan being played at Abu Dhabi here. “We need to score as much as we can. We cannot say that this is the score that we would like to get at. But we need to bat the first hour off and then go onto till lunch at least and see how much we have,” said Herath at the end of the fourth day. more..

Lotus Tower to blossom in March next year

Oct 2 (ST) Projecting a massive shadow over Slave Island, the 350 metre Lotus Tower is set to open by March next year standing tall from the rest in Colombo’s rapid changing skyline, a senior official of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) divulged. The construction work of structure has already been completed and the finishing of interior and exterior is continuing, he said noting that this work is more time consuming due to complexity of the structure. more..

Govt denies provision for federal features

Oct 2 (Island) The govt yesterday said the proposed new Constitution wouldn’t have any federal features whatsoever though some interested parties distorted facts in an obvious bid to derail the process. The assurance was given by member of the Steering Committee spearheading the project, UNP MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, PC, at a special press conference. The former LSSP stalwart was flanked by UNP MP Ashu Marasinghe and more..

Sri Lanka’s team answers detractors in style

Oct 2 (DM) On Sept 28, Harbhajan Singh, former Indian off break bowler insulted the SL national side and the current Australian side touring India.  The kind of cricket Australia is playing, it appears as if Sri Lankans are playing in yellow clothing…  Both the Australians and the Lankan’s answered the former Indian player not with mean-spirited tweets but with bat and ball. Australia would have given the Indian team an even bigger thrashing had not the Weather Gods intervened on India’s behalf. more..

Riskless Capitalism in the Billionaire Raj

Oct 2 (DM) I have been arguing for some time that the Indian media and academia have a skewed understanding of Sri Lanka. The debacle of Indian intervention in Sri Lanka in the 1980s and the recent geopolitics of India and China’s competing strategic interests in the region, have contributed to most Indian analysis of Sri Lanka, limiting to issues of security. Indeed, there is a dearth of in-depth Indian study and commentary on the political economy of Sri Lanka.  more..

Recollections of the families of the disappeared in Kilinochchi: Where are they

Oct 2 (DM) It takes a lot of courage to live in despair. Emotional despair gets even worse, when a loved one is dead or not to be found. Speaking about the latter, Sri Lanka once had a record for the second highest number of missing persons as reported by the UN in a study done back in 1999. As the war became tense, the numbers increased and by 2016 the number has exceeded 65,000 persons. Many of the disappearances more..

Less than 50% chance for PC polls next year: Elections chief

Oct 2 (ST) Prospects of holding Provincial Council elections next year were “less than 50 percent,” Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. The reason: The proposed Delimitation Committee under the new Provincial Council Elections (amendment) Law would have to finish its task of carving out electorates. Thereafter, he said, the entire process would have to be reviewed. more..

Sri Lanka Transport Board busts Rs41bn in two years

Oct 2 (EN) Sri Lanka Transport Board, a highly unionized state-owned enterprise, has busted up 41 billion rupees over the past two years in subsidies, procurement costs and shedding excess employees, official data show. In 2016 alone the Sri Lanka Transport Board had gobbled up taxpayer funds of 27.5 billion rupees, data from the ministry of transport shows, rivalling the losses of SriLankan Airlines. more..

Sri Lanka's Colombo financial centre to be business oasis, policy lab: Harsha

Oct 2 (EN) Sri Lanka's planned financial centre in Colombo will be a top global oasis for business creating high value jobs and a policy lab which will spread to the rest of the country, Deputy Policy Minister Harsha de Silva said. "The strategy is to create a top 10 doing business oasis in the world," de Silva, who chairs a steering committee to make the financial centre possible said. more..

Bid to rein in corrupt politicos...

Oct 2 (Island) Constitutional expert and UNP MP Dr Jayampathy Wickremaratne said one of the six sub committees engaged in the constitutional making process had comprehensively dealt with ways and means of tackling waste, corruption and irregularities. All 11 members of the committee headed by UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena unanimously had agreed to the proposals in respect of public finance, more..

Children used even at President’s events

Oct 2 (SL) While the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) investigates the use of school children by a couple at their wedding to establish a world record, focus is now turning on events attended by President Maithripala Sirisena where school children are used. Former member of the SL Human Rights Commission, Prathiba Mahanamahewa said that no school child can be used for political functions. more..

Newly appointed Navy Chief gets only one month extention

Oct 2 (DM) The term of office of newly appointed Navy Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah, who turned 55 on Sept 26, had only been extended by one month by President Maithripala Sirisena, sources said. Although the President has the power to extend the tenure of the Navy Commander by another year he has only been granted a one month extension which would now expire on Oct 26. The sources said it was yet too early to say more..

Champika promises to turn Wanathamulla into another Cinnamon Garden

Oct 2 (Island) The govt would shift remand prison from Welikada to Maligakanda as part of a massive reorganising project of Colombo city, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Addressing a ceremony held to commission the renovated Leslie Ranagala Mawatha at Wanathamulla, Minister said: "We will shift the remand prison section to a location near the Maligakanda Court Complex. more..

PCoI sitting resume: Cross-examination of Ex-CB Governor to continue

Oct 2 (DM) After a weeks break, the proceedings at the PCoI were due to resume today. It is also likely that the cross-examination of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran by Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera would continue today as well. Following the startling facts that emerged during the cross-examination of Mr. Mahendran on Friday (22), the PCoI comprising Justice K.T. Chitrasiri (Chairman), more..

President lunches Suraksha Insurance Scheme for children

Oct 2 (PMD) “Current govt is following the United Nations and international charters, agreements and statements on children while fulfilling a comprehensive task beyond that for the children of the nation”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. President was speaking at the ceremony to launch Suraksha Insurance Scheme, introduced for the betterment of the children in Sri Lanka. The ceremony was held today at Temple Trees. more..

SL apparel exporter in chemical leasing deal

Oct 2 (EN) MAS Holdings, one of Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporters, has struck a chemical leasing deal a paint supplier with the aim of reducing chemical usage in their plants and ensuring products are zero toxic by 2020. Under the chemical leasing concept, the vendor and buyer reduce usage and costs, replacing the old practice of buying paints and painting which results in wasted paint, used buckets and tools which also end up as waste, a statement said. more..

Timely warning

Oct 2 (CT) Sri Lanka is now in crisis with nature and our own experts have cautioned about the rapidly dwindling green cover in the country due to excessive deforestation. The Island nation has witnessed enormous natural disasters in the form of landslides, floods and sea erosion in recent years. However, the latest warning from the internationally reputed Dr. Ravi Fernando who is the Chairman of Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability has warned of Sri Lanka heading towards more..

Parliament Mafia

Budgetary consolidation and resolving the country’s debt crisis permanently

Oct 2 (FT) Though not mentioned in Vision 2025, Govt has already resorted to asset management by going into a partnership with China Merchant Port Holdings in the case of the underperforming Hambantota Harbour Facility. It generated an immediate cash flow to the Treasury on the one hand and removed the burden to fund its operations from its shoulders, on the other. There are many such capital assets which are presently either non-performing or underperforming thereby more..

TPA to contest at LG polls: Ganesan

Oct 2 (DM) Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) led by Minister Mano Ganesan has decided to contest at the Local Govt election in eleven Districts. Minister Ganesan said that they would contest in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Badulla, Matale, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha, Puttalam and Matara Districts. The constituent parties of the alliance are Democratic Peoples’ Front, National Union of Workers and Up-Country Peoples’ Front. Whether the alliance is to contest alone or to more..

Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero arrested

Oct 2 (AD) Venerable Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero has been remanded until October 09 by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court. Venerable Akmeemana Dayarathana Thero of Sinhala Ravaya has been arrested in connection with threatening Rohingya refugees in Mount Lavinia last week. The Buddhist monk was arrested after he arrived at the CCD earlier today to give a statement regarding the incident. more..

Arrested Sri Lankans wanted to go to UK to escape poverty, threats to Tamils

Oct 2 (IE) The four Sri Lankan nationals arrested in March for allegedly attempting to enter the UK with forged documents have said that they wanted to escape poverty, threats to Tamils and the hardships they faced during the civil war in their country, according to a chargesheet filed against them by the police. On March 10, immigration officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport caught Sri Lankan nationals Suthakaran Arunasalam (34), Karthatheepan Kannathsan (26), more..

Heavy vehicles banned from entering Galle World Heritage site

Oct 2 (DN) Police has taken measures to ban heavy vehicles from entering the Galle world heritage site from Oct 1. According to the decision, vehicles exceeding 3 meters in height and 5 Tonnes in weight will not be allowed to enter the Galle world heritage site. Although the gazette notification in this regard was issued in 2009, it was not put into force for nearly 8 years. Measures is aimed at preserving and protecting the site which is considered one of the most prominent historical, more..

Article pertaining to Unity flawed: JO

Oct 2 (NR) Joint Opposition says there are flaws in the articles pertaining to unity in the proposed new Constitution. Speaking to media Leader of the JO MP Dinesh Gunawardena said there is no mention of safeguarding unity in the interim reports tabled in Parliament. MP said there is no mention of safeguarding unity in this report adding that in English it says one thing and in Tamil it calls for a joint state. more..

Rs 460 million to eradicate Rabies in 2017

Oct 2 (GDI) Govt has allocated Rs 460 million this year to eradicate Rabies while steps are being taken to eradicate it from the country by 2030, said Minister P. Harrison. He made these comments at the International Rabies day celebration held at the Veterinary Office in Anuradhapura. He said that govt is giving all support to eradicate Rabies. According to information, there are over 600,000 street dogs which is an issue and reducing the dog population is not an issue for the environment, more..

Constitutional Assembly proposes increase in civil society representatives

Oct 2 (DN) Interim Report on Constitutional Reforms submitted to the Constitutional Assembly (CA) by the Steering Committee last month has proposed to change the composition of Constitutional Council to increase civil society representatives. The ten-member Constitutional Council (CC), is an apex decision making body that makes recommendations with regard to the appointment of high ranking public and judicial officials such as the IGP, Attorney General, Auditor General, more..

Sri Lanka expecting influx of tourists during international shopping festival

Oct 2 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is expecting an influx of tourists, including from China, during a month-long Colombo International Shopping Festival which began on Oct 1, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga told Xinhua on Monday. The international shopping festival, organized by the Sri Lanka Retailers Association in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry, will promote Sri Lanka as a global shopping hub. more..

Asylum seeker dies on Manus Island

Oct 2 (SMH) An asylum seeker has died on Manus Island, police have confirmed. "We had a suicide of a refugee at the Lorengau hospital in the early hours of this morning," Manus Island Police Commander David Yapu said. The Lorengau hospital is 25 km from the detention centre where more than 700 male asylum seekers have been detained. The death is the second suicide on Manus in the past two months. The man, a Sri Lankan Tamil, more..

Coconuts at subsidized prices from today

Oct 2 (GDI) The program to distribute coconuts at subsidized prices was started today at the Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) head office. It is being implemented on the advice of Plantation Minister Naveen Dissanayaka and implemented by the CCB. Under this program, public can purchase coconuts at Rs 65 from mobile lorries of CCB at 40 places in Colombo and the suburbs. In addition, from tomorrow coconuts can be purchased from Sathosa outlets as well. more..

Video: GMOA threatens 24hr strike

Oct 2 (DM) The GMOA today threatened that it would launch a 24 hour islandwide strike on Friday if the Post Internship appointment list is not withdraw by Thursday (5). GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the list had been issued without the transfer board’s consent where GMOA is also part of and it was published in the social media without uploading it to the Official website which is also a violation. more..

Sri Lanka set for packed India tour

Oct 2 (CI) Sri Lanka arrive in India next month for a cramped tour that will have them playing three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is in 37 days, with the first Test likely to begin in Kolkata on Nov 16, and final match to be played on Dec 24. Nagpur and Delhi will host the second and third Tests, before the limited-overs leg kicks off with the first ODI in Dharamsala on Dec 10. Mohali and Visakhapatnam complete the ODI fixtures, after which the T20Is will be held in Cuttack, more..

Executive presidnecy: SLFP-UNP yet to reach accord

Oct 2 (Island) The govt yesterday admitted that key coalition partners the UNP and the SLFP were yet to reach an understanding on the abolition of the executive presidency or further dilution of executive powers. The media was told that the SLFP had expressed a different view to that of the UNP in the wake of the Steering Committee spearheading constitution making process submitting its interim recommendations to the Constitutional Assembly. Steering Committee member Dr Jayampathy more..

Video: Committee report: PHU questions status given to Buddhism

Oct 2 (DM) PHU said today the Interim Report of the Steering Committee on Constitutional Reforms had craftily challenged the foremost status given to Buddhism despite the assurance given by MP Jayampathy Wickramaratne. PHU Leader and MP, Udaya Gammanpila said according to Dr. Wickramaratne the foremost status given to Buddhism had not been harmed. “The Sangha including the Mahanayakes say more..

Kidney donations on the rise 75% increase in current year

Oct 2 (CT) There has been a 75% increase in the donations of kidneys, taken from people pronounced brain dead, during the current year when compared with figures of 2016, National Nephrology, Dialysis and Kidney Transplant Institute Director Dr. Rathnasiri Hewage said. He added that in 2016 only 06 such kidney donations were made. However, this year there have been 19 kidney donations from such persons, he added. "Unlike earlier, people are now aware of the procedure to donate organs. more..

Commercial High Court has over 5,000 pending cases

Oct 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister recently revealed that country’s Commercial High Court alone had over 5,000 cases pending by March this year. The Commercial High Court has jurisdiction to hear civil actions arisen out of commercial transactions in which the damage exceeds 5 million rupees. By March this year, the number of cases pending in the Commercial High Court was 5,580 while the total number of cases pending in the High Court was 16,574. more..

Thajudeen Murder case: CID seeks arrest warrant against Prof. Ananda Samarasekara

Oct 2 (DN) CID conducting investigations into the murder of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen today sought a warrant for the arrest of former Colombo Chief Medical Officer Prof. Ananda Samarasekara over the alleged role in the cover up of evidence when conducting the first post mortem on Thajudeen’s body. Filing a motion before Colombo Additional Magistrate Jayram Trotsky, CID further sought Court’s intervention to more..

Herath: first left-arm spinner to 400 Test wickets

Oct 2 (CI) 84 - Tests taken by Herath to reach 400 wickets. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (72), Richard Hadlee (80) and Dale Steyn (80) did it in fewer Tests than Herath. He's the first left-arm spinner, 14th bowler overall and second for Sri Lanka to take 400 wickets. 0 - Bowlers older than Herath - 39 years and 197 days - to complete 400 wickets. Hadlee was the previous oldest at 38 years, 214 days, in 1990, getting there against India in Christchurch. 15 - Tests taken by Herath to move from more..

Sri Lanka begins screening three-wheeled taxis to maintain passenger safety

Oct 2 (Xinhua) Police on Monday began screening three-wheeled taxis to ascertain whether they had followed the new regulations introduced by the Transport Ministry for the safety and security of passengers, including tourists. The three-wheelers are a popular means of public transport in the island country, used largely by locals and foreigners. Transport Ministry last month introduced new regulations, which came into effect on Sunday, making it compulsory for registration number, more..

Herath's 400th wicket seals dramatic victory for Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (CI) How did we get here? How did we hurtle, from the dullest 11 sessions of Test cricket possible, to this stirring, heart-palpitating, dramedy of a conclusion. Sri Lanka, out of the match surely when they set out to defend 136 after lunch, yet victors by 21 runs, Rangana Herath breaking records, scuttling Pakistan again - 6 for 43 to his name. The pitch began to sing for him, the batsmen played him with fatal hesitation, more..