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Court rejects Aloysius’ request to leave country

Oct 25 (AD) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today rejected the request made by the owner of Perpetual Treasuries, Arjun Aloysius, seeking permission to leave the country. Earlier this month, the Colombo Fort Magistrate had issued a travel ban on Aloysius, Perpetual Treasuries CEO Kasun, Chief Dealer Nuwan Salgado and IT Executive Sachith Dewathantri. They are among the accused in the ongoing investigations by the PCoI appointed to look into the CB bond scam. more..

Shalila Moonasinghe further remanded

Oct 25 (DN) Two suspects including former Litro Gas Chairman Shalila Moonasinghe who were arrested in connection with the alleged transferring of USD 1.1 million from Far Eastern International Bank of Taiwan to their personal account in Sri Lanka were ordered to be further remanded till November 6 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate, today. Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne refused to grant bail to the suspect, taking into consideration the seriousness of the offence. more..

Sajith Premadasa behind Yâla protest?

Oct 25 (CT) Colombo Telegraph is now in a position to reveal that Minister Sajith Premadasa, a senior member of the yahapalanaya govt and the Deputy Leader of the UNP, is behind the protest launched by Yala Safari drivers demanding unhindered access to the wildlife park. The protest took place after measures by the Wildlife authorities to limit the number of jeeps entering into the national park, home to some of more..

Block I of Yala reopened early Due to political pressure: WNPS

Oct 25 (CT) The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) stated that Block I of the Yala National Park was reopened early due to political pressure. WNPS office accuses a govt politician of putting pressure on the Department of Wildlife Conservation to open Block I of the Yala National Park which was temporarily closed due to the drought earlier this year. The decision to close down Block I was taken due to a recommendation made by a special committee which more..

CID Director gives evidence against former DIG Vaas Gunawardena

Oct 25 (DN) CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekara today gave evidence in a case filed against former DIG Vaas Gunawardena for allegedly exerting death threats to kill CID detectives. Witness told court that former DIG Vass Gunawardena threatened him and officers stating that “Shani, I am a murderer; you won’t be able to keep me inside forever. When I am out, see what I will do to all of you.” Further trial was fixed for Oct 27. When the case came up before HC Judge Gihan Kulatunga, more..

SLMC dispels need to amend minimum standard for medical education

Oct 25 (AD) President of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Prof. Colvin Gunaratne stated that the existing minimum standards for medical education do not require any amendments following a special meeting of the SLMC today. SLMC convened for an emergency meeting at 1.00pm today to discuss the problems related to the minimum standard for medical education. SLMC officials stated that discussions were held more..

Suspension of karunka re-export causes massive loss to country

Oct 25 (Island) The country has been made to suffer losses running to billions of rupees owing to a govt decision to suspend re-exporting of karunka (dried arecanut), Customs Department sources said. As a suspension is in force, the money spinning opportunity now has been given to other countries, according to sources. Country earned Rs 9.1 billion in 2015 by re-exporting karunka, the department sources said. Sri Lanka received Rs 367 million by re-exporting karunka in 2008. more..

Commercial Bank affirmed Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2017

Oct 25 (DN) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has emerged the Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2017, according to the prestigious Asian Banker magazine, and has once again been ranked among the 500 strongest banks in the Asia Pacific region on Balance Sheet evaluation. Presenting the coveted accolade to Commercial Bank on the side-lines of the annual SIBOS Convention in Toronto, Canada, Asian Banker said: “The bank had strong liquidity and capital adequacy ratios, more..

Jaffna HC prohibits animal sacrifices at Hindu temples

Oct 25 (CT) Jaffna High Court Judge M. Illanchelian has issued an order prohibiting animal sacrifices at temples in Jaffna. In that Order, Judge has directed DIG for Jaffna to prevent animal sacrifices at Hindu temples and to arrest anyone found involved in the animal sacrifice ritual at Hindu temples. All Island Saiva Maha Saba had filed a case in Jaffna HC seeking an order prohibiting animal sacrifices at Hindu temples. more..

John insists he has no underworld links

Oct 25 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga said the majority of those living in Wattala and Hendala areas were his relations. Asked whether a relative of his was being detained by police following Monday’s shooting incident between an underworld gang and STF commandos at Divulapitiya, Minister said that many had inquired from him whether he had links to underworld members. "Lots of people spread rumours like that. I have no connection to underworld. more..

Gambling den popular among women raided

Oct 25 (Island) Anti-Vice Squad of the Trinco Police raided a gambling den at Samudragama, frequented mostly by women of the area, and nabbed four including two female gamblers on Monday. Police said they had seized Rs. 4,000 used as bets and another Rs. 16,000 in the possession of the women suspects. Police said they had recently received information about the gambling den which had been in operation for a long time. A lot of women in the area had tried their luck there, police said. more..

Rajarata University finds Liquor prices have no impact on tourism

Oct 25 (CT) Opposing certain governmental efforts towards reducing the price of soft liquor such as beer with the view of promoting tourism, the Presidential Task Force on Drug Prevention highlighted that 95% of foreigners, according to the findings of a local survey, had stated that liquor prices and restrictions imposed on smoking in public places had no impact on their touristic activities. more..

Video: Weerawansa sentiments not shared by NFF: Piyasiri Wijenayake

Oct 25 (AD) Organizer of National Freedom Front (NFF) Piyasiri Wijenayake stated that the sentiments uttered by Wimal Weerawansa, who expressed the need to bomb the parliamentary complex, are not shared by the members of the NFF. Leader of NFF Wimal Weerawansa stated that the parliament should be bombed should the majority of parliament not object to the proposed draft bill on the new constitution. He had made these statements while speaking to the media on Oct 22, more..

Has Malaka gone abroad despite travel ban?

Oct 25 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Daminda Ramanayke Weligodapitiya ordered the Colombo Crimes Division yesterday to inquire and report whether Malaka Manoj Silva son of former Minister Mervyn Silva had gone abroad violating the ban on foreign travel imposed on him by courts and thereby committed an act of contempt of courts. Malaka Manoj Silva is the first suspect in the case of assault on a foreign couple at a Night Club in Bambalapitiya and more..

'Govt yet to sign any MoUs over Port City'

Oct 25 (AD) Minister Champika Ranawaka says that Port City is only a leasing out project and that the real estate business pertaining to the project will solely be carried out by his ministry. “Govt owns 32 hectares plus 90 hectares of public place. On the other hand all the other lands belong to SL Govt and SL President. So it is only a leasing out process.” “When the Chinese Company is going to drench sand there in the SLRDC more..

Some memories of Peradeniya as a student

Oct 26 (CT) Even if we were not very conscious about or appreciative of the natural beauty of the place, that influenced all of us immensely. That may be one reason how the place gave room for several romantic love affairs. On one side, it was the picturesque Hantana mountain range, and on the other, the winding Mahaweli river. On Friday evenings, couples could be seen roaming between the kissing bend and the Ramanathan hall until the dinner bells rang at 7.00 sharp. more..

Bond commission: PM’s evidence is critical

Oct 26 (CT) The investigation on the CB Bond issue is proceeding before the COI appointed by the President. It was reported that the AG’s department has submitted a further list of witnesses they wish to be summoned before the commission. The list reportedly includes the Prime Minister, required to give evidence. A few days back a statement coming from Temple Trees announced that PM is ready to come before the COI if called for. It will be a most welcome move for the consolation of more..

Severe shortage of mental health specialists

Oct 26 (Roar) Discussing one’s mental health has always been a sensitive topic. Reactions range from being dismissed by parents and peers, to being made fun of, or outright ignored. Stigmatization is bad enough in Sri Lanka to the extent of affecting treatment: getting professional treatment for mental health issues is often looked down upon. According to research paper published by Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists, more..

In conversation with Tharanga Goonetilleke

Oct 26 (GV) Tharanga Goonetilleke is a Juilliard-trained SL opera singer who has sung internationally, including with the New York City Opera, at Carnegie Hall and the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka while providing free master classes, workshops and recitals in South Asia and the US. She is also a TED Fellow. I first met Tharanga years ago in New York, where what I thought would be a meeting around opera and classic music, turned out to be an engaging more..

Critique of chief minister Wigneswaran’s call for federalism

Oct 26 (Island) This is the reality today: Anything and everything within this Constitution, butnothing outside this Constitution. A two-thirds majority is possible for moderate constitutional change, reform; but a two-thirds majority is unlikely and improbable for a change of Constitution. Constitutional reform is possible and desirable, defined and delimited as reform of the existing Constitution and within it, but Constitutional replacement—a new Constitution—is not. If there is no political dialogue, more..

Tuk Tuks find the bucks, but lose customer affection

Oct 26 (DM) Tuks Tuks have become such a convenient mode of transport that customers have learned to be comfortable with uncomfortable situations when obtaining the services of these taxis.   Aggressive driving on the roads, swearing and sometimes a touch of recklessness thrown into the ride makes customers think whether this industry needs a proper monitoring system. more..

The Dhanapala seal

Oct 26 (DN) A commemorative stamp on the veteran Sinhala journalist, D B Dhanapala, was issued by the Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts as sponsored by the Sri Lanka Press Council. What is actually the significance of the commemorative stamp was clarified by the keynote address. The stamp was a result of the Diploma Course research assignment at the Press Council Diploma in Journalism and Media Studies. The well-wishers of the occasion included the family members of more..

Politicians’ promises

Oct 26 (Island) Much has been published in the media and also shown in TV Talk-Shows about politicians not honouring promises made during election times and rather than wiping out corruption as promised and bringing to book those who have resorted to corruption, there is unprecedented corruption on the part of the present Yahapalanaya Govt. Whilst fully agreeing with these comments, I see another dimension beyond the usual politicians’ promises. more..

Susil Premajayantha

Embattled Sri Lanka seek inspiration to improve wretched 2017

Oct 25 (CI) At this point of the series, even traditionalists can't wait for the T20 series. After a one-sided ODI series that seemed to stretch out interminably, the focus now turns to a three-match T20 series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Tests saw a clean sweep for Sri Lanka, while Pakistan avenged the loss in a comprehensive 5-0 whitewash in the ODIs. Sri Lanka have had a dismal ODI record this year, but their T20 record in 2017 has been much more impressive. more..

Editorial: Bombing Parliament?

Oct 26 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, has, true to form, rattled the cage of many a govt politician. He said, with his trademark grin, that a bomb should be dropped on Parliament unless at least 76 MPs opposed constitutional reforms, thereby, denying the govt a 2/3 majority. The yahapalana leaders have thrown up their hands in horror, asking for protection. At least, that is what Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has told the media; he has threatened action against Weerawansa for more..

Rs 40B Wind Farm for Mannar

Oct 26 (CT) Sri Lanka will build a massive Wind Farm on Mannar Island which will cost more than Rs 40 billion and produce 100 Megawatts of electricity. Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced it has approved a US$ 200 million loan for the project which requires the loss-making CEB to come up with Rs 11.3 billion to meet the total cost of the project. The estimated completion date for the project is the end of 2021. more..

Better choice for Parliament

Oct 26 (DN) Apropos recent letters to the Editor by Peter Wijetunge and Dr A C Visvalingam followed by another letter to the Editor by Edward Gunawardena on the subject of introducing new clauses for a better Parliament. At the outset, my view is that Wijetunge’s suggestion seems practical only for Local Govt. Elections provided they are held in a de-politicised environment devoid of any political hues. A proposal to depoliticize Local Govt elections was made by the writer through more..

Minister keen on restructuring netball

Oct 26 (CT) In a bid to restructuring Sri Lanka netball, which is the main women's sport, played in the country, a special conference was held yesterday with the participation of former players and the Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. The conference organized by SL Netball Association was held at SL Foundation Institute. At present Sri Lanka is number two in Asia and placed 26th in the world rankings earlier in 2009 they were number one in Asia and ranked 14th in the world. more..

Focus on provinces in SLC's domestic revamp

Oct 26 (CI) SLC is placing a renewed focus on provincial cricket, as part of broader plans to revamp the country's ailing domestic cricket structure. A new domestic format will see the first-class season conclude with a four-team Super Provincial Tournament, in which some of the best players in Sri Lanka will compete. District teams will also participate, though this is not expected to affect the Premier League inter-club season. more..

Dushni Weerakoon appointed as Executive Director of IPS

Oct 26 (FT) Dr. Dushni Weerakoon has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS). She succeeds renowned economist, late Dr. Saman Kelegama, who passed away in June this year. Dr. Weerakoon has over 23 years of experience at the IPS, and has been functioning as its Deputy Director since 2005. Her research and publications cover areas related to macroeconomic policy, regional trade integration, and international economics.  more..

Strong cricket team will tour Pakistan to play T20 International: Dayasiri

Oct 26 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket would send a strong team to Lahore shortly, to play a T20 International match against Pakistan, due to the security situation having improved in that country, Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayaskera said yesterday. Answering questions at the Weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, the Minister revealed that a report received from the ICC states that conditions in Pakistan were now more conducive for foreign teams to play cricket in that country. more..

Sri Lanka for open trade and investment, Malik tells WEDF opening

Oct 26 (FT) SL’s commitment to open trade and investment as a means to achieve more inclusive socioeconomic growth was highlighted at the opening of the World Export Development Forum in Budapest by Minister Malik Samarawickrama. Speaking at the forum, which was inaugurated by Hungarian President János Áder, minister said Govt was of the firm belief that an outward-oriented strategy was the surest path more..

NTB invites developers, tech geeks to create eureka moments

Oct 26 (Island) Nations Trust Bank has established the Kaffeine Lab in Gregory's Road, Colombo to generate lots of good ideas in the open – no matter who contributes them to the financial services industry – looking to hit upon some eureka moments in Fintech solutions to solve real-life customer challenges through collaborative innovation. The first initiative of the Nations Trust Innovation Lab is to have SL's first Fintech Hackathon on the 10th of Nov 2017 at the Kaffeine Lab, more..

Debit, credit cards see 19.5% growth in 1H 2017

Oct 26 (DN) SL’s credit and debit card growth has witnessed a 19.5% increase in the first six months of 2017 as against the previous year, said Visa Country Manager for SL, Anthony Watson. He said today there are over 19.5 million of cards in circulation in Sri Lanka which is around 90% of the population. “I think the main reason for this is the growth of E-Commerce industry. In addition aggressive promotions made by banks have also helped increased the card usage. more..

Justice Eva Wanasundera recuses herself from Gotabaya FR petition

Oct 26 (FT) Justice Eva Wanasundera has declined to be a member of the Bench hearing the Fundamental Rights petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa seeking an order preventing his arrest over ongoing investigations. The Bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera, K.T. Chitrasiri and Vijith K. Malalgoda re-fixed hearing of the petition for 23 January next year. more..

Petitions challenging EC decision to postpone PC elections

Oct 26 (FT) The Supreme Court yesterday (25) fixed to be mentioned on 15 November before the Chief Justice to support for fuller Bench to hear four Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the decision of the Elections Commission to indefinitely postpone the conducting elections of Provincial Councils which already stand dissolved. Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC with Charita Rupasinghe appeared for Petitioners Ven. Omar Kassapa Thero and Ven. Galagama Dhammasiri Thero. more..

Sampath Bank Introduces the First Banking Robot in Sri Lanka

Oct 26 (Island) Robotics enabled by artificial intelligence and machine learning is proving to be a game changer that will bring unique operational efficiencies to the financial service industry, worldwide. In Sri Lanka, continuing with their trend of pioneering innovative digital banking solutions, Sampath Bank is poised to revolutionize the financial industry with a banking robot that works in the form of a humanoid teller. A never before in Sri Lanka phenomenon, more..

President emphasizes importance of education at Stafford SL School in Doha

Oct 26 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena during his two day state visit to State of Qatar visited Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha. Stafford Sri Lankan School in Doha was inaugurated in October 2001 to provide an opportunity to receive education, especially for the Sri Lankan community as well as for the students from all over the world.  Currently, approximately 1300 students receive education at the school. more..

SL constitution: Strategy of doublespeak

Oct 26 (AT) It is hard to refute the assertion that the conflict in Sri Lanka between the Sinhala-dominated state and the Tamil people is directly attributable to the unitary constitution under which the island was granted its independence by Britain in 1948. Unitary constitutions crafted on the principle of one person, one vote results in political power residing mainly with the majority nation to the detriment of the numerically smaller nations in a multinational state. Faced with disenfranchisement, more..