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Lanka’s Guy Fawkes drops parliamentary bombshell: Question is, is it high treason?

Oct 30 (ST) Wimal Weerawansa stands today condemned by every syllable he uttered when, in the presence of the former President Rajapaksa no less on stage and brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the audience with a whole host of Buddhist monks in attendance, he devilishly declared that Parliament must be bombed from above and swiped out of existence if it dared to pass a new constitution as proposed by present govt. A parliament that lacked 76 members to veto a new constitution more..

YALA Revived

Oct 30 (SO) Yala National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist destinations, where Yala block 1 is reputed to have the highest density of leopards in the world. The Park is also notable for its many elephants, seasonal freshwater crocodile concentration and aquatic birds. It is one of the 70 most important bird areas in the country, as rated by Birdlife International, and is home to 44 species of mammals, altogether. more..

The ignorance and idiocy of illiberal laws

Oct 30 (ST) When the Law Commission of Sri Lanka jibbed at recommending reforms to the archaic punishment of the termination of pregnancies except to save the life of a mother a decade or so ago, it showcased precisely how the uneasy meandering of conservative men of a particular age group can have a profoundly destructive impact on society. Fortuitously, the Commission, in its later more progressive avatar, took an enlightened approach. Following measured consultations with more..

Pablo de Greiff’s incomplete assessment

Oct 29 (CT) Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff has departed after a 14 day official visit to Sri Lanka, his fifth since March 2015. During this period, he has traveled throughout the country, supposedly meeting with a cross-section of Sri Lankans in South, East, North and West, holding discussions in Aluthgama, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Matara, Mullaitivu, Puttalam and Trincomalee. In addition, he has met with President Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickramasinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, more..

'COPE will investigate State universities'

Oct 30 (SL) COPE says investigations conducted by them had been done fairly and without any bias. However, Chairman of COPE Sunil Handunnetti added that it was a cause for regret that the government has so far failed to take tangible measures to address the issues mentioned in its last report. He also said that COPE will investigate almost all the state universities in the country and submit a report to Parliament. more..

A constitutional draft of the Mahasangha?

Oct 30 (SL) A common rule well observed in SL’s political grammar is: Horrendous mistakes and lies made or uttered by opponents in the past is open licence for those in power to repeat them. That constant refrain we hear from politicians now in or out of power: What did you say and do in your time? is a good example. This, for better or worse, is the prevalent mood among our constitutional makers as they hitch up their sarongs and bawl out their profound thoughts on constitutional law more..

Cricket bosses should Learn or Depart

Oct 30 (SO) Remember 1996? That great year when a cricket team led by Arjuna Ranatunga took the world by storm and brought the cricket World Cup home on a sultry night in Lahore? Well, just as much as we boast about our culture and heritage of 2,500 years and are content to rest on those laurels while other nations surpass us, it looks like, this is all we have got to talk about now in cricket, as Sri Lanka is on a race towards the bottom of the pile among international teams. more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Jaffna

From refugee to Sri Lankan entrepreneur, US students hear journey

Oct 30 (LR) When Paventhan Savunthararasa fled Sri Lanka in 1986 as a child, the country was engulfed in a civil war. Today, he is a co-founder of Bluestone Management, an accounting BPO situated in the financial district of Colombo, backed by several investors. Earlier this summer he spoke to MBA students and executives at the Villanova University in the United States. He shared his whirlwind three-decade story, which saw him returning to the country of his birth. more..

Solution unveiled, problem unsolved

Oct 30 (Island) Expeditiousness is not the yahapalana govt’s metier. President Maithripala Sirisena undertook to make the govt’s solution to the SAITM problem known early last week. Or, at least Minister Lakshman Kiriella told us so. But, it was only yesterday that the govt officially announced its position through a media statement. The government has decided to bring the SAITM as a non-profit institution under the Higher Education Ministry and the UGC. more..

A fish rots from the head

Oct 30 (Island) Sri Lanka have succumbed to yet another series defeat this year. Friday’s loss in the second T-20 in Abu Dhabi was a bitter pill to swallow. To point at numbers will be a tedious task so we refrain from doing so, but to put it bluntly, it was Sri Lanka’s 15th defeat in a row in limited overs cricket. There doesn’t seem to be a way out of the mess. And the World Cup is less than two years away. more..

Edith Cowan University supports Sri Lanka Sports Science

Oct 30 (Island) The Australian Consulate of Sri Lanka extends its utmost support to Edith Cowan University for the project of testing and enhancing the performance of athletes and cricketers of Sri Lanka with the use Sports Science, it was reported recently. With Hallam Pereira, International Project Director, initially introducing the idea to Consul Rosh Jalagge, the consulate worked tirelessly towards creating the opportunity to make this event a success. more..

New e-commerce laws major boost to Sri Lankan trade and commerce

Oct 30 (ST) The Electronic Transactions Amendment Bill was approved by the parliament on Monday, providing a major boost to commerce, business and trade in the digital era. It was presented to Parliament by the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure. Digital Infrastructure Ministry took the lead initiative with ICT Agency (ICTA) to prepare this latest amendment. “The new amendment harmonises the SL Electronic Transactions Legislation fully more..

Shehan Jayasuriya, Pushpakumara bowl Lanka ‘A’ to series win

Oct 30 (DN) Spinners Shehan Jayasuriya and Malinda Pushpakumara took 16 wickets between them to bowl Sri Lanka ‘A’ to a series clinching ten-wicket win over West Indies on the third day of the third and final 4-day unofficial test played at Sabina Park, Kingston here on Saturday. Jayasuriya took six wickets for 60 with his off-breaks and eight in the match to claim the Man of the Match award. more..

Independent Advisors tell Singer shareholders to reject mandatory offer

Oct 30 (Island) Acuity Partners (Private) Ltd., the independent advisors to the mandatory offer made by Hayleys and parties acting in concert for the remaining shares of Singer (SL) PLC of which Hayleys recently took control, have recommended that shareholders should reject the offer. Their report now with Singer shareholders says: "Acuity Partners as Independent Advisors are of the opinion that based on the overall valuations on different equity valuation methodologies more..

Sri Lanka-Iran ink prisoner exchange pact

Oct 30 (DM) Sri Lanka and Iran signed an agreement on the exchange of convicted prisoners between the two countries on Friday. The agreement, which was signed by the Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avai in Tehran, was signed by SL Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale in Colombo and its copies were exchanged between Minister Atukorale and Iranian Ambassador Zari Amirani. The agreement was signed following discussions between Minister Atukorale and more..

Pakistan cruise to win on Lahore's big night

Oct 30 (CI) Shoaib Malik scorched his way to a 23-ball fifty, Mohammad Amir scythed through Sri Lanka's chase to claim his best T20 figures, and Pakistan gave a raucous home crowd an evening to remember, as they trounced Sri Lanka by 36 runs, and swept the series 3-0. Although Friday's match had been tense, this was yet another limited-overs mismatch in a tour that has been full of them. On a smoggy Lahore evening, more..

Wimal wants to emulate relation who bombed Parliament: Dayasiri

Oct 30 (Island) The govt says that devolution within a united country was needed to resolve the long drawn out ethnic issue and not to please sections of the international community. "We will not dance to the tune of extremists such as Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who are hell bent on reviving the LTTE by threatening to kill those who support devolution of power and also bomb Parliament. Nor will we do anything that other countries say," more..

Private sector must learn to use trade remedies bills effectively: experts

Oct 30 (FT) As the long-promised trade remedies bills finally make their way to Parliament for approval, experts have warned that their eventual effectiveness will strongly hinge on increased private sector involvement. The two bills in question relate to the establishment of anti-dumping and countervailing measures as well as safeguards that will allow domestic legal mechanisms to investigate and offset unfair trading practices. Move was widely welcomed by local industry stakeholders, more..

China pledges Yuan 2 bn in aid for 2018-2020

Oct 30 (DN) The Chinese govt has pledged Yuan 2 billion in aid to Sri Lanka for the period 2018-2020, said Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang. The Chinese govt’s commitment to develop capacity building, finance, technology and innovation spheres in Sri Lanka to give a further fillip to bilateral cooperation between China and Sri Lanka would continue, he said. Speaking at second edition of Huawei’s global Corporate more..

Great October Revolution commemorated

Oct 30 (LT) The largest commemoration held in SL simultaneous with the Centenary of the Great October Revolution held elsewhere in the globe was organized and held by the JVP at Viharamahadevi park on the 27th & 28th. Opening ceremony of the Commemoration was held on the 27th participated by Leader of JVP Anura Dissanayaka, its General Secretary Tilvin Silva and a large number of invited guests including representatives of foreign political parties & organizations. more..

Sri Lanka to create safer working conditions for women

Oct 30 (IANS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that his administration will create safer working conditions for women as women’s participation in the labour market had remained low in recent years. In an economic policy statement delivered in the parliament, PM said Sri Lanka had a low percentage of women in the labour market compared to other countries in the region. The present women labour force participation rate is less than half of that of males, lingering around 30-35% since 1990s. more..

Top Sri Lankan engineers and experts meet for Uma Oya summit

Oct 30 (Island) Top Sri Lankan experts and engineers gathered at a two-day summit held by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment to discuss the progress of the Uma Oya hydro-electric power and irrigation project and ensure the construction of the multi-million dollar scheme continues without major environmental effects. "Top engineers and experts from different SL institutions such as NBRO, CEA, more..

Proposals will aggravate SAITM issue: JVP

Oct 30 (NR) The JVP says several problems persist in the recommended proposals to solve the issues surrounding the SAITM. MP Bimal Ratnayake said the proposal does not seem to provide a solution to the SAITM issue. He said the govt has decided to re-establish the same institution as a not-for-profit organisation. MP Bimal Ratnayake said a major issue could arise due to this issue as an issue of ownership was not the cause of the protests and strikes against the institution. more..

Buffer to settle country’s loans

Oct 30 (DN) Taking note of the biggest loan repayments coming in 2018-2019, Govt opts to maintain a cash buffer and obtain only long term loans over 10 years from now, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H S Samaratunga said. He said the net foreign reserves of the country stands at USD 7.2 billion at present, and therefore the Govt is in a better position to negotiate with the financial institutions to obtain longer term loans. However, he stressed the importance of maintaining more..

Draft Constitution ready, debate on interim report irrelevant: JO

Oct 30 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) alleged that a draft Constitution with federal features severely inimical to Sri Lanka had been prepared though the govt pretended it was still consulting other stakeholders. JO MP Sirira Jayakody asserted that a three-day debate on the interim report of the Steering Committee tasked with formulating constitutional proposals, scheduled to begin today, was irrelevant as the draft Constitution was now ready. more..

SriLankan Airlines starts direct flights to Melbourne

Oct 30 (EN) State-run SriLankan Airlines said it had started daily direct flights to Melbourne from Oct 29, where a many immigrants and students from Sri Lanka live. "We have been extending our route network in a systemic manner throughout Asia – from the Middle East to the Far East – and can now provide Australian travellers excellent options in connectivity, with one-stop journeys to the most popular destinations via Colombo," CEO Suren Ratwatte said in a statement. more..

Govt to expand 1990 ambulance service countrywide

Oct 30 (FT) Govt is moving fast to expand the 1990 Suvasariya ambulance service islandwide with the financial assistance of India, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva revealed. He said the Govt was finalising arrangements to set up an institution named the Suwasariya Foundation by an Act of Parliament in order to expand the 1990 ambulance service islandwide. “We are now in the final phase of the Act of Parliament to incorporate the 1990 Foundation which will be fully-owned by more..

SAITM issue unsolved: Parents, students reject govt remedy

Oct 30 (Island) Students of the state medical faculties and their parents rejected the solution proposed by presidential committee to SAITM. They said their struggle would continue until the govt agreed to implement the solution proposed by the Deans of state Medical Faculties. They said a fast unto death will be launched on Nov 6 to pressure the govt to implement the solution proposed by Deans more..

Lightning strikes kill three in Medamulana

Oct 30 (CT) Three individuals were killed when they were struck by lightning yesterday at around 1 p.m. while they were out drying paddy in the Medamulana area. Three victims were out on a helipad in Medamulana, in the Weeraketiya Police Division, drying paddy when they were struck by lightning. There had been two 65-year-olds and a 30-year-old that were killed. Bodies of the victims at the scene of the accident were under Police protection until a Magisterial Inquest was to be conducted. more..

World Bank clarifies media reports on Yala

Oct 30 (WB) The World Bank today released a statement clarifying media reports on World Bank’s position on the management of Yala national park. The Bank has indeed raised the importance of managing traffic in the National Park, an important cultural heritage and signature park for Sri Lanka.  When people think of wildlife in Sri Lanka, this is the first park that comes to mind with its majestic cats, amongst other animals.  But it’s not simply the Bank that has been raising more..

Parliament kicks off new Constitution proposals debate

Oct 30 (FT) Lawmakers will spar on sharply divisive national questions such as devolution of power when the Constitutional Assembly kicks off a three-day debate on new constitutional proposals contained in the Steering Committee’s interim report today. The report envisions wider power sharing arrangements with the provinces, including the North and East, and sweeping changes to the country’s electoral and governance systems. more..

Massive narcotic racket operated from prison busted

Oct 30 (DN) Madampe Police has uncovered a mass-scale racket of selling narcotic pills being operated by a prison inmate. It was unearthed when a woman was arrested for possessing a stock of narcotic pills valued at nearly Rs. 3.1 million on October 27 afternoon. The woman, a resident of Madampe was arrested following a tip off near the old Madampe town while she was travelling in a three wheeler. The driver was also taken in for questioning. more..

5 police teams to probe Kosgoda shooting

Oct 30 (AD) Five Special Police Investigation teams headed by Alpitiya Divisional SP Nihal Thalduwa have been deployed to conduct investigations into the Kosgoda shooting incident. Four persons have been confirmed dead following multiple shooting incidents that ensued in Kosgoda earlier today (29), where one individual has also been injured.  Police sources have confirmed that the fatalities occurred following several shootings in the area.   The shooting incidents have been carried out more..

GMOA skeptical on Govt’s stand on SAITM

Oct 30 (DM) The GMOA remained skeptical about the latest stand taken by the govt regarding SAITM. Govt announced that it had decided to abolish the SAITM and convert it into a not for profit institution coming under the UGC. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Naveen De Soyza said his association welcomed the decision to abolish SAITM. However, he added that GMOA need further clarification on proposed step to make it a non profit institute. more..

Food aid, budget and poverty in Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (DM) Sri Lanka has a long history of providing its citizens with food aid. In fact the first such aid programme was introduced to the country while still under British occupation. As early as in 1939 -the rice ration- provided rice free to all sections of the population. This programme was continued even after the gaining of independence and into the 1960s.   It is estimated the food subsidy ate into as much as 17 - 18% of total govt expenditure. more..

Bombing Parliament: Lord’s Temple turned a den of thieves?

Oct 30 (DM) Wimal Weerawansa expressing his views at the launch of his book had stated recently that Parliament should be bombed if 76 MPs did not object to the Draft Bill on Constitution and that it brings to divide the country and needs to prevent a two thirds parliamentary mandate. Various factions including Govt and Opposition MPs have drawn their attention to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to the survival of Parliamentary democracy and the severe risk that has arisen to the lives of people’s more..

Qatar and Govt in crucial talks this week on SriLankan

Oct 30 (SL) Crucial talks will be held this week between the govt and Qatar with regards to SriLankan Airlines. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that Qatar was ready to consider a proposal from Sri Lanka to reach an agreement on SriLankan Airlines. He said that a delegation from Qatar was scheduled to arrive in the country on Saturday to study the current state of SriLankan Airlines before taking the discussions further. more..

Rains end drought, but farmers are in construction sites

Oct 30 (ST) The intermonsoon season has begun. Abundant rain predicted all over Sri Lanka will end the nearly year-long drought that hit more than one half of the country. But a new problem has arisen — the drought has forced many farmers to abandon agriculture and find jobs in the construction field. Met Department officials said many parts of the country had begun to experience rains, with the conditions over more..

Sri Lanka leaps ahead with Rs. 300 b in digital payments: Visa

Oct 30 (FT) Digital payment powerhouse Visa said Sri Lanka was experiencing rapid growth in electronic transactions and expected payment value to exceed Rs. 300 billion by the end of this year, making the country one of the largest cash displacement opportunities in South Asia. “At present the overall number of credit and debit cards is 19.5 million with 44,832 point of sales (POS) devices islandwide. more..