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Sri Lanka to try again to set up ferry service with India

Oct 5 (EN) Sri Lanka will recall expressions of interest to set up a ferry service between Colombo port and Tuticorin in India, Information Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. Expression of interest had been called earlier, but there was insufficient interest. Port Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had decided to recall EOIs for the ferry service. The cabinet of ministers had approved the proposal. In 2011 a ferry service was started by Flemingo Liners but it did not continue. more..

Nationwide groundwater survey

Oct 5 (CT) The govt is to undertake a nationwide survey of the country's groundwater resources as part of an effort to conserve and better manage dwindling water resources. Chairman of the Water Resources Board A.C.M. Zulfikar said, that the project will cost Rs 3.2 billion and will be funded by a soft loan obtained through govt of the Netherlands. Survey will assess the quality and quantity of groundwater levels from next month onwards. more..

Herath can adjust, counter plans against him

Oct 5 (CI) The only series in recent memory when Pakistan negated the threat of Rangana Herath effectively was in 2015 when the Sri Lanka left-arm spinner managed only two wickets in two home Tests, a success which came about after a specific plan against the bowler. In the wake of Pakistan's defeat in Abu Dhabi, however, Azhar Ali admitted that conditions in the UAE and the relative inexperience in the batting line-up were also factors in the shock collapse against Herath, more..

On Sangakkara's final county cricket season: An Englishman's appreciation

Oct 5 (IC) It's almost perverse to begin an appreciation of Kumar Sangakkara with something as prosaic as mere numbers — but, with numbers like these, you just have to. In his final season of first-class cricket, Sangakkara scored 1491 runs in Division One of England's County Championship at a Bradman-busting average of 106.5. Despite missing four matches (he was busy compiling the second-highest aggregate in the Caribbean Premier League), that mountain of runs proved more..

Rajitha hails Basil’s speech: Roadblock to returning occupied land removed

Oct 5 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne announced that a major obstacle to reconciliation had been removed with a nationalist party making a U-turn to support the govt’s return of occupied land in Jaffna. Health Minister said he welcomed former strongman Minister Basil Rajapaksa who leads the new nationalist Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) declaring his full support to end military occupation of privately-owned land. more..

CB Chief to tour Jaffna, Kilinochchi to assess rural level indebtedness

Oct 5 (FT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy will be visiting the Northern Province on 6 and 7 Oct to review the situation of rural level indebtedness with stakeholders in five districts of the province and to discuss the measures and strategies to be taken to overcome the issues as an initial pilot project.  Tomorrow he will meet with Meeting with District Secretaries of five Northern Province districts, Deputy IGP Northern Province, Divisional Secretaries and Planning Directors in Jaffna. more..

Man riding 1,000cc motorcycle gets 1 yr, Rs. 356,000 fine

Oct 5 (DM) A 23-old man had been sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for ten years, and a fine of Rs. 356,000 by Horana Magistrate on Tuesday for riding a motorcycle that had an engine capacity of more than 1000cc, Police said. Magistrate has also ordered the motorcycle, valued more than Rs. 1 million, to be confiscated. The Police arrested the 23-year old man, a resident of Gurugoda in Horana for riding the high capacity motorcycle with a fake number plate. more..

All religions to enjoy equal rights, Buddhism given foremost place: PM

Oct 5 (DM) The PM said that there should be maximum devolution and all religions to enjoy their equal rights, while Buddhism is treated and given the first and foremost place. Delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said there is a consensus among all political parties represented in Parliament, more..

Six reasons why Sri Lanka needs to boost its ailing private sector

Oct 5 (WB) Sri Lanka experienced strong growth at the end of its 26-year conflict. This was to be expected as post-war reconstruction tends to bring new hope and energy to a country. And Sri Lanka has done well— 5% growth is nothing to scoff at.  However, Sri Lanka needs to create an environment that fosters private-sector growth and creates more and better jobs. To that end, the country should address these 6 pressing challenges: For a long time, public-sector has been pouring funds more..

Kusal will come right soon: Hashan

Oct 5 (DN) Batting coach Hashan Tillakaratne said that it was only a matter of time before Kusal Mendis, one of the most exciting young finds for Sri Lanka would start to make the big scores that he is capable of. Mendis in recent innings has had a lean run that in his last eight innings in Tests and ODIs he has failed to pass 50. His last innings of note was the hundred he scored against India in the SSC Test. Mendis was even rested for the fifth ODI against India to allow him to more..

Negombo claims No.1 in Grade 5 Scholarship

Oct 5 (NR) The results of the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination were released last night. Results are available on the official website of the Department of Examinations The principals of schools in the zones of Colombo and Sri J'pura can obtain the results from the School Exams and Results division of the Examination Department today and tomorrow. Other results will be posted to the respective schools. more..

NP Chief Minister rejects steering committee report

Oct 5 (DM) The Tamil People’s Council chaired by NP Chief Minister C.V. Wigneshwaran had issued a press notice informing that they are rejecting the report of the subcommittee of the steering committee appointed for drafting the New Constitution. Press notice states that the proposed New Constitution has been prepared with much alignment towards Sinhala Buddhist opinion, and the government should clearly indicate its position in solving the problems faced by Tamil People more..

Fisheries Minister to crack down on blast fishing

Oct 5 (DN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Police and Navy to strictly enforce the law against fishermen who engage in blast fishing or dynamite fishing. During the advisory committee meeting, Minister instructed relevant authorities to raid and arrest persons engaged in dynamite fishing and transporting and selling those fish. Minister further instructed the security forces to look for the persons selling explosives to the fishermen and arrest them too. more..

Ravi asked state banks to bid at lower interest rates

Oct 5 (Island) Chairmen and senior officials of three major state banks––the Bank of Ceylon, the People’s Bank and the National Savings Bank–– testifying before the presidential commission of inquiry probing the bond scams yesterday said that on two occasions in 2016, the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had instructed them to make bids at the treasury bond auctions at lower interest (yield) rates and their institutions more..

Misuse of State property: Many vehicles not returned

Oct 5 (CT) More than 32 vehicles used by former Chief Ministers and MPs of North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils have not been handed over to the councils yet, Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said yesterday. He stressed that the vehicles are still being used for political activities of former councillors. "Several vehicles belonging to the NCP were seen during a series of meetings in Anuradhapura on 2 October. more..

Army provides relief to Jaffna residents

Oct 5 (MoD) A project to provide relief to people facing water shortages in the Jaffna Peninsula has been mooted by the Sri Lanka Army in Jaffna. According to Army media, the project initiated by the troops of Security Force Headquarters -Jaffna (SFHQ-J) got off the ground last month (26) covering the Navatkuli and Kovilkandi areas. The prevailing dry weather has resulted in people living in several parts of the Peninsula facing drinking water shortages. more..

Great bond bids betrayal?

Oct 5 (FT) Chairmen, CEOs/General Managers and other senior officials of the three state-owned banks yesterday told the PCoI that former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had on two occasions instructed them to bid at lower-than-market yield rates, assuring them that bids at higher rates would not be accepted. However, much to their surprise, CB had accepted bids at significantly higher yield rates from other primary dealers more..

To make the blind to see, the deaf to hear

Oct 5 (DM) Sri Lanka marked World Youth Day on Oct 1 by launching several important long-term programmes, perhaps the most important being the provision of life and health insurance for some 4.5 million children in about 11,000 schools countrywide.  In addition to launching e-classes in green or eco-friendly schools, the Govt from next year will also ensure that all schoolchildren get at least 13 years of education even if they fail the GCE O/L exam or do not get sufficient marks more..

Present Constitution: Is it Federal or not?

Oct 5 (DM) At the moment when proposals for drafting a new Constitution or amending the present Constitution are underway, 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 presently. For such an understanding the observations made by more..

What will come first: Referendum or LG Polls?

Oct 5 (DM) It is still puzzling for many in political circles whether the govt will opt for a referendum on the proposed new Constitution or conduct the elections to the local authorities first. What will come first? That is the question being asked by many in this regard.  Actions of the political parties and remarks of their leaders also cause such confusions in the minds of people. Already, the govt ministers have spelled out in clear-cut terms more..

'Abortion laws should not be looked at by religious lobbyists'

Oct 5 (DN) Human Rights Commission Chairperson Dr. Deepika Udagama advocating on the revision of abortion laws in the country stressed that the public policy on health matters should not allowed to be dictated by religious lobbyists. Dr Udagama said her Commission is in full agreement with the draft changes to the law to permit abortion under strict conditions in the case of rape and if the fetus is malformed. more..

Govt apologises to Rohingya refugees for violent conduct of Sinhale Balamuluwa

Oct 5 (Island) The govt has apologised to the 31 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, whose safe house under United Nations auspices in Mount Lavinia, was attacked by some Buddhist monks belonging to the extremist Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, last week. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Cabinet of Minsters had, on Tuesday, discussed the "disgraceful conduct of a handful of Buddhist monks, more..

Cooking gas duopoly puts housewives, restaurants on the burner

Oct 5 (ST) Homemakers are incensed at the increase in the price of cooking gas and so are the commercial users. A 12.5 kilogram Litro gas cylinder would cost Rs 1,431 in Colombo, up by Rs 110 from this week. The same applies to a Laugfs gas cylinder. The Consumer Affairs Authority, took the decision in favour of the bottom line of dominant liquified petroleum gas suppliers. Households will have to bear more..

Health Minister orders probe into Sachini Sewwandi death

Oct 5 (DN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne called for a complete investigation into the cause of death of the second heart transplant patient. Health Minister said it was not the surgery but a post-operative infection which was the likely cause of death of the patient. The patient, 19-year-old Sachini Sewwandi passed away on Saturday at the Kandy General Hospital. The cause of death was said to be high blood pressure in the lungs. more..

Danushka Gunathilaka suspended for six matches

Oct 5 (CI) SLC has suspended Danushka Gunathilaka for six white-ball matches for misconduct. This is why the opening batsman was omitted from Sri Lanka's squad for the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE. ESPNcricinfo understands Gunathilaka missed a training session, turned up to a match without his gear, and was generally found to have had an indifferent attitude towards training - all during SL's recent home series more..

PM's cronies bankrupting SL: White elephant national carrier pays thumping salaries

Oct 5 (DM) There are 190 employees of the national carrier Srilankan who draw a salary of more than Rupees one million while four top level mangers draw a salary of Rs. four million each, JVP MP and Chairman of COPE, Sunil Handunetti said. He said that the national carrier cannot survive any longer. “COPE at times advices the state enterprises on how they could be turned into profit making ventures but it is unable to more..

JO calls for legal action against treasury bond racketeers

Oct 5 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) urged the govt to take legal action against those responsible for the treasury bond scams on the basis of the evidence given by key witnesses before the PCoI. Former Cabinet Minister MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said there had been enough of evidence before the Commission against those responsible and now it was time to take legal action against them. more..

US begins CARAT 2017 exercise with SL

Oct 5 (NT) US and Sri Lankan maritime forces have commenced the cooperation afloat readiness and training (CARAT) exercise in Trincomalee, which represents the first-ever annual drill event to be conducted between the two nations. CARAT Sri Lanka 2017 forms part of a series of bilateral CARAT exercises that are scheduled to be carried out between the US Navy and the armed forces of Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, more..

Mahela, Sangakkara to assist in SL's revamp

Oct 5 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda de Silva and Anura Tennakoon have been appointed to a 5-member committee to rehabilitate cricket in SL. Brought together by the country's sports ministry, all four former captains have preferred to work away from the spotlight & have until now publicly acknowledged only one area that needs improvement - recent spate of injuries to their players. more..

Transshipment to maritime hub

Oct 5 (CT) Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral donor agency, in a report released recently, said that the Colombo Port was the natural transshipment hub port for the South Asian region. In 2005, container traffic volume at the State-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) controlled Jaya Container Terminal accounted for more than 90% of SLPA's revenues. About 70% of the containers handled in Colombo Port were transshipment containers, of which 75% were more..

Foreign Ministry’s silence in Geneva

Oct 5 (FT) The 36th session of the UNHRC closed just a few days back, on 29 September. At that session, there were allegations of genocide, systematic discrimination, rape and torture in custody, extrajudicial killings and militarisation levelled at Sri Lanka besides a call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid al Hussein, for the second time in two sessions, for Universal Jurisdiction to be exercised. Universal Jurisdiction allows courts of another country to prosecute more..

Works of Parliament Mafia

Hitting on his girlfriend: Student gets help of thugs to punish fellow student

Oct 5 (DM) A student of a leading school in Colombo, studying for his Advanced Level Examination, who with the help of four outsiders beat up a fellow student, were taken into custody by the Narahenpita police on Tuesday. It is believed that the feud had begun as a result of the student who was the victim of the beating trying to be funny with the girlfriend of the student who initiated the attack, police said. After being informed about the unwanted advances of this student, more..

World's biggest book sale kicks off in SL

Oct 5 (Xinhua) The world's biggest book sale, better known as the Big Bad Wolf book sale, got underway Colombo on Thursday with 1.5 million books on sale. Founded by Managing Director Andrew Yap and Executive Director Jacqueline Ng in Malaysia, the sale is aimed at encouraging the reading of English books at reasonable prices. This year's sale, inaugurated in Colombo by Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, will be open 24 hours a day, providing book enthusiasts the opportunity to more..

Wassanakala ushers in the time for sojourn

Oct 5 (DM) This is the rainy season or Wassanakala in this part of the world, where the majority of Buddhists live. Wassanakala, commences some time during the months of July-Aug and ends either in Oct or Nov. Vas, another name for Wassanakala, period or the rainy season sees monks sojourn. Due to torrential and incessant rain, in the valleys near Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Neranjana, places get flooded. more..

4 TN fishermen arrested by SL Navy

Oct 5 (PTI) Four Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy while they were fishing off Neduntheevu on Thursday.  The fishermen from Pudukottai district were arrested for allegedly fishing close to the island nation and taken to Karainagar along with their boat. The naval men also snapped the fishing nets of several other fishermen from this coastal town and Mandapam, while they were fishing near Katchatheevu islet and chased them away. more..

Ten more SOEs to sign corporate plans

Oct 5 (EN) Ten state enterprises will sign statements of corporate intents setting out plans and targets with the Treasury, the state information office said. SL's key SOEs that de-stabilize the economy by running losses including in energy, water, ports and airports have already signed SCI's under a stabilization program implemented with the IMF. The cabinet had approved the inking of 10 more such agreements, which may bring some measure of control on SOEs and their losses. more..

Everything you need to know about Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka

Oct 5 (Roar) Over the last few weeks, there have been several protests against the Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka. Led by extremist elements, the group protesting against the refugees held banners and placards expressing solidarity with Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and demanded the immediate removal of the asylum seekers who are currently in the country. The situation escalated when the group more..

Is city the new landing point for gold smugglers?

Oct 5 (Hindu) Last Sunday, based on inputs from the Air Intelligence wing of the Customs, officials detained a Sri Lankan national at the Green Channel and recovered 18 gold biscuits from him. The biscuits that weighed about 347 gm with a market value of about ₹10.56 lakh were hidden by the rectum and stomach of the passenger, Abdul Razak Mohammed Ziyard. This was the second case that the Customs officials had detected in the last few months at Visakhapatnam airport, more..

Kelaniya Uni. closed until further notice

Oct 5 (AD) The Kelaniya University will be temporarily closed today (05) until further notice. The decision had been made by the University Administration following a clash which occurred between two student groups. Eight students were hospitalized following the clash which took place between the two student groups earlier today. Discussions held between the two groups to resolve the conflict has not been a success, according to University sources. more..