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Japan to support humanitarian demining

Sep 16 (JE) Govt of Japan has decided to provide a total sum of US$ 1,263,112 (Rs. 190 million) to SKAVITA Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Project (SHARP) and HALO Trust for humanitarian demining in Northern SL. Grant Contract was signed between Mr. Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan and Lt Col (Retd) Sarath Jayawardhene, Programme Manager of SHARP and Ms. Fiona Kilpatrick, Programme Manager of HALO Trust, respectively, on 12th Sept at Emb of Japan. more..

Sri Lanka embrace pink-ball challenge

Sep 16 (CB) Sri Lanka's Test squad is to be announced shortly and when the team's training begins on Tuesday, there will be lot of focus on the pink ball. Sri Lankans will play their first ever day-night Test during their upcoming tour of UAE where the second Test against Pakistan will be a day-night affair. "The last domestic season, we played with the pink ball. It was a wise move by SLC to get us prepared for day-night Test matches. I was only able to play one game because more..

Another anti–SAITM protest next Thursday

Sep 16 (NR) Anti–SAITM People’s Front says it will launch another massive strike against the conduct of the SAITM on the 21st of Sept. The protest marches organised from five different locations reached Lipton Circus this afternoon (15). Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Haritha Aluthge said the strike planned for next Thursday will be the biggest ever organised in the country. Dr Aluthge said whatever solution is reached; more..

Homemade bags to the fore

Sep 16 (ST) With the polythene ban on and some supermarkets insisting on customers to bring their own bags, housewives have foreseen a niche in the market place. G.N. Sumanawathie, a housewife from a village from Saliyawewa has been quick to move into the void created by the absence of the silli silli bags. She together with her husband Nimal Jayatilake has started their own business churning out homemade bags using dense fabric that can withstand weight of kilograms of vegetables more..

Lying to P'ment a grave offence: COPE Chair

Sep 16 (DM) COPE Chairman JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said that lying to Parliament was a grave offence. He expressed these views in response to the evidence given to Bond Commission by Perpetual Treasuries CEO Kasun Palisena that its owner Arjun Aloysius had lied to the COPE. MP said Parliament represented the sovereignty of the people and therefore lying to it was a punishable offense. “These are officers and not politicians to come up with funny stories. more..

Over 200 inmates in Welikada and Bogambara Prisons on hunger strike

Sep 16 (DM) At least 150 remand prisoners, sentenced to death and serving life imprisonment in the Welikada Prison, launched a hunger strike yesterday. This follows close on the heels of a hunger strike launched by around 50 inmates of the Bogambara Prison on Thursday. The Welikada remand prisoners, who had refused to eat since yesterday morning, were demanding to be paroled via a common pardon. more..

Maldivian envoy refutes contentions about growing Islamic radicalisation

Sep 16 (FT) Maldivian Ambassador-designate in SL, Hussain Shareef, has strongly refuted contentions by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells, that the Indian Ocean archipelago is a hotbed of Islamic radicalisation with grave security implications for South Asia, the US, and the international maritime trade route. While admitting that there has been a change in the Islamic culture in the Maldives more..

CB bond sales: Sujeewa ready to explain real situation

Sep 16 (DM) Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said he was prepared to explain to any commission of inquiry how treasury bonds work and about the real situation with regard to the bond auction on February 2015. He said that he had studied about bonds during his tenure as a member of COPE chaired by former Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera and while being a member of COPE chaired by JVP MP Sunil Handunetti. “The bond issue was first probed COPE during the term of previous parliament more..

Referendum looms as Sri Lanka attempts to postpone PC polls

Sep 16 (EN) SL’s independent Election Commission may be compelled to hold three provincial council elections this this year in the likely event of the Supreme Court this week insisting on a referendum on the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution. Legal sources said 3-judge bench was expected to give its ruling this week to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on the constitutionality of the proposed 20th amendment. more..

Accident Prevention Week from Monday

Sep 16 (NR) National Accident Prevention Week is scheduled to commence on Monday. Aim of the initiative being conducted for the second time is to raise awareness of accident prevention among the public. During the week, 18th of Sept has been declared as Road Accident Prevention Day and 19th of Sept is the Workplace Accident Prevention Day. Furthermore, Wednesday will be Domestic Accident Prevention Day, while 21st has been declared as Pre-School Accident prevention Day. more..

Delegation from EIB of China to visit SL

Sep 16 (DM) A delegation from the Export-Import Bank of China will arrive in Sri Lanka next week to assess the financial cooperation earmarked for the coming year, it is learnt. The delegation will include the Deputy General Manager of the Concessional Loan Department of the bank, Li Dan. The bank has earlier granted loans for major infrastructure projects such as the Hambantota Port, Norochcholai Coal Power Plant and Mattala Int'l Airport. Govt of Sri Lanka will be keen to discuss more..

Failing to act on Ravi K’s money laundering case: Writ against AG for corruption taken up

Sep 16 (CT) The Writ Application initiated against the Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya by the rights activist Nagananda Kodituwakku, for his failure to charge Ravi Karunanayake, the former Finance Minister was taken up yesterday for support before the President of the Court of Appeal Justice L T B Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne. Originally Ravi Karunanayake had been charged on an indictment for more..

MPs’ Code of Conduct, amendments to Standing Orders debates next month

Sep 16 (ST) The Code of Conduct (CoC) for MPs and amendments to Standing Orders (SO) will be taken up for debate in Parliament in the first week of October. If adopted, these would see radical changes in making the Parliamentary process more transparent and accountable, as well as contribute towards increased participation by MPs across the divide, in the Law-making process. The final drafts of the CoC and amendments to the SOs were tabled in Parliament in June, more..

Regulator blows hot and cold on polythene bag standards

Sep 16 (ST) The environmental regulator has rejected an alternative bag introduced by supermarkets, which they claim is bio-degradable. Central Environment Authority has said it will not accept the product, which looks like the controversial polythene bags but is of a different texture. But it had not proposed a better solution. Meanwhile, small traders, eateries, and takeaway outlets continue to use the banned products, saying they have no viable alternatives for lunch sheets. more..

හිටපු විගණකාධිපති සරත් මායාදුන්නේ

Prepared to take on SLC reins: Arjuna

Sep 16 (NR) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga says he is prepared to take on the role of bearing the future of cricket in Sri Lanka. Speaking at a religious event in Kandy Minister said the Mahanayaka theras themselves have requested that he take up the reigns of the cricket administration. He said the Mahanayaka have also asked him to take on the responsibility adding however if the responsibility is vested with him he would gladly accept and within a short time fix issues surrounding more..

Poverty and Stability

Sep 16 (CT) Yesterday, this newspaper, in an article, quoting Samurdhi Minister S.B. Dissanayake, said that Samurdhi, i.e. the Govt's dole to the poor, has 1.4 million Samurdhi beneficiaries under its roll. He however said that they are currently processing 2.5 million Samurdhi applications in a move to update the new Samurdhi beneficiary listing. Several of those 2.5 million applications for Samurdhi benefits which may also include existing beneficiaries, may be spurious. more..

Palisena says he did not know about deleting phone records

Sep 16 (DM) PTL CEO Kasun Palisena said that he was unaware about any deletion of phone conversations from the recording system and he did not know about the crash of the main computer attached to the system, contrary to what PTL Chief dealer Nuwan Salgado and its IT head Sachit Devathantri testified before the PCoI earlier. Earlier, Nuwan Salgaodo revealed that he was asked to delete phone conversations by more..

CEB strike a failure, says Ministry; TU rejects claims

Sep 16 (DM) Despite CEB employees launching a work stoppage from Wednesday the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry said it was able to maintain regular supply of electricity without any major disruption. Ministry spokesman Pathum Pasqual said according to reports, 100% efficiency had been reported in power generation and transmission while the distribution remained at 65% even though few more..

Several UNP stalwarts will desert govt: JO

Sep 16 (NR) The Joint Opposition yesterday announced that several UNP stalwarts will desert the govt, and join them in the opposition in the near future. Kalutara District UPFA MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena stressed that he is confident that no one from the JO will crossover to the govt. He said there’s a story which says rats escape a ship about to sink adding this govt can be likened to a sinking ship. more..

'JVP is for selected foreign investments'

Sep 16 (DM) JVP does not totally denounce foreign investments but welcome investments in selected areas, its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He made these comments at a seminar organized by We are Sri Lankans Circle. “Our party does not denounce foreign investors but welcome them to invest in selected areas. There are valuable natural resources in Pulmudai and SL only produces five kinds of more..

Aloysius’s silence may come to haunt him

Sep 16 (NS) In light of owner of primary bidder Perpetual Treasuries Private Limited, Arjun Aloysius who is involved in the Treasury bonds scam at the CB, refusing to testify before the fact finding Presidential Commission, legal experts opined that there was a possibility that Aloysius’s silence could come back to haunt him in any process that could arise in the future, especially in the event he is indicted in a High Court case more..

Four new species of Devario discovered

Sep 16 (ST) It is a fishy tale, much to do with stripes, both vertical and horizontal, leading to two species expanding to six. Peering at slow-flowing streams, followed up by morpho-metric analysis, the threesome of Sudesh Batuwita, Madura De Silva and Sampath Udugampala of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Galle (WCSG), have discovered that Sri Lanka is home to four new species of Devario, rather than just two. more..

Pilots seek help of RTI commission to get info about airline transactions

Sep 16 (Island) Airline Pilots’ Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) has appealed to the right to information commission against an alleged decision by SriLankan airlines limited to withhold information on several controversial transactions and dealings within the airline. The ALPGSL handed over its Appeal to the Right to Information Commission at Colombo 07 on Sept. 15 against the decision of the Designated Officer of SriLankan Airlines. more..

'Had there been no other option, Lalith could have quit over move to distribute sil redi'

Sep 16 (Island) Former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne has said that the proposed National Audit Bill (NAB) could come to the rescue of top public officials under political pressure to carry out directives contrary to existing financial rules and regulations. They could turn down such directives such as the utilization of TRC funds to provide sil redi in the run up to the January 2015 presidential polls, Mayadunne said. more..

Clash of the Commanders

Sep 16 (DM) The recent spat - if one may call it that - between two former commanders of the SL Army has caused quite a furore. Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka and Lieutenant-General Jagath Jayasuriya have engaged in a heated exchange over issues of command and control responsibility, as well as alleged war crimes. Sarath Fonseka served as Army Commander from Dec 6, 2005 to July 15, 2009. more..

Assessment: Gotabhaya enters politics

Sep 16 (DM) Bemoan the non-availability of fresh material in the upper tiers of politics to replace the decrepit. For survival, the decayed leadership is ready to reach alliance with a devilish opponent. Unsuitable descendants await, both kinsmen and sycophants, located craftily in the wings of the second tier. Among this wild bunch, TNA’s honest Sampanthan stands like a beacon, living under trying circumstances under his more..

SLFP’s Future: In game of thrones, game changes radically

Sep 16 (DM) When the British uncovered Soviet spies in the Establishment, they often looked the other way because imprisonment would send shock waves throughout the system and disturb social stability and consensus. British knew how to manage these things. Lankans do not. Lalith Weeratunga was the last serving member of a distinguished tribe of gentlemanly civil servants, the survivors of which are Godfrey Gunatilleke, Neville Jayaweera, Tissa Devendra, Bradman more..

Narendra Modi: From child marriage to PM

Sep 16 (DM) Indian PM Narendra Modi’s 67th birthday falls on Sept 17. While wishing the Indian PM the very best and wishing many more productive years to come; it is as good a time as any to reflect on his meteoric rise to power and the changing face of India under his leadership. Starting life as the son of a poor tea seller in Gujarat, Mr Modi retains strong ties to the politics of the Hindu nationalist right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to which he was introduced when just eight-years-old. more..

Perpetual CEO admits Aloysius lied to COPE

Sep 16 (Island) Testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, CEO of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd, Kasun Palisena, admitted under cross examination of Commission member, SC Justice Prasanna Jayawardena that the owner of PTL, Arjun Aloysius, had lied to the COPE. Palisena paused before giving the answer and Commission Chairman SC Justice K.T. Chithrasiri made special mention about it. more..

Sri Lanka gets optimistic on apparel

Sep 16 (FT) Sri Lanka is not hiding its optimism for its apparel industry in the post-GSP+ era – especially with a further $ 400 m revenue from exports now in the pipeline for apparel. “We have received GSP Plus and apparel exports are projected to increase,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, addressing the launch event of the 9th Colombo International Yarn & Fabric Show 2017 – Fall Edition along with its concurrent exhibitions Int'l Home Textile Sri Lanka Expo 2017 more..

Northern bogus employment racket

Sep 16 (NS) Victims of bogus employment related defrauding residing in Northern Province will be filing a petition including against a prominent politician of the area with CIABOC within two weeks. Association for Friendship and Love (AFRIEL), Vavuniya based youth org with a network of volunteers, said 7-8 victims who had been promised employment opportunities and had been subsequently defrauded of their monies and not provided with jobs, would be lodging the complaint. more..

Power ministry stands firm

Sep 16 (DN) A defiant Power and Energy Ministry has asked all employees who retired after Sept 1, 2014 to report to work as the CEB trade unions decided to continue their strike for the fourth consecutive day. Ministry on Thursday night had warned casual employees and those on probation, that if they did not report to work yesterday (15), the Ministry would consider them to have vacated their posts. more..

Four-year-old girl, heart patient die during power cut

Sep 16 (DN) A four-year-old girl has fallen victim to the power cuts experienced in many parts of the country as a result of the strike launched by CEB employees. The girl was given the wrong cough medicine in the dark. On Thursday night, the family experienced a power cut in their home in Kattaparichchan in Sampur. The victim, Sivanetthin Parsin was suffering from a cold at the time and her mother, in the dark found a bottle thought to be paracetamol to give to her child. more..

Court of Appeal bench declines to hear Khuram murder appeal

Sep 16 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday referred the appeal filed by the former Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha, SLFPer, Sampath Vidana Pathirana and three others to the President of the Court of Appeal to be re-listed before another bench. Former Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and the others were convicted by the High Court for the murder of British National Khuram Shaikh and his Russian girlfriend Victoria at a hotel in Tangalle on Dec 25, 2011. more..

Tourists were not warned about crocodile attacks, residents claim

Sep 16 (TT) The SL authorities were last night struggling to contain the damaging fallout from the death of a British journalist killed in a crocodile attack. Officials have ordered police to erect warning signs in the area where Paul McClean, 24, a reporter on the FT, was attacked as he washed himself in the mouth of a river, near the beach where he was learning to surf. Panama beach, 300 km southeast of Colombo, is famous for surfing more..

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