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Integrated govt mechanism is vital: Defence Secretary

SSep 12 (MoD) Public Administration, Planning Services, Accounting Service, Tri-Forces, Police, Prisons Customs etc. should be integrated into a unique govt mechanism system while eliminating corruption in the system, Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said. While emphasising on creating a clear govt administrative mechanism he said people’s expectations must be achieved efficiently and more..

Only three extremist organisations were named to former President

Sep 12 (DM) Although the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) and the State Intelligence Service (SIS) submitted details on six Islamic extremist groups which operated within the country to be banned, former CNI Sisira Mendis and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando had only sent a list of three groups to former President Maithripala Sirisena after the Easter Sunday blasts, it was yesterday informed at the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday attacks, yesterday. more..

Guilty plea without client’s knowledge: CA orders discharge of accused

Sep 12 (DN) Court of Appeal has set aside an order made by Homagama High Court and Kesbewa Magistrate’s Court over a motor accident following a situation where an Attorney-at-Law who had appeared for the accused had pleaded guilty without the instructions of his client. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal two-judge-Bench comprising Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Devika Abayratne ordered the discharge of the accused from charges levelled against him. Kitnan Rajendran of Hatton more..

Bear and elephant attacks strike terror in North’s mighty jungles

Sep 12 (ST) Residents of Mannar are aggrieved at being left out of a recent meeting on wildlife issues at the Presidential Secretariat even though they in particular, and others in the Northern Province, which has the country’s greatest jungle cover, suffer the most from wild animal attacks. Elephants, bears, leopards and serpents cause the most injuries and, as villagers ward off attacks, the animals too suffer: last year saw more..

SL’s COVID-19 tally rises to 3,173

Sep 12 (AD) The total number of positive cases confirmed in the country reached 3,173 as four new COVID-19 patients were detected today. The latest cases include 1 arrival from the UAE and 3 from Qatar. In the meantime, the number of recoveries from the disease in Sri Lanka moved up to 2,983 as 14 more persons infected with the virus were discharged from hospitals earlier today. The Epidemiology Unit says that 178 active cases are currently under medical care. more..

Slight decline in Human-Elephant Conflict

Sep 12 (DM) There is a slight decline of incidents in the Human-Elephant Conflicts (HEC) this year (2020) when compared to the previous year (2019),senior official of the Wildlife Conservation Dept said. He said that people being confined to their homes due to lockdown regulations following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, had caused a decline of the HEC. 59 people were killed by August this year while 85 people were killed in the corresponding period last year (2019). more..

Driver who killed three in trishaw pileup had taken heroin

SSep 12 (ST) The driver responsible for the deaths of three people including a top CB official this week had heroin in his blood, investigators found, as police reported increasing drug use by drivers. Blood tests show 28-year-old Gayan Sankalpa Karunaratne had used heroin within six days of Wednsday’s accident in Mattakkuliya. He also lacked a driver’s licence. Carrying eggs in his lorry on a run from Modara to Wattala more..

If it's 7 days of quarantine, we can proceed with Sri Lanka tour: BCB chief

Sep 12 (CB) Bangladesh Cricket Board, on Saturday, said that SLC had informed them of a seven-day quarantine ahead of their upcoming 3-match Test series against in SL. Earlier, Cricbuzz had reported that the future of the tour was in danger after the health and security agencies of SL suggested a 14-day quarantine for the visitors. However, according to BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury, now the host board has conveyed that 7-day quarantine would be stuck to. more..

Govt to restart oil and gas exploration

Sep 12 (AD) The Govt has taken a policy decision to recommence oil and gas exploration, minister Udaya Gammanpila stated. “Govt has taken a policy decision to restart oil and gas exploration. This had been abandoned for many years. Accordingly, a policy on natural gas has been formulated. It is an essential factor in attracting investors. At this week cabinet’s meeting, it was decided to appoint Mr. Surath Ovitigama, as the Director-General of Petroleum Resources Dev. Secretariat more..

Airport reopening pushed back indefinitely

SSep 12 (FT) The Govt has pushed back the re-opening of the BIA for incoming leisure and business travellers indefinitely. Previously, the authorities expected to reopen the BIA in mid-August, but due to the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases within the country in July, it was pushed back further to September. “No final timeline or decision has been taken by the Govt on the reopening of the airport. We can only resume operations when more..

Lankan name smarts as pepper traders cheat importers

Sep 12 (ST) Claims from overseas that SL pepper is substandard are bedevilling the Govt’s election pledge to obtain a fair price on world markets for local cultivators. Talks are underway to convince importing countries to continue buying black pepper from Sri Lanka at the agreed price of Rs. 450 a kilogram. Along with that, traders are being prevented from mixing substandard pepper with SL pepper for the export market, the Ministry of Trade’s Commerce Dept’s Acting Director-General, more..

Sri Lanka welcomes and protects FDIs: State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya

Sep 12 (FT) Chinese Embassy in SL Chargé d’ Affaires Hu Wei invited State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, together with a big team of senior diplomats from Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry for a field visit to the Lotus Tower and the Colombo Port City on 8 September. After a breath-taking bird-view of grand Colombo area and all the mega projects from the 356-meter high Lotus Tower, which is the highest in South Asia, the delegation headed towards the Colombo Port City, more..

More than 8,600 complaints of election law violations during August 5 polls campaign

Sep 12 (ST) Misuse of state resources and improper conduct of state employees were the main complaints of election law violations received by the Election Commission. Among the total number of 8, 683 complaints received by the Commission, at least 1,500 complaints are related to the misuse of state resources, in addition to other complaints over improper conduct by state employees while on duty and misuse of state development projects more..

Bakeer Markar makes appeal to repatriate unemployed migrant workers

Sep 12 (EN) MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar is proposing that the govt prioritize the return of more than 50,000 SL migrant workers who are without work and facing a daily struggle to live in foreign lands. In his first speech in this Parliament made yesterday, he said that Parliament, without dividing themselves along party lines, should appeal to the govt to take action in this regard. He read out parts of a letter sent by a migrant worker who claims to be very sick, which appealed for help. more..

Govt., Opp. MPs agree to reduce use of paper, e-waste in Parliament

Sep 12 (FT) Govt and Opposition members agreed in Parliament to reduce the large quantity of printed material and Compact Discs (CDs) given to MPs and instead use electronic forms of documents so in order to be more environmentally friendly. A proposal to this effect was made by SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana, who said that various documents including annual reports and performance reports of ministries and statutory bodies were provided to the MPs on CDs while large files of books and more..

Video: Kanjipani Imran taken to Navy Hospital amidst hunger strike

SSep 12 (AD) Notorious drug kingpin and underworld ring leader Mohommad Najim Imran alias Kanjipani Imran, who was engaging in a hunger strike along with several other inmates of the Boossa Prison, was transferred to the Navy Hospital in Boossa. He was subsequently transported back to the Boossa Prison following several medical tests including an electrocardiogram (ECG) on Friday (12). more..

46-year-old arrested with over 75g of heroin

Sep 12 (AD) A person has been arrested in Puttalam early this morning while in possession of 75g of heroin. According to reports, the heroin haul is estimated to be worth nearly Rs. 1.5 million. The police said Rs. 262,150 in cash, suspected to have earned from drug dealing, was seized during the raid carried out at around 7.30pm last night. The arrest was made acting on the information received by the officers of Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) attached to the Puttalam branch. more..

Another minor tremor in Kandy

Sep 12 (NR) Another minor tremor, 1.79 on the Richter scale has been reported in Digana and Teldeniya areas in Kandy. Senior Director of NBRO Udaya De Silva said the tremor was reported at around 8.30 last night. He confirmed that the tremor was not a result of an earthquake, as no earthquake was recorded in the area at the time. This is the third occasion that tremors were reported in Kandy. Several teams were appointed previously to investigate the frequent tremors reported in more..

Boossa prison hunger strike: Rights group urges govt to address legitimate grievances

SSep 12 (CT) Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners urged the relevant authorities, including the Govt and the Prisons Dept, to heed to the grievances aired by a group of prisoners detained at the Boossa Prison, who are currently engaged in a hunger strike. A group of around 40 prisoners is currently on a hunger strike over several unaddressed concerns, one of which concerns the monthly allowance afforded more..

Young Lankan Housemaid allegedly tortured to death in Kuwait

Sep 12 (EN) The body of a 31-year old Sri Lankan maid who has allegedly been tortured to death is to be repatriated to Sri Lanka. The young woman died in the early hours of Thursday morning at the Amiri Hospital in Kuwait, these officials said. The local Security Officials in Kuwait are investigating as the housemaid was brought to the hospital in critical condition with traces of burns, cuts and wounds on her body. She was admitted to Intensive Care but did not survive. more..

UNP makes breakthrough, new leader likely by next week

Sep 12 (DM) The UNP is likely to announce a new leader by mid next week after senior members and the key contenders to the leadership post held successful meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a senior member said. "We have held successful meetings and moved steps forward. We are now reaching towards an amicable compromise, which is being seen after a long time," senior source said. Discussions held over the week have also revolved around a complete transformation more..

Sajith says he objected to MCC in UNP Cabinet and he is still opposed to it

Sep 12 (Island) State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Parliament that the govt had not yet discussed with MCC on revising its clauses based on the recommendations made by a review Committee. Responding to a question raised by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on the proposed agreement with the MCC, Minister Cabraal said the govt had been able to identify all adverse clauses of the agreement through more..

Forex reserves rise to US$7.4bn in Aug 2020

Sep 12 (EN) Forex reserves had risen to US$ 7,440.5 million in Aug 2020 from US$ 7,095.8 million in Sept 2020, with the central bank buying a net buyer of dollars in forex markets amid negative private credit, data showed. In August the central bank bought US$ 121 million to stop the appreciation of the rupee amid weak private credit in the earlier month, and sold 28 dollars to defend a soft-peg around 185 to the US dollar. In July the central bank bought US$ 162.5 mil from more..

Video: COVID-19 recoveries climb to 2,983

Sep 12 (AD) Fourteen more patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 have been discharged from hospitals today upon making complete recoveries. The daily situation report said that 7 patients at IDH, 2 at the Welikanda Base Hospital and 5 at the Iranawila Hospital had returned to health. This brings the total number of COVID-19 recoveries in the country to 2,983. The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Sri Lanka thus far meanwhile stands at 3,169. more..

Country’s excellent healthcare service helped contain COVID–19 pandemic: PM

Sep 12 (DN) SL’s excellent healthcare service and the healthcare workers were the main reason behind the country’s success against the deadly COVID – 19 pandemic, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said. PM was speaking at the capping ceremony of 298 newly recruited nurses to the State health sector who passed from the Colombo Nursing School. Addressing the gathering at the event held at Temple Trees, more..

USD 3.76mn contracts for empty LPG cylinders

Sep 12 (Island) Minister Udaya Gammanpila said that contract for the supply of four types of empty metal cylinder containers to the Litro Gas Lanka had been awarded in keeping with guidelines issued by the Department of Public Finance. He said that PM proposed the awarding of the contracts to the cabinet on the recommendation of the Cabinet-appointed Standing Procurement Committee. Having explained the decision making process, lawmaker emphasized that it was not a more..

Govt bodies told to advertise in State media to cover losses

Sep 12 (DM) The govt has decided to make it mandatory for govt and semi govt institutions to allocate 25% of their advertising budgets to State-run media institutions so that that govt doesn’t have to allocate moneys from the national budget to support these media establishments. A proposal in this regard by the Minister of Mass Media has been approved by the Cabinet. Accordingly, the beneficiaries of this proposal include Rupavahini Corporation, SLBC, ITN and ANCL. more..

රේගුව හොර ගුහාවක් උනේ කොහොමද?

Our data is my new fuel!

Sep 12 (FT) At times some of us may be feeling quite nostalgic about the curfew times! You wake up late with the assurance that the next meeting or the lecture, which may be just five minutes away yet you are quite confident that you can make it. Even if that means sitting on atop the toilet seat! Seamless working and multitasking had been really facilitated by technology and the technology was available when the humans had to be locked inside this time. That was the power of more..

Economic terrorism by COVID-19

Sep 12 (FT) Whilst the world is challenged with the COVID-19 virus attacking over 26 million people with 0.8 million deaths, we see the real impact of from the pandemic is emerging only now. None of us are sure on the originator of the virus but it can be branded economic terrorism by COVID-19. India announced that the economy has contracted -23.9% with unemployment hitting 24% in Rajantan and 20% in Delhi, which means millions of people have lost their sources of income. more..

'Ten opposition MPs to support 20th amendment'

Sep 12 (CT) Ten Opposition MPs have expressed willingness to support the proposed draft of the 20th Amendment, a top Cabinet Minister said. The group had affirmed that they were ready to back the Govt in two ways, he added. He averred that some of the Opposition MPs would cross over to Govt ranks when the vote will be taken Minister noted that a sizeable lot from the Opposition would still continue to back the Govt with regard to democratic more..

Parliament pays tribute to late Minister Arumugam Thondaman

Sep 12 (FT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday led Parliament in paying tribute to late Minister Arumugam Thondaman during a Condolence Vote in the House. Opening the Condolence Vote on late Thondaman in Parliament, PM said the former CWC Leader was a man who stood against separatism and dedicated his life to uplifting the estate sector Tamils. “He (Thondaman) met me hours before his death, and what he discussed with me were the issues pertaining to estate sector Tamils.” more..

77 kilos of nitric acid used in manufacture of explosives found in Atulugama

Sep 12 (DM) 77 kg of nitric acid which is used in the manufacture of explosives were seized from Atulugama and a probe has been launched by the police into the incident, police said. Two suspects aged 48 and 54 years were arrested in connection with the incident and the suspects had made contradictory statements to the police. “Nitric acid was stored illegally in 3 plastic containers without a govt issued license and we will look into whether this was to be used for any illegal purposes” more..

SJB slams govt for removing checks on corruption via 20A

Sep 12 (FT) SJB severely criticised the Govt, claiming it was attempting to weaken measures in place to reduce corruption by removing the National Procurement Commission and curtail the powers of the Auditor General through the 20th Amendment (20A). SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the proposed 20A will do away with the Procurement Commission, which was introduced under the 19th Amendment to update more..

Yahapalana Anti-Corruption Committee wasted over Rs.33 mn

Sep 12 (DN) Anti-Corruption Committee, which was set up with the approval of Cabinet of Yahapalana Govt to look into corruption, has wasted Rs.33,714,807.59 million of govt money by committing large scale corruption for 29 months. This was revealed before the PCoI. Anti-Corruption Committee which was set up by former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Jan 21, 2015 has paid Rs. 22, 714, 079.27 million to 44 officers who worked for the committee from Feb 2015 to June 2017. more..

Zacky’s death: Family sets the record straight

Sep 12 (Island) Family members of The Island Deputy Editor Zacky Jabbar, who died recently, say they have no suspicions whatsoever of his untimely death. Zacky’s elder brother, Salman Jabbar, told The Island that baseless claims were being made in some quarters about Zacky’s death, and they had caused intense pain of mind to him and other grieving family members. Salman and his sister Feroza found Zacky’s body on 9 Sept & informed the police, who conducted thorough investigation. more..