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'Diaspora won’t come until new constitution'

Oct 18 (DN) Diaspora isn’t coming back to the country until such time a new constitution is implemented, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said. He said that they (Diaspora) are waiting for the implementation of the new constitution which is to be introduced shortly. He stressed on the importance of developing the agricultural, fishing and livestock sectors in its progress march towards making Sri Lanka a hub of the region. more..

Azwer lashes out at govt

Oct 18 (CT) "We view with utter dismay the shameful behaviour of the Govt of Sri Lanka to have abstained from voting for the UNESCO resolution condemning the action of Israel in unleashing violence in Al-Quds Jerusalem," General Secretary of Muslim Progressive Front and former Minister Alhaj A.H.M. Azwer said. Issuing a press communiqué he said: "This a terrible blow to the non-aligned policy followed throughout, beginning from the time of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Govt. more..

Students and teachers support estate workers protest

Oct 18 (DN) Students of the Kotagala Pathana Sri Pada School in Hatton, and their teachers, joined a protest by estate workers this morning. A majority of the students at the schools are the offspring of estate workers. The students and teachers joined the estate workers in holding up placard and demanding a wage hike. Estate workers across the island have been engaged in protests for weeks on end. They are asking that Rs. 1, 000 be added to their wage. more..

Phone records wiped off device belonging to soldier who claimed he killed Lasantha

Oct 18 (DN) Police teams have found that records on the phone belonging to the soldier who killed himself last week, after claiming responsibility for the death of Lasantha Wickremetunga, have been wiped out. Police have contracted the help of the mobile phone provider, to track down records of the deleted short message service (sms) and phone conversations the retired soldier had, in the days leading up to his death. more..

Wushu: Foreign coach to train National pool

Oct 18 (CT) At the opening ceremony of the 5th National Wushu Championship held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday, Chief Executive Officer and former President of the Wushu Federation of Sri Lanka Manel Dharmakeerthie said, "With the backing of the Minister of Sports, the Wushu Federation of Sri Lanka will appoint a foreign coach for a six-month period to train the National pool targeting a Silver or a Bronze medal at the forthcoming Asian Games." He further said, more..

‘President left after Karu returned’

Oct 18 (Island) Apropos our front-page news item yesterday CJ in charge, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s Office has said that President Maithripala Sirisena left for India 14 hours after the Speaker had returned from China. Speaker’s Office said that the SL parliamentary delegation that visited China had returned to the BIA on Oct 15 at 5.50 am and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had left for Brussels on Oct 16 at 3.15 am. Therefore Speaker had returned to the country before more..

Video: MR says surprised over President's FCID remark

Oct 18 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he was surprised to note that President Maithripala Sirisena was unaware of the action of the FCID. Addressing a religious ceremony on Sunday, he said the Executive President should be strong enough to run the country properly. “But during the past two years the govt focused only on taking revenge,” he said. He said the govt took revenge not only from him more..

PM calls for innovation, technology and right skills to speed up development

Oct 18 (DM) As Sri Lanka looks to speed up its development pace to become a high income economy by 2030, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the need for innovation, technology, and having technical personnel with the right skills, to achieve the target. In a bid to leapfrog and make up for the lost opportunities, Wickremesinghe asserted that in Sri Lanka’s journey in becoming a high income economy “up-scaling” in all the spheres of technology was imperative. more..

Prisons dump CCTV plan

Oct 18 (CT) Department of Prisons has decided to give up the idea of fixing CCTV cameras within the prisons. Previously, it had been planned to fix CCTV cameras inside the Welikada Remand and Magazine Prisons. Subsequent to quotations being called for fixing of these cameras, it was estimated that fixing of CCTV cameras in prisons will cost a sum of Rs 30 million. Media Spokesman for Prisons said that therefore the decision to fix CCTV cameras within prison premises had been shelved. more..

SLFP denies claim of rift between Prez & PM

Oct 18 (Island) The SLFP denied any rift between President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in an attempt to quell rumours after the President’s public outburst against CID, FCID and CIABOC. SLFP Treasurer and Minister S.B. Dissanayake said a section of MPs including the members of the Joint Opposition was dreaming of forming a govt by next April, but nobody could topple the present regime. more..

SC concludes arguments on VAT Bill

Oct 18 (DN) Supreme Court yesterday concluded arguments put forward in support and against the Bill titled, Value Added Tax (Amendment) through the Special Determination Petitions and all parties in the petition were directed to file written submissions on or before October 19. CS’s determination over the proposed Bill is to be communicated to the Speaker. Supreme Court bench comprised Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Anil Goonaratne and Justice Prasanna Jayawardena. more..

Croc wreaks havoc on cop shop

Oct 18 (Island) Chaos reigned in at Nochchiyagama Police station with panic stricken policemen running helter-skelter after a crocodile entered the station in the wee hours of yesterday. According to police sources the crocodile entered the miscellaneous complaints section around 3.30 am and then proceeded to the Crimes Investigation Branch where it got stuck in a room. Policemen tried their level best to capture the eight-and-a-half-foot long croc, but in vain. more..

IOM to extend assistance to Sri Lanka in training and capacity building

Oct 18 (IL) The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has expressed readiness to further enhance its assistance to Sri Lanka, by providing training and capacity building support for the Ministries of Foreign Employment and Foreign Affairs, and to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE). It was agreed to extend cooperation in areas of countering human trafficking & people smuggling operations, more..

Free dental checkups for Sri Lankan students in Oman

Oct 18 (TOO) More than 3,000 students from the Sri Lankan School, Muscat will receive free dental checkups at a dental awareness camp organised by Al Essa Dental Clinic. Running at the school on the 17th and 18th of October, dentists at the campwill also educate children about the importance of dental hygiene at a young age. Neel Subasinghe, the Principal of the Sri Lankan School, Muscat, told Times of Oman it was compulsory for all children in the school to visit the dentist during more..

Asia Rugby recognition for Malik S.

Oct 18 (CT) Asia Rugby awarded a special award to former Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) President and rugby promoter Malik Samarawickrama for his outstanding contribution for Asian rugby. This is the first time that a Sri Lankan has received such recognition from Asia Rugby. Samarawickrama has served SLRFU as Treasurer, Vice President, President and also one time Sri Lanka National Team Manager. After leaving school he joined the CR & FC. more..

Misfiring Thirimanne gets another lifeline

Oct 18 (CT) National Selectors rested Dimuth Karunaratne and appointed Lahiru Thirimanne as Captain of the Sri Lanka 'A' Team for the third and final 4-day unofficial Test against the West Indies 'A' which will commence at Dambulla today. The three-match series is level 1-1 as Sri Lanka 'A' won the first match in Colombo by seven wickets while the West Indies 'A' won the second game by a massive 333 runs in Pallekele. more..

Sri Lanka-Kashmir Study Forum condemns Indian atrocities

Oct 18 (PO) Colombo—Kashmir Study Forum, Sri Lanka strongly condemned the killings of innocent Kashmiris by the Indian security forces in the Indian occupied Kashmir. The news flowing from the occupied Kashmir is disturbing. Killings of children, women, sick and old are unacceptable. The Indian policy towards Kashmir is condemnable. Humanitarian organisations are not allowed entryu into Kashmir. Amnesty International was refused to enter Kashmir. more..

‘Elements with vested interests trying to misinterpret President’s remarks’

Oct 18 (DN) Certain elements with vested interests were trying to misinterpret President Sirisena’s recent remarks about the role played by certain independent commissions, for petty political gain, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He identified this as an attempt to tarnish the image of President internationally. President had not found fault with the Commissions but had only emphasised the importance of protecting the dignity of war heroes who saved country from clutches of terrorism. more..

Maris Stella, Ratnayake Central win titles

Oct 18 (Island) Hurdlers Yamani Dulanjali of Ambagamuwa Central and Uditha Chandrasena of Maris Stella College, Negombo continued their dominance in schools athletics track as Maris Stella and Ratnayake Central, Walala won the overall boys’ and girls’ titles respectively of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship ended here at Bogambara Stadium on Monday. Chandrasena improved his own record more..

A man with empathy for immigrants

Oct 18 (ST) When Ahilan Arulanantham heard that the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation had named him a recipient of the $625,000 Genius Grant, one of the first things he thought about was how much he would like to spend some of it on supporting human rights work in Sri Lanka. Since the announcement was made in late September, the 43-year-old lawyer’s phone has been ringing off the hook. None of the 23 recipients applied for the grant, and like the others more..

Finding Sponsors a heavier burden than Weightlifting

Oct 18 (ST) With a very much smaller audience where participation is concerned, Weightlifting is a sport unlike Cricket, Rugby or Badminton but, this select community of sportsmen has made great strides in international achievements. However, like many other sports, they lack the support of sponsors, and most find it difficult to develop themselves to meet international standards. Following are views of some of the Weightlifting fraternity. more..

Anti-corruption: A winning slogan, A great betrayal

Oct 18 (FT) President Sirisena, in a recent hard-hitting speech, denounced the decision made by CIABOC, CID and FCID to take former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and three former commanders to court and said that he had not known that there were such cases pending until that morning. However, there had been several instances where the relevant investigations became publicly known. more..

Issues of new constitution making

Oct 18 (Island) This is a collection of essays and articles written and mostly published from time to time covering various issues of constitution making in SL. Focus of all of them is ethnic reconciliation. Timing of this publication is the ongoing efforts in Parliament in consultation with the public and various stakeholders in drafting a new constitution and adopting it in Parliament subsequently endorsed by a referendum, according to constitutional provisions of present Constitution. more..

Bogambara Hell hole

Oct 18 (CT) The awful conditions at the Bogambara Stadium in Kandy made it a living hell for athletes competing in the All-Island School Games 2016, which concluded yesterday. A large part of the track at the Bogambara Stadium does not have grass, and it looked more like a dust track than a grass track. Also, the tracks were in very bad condition with several holes and unevenness throughout the ground, which made life hard for young athletes who were expecting to win an All-Island medal. more..

The Monetary Board’s wake up from slumber while hunting a whistle-blower

Oct 18 (FT) In two press releases issued last week just four days apart, Monetary Board of CB has shown that it is now ready to stand up to its responsibility by the nation. The first press release was issued after many days of a whistle-blower releasing a confidential draft on-site examination report on the controversial primary dealer, Perpetual Treasuries, to the market. Obviously, Board cannot admit in public that more..

Commercial High Court orders winding-up of Orient Garments

Oct 18 (FT) Commercial High Court ordered the compulsory winding-up of Orient Garments Plc following the inability of the company to repay its debts and appointed a provisional liquidator to take over its business. Director cum Shareholder Dr. T. Senthilverl, the petitioner of this case, filed the application to wind up the company on or around 20 Feb 2015 on the basis that other Directors of the company were carrying on business when the company was unable to pay its debts on time. more..

Has President Sirisena caused a constitutional crisis?

Oct 18 (CT) Director-General of Bribery Commission, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, resigned yesterday. Her resignation was a response to President Sirisena’s comments accusing the Commission of politically motivated investigations. In a system where the diverse branches of the political system check and balance each other, it is within the President’s rights to use his bully pulpit to criticize the functioning of independent commissions. However, his failure to offer evidence for more..

Face the Nation

Indigenous farmers cry foul!

Oct 18 (CT) When Sri Lanka gained independence the use of agrochemicals was unheard of. Our farmers used traditional seed varieties, paddy and other vegetable crops and environment-friendly traditional methods for pest and disease control. However, with the growing population, 6,657,339 in 1946 which has risen to 10,582,064 in 1963 and shrinking agricultural lands, these old traditional methods proved insufficient to maintain an adequate supply of food. more..

Perpetual & Problem of unfettered capitalism

Oct 18 (FT) Questions about rampant capitalism are raised not just in Sri Lanka but in all developed financial markets. Hence, calls for a more subdued, socially conscious process reverberate here as well, and these arguments are important. Once we set the rules, the private sector steps in to maximise profit – acting within the neoliberal agenda. That is the system we have created for ourselves, and our private sector is no exception. But, like elsewhere, nexus between the private sector and Govt more..

'Preschools should be administered by NPC'

Oct 18 (CT) Vanni District TNA MP Dr. Sivapragasam Sivamohan commenting on preschools functioning under the Civil Security Force said, "Preschools in the North should fall under the purview of NPC. There are statutory provisions that further prove my argument." However, Dr. Sivamohan went on to say, "We must agree to see the positive side too. The many females who have been recruited by the Civil Security Division more..

Please fasten your seat belts

Oct 18 (ST) Many, many years ago somebody said that the bikini is like a barbed-wire fence; it protects the property without obstructing the view. In more recent days there has been a new addition to female swim wear. It is the burkini – a word coined out of two others – burqa and bikini – which covers everything below the neck. The more I read of the self-gratifying achievements articulated by the head honcho of Sri Lanka’s national airline and his faithful Tonto the more I am reminded of more..

Budget 2017: Achieving its desired goals and targets

Oct 18 (ST) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has announced the objectives and goals of the next budget. He expects to bring down the budget deficit to 4.7% of GDP, increase govt revenues to around 14.2% of GDP and present a development-oriented budget. These sought-after objectives, if achieved, would improve the fiscal situation. They would pave the way for macroeconomic stability. However, achieving them would be no easy task. Achieving these objectives would require vigilance more..

Free stents, cheaper meds: Promise in waiting

Oct 18 (SO) It has taken a long time coming. But the promise to reduce the price of medicinal drugs while ensuring their quality, finally seems to be nearing fulfillment. For nearly six decades Lankan patients have waited patiently for affordable quality drugs dished out on a regular basis and constantly monitored and reviewed by experts in the field. That process towards realizing the elusive dream began when SL Essential Medicines more..

Sri Lanka in US – Tel Aviv – New Delhi Axis?

Oct 18 (CT) On Thursday 13 Oct 2016 Sri Lanka, once a strong defender of brutalised Palestinian rights, abstained from voting on UNESCO resolution which deprecated Israeli violations in and around the al-Haram al-Sharif, Masjid Al Aqsa, compound in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds. This shocking U Turn in the island’s once proud and respected neutral foreign policy, insults the island’s Muslims and around 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide who always stood by more..

Editorial: Motherships of terrorism

Oct 18 (Island) Time was when Indian PM Narendra Modi would go out of his way, adopting as he did some unconventional methods, to mend fences with Pakistan. He even paid his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif a surprise visit in Lahore last Dec. The latter gave the former a warm hug on the tarmac and they powwowed for a couple of hours. That unexpected stopover warmed the cockles of many a heart and some observers claimed that it marked a thaw in relations between two nuclear more..