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Video: Gnanasara Thero sentenced 6 years of rigorous imprisonment

Aug 8 (AD) Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero has been convicted of four Contempt of Court charges and sentenced by the Appeal Court to 19 years of rigorous imprisonment, to be completed within 6 years. The verdict was delivered by the President of Court of Appeal, Justice Preethi Surasena and Justice Shiran Gunaratne. According to the judges, Gnanasara Thero has been convicted of 4 charges more..

Parliament Mafia: Monitoring MPs cabinet paper to be resubmitted

Aug 8 (NR) The govt has denied media reports that the Cabinet Paper tabled over providing facilities to Monitoring MPs part of the Gamperaliya programme, has been rejected. Minister of Rajitha Senaratne speaking during the weekly Cabinet media briefing this morning said the Cabinet paper was merely postponed to be taken up for consideration next week. Cabinet paper was tabled calling for monitoring MPs to be granted more..

Govt tapping phones of selected individuals?

Aug 8 (NR) The JO charges the govt of tapping the phones of selected individuals. MP Dullas Alahapperuma said such actions are unconstitutional. MP stressed the govt banned transitions at the TNL Polgahawela tower adding the conflict is at its peak. He noted even though the govt speak of democracy, democracy does not exist. MP also claimed that a snap Presidential Election can be called on the 9th of January 2019. more..

NCRS & SLSI to decide on helmet standards

Aug 8 (CT) In the wake of the increasing number of motorcycle accidents and motorcyclists being injured, it has been noted that many of them suffer serious head injuries due to low quality helmets. It is in this backdrop that The National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) yesterday (7) said it would discuss the criteria for child helmets with the Sri Lanka Standard Institute (SLSI) as early as possible. Meanwhile, Ceylon Motorcyclists Association more..

How come Rs10 Billion loan granted to People’s Bank Director’s Company?

Aug 8 (CT) The former Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake, questioned the People’s Bank’s policy on granting a Rs10 billion loan to the Bank’s Director, Jehan Amaratunga, for a company where he was Executive Vice President. He added that there was a Minister who was also behind the lending of this loan. “About Rs 10 billion from the People’s Bank has been given to one of the companies of one of the directors. more..

CB Governor says bank deposit and lending rates now need to come down

Aug 8 (LBO) CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy expressed concern on the current deposit and lending rates of the banks. He said it is a matter of some concern because the deposit and lending rates are as rigid as they were in the past. “In fact at the monthly meeting with bank CEOs, we did express this concern to them; we do think that bank deposit and lending rates now need to come down,” he said. more..

Delayed municipal polls hit Sri Lanka construction, cement industry

Aug 8 (EN) Delayed elections in local govt bodies, had had a cascading effect on the construction industry in 2017, compounding the effects of a drought and currency depreciation. The govt and agencies are the single biggest purchaser of construction services ranging from national level projects to a large number of small rehabilitation and building projects across the island, Tokyo Cement said. more..

CTU decries wasteful spending by Education Ministry

Aug 8 (Island) The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) has lambasted an Education Ministry decision to allocate Rs. 113 million for making the public aware of the govt decree to make 13 years of education mandatory for all children. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin said that the govt was already carrying this initiative out as a pilot project in around 50 schools and that a large number of workshops and discussions more..

Tamil youth gangs sow fear in northern region

Aug 8 (ST) On Monday, the Grama Niladhari of Vannarpannai east division J/100 was in his office for the usual weekly meeting with residents of the area when eight men armed with sharp weapons barged into his office. The official was threatened at sword point, while his laptop, mobile and other office resources were smashed by the gang that came on motorbikes bearing false licence plates. more..

'JO should announce its presidential candidate now'

Aug 8 (DM) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, a leading Buddhist monk associated with the nationalist movement, shares his views on the current political developments in the country. Q: You are a leading member of the Buddhist clergy who voiced against the govt right from its formation. How do you see the current status of politics? A: We are not content with the political situation. I am not referring to the govt’s politics only. more..

How Judiciary can improve SL economy

Aug 8 (DM) Sri Lanka had an opportunity to become the best place for an International Arbitration Centre in the region, where commercial disputes between Companies or individuals in different States are resolved effectively by providing a reliable legal platform as an alternative disputes resolution. We could have easily capitalised our geographical location to setup an Independent Arbitration Centre meeting international standards. It could have attracted local and foreign investors, more..

NPC and its duties towards people

Aug 8 (DM) Sunday Times had carried an interesting news item about a record set by the Northern Provincial Council (NPC). The story said that the NPC had adopted 415 different resolutions during its five-year tenure that would end in two months, in October. The story further says that this works out to nearly seven resolutions a day on which sittings were held. It is obvious that no other Provincial Council in the country has been so active in passing resolutions as the NPC has been. more..

Bankrupting SL: Old warship, relocation of camps, etc. to cost Rs. 27 bn more

Aug 8 (Island) The govt yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate of more than 27 billion rupees for the approval of parliament to cover its expenses exceeding the budgetary allocation. The total amount of the estimate was Rs 27,176,528,965 and of that amount Rs 15,594,213,000 has been to cover the recurrent expenses the govt incurred in addition to its budgetary allocations. more..

Deaths at Wadduwa Facebook party: Minister accused of protecting organisers

Aug 8 (Island) The NFF alleged that a minister had intervened in the ongoing investigations into deaths of four persons after attending a Facebook party at a hotel in the Wadduwa area on Saturday night.NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera said that law enforcement authorities had been prevented from arresting those organizsers. The lawmaker said that a thorough inquiry was required to ascertain how the police allowed the organizers to provide a range of narcotics to the participants. more..

Massive amounts of narcotics in custody to be destroyed

Aug 8 (Island) Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara on Monday said that a foolproof and efficient mechanism was urgently required to destroy massive amounts of narcotics kept in the custody of the Govt Analyst’s Department. Minister said that he would brief the cabinet of ministers regarding the need to change the current system of keeping large stocks especially against the backdrop of accusations that stocks in custody were secretly removed. more..

Prez rejects perks for MPs monitoring Gam Peraliya

Aug 8 (DM) Prez Sirisena is reported to have turned down a Cabinet paper submitted by PM Wickremesinghe seeking office and staff facilities for MPs assigned to oversee the implementation of govt’s Gam Peraliya programme. The recommendation has been made by a committee comprising officials including the Secretary to the PM and the Finance Ministry. The PM submitted the Cabinet paper on behalf of the committee. more..

PM launches Rs. 50 million sports fund to help athletes

Aug 8 (DN) A special Sports Fund was launched by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe with an initial allocation of Rs. 50 million in association with the National Olympic Committee of SL at Temple Trees yesterday. It will target high-performance athletes who have a realistic chance of winning medals at international sporting events for the country. Speaking on the occasion the PM said that the Govt and private sector should give a helping hand to develop sports in Sri Lanka. more..

189 young entrepreneurs to get Enterprise Sri Lanka loans

Aug 8 (FT) The Thurunudiriya loan scheme was launched by the Bank of Ceylon with the assistance of the Policy Development Office of the PM’s Office with the objective of empowering young entrepreneurs. At a progress review meeting for the Central Province, which was held on 3 August at the Kandy District Secretariat in the presence of Kandy District Secretary H.M.P. Hitisekara, it was revealed that 189 young entrepreneurs who are qualified to receive this loan were identified. more..

Decision on Opposition leader this week

Aug 8 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament yesterday that the final decision on the Opposition leader position would be given before Friday after his decision was discussed and agreed during the party leaders meeting held last afternoon. Before reaching the agreement at the party leaders meeting, the UPFA JO lawmakers were highly critical of both the Govt and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya for not removing TNA leader more..

Fuel prices might drop after Friday: Ministry

Aug 8 (DM) The scheduled fuel price revision every two months would come to effect on Friday (10) where there might be a drop in fuel prices, the Finance Ministry said. Fuel prices are determined every two months according to the pricing formula introduced on July 10 but it had not affected kerosene prices. Ministry’s Information Director M. Ali Hassan said when compared with the July international crude oil prices, they had dropped this month. more..

'Countrywide bus strike from Sunday night'

Aug 8 (DM) A countrywide bus strike will be launched from Sunday midnight as a protest against the tender procedure for route permits, the All Ceylon Private Bus Association (ACPBA) said yesterday. ACPBA Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Western Province-Road Passenger Transport Authority (RPTA) were trying to carry out a tender for route permits whereas currently only selected route permits were issued on tenders. more..

Two reparations bill clauses inconsistent: SC

Aug 8 (Island) The Supreme Court had determined that two clauses of the Office for Reparations Bill were inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament. The Speaker, making an announcement at the commencement of the sittings, said that the SC in its determination, sent to Parliament after concluding the hearing of two petitions challenging the Bill, had stated that Clause 27(a) and 27 (a) iii, more..

Vice Minister of Communist Party of China visits Pathfinder Foundation

Aug 8 (FT) Communist Party of China (CPC) Vice Minister (International Department) Guo Yezhou who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka visited Pathfinder Foundation (PF) on Friday, 3 August. He was welcomed by Pathfinder Foundation Founder Milinda Moragoda and senior members of the Foundation. During the hour-long meeting, both sides discussed how best to strengthen and further develop relations between the two countries as well as institutions in both countries more..

U-19 SL v India: Sri Lanka rest four players for A/L exams and lose

Aug 8 (DN) The ongoing Advanced Level examination took its toll on the Sri Lanka under 19 team as they were forced to go into the fourth ODI against India without four of their regular players and eventually lost the match by 135 runs at the De Soysa Stadium, Moratuwa yesterday. The win enabled India to level the five-match under 19 ODI series 2-all with the fifth and final series decider to be played at the same venue on Friday. India winning the toss and choosing to bat first more..

'SAITM no more, staff should request salaries from President'

Aug 8 (DM) SAITM founder Dr. Neville Fernando said that as the SAITM Institute was abolished by President Maithripala Sirisena the staff should ask him for their salaries. “There is no academic activity at SAITM since it was abolished. So, there isn’t any need for staff. As there is no income I’m unable to pay them. The staff should ask their salaries from the President, who took the decision to abolish the institution,” he said. more..

Selections in a state of flux – does not augur well for World Cup

Aug 8 (DN) Not only is the administration of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in total disarray but the disease has even spread to cricket selections where it has come to a stage where from the body language of the players it can be easily said that they have absolutely no faith in the system. It simply boils down to poor selection. Every player is playing to safeguard his place and as a result not playing as a team. It is very clear to see for any ordinary layman. The crux of the problem lies with more..

Some 100,000 tablets of Diazepam seized

Aug 8 (FT) An attempt to smuggle 8 kilos of Diazepam tablets, which is popularly abused as a substitute for narcotics was thwarted when Customs officials at the BIA Air Cargo Unit detected a suspicious parcel today. Customs Spokesman said, the parcel was delivered by an employee of a leading international courier service and the detection was made when the officials decided to carry a random check on the parcel the contents of which was declared as pharmaceuticals. more..

Messe Frankfurt bullish on SL’s prospects

Aug 8 (FT) Messe Frankfurt, the world’s largest trade show organiser, announced plans to open a sales office in Colombo in December, while reinforcing its commitment to make Sri Lanka a regional hub in South Asia given its strong growth potential. The bullish trade fair giant also announced plans to bring down its Board Member Stephan Kurzawski for a two-day visit to SL next month to illustrate Colombo’s great connectivity more..

We are playing for our pride: Mathews

Aug 8 (Island) Despite the series defeat in the ongoing bilateral series against South Africa, Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews has insisted on perseverance having identified what the team needs to do to be well prepared for next year’s World Cup. The hosts had prepared slow turners for the Test series against the Proteas and beat them comprehensively, but for the ODIs, instead of repeating the formula, the Sri Lankans have played the games on good surfaces. more..

Amma wins Open Doors grant at Locarno

Aug 8 (DM) Award-winning Filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s next film Amma (Mother) won the Open Doors Grant at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival 2018. Sanjeewa won the second highest film development award which also confers a grant of 15,000 Swiss Francs as production support. The first award was won by Myanmar director The Maw Naing for his film project Ma (The Women). Sanjeewa’s latest film Devena Vihagun, (Burning Birds) is now being screened at more..

50 million PM’s fund launched by the NOC

Aug 8 (ST) Sri Lankan sport is on its way to good times courtesy the PM Ranil Wickremasinghe. National Olympic Committee of SL has worked out deal where the ultimate benefactor would the athletic community of Sri Lanka. A special PM’s Sports Fund with an initial allocation of Rs. 50 million has been created and the funds will be presented to the National Olympic Committee of SL on Tuesday (7). It will target high-performance athletes more..

Can SL end losing streak against Proteas?

Aug 8 (Island) The national cricket team suffered three 5-0 whitewashes in ODIs last year and the downward trend is continuing. Sri Lanka have already conceded the five-match series to South Africa with two games to spare and today’s fourth ODI and the final game in Colombo are dead rubbers. Despite the heavy losses, you’ve got to respect the guts of the team management to accept the reality and not to play on spin-friendly conditions which proved to be South Africa’s undoing more..

Nervous de Kock gets opportunity to show he could be next

Aug 8 (CI) Quinton de Kock does not immediately come across as a leader or a deep thinker or anything other than incredibly instinctive. However, it is that natural cricketing nous that has seen him elevated to South Africa's stand-in captain for the remaining two ODIs against Sri Lanka. Broadly speaking, with the series already won and the opposition barely proving a challenge, it should not matter much who captains South Africa but it is significant that de Kock was chosen above more..

Sri Lanka seek best combination and continuity in ODIs

Aug 8 (CI) Sri Lanka are in a little bit of a muddle. So woeful have they been in ODIs lately, that it is difficult to say who exactly forms the core of their team, let alone what those individual players' roles are. So right now, they are trying to experiment, and yet are trying to strike a balance - they also want to give prospective players a good run in the team before they are cast off and new aspirants take their place. more..

Edtorial: Diyawanna slapstick

Aug 8 (Island) The UPFA has decided to allow R. Sampanthan to continue as the Opposition Leader. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, following a request from the JO that its parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardena be appointed the Opposition Leader conveniently passed the buck to the UPFA. The office bearers of the UPFA are loyal to Prez Sirisena and nobody expected them to accede to the JO’s demand and score an own goal, in the process. That they would not change the status quo more..

Religion, authority and reason

Aug 8 (Island) Three recent pronouncements caught the attention of the media and have dominated conversations. Advisors to President Trump quoted the Bible in defence of the separation of children from parents; as if being refugees disqualify them from the joy and security of being family. In Sri Lanka a Buddhist Prelate all too hastily suggested that an authoritarian style of governance was necessary to save the dominant community; and President Sirisena, while asserting more..