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Alleged youth abduction case: Hirunika to plead guilty

Oct 9 (DN) Defence Counsel appearing on behalf of MP Hirunika Premachandra informed the Colombo HC that his client is expecting to plead guilty for her alleged involvement in the abduction of a youth using a Defender. Counsel Anura Seneviratne appearing on behalf of Hirunika Premachndra informed court that his client is seeking a short cut method to finish off the alleged abduction case. more..

Spinners to the fore as England and Sri Lanka prepare to do battle

Oct 9 (CI) It's been damp in Dambulla since England's arrival in Sri Lanka. But with the first ODI of their 5-match series looming on Wednesday, their credentials as a white-ball force are about to face a tricky test, against a team who have been in the doldrums of late, but who still know how to perform in their own conditions. And with just a solitary (and rain-shortened) match in Colombo with which to get their preparations fine-tuned, England risk going into the series undercooked. more..

Sri Lanka to work as collaborator to gain from regional integration: Malik

Oct 9 (FT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama said SL has to see itself as a collaborator alongside the other regional economies, rather than a competitor in the narrowest sense, while describing India as a big prize they intend to take advantage of. Addressing the launch of World Bank’s South Asia Regional Flagship Report, he said that at a time when there was a lot of uncertainty around global trade integration, South Asian region had much to gain from greater regional integration. more..

Sri Lanka entering a dark era of long queues for food and basic goods: Cabraal

Oct 9 (Island) Woeful mismanagement of the economy coupled with the resultant steep fall in foreign reserves and the unjustifiable depreciation of the rupee will leave the govt with serious cashflow problems in the future and the general public will have to stand in queues across the country every single day for hours at a time pushing, shoving and grunting for their basic necessities, such as, milk, sugar, soap and even bread, more..

Justice Wickramasinghe elected Gender Representative of Indian Ocean Region

Oct 9 (Island) Justice Kumudini Wickramasinghe was elected Gender Representative of Indian Ocean Region at the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association 18th Triennial Conference held in Brisbane, Australia (CMJA - Sept 2018) last month. Justice Wickremasinghe is currently a Judge of the Court of Appeal of SL. She was nominated as the SL Representative and elected as the Gender Representative of Indian Ocean Region. She was enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law in the SC more..

Mark Wood hopes lengthened run-up will lengthen his run in England ODI side

Oct 9 (CI) Mark Wood hopes that a new lengthened run-up could be the secret to a sustained run of match fitness, as he prepares for the start of England's 5-match ODI series in SL on Wednesday. Wood's ability to generate sharp pace from a short and explosive run-up has been a key reason why he has been considered a point-of-difference bowler in recent seasons, but it has also contributed to a spate of injuries, not least in his troublesome left heel, on which he has undergone numerous more..

SL win 5 medals at Para Asian Games 2018

Oct 9 (CT) Sri Lanka had a glorious start to the Asian Para Games, as the Para athletes did what the regular athletes couldn’t do, by winning five medals (One Gold, Three Silvers and a Bronze) in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday. Competing in the same venue as the Asian Games, Sri Lanka made a clean sweep in the 200M T42 category. Amila Prasan won the Gold medal competing from lane eight clocking 26.01 seconds. more..

'ICC has no objection to Labrooy’s dual role'

Oct 9 (CT) ICC has clarified their position regarding Graeme Labrooy playing a dual role as Chairman of Selectors as well as ICC Match Referee. In a press release, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) claimed they sought clarification from ICC over the matter and ICC Senior Manager of Umpires and Referees, Adrian Griffith, sent the following reply regarding the matter. “When the position of Chairman of Selectors was offered to Graeme, he immediately consulted us and we saw no conflict of interest with more..

Unemployment up to 4.6% in Q2

Oct 9 (CT) The number of unemployed persons in SL reached 381,834 during the second-quarter of 2018, recording an unemployment rate of 4.6%, up from 4.5% recorded during the first-quarter of this year and the same quarter of last year. The economically-active population totalled 8.35 million during the second-quarter of this year, of which 65.9% were males and 34.1% were females. The labour force participation rate declined to 51.1% during 2nd-quarter, from 52% in 1st-quarter more..

Judge calls for fresh inquiry

Oct 9 (ST) Justice Rohini Marasinghe has called for a fresh inquiry, respecting the rules of natural justice into the allegations of match-fixing against Panadura CC and Kalutara PCC. Justice Marasinghe has made this recommendation after evaluating the reports of the inquiries conducted by the SLC appointed Disciplinary Committee led by Asela Rekawa and the Appeal heard by Palitha Kumarasingha PC. more..

Lankan Cricket in turmoil in its real meaning

Oct 9 (ST) Finally, the tiger has come to the village and thus has begun its business. Yes, for almost two years or more, we, at the Sunday Musings, were shouting our throats dry tiger, tiger – all’s not well at the cricket’s broth. But nobody seemed to care. So, the despicable just rolled on unabated, so much so, that people began to live by the Goebbels’ theory – the SL version now. Last week, we shouted out about the impending cricket disaster saying we were at the doorstep of the biggest more..

Editorial: The crucible of GFSE

Oct 9 (Island) The Grade Five Scholarship Examination (GFSE) results have been released. The best performers and their parents are walking on air while others are sulking. This, we see year in, year out. Some parents even mete out cruel punishment to their unfortunate progeny who fail to score enough marks. Numerous shocking incidents have been reported, where low-scoring students were beaten mercilessly or even burned with heated spoons, etc. by their frustrated parents. more..

Demons in Paradise axed from JICF

Oct 9 (CT) The prestigious Jaffna International Cinema Festival ran into controversy following a decision taken by the organizers to withdraw the movie, Demons in Paradise of Director Jude Ratnam from the scheduled screening. The movie criticizes the actions of the LTTE during 30 years of bloody war in Sri Lanka. Demons in Paradise had been scheduled to screen on 5 Oct, at 6:45 p.m. at the Majestic Cineplex, Jaffna. more..

EPF, the Central Bank and CSE

Oct 9 (Island) This note is prompted by the Reports in The Island of Oct 4 and 5 about relations between CB, EPF and CSE. All three entities were created by different Acts: the first two by the Monetary Law Act 58/1949 and the Employees’ Provident Fund Act 15/1958. Both acts have been revised periodically. Monetary Board was created by MLA. The administration of that act rests with the Monetary Board. The chairman of the Board is also the Governor of CB, which came into existence more..

Returning land to civilians is a promise that needs follow up

Oct 9 (CT) Soon after his return from New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly, President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the return of all land in the Northern and Eastern provinces that are owned by the people of those areas. He issued these instructions during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force overlooking the development of the Northern and Eastern provinces. President has instructed the Presidential Task Force to plan out a time frame & a proper structure more..

Face the Nation

Need for a national economic policy

Oct 9 (CT) The depreciating value of the SL Rupee in relation to the US dollar during the last few months has been the focal point of the economic turmoil in the country and it has, once again, raised the issue of the imperative need of a national economic policy. Last week, the Rupee nose-dived to a new historic low, ending at Rs 171 to the US dollar. In this calendar year alone - in the last nine months - the value of the SL Rupee to US Dollar eroded 11%, thus making the Rupee one of more..

Ruining Sri Lanka Cricket in style

Oct 9 (SO) Of all the issues that are tarnishing Sri Lanka’s image, which one is most damaging? Is it the downward spiral of the Sri Lankan rupee, the conduct of the top brass of the Sri Lanka Police or the performance of Sri Lanka Cricket? It is a tight contest but perhaps, because of its greater international exposure, the performance of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will emerge the winner- and that would be about the only win SLC will be able to register in the foreseeable future. more..

Can minors be prevented from operating Facebook accounts?

Oct 9 (CT) In the backdrop of Women and Children’s Affairs Minister Chandrani Bandara calling for a ban on Facebook for minors, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said “Rather than banning Facebook, we have numerous ways where a child can be protected.” NCPA has received 6,357 complaints up to 31 August this year. The total number of complaints received last year from January to 9 December was, 104. more..

Economic growth revised down amid increased uncertainty

Oct 9 (ST) Adverse international developments and inhospitable conditions in the country have led to a downward revision of the economic growth to less than 4% this year. The expectation at the beginning of the year of a significant economic revival this year from the poor performance of GDP growth of 3.1% last year is fading. The impending US trade embargo on Iran and the policy environment in the country that are not conducive to investment and economic development. more..

A political act for next election

Oct 9 (ST) Whenever two or more Sri Lankans gather there are two subjects that hog any conversation. The exchange of habitual pleasantries over, the talk inevitably turns to politics and cricket. Which topic takes pride of place depends on who has most recently been playing pandu with the public purse and how much has been pilfered by govt politicians and their catchers or our cricket’s alchemists caught in the glare of the spotlight desperately trying to cover-up their more..

Hotline for journalists

Oct 9 (SO) Watchdogs of the society, Voice of the voiceless, The Fourth Estate are some of the names used to identify media. But as a group of professionals who contribute to society across many stratas, they themselves need a voice at times. In the Global Press Freedom Index Sri Lanka holds the 131st place out of 190 countries which clearly indicates a less healthier working environment for journalists. more..

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s recent rant

Oct 9 (CT) Certain controversial statements made by Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith‘s about human rights made during a Sunday sermon at a Catholic church service on the 23rd of last month as reported in the media and the subsequent tweet by Minister Mangala Samaraweera in response to that appear to have stirred up a minor hornet’s nest. Though some commentators have seen the Cardinal’s statements as belittling or downplaying human rights, from his original statements as reported in a video clip more..

Them damned pictures are killing me!

Oct 9 (Island) A pot-bellied politician, a bumbling president or a minister with an oversized mouth, whatever the trend in politics at the time, the political cartoon, despite its hyperbole, speaks far louder than words most of us journalists can muster. Cartoons are a potent political communications tool. Political cartoonists through artistic skills and satire, criticise the existing system, often drawing attention to corruption, political intimidation and other social issues. more..

Techno City Project: CENS senses biopiracy

Oct 8 (CT) The proposed Techno City Project in Homagama can cause large-scale biopiracy in the country, through its intended genetic engineering and bio technology research laboratory, Centre for Environmental and Nature Studies (CENS) claimed. The executive director of the organization, Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam, said that the Techno City project, which would be launched as a co-operative project between the SL and more..

8 killed in adverse weather in Sri Lanka

Oct 8 (Xinhua) Eight people were killed and over 30,000 affected as strong winds and heavy rains lashed out across Sri Lanka over the weekend, Disaster Management Center (DMC) said on Monday. DMC Spokesperson said fresh warnings had been issued in several districts as more rains were expected later on Monday and Tuesday. He said fishing and naval communities had been warned to take precautions as wind speeds in north & northwest of the country, and in Colombo. more..

Mahinda only attended a dinner hosted at my house: S. B.

Oct 8 (AD) Former Minister S. B. Dissanayake says that no discussion was held between current President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at his house. Issuing a release he stated that former President Rajapaksa attended a dinner hosted at his house. Stating that no special discussion was held at the function, he said that, only light conversation on the insecurity of the country and the economic crisis was carried out with other attending MPs. more..

Sri Lankan arrested in Korea over oil storage tank fire

Oct 8 (KT) Police detained a Sri Lankan man Monday for allegedly starting a fire that exploded an oil storage tank in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, the previous day. According to an official at Goyang Police Station, the man flew a sky lantern from a construction site about a kilometer away from the gas storage site Sunday morning. A sky lantern is similar to a miniature hot-air balloon. The 27-year-old told police he bought the lantern and more..

Case against Gamini Senarath postponed to Oct 15

Oct 8 (AD) Colombo High Court has ordered to postpone the case against Former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others until Oct 15. The case was taken up before a Trial-at-Bar consisting Justices Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Rajaratne today. Deputy Solicitor General Thusitha Mudalige informed the court that most of the documents that were slated to be handed over to the defendants have already been submitted and two more documents more..

Palm Oil industry rejects vilification of crop as baseless and unscientific

Oct 8 (LBO) The vilification of oil palm in Sri Lanka on the grounds of the crop’s purported adverse impact on the environment is completely unjustifiable, given that the extent of land under oil palm is just 1.1 per cent of the extent under traditional crops – tea, rubber and coconut, an industry body has stated. Responding to claims that oil palm plantations are causing groundwater resources to dry up, degradation of soil and the proliferation of reptiles, more..

I'm an artist that draws on real life: MIA

Oct 8 (CBC) "Are you sure Steve shouldn't be in this interview?," M.I.A. said when I asked her how her new documentary came together. It was a fair question because, technically, the 43-year-old pop star had nothing to do with the making of Stephen Loveridge's film, Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. But she was very much a driving force throughout the creation process thanks to more than 700 hours of personal video more..

Lanka-Kuwait trade revived after 2 decades

Oct 8 (DN) SL is reviving bilateral trade with the second wealthiest economy in Gulf this week after a lapse of two decades. “We are reviving the SL-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee after 21 years. This shall be a new turning point in the long-standing Kuwaiti-SL relations” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the Kuwaiti Ambassador to SL Khalaf Bu Dhhair in Colombo during a preparatory discussion on the Second Session of SL-Kuwait Joint Trade Committee more..

UNP ready to form Govt: Indunil

Oct 8 (DM) UNP MP Thushara Indunil said today his party was not on panic mode over speculation of moves being made to form an interim govt in the wake of discussions between President Maithripala Sirisena and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that instead his party would obtain the support of six SLFP MPs to form its own govt in place of the current national unity govt. “We have 106 MPs and need the support of six more members to secure a majority in Parliament. more..

Sajith Premadasa banks on Prez’s integrity

Oct 8 (EN) Minister Sajith Premadasa dismissed reports of a caretaker administration and said he had full confidence in Prez Sirisena to honour his mandate to work with the current coalition. Premadasa said Sirisena risked his life to defect from the SLFP and challenge an autocratic presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Jan 2015 election. “Prez will speak with anyone, but he will not betray the mandate he received in 2015,” more..

Travel ban imposed on Nalaka Silva & Namal Kumara

Oct 8 (NR) The Colombo Magistrates Court today imposed an international travel ban on Former Director of the Terrorist Investigation Division, DIG Nalaka de Silva and the Operations Director of the Anti Corruption Force Namal Kumara. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. The duo was ordered to appear before court following a request made by CID and AG’s Department. A special investigation is currently underway into an alleged assassination plot more..

Economy picking up speed, inflation low: CB governor

Oct 8 (EN) Sri Lanka’s economic growth is picking up speed and inflation has been contained contrary to criticisms that growth has collapsed, Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central Bank, said. “It does not help when Sri Lankans themselves keep saying growth is collapsing,” he told a World Bank forum where its new report on regional trade in South Asia was launched. Sri Lanka’s growth is slow but is picking up and is on an upward trend, Coomaraswamy said. more..

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