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Cable car project mooted for National Namal Uyana in Dambulla

Sep 10 (FT) Govt is considering a proposal to set up a cable car project at the National Namal Uyana located in the Dambulla District, which is a popular tourist attraction well known for its rose quartz mountain range. This cable car project was proposed by Ven. Rahula Thero to Minister Prasanna Ranatunga yesterday. Thero who is the guardian of the national park pointed out to the Minister that the launch of a cable car project more..

PCoI goes tough on suspended Kaduwela Magistrate

Sep 10 (CT) Action will be taken against suspended Kaduwela Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala, if he fails to come before the PCoI, appointed to probe political victimisation of public officials during the tenure of the United National Front-led Govt, tomorrow, said Chairman of the Commission, retired SC Judge, Justice Upali Abeyratne. Hemapala who was noticed to appear before the PCoI with regard to a complaint filed by the former Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development, more..

From bombing survivors to pandemic victims, FARMS Lanka providing relief

Sep 10 (MNN) A group of Christians in SL is distributing COVID-19 emergency relief – and it’s not their first time responding in a crisis. Last year, Easter bombings in SL killed over 290 people and wounded hundreds more. It was called one of the worst terror attacks in this century. Believers with FARMS Lanka responded with aid for victims and their families; some of these families still continue to get relief from the program today. In light of the current pandemic, FARMS Lanka is also more..

Possible links between Tea Board officials and refuse tea racket?

Sep 10 (AD) Investigations are underway to determine whether officials of SL Tea Board are involved in the country’s refuse tea racket. Minister Ramesh Pathirana stated that the investigations are based on information received on the racket of exporting refuse tea. Upon further interrogation of the suspects recently arrested over an attempt to smuggle refuse tea to Iraq in the guise of exporting cinnamon, it has been revealed more..

NPLs rise to 5.3% of loans in 2020 June

Sep 10 (EN) Non-performing loans at SL’s commercial banks grew to 5.3 percent of total loans by June 2020, from 4.9% in March, while at specialized banks NPLs rose to 7.1% from 6.6%. SL’s economy has been hit by a Coronavirus lockdown up to the second quarter and a collapse of tourism, but the current administration has controlled the spread of the disease allowing economic activity and exports to resume. But a self-imposed import embargo driven by Latin-American style more..

'Security to be beefed up in Mannar seas'

Sep 10 (CT) State Minister of Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekara said in Parliament that action will be taken to beef up security in the Mannar sea area due to the increase in Indian fishing vessels straying into SL territorial waters during the past few days. In response to a question raised by MP Charles Nirmalanathan, Wijesekara said the Security Council and the Navy have been informed of the matter and that Indian fishermen who encroach on Sri Lankan territorial waters will be arrested. more..

Minister Gammanpila supports the introduction of PayPal to Sri Lanka

Sep 10 (EN) SL will introduce PayPal for people living here once some security concerns are resolved, minister Udaya Gammanpila said at the cabinet briefing held this morning Sept 10. He said as a computer professional computer strongly supports the introduction of this facility. “But there are two reasons affecting the decision to allow the facility in SL which are terrorism funding and money laundering,” more..

Fort MC rejects plea to release Makandure Madush

Sep 10 (DN) A request to release the notorious underworld figure Madush Lakshitha alias Makandure Madush, was rejected by the Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday. The Magistrate made this order pursuing a request made by the Attorney-at-Law J. Senaratne, who had appeared on behalf of the Makandure Madush, alleging that his client had been improperly detained by the CID. The Counsel had earlier pleaded with the Magistrate to release his client. more..

How do boutique hotels set themselves apart?

Sep 10 (EN) When you think getaway, what springs to mind? Do you envision comfort, good food, breathtaking scenery or anything that will allow you to rest and recharge? Mosvold Boutique Hotels offers all of this and more. From Mosvold Villa in Ahangama with its stylish living spaces, excellent food and spectacular landscapes, to Sundara by Mosvold with its iconic colonial architecture on the pristine Balapitiya beach, to Escape Weligama with its luxurious take on the country’s first more..

Video: Owners to be asked to tow MT New Diamond away from Lankan waters

Sep 10 (AD) Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has decided to inform the owners of the MT New Diamond which was engulfed in fire last week to tow the vessel away from SL maritime boundary without delay. This will be informed in writing to the vessel owners today as per the directives of the Attorney General, the Chairperson of the MEPA Attorney-at-Law Dharshani Lahandapura stated. more..

I have no plan to quit office after 2 years: PM

Sep 10 (DN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that he had no plans whatsoever to retire from office after two years. He told the Daily Mirror that he was elected by the people for a period of five years, and therefore he would not leave office before the completion of his term. “I have no intention to leave office after two years, despite contradictory media reports,” he said. He contested the April 5 General Election representing the Kurunegala district. more..

Kiriella piqued by Speaker ignoring him

Sep 10 (Island) SJB MP and Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella, yesterday, said that the Speaker of the House had not recognised him when he had attempted to raise a point of order, prior to the swearing in of MP Premalal Jayasekara on Tuesday. MP Kiriella: “Yesterday I tried to raise a point of order on behalf of the Opposition. It was not about anything personal. However, the Speaker did not recognise me. The Secretary’s office too ignored me; they didn’t even look at me. more..

Minister’s brother connected to wetlands destruction: Probe

Sep 10 (EN) A prominent governing party State Minister’s brother is connected to the unlawful clearing of a section of the protected Anawilundawa Wetland, a report submitted to Parliament has revealed. The report submitted by Minister C B Ratnayake gives details of the statements given to police after the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court ordered an investigation into the damage done to the protected area. more..

Beyond illiberal democracy: An absolutist presidency

Sep 10 (FT) The main problem with the 19th Amendment was not sourced in the legislation but in the illegitimacy of the political context: The Leader of the Opposition (from 2015 until 2019) was the TNA Leader who commanded only a minority of seats in the Opposition benches. Everything that was born in that Parliament was of questionable legitimacy as far as the Sinhala majority was concerned. There were problems intrinsic to 19A too. They could easily have been rectified by keyhole laser surgery. more..

Sampath, CBL, WSO2 donate PCR lab worth Rs. 32 m to Colombo Army Hospital

Sep 10 (FT) Strengthening the nation’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Sampath Bank, CBL Group and WSO2 jointly donated a fully-equipped PCR laboratory to the Army Hospital in Colombo recently. Costing around Rs. 32 million, this state-of-the-art lab has a testing capacity of 600 per day, thereby expanding the national capacity to conduct PCR tests. This added capacity will enable health authorities to expand their testing base, identify those infected with the virus, treat them and e more..

Buddhika Pathirana

Economic terrorism by COVID-19

Sep 10 (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..

Gnanasara Thera points finger at govt

Sep 10 (Island) Ven. Vedinigama Vimalatissa Thera, Secretary of the Ape Jana Bala Party was in hiding with the assistance of the govt, General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera alleged on Tuesday. He made this statement to the media after giving evidence before the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks. Everything about the incident would be revealed within the next two days, Gnanasara thera said, adding that Vimalatissa thera’s disappearance was a conspiracy. more..

SLPP urged to review, amend 20 A

Sep 10 (Island) Federation of National Organizations (FNO) has requested Prez Rajapaksa to review the proposed 20th Amendment. The grouping made several recommendations, including the retaining of Article 53 of the Constitution meant to ensure MPs did not promote or support a separate State. FNO Convenor Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera said that they had informed the Office of the Prez in writing as regards concerns pertaining to more..

Expert Committee to study 20A: SLFP

Sep 10 (DM) The SLFP politburo met on Tuesday night and was chaired by former Prez Sirisena at his official residence in Colombo 7, has decided to appoint an expert committee to look into the proposed 20th Amendment and submit recommendations to the main policy-making body, a senior party official said. The SLFP expects to request the govt to incorporate the amendments to be proposed by the expert committee in the 20A during the committee stage of the debate more..

Fresh move to clear 200 acres in Wanathawilluwa: Sajith

Sep 10 (DM) There is fresh move to clear 200 acres in Wanathawilluwa and hand it over to a private company, Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa alleged today. Mr. Premadasa who raised a question under standing order 27(2) in Parliament yesterday said acts such as this and the clearing of two acres in Anavilundawa in Puttalam is a violation of section 27(4) of the constitution. "The clearing of Anavilundawa sanctuary is also a violation of Wildlife Flora and Fauna Act " Mr. Premadasa said. more..

With decision pending on MCC Compact, Ravinatha named Lanka’s US envoy

Sep 10 (Island) Prez Rajapaksa’s govt has chosen former Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Ariyasinha to head the Sri Lanka mission in the US. Ariyasinha, a veteran career diplomat will replace another career officer Rodney Perera, who received the appointment in June 2019. Rodney is a son of late veteran UNPer Paul Perera. Perera was appointed in place of Prasad Kariyawasam, nearly two years after the latter was brought back more..

More foreign arrivals test positive

Sep 10 (AD) 7 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected today (9) while the total number of positive cases in the country increased to 3,147. One of the latest cases is an arrival from the UK while another is a sea marshal from India. The remaining five are recent arrivals from Saudi Arabia. 189 active cases are currently under medical care at hospitals. In the meantime, number of recoveries from the disease in SL moved up to 2,946 as 11 patients were discharged from hospitals earlier today. more..

IMF assessing conditions on SL’s request

Sep 10 (DM) International Monetary Fund (IMF) is assessing conditions linked to Sri Lanka’s request for a Rapid Financial Instrument (RFI), which is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments. Masahiro Nozaki, IMF Mission Chief for Sri Lanka said that the IMF is taking into account the new govt’s policies. Nozaki also said the IMF is considering the efforts taken by Sri Lanka to address the daunting economic challenges posed by COVID-19. more..

Mini War in Atulugama

Sep 10 (CT) A group of residents in Marawa, in Atulugama, Bandaragama yesterday attacked a team of Police officers who had visited the area for a drug bust. Reportedly, Police had arrested a suspect selling cannabis in the area and upon interrogation he had led them to arrest the main suspect in the drug racket, Gotukola Rifai. When the main suspect was being escorted to the Police station, residents of the area had more..

CID probing 71 online scams

Sep 10 (CT) The CID is conducting investigations into 71 online scams reported this year. Police Media Spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne yesterday (9) said, the Cyber Crimes Unit of the CID is conducting investigations into 14 online scams related to the provision of foreign employment. A total of 29 complaints have been received regarding an online racket, which requests people to deposit money to certain accounts to pay Customs charges and clear cash prizes from overseas. more..

Maharoof shows there’s life beyond cricket

Sep 10 (Island) Generally, most cricketers in our parts of the world after retirement hang around in the sport. Some become coaches, some take up umpiring, others get into administration while there’s a growing tendency for ex-players to get involved in media. Former SL all-rounder Farveez Maharoof, however, thought out of the box and started a new business venture after retirement together with close family members and friends. Footsteps Pre School was his brain child to help kids. more..

Two Appropriation Bills to House in Nov

Sep 10 (DM) The Govt said yesterday it will present two Appropriation Bills to Parliament in November, one detailing the expenses incurred for 2020, and the other for the 2021 financial year. “As there was no Budget in 2020 due to the delay in holding elections, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Parliament will be kept apprised of all the expenditure incurred for 2020. We will present two separate Appropriation Bills more..

Altair clarifies court order to buyers

Sep 10 (TM) Indocean Developers informed buyers of Altair apartments that a recent Supreme Court (SC) decision relating to a management rights dispute involving two groups of shareholders was only a denial of a plea to the dispute by one party to dismiss a case filed by two purported directors on the grounds that the said directors had been fraudulently appointed. At the point of reaching its decision, the SC of Sri Lanka did not have the benefit of a sweeping order issued by more..

Foreigners flee for 39th straight day

Sep 10 (CT) Colombo Stock Exchange posted gains for the second consecutive session on Wednesday as the benchmark index rose on a higher turnover despite continued foreign exits from the market. The benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) gained 1.02% (54.34 points) to close at 5,370.39 points, its highest since 24 Aug, while, the more liquid S&P SL20, representing the top 20 shares, gained 1.18% (27.12 points) to close at 2,334.76 points. Daily turnover stood at Rs 3.13 bil on Wed, more..

Only in Sri Lanka: He faces death for murder conviction. Parliament swore him in anyway

Sep 10 (NYT) A SL politician sentenced to death on murder charges was sworn in as a member of the country’s Parliament on Tuesday, escorted out of prison to take his oath amid jeers from opposition legislators. The lawmaker, Premalal Jayasekara, was convicted in late July of opening fire on an election rally in 2015, killing an opposition activist. But the conviction and death sentence were handed down more..

Addressing issue of children born in prisons: Opposition MP praises PM’s action

Sep 10 (CT) The records of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) stated that 5,000 children have been abused from January to Sept in 2020, SJB National List MP Diana Gamage said in Parliament. Participating in the debate on nine regulations under the Excise (Special Provisions) Act and 10 notifications under the Excise Ordinance, she stressed that although a huge number of child abuse cases have been reported in 2020, sufficient actions have not been taken so far. more..

Indian poachers galore in Mannar seas; TNA raises issue

Sep 10 (Island) Minister of State for Fisheries Kanchana Wijesekera told Parliament that the Security Council and the Navy had been informed of an increase in the number of Indian fishing vessels in SL territorial waters during the past few days, and measures would be taken to beef up security in the Mannar sea area and arrest the Indian poachers encroaching on SL territorial waters. Minister was responding to a question raised by TNA Vanni District MP Charles Nirmalanathan regarding more..

False evidence created in Raviraj murder case: Witness

Sep 10 (CT) Senior political figures of the UNF-led govt including former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe influenced the CID to create false evidence with regard to the murder of former TNA Jaffna District MP Nadarajah Raviraj, said retired Navy Intelligence officer, Gamini Seneviratne. Testifying before the PCoI he said, an officer attached to the CID, Senior IP Amarawansha had in March 2015 threatened him to be a State witness in Raviraj’s murder case more..

Online data system for school cricket

Sep 10 (DN) SL School Cricket Association (SLSCA) is formulating an online data system for both girls and boys school cricketers. SLSCA has a 72-year history and the project is a brainchild of its present president, Nalanda College, Colombo principal Thilak Hethuhewa. The technical support is provided by the schools’ official data supplier where fans around the world will be able to gather information. The online data system will provide information on arround 30000 more..

'SL: Signs of entering neo-colonialism'

Sep 10 (AT) The erudite academic whose work academics, those interested in international affairs and ethnic issues – both in Sri Lanka and the rest of the wider world – were familiar with her outstanding interpretation of SL’s long-dragged ethnic/national issues put in a monograph The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka, has now added a chapter to Sri Lanka’s colonial past giving glaring evidence that this South Asian Island-nation is now projecting itself a neo-colonialist nation. more..