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Kulasekara arrested after fatal accident

Sept 19 (DM) Fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara had been arrested this evening following a fatal accident at Kadawatha. They said Kulasekara was arrested for running over a motorcyclist at the Ranmuthugala area in Kadawatha on the Kandy-Colombo main road. The motorcyclist (28), who was travelling from Colombo, had collided with Kulasekara’s vehicle which was coming to Colombo. more..

Growth prospects for SL’s tea industry

Sept 19 (OBG) Adverse weather conditions, combined with rising costs and greater competition, threaten to weaken SL’s position in the global tea industry, though efforts to develop new markets could help offset downturns in exports and revenue. Flooding in mid-May struck a number of tea-producing regions and led to the inundation of several tea export facilities around Colombo, causing widespread disruption and compounding losses from El Niño-related drought more..

Laws in place values gone awry

Sept 19 (CT) Since independence, we have not been able to make a tangible improvement to the public sector. At the same time, due to petty political gains, the last govt too, though it was no longer tenable to inflate the public sector; expanded the number of ministries, departments and the cadre positions without radically and meaningfully re-structuring the public sector. Constitution of Sri Lanka together with numerous Acts passed by Parliament from time to time have set out more..

President arrives in New York

Sept 19 (PSL) President Sirisena arrived at the John F Kennedy Airport in New York last evening amidst tight security as the city suffered a major security threat with an explosive devise going off on the previous day injuring 29 persons. President was received at the Loews Regency Hotel by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera SL’s Permanent Representative to UN, Dr Rohan Perera, more..

Two Kuwaiti men, one in women’s clothes, arrested over hotel brawl

Sept 19 (DM) Two Kuwaiti men including a 22-year-old who was dressed in female attire were arrested by the police today on charges of damaging the properties of a hotel in Ella, Police said. The duo had checked into the hotel as a married couple. The Hotel management had informed the police that the couple was engaging in a brawl and damaging the properties of the hotel room they were in. Police said the couple was under the influence of alcohol when they were arrested. more..

Import of ethanol only by Health Ministry Medical Supply Division

Sept 19 (DN) Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has informed Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala to import Ethanol only through the Medical Supply Division of the Health Ministry, Health Ministry sources said. Minister had done so after considering the issues that had been brought to his notice by officials of the Sri Lanka Customs and the Department of Import and Export. They pointed out that importing ethanol by several parties, could cause various problems. more..

'SL should add 1275MW to grid by 2020'

Sept 19 (LBO) Power regulator Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) has given the nod for the CEB to add 1,275 megawatts of power to the national grid during next four years through the least cost long term generation expansion plan (LCLTGEP) 2015 – 2034. “Plants listed in the LCLTGEP for the period 2017–2020, should be immediately constructed and operated, to prevent the possible power shortage in 2018,” more..

2 brothers drown; parents found dead

Sept 19 (DM) Two bodies of a male and female believed to be that of a husband (54) and wife (46) were found hanging on a tree this morning, a day after their two sons drowned at Kalkudah, Trincomalee. The victims were residents of Kalkudah. Police said the brothers, aged 18 and 21, had gone missing, while they were bathing at the Kalkudah beach on Sunday. They said they suspected that the death of two sons might have led the parents to committed suicide. more..

Retired police sergeant allegedly killed by constable son

Sept 19 (DN) A 75-year-old retired Police Sergeant resident in Galhena Road, Madampe who received serious injuries after being beaten up by his own son, a constable who had abandoned his post, succumbed to his injuries on admission to the Puttalam Hospital on September 16 night. He was identified as H.M. Chandratilleke. Madampe Police investigating the incident said the 43-year-old suspect had arrived at his father’s house in a drunken state the same night. more..

Sri Lanka looks to Indian companies to help enhance oil refining capacity

Sept 19 (ENS) Sri Lanka is exploring possibilities of private investment in oil refining and has invited several foreign companies, including Indian companies like Reliance, to come up with proposals, the Minister for Petroleum, Chandima Weerakkody, told the Foreign Correspondents’ Association. He said that he will be visiting India soon to meet his Indian counterpart. Officials said that the visit could take place either in October of November. more..

Kilinochchi market fire loss Rs. 20mn

Sept 19 (Island) The loss caused by the fire which gutted 57 stalls at the Kilinochchi public market last Friday is around Rs. 20 million. The cause of the fire is not known yet. But, an electrical short circuit was suspected said, Kilinochchi SSP Palitha Siriwardena. He said all the stalls had been constructed with wooden planks and due to strong winds the fire had spread fast. Although the security forces and the police extinguished the fire the damage caused was considerably high. more..

CCTV cameras in cells

Sept 19 (DM) In the wake of an inmate found dead at Matara Prison, Law and Order Ministry said that CCTV cameras would be installed in all Police cells to monitor the detainees. Sources said that this was revealed by the Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake at a meeting with top Police officers in Jaffna on Sunday. “I have informed IGP Pujith Jayasundera to install CCTV cameras in all Police cells so that Police officers could monitor, what is taking place inside cells,” he has said. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Insufficient fuel on board Heathrow flight forces diversion to Gatwick

Sept 19 (CT) A SriLankan Airlines flight operating from Colombo to London Heathrow on the 15th of Sep was forced to divert to London Gatwick due to insufficient fuel on board. The scheduled SriLankan Airlines flight piloted by Capt. P. Manathunga was sent into a holding pattern by the Air Traffic Control tower prior to its arrival into Heathrow. Sensing insufficient fuel after completing a few minutes in a holding pattern, more..

From intervention to restraint, India’s tryst with Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (HT) When Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential elections in early 2015, followed by Ranil Wickremesinghe taking over as PM, New Delhi was delighted. The previous regime led by Mahinda Rajapakse had hurt India’s two core interests in the island — by refusing to politically address Tamil discontent, and inviting a greater Chinese role in the island. Delhi encouraged elements of the SL polity — both Sinhalese and Tamil — opposed to Rajapakse, to come together. more..

Sri Lanka oil exploration block to go to Bona Vista Energy: Minister

Sept 19 (EN) Cabinet of ministers had given the nod to award an exploration block to Bona Vista Energy, a Singapore based firm despite a financial partner backing out due to delays, Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. The bidding round closed in 2013 but no decision was made to award the tender and the financial partner in the consortium had pulled out, he said. "But now even a Sri Lankan company with US$ 49 million can become a partner," Weerakkody said. more..

DIG Vass, wife, son, 5 others indicted in SLIIT abduction case

Sept 19 (DM) Colombo High Court served indictments on former DIG Vass Gunawardena, his wife Shamalie Perera, son Ravindu and five other Police officers of the CCD, who had been named by the Attorney General as accused in the Nipuna Ramanayake assault case. Today, when the case was called before High Court Judge Iranganie Gunawardena the Attorney General served the indictments on the eight suspects. more..

Two fathers die at the hands of their sons

Sept 19 (Island) Two sons who killed their fathers in Hali-Ela and Madampe were arrested by police last Saturday. In the first incident a son attacked his father last Friday with a sharp object and the latter was found dead on the road side. 41-year-old victim had come home in a highly inebriated state and brutally assaulted his wife. His teenage son, unable to bear his mother, being assaulted had stabbed the father. 16-year-old was arrested and was to be produced before Badulla Magistrate. more..

Sri Lankan shares hit 7-wk closing low

Sept 19 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for a third straight session on Monday to post their lowest closing level in seven weeks, led by Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka due to selling by foreign investors ahead of a change in company ownership. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.34% weaker at 6,450.44, its lowest close since Aug. 1. It fell 0.34% last week, its fourth straight weekly loss. A govt proposal to raise the value added tax (VAT) also weighed on sentiment. more..

Country full of incompetent leaders

Ranil remembering JRJ on his birth anniversary in Jaffna

Sept 19 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe paid tribute to his mentor J.R. Jayewardene in Jaffna at the opening ceremony of the new building complex of the Jaffna Govt Secretariat last Saturday. Sept 17 was the 110th birth anniversary of the first Executive President of the country late J.R. Jayewardene. PM while paying tribute to late J.R. Jayewardene recollected the arduous task he carried out in introducing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution along with signing the Indo-Lanka Accord. more..

Govt gets prepared to take up the gauntlet

Sept 19 (CT) Govt leaders have been saying that the draft constitution will be placed before the Parliament prior to the budget debate that takes place in November. A new constitution which would require a referendum could prove to be the govt’s Waterloo if the people reject it. Last week Chairman of the Public Representations Committee Lal Wijenayake, made an announcement that five of the six sub-committees of Parliament that had been delegated the task of submitting reports on more..

Sri Lanka to relax glyphosate weedicide ban

Sept 19 (CG) A ban on glyphosate, a widely used weedicide, imposed on the belief that it may contribute to chronic kidney disease will be relaxed to allow the tea farming sector to use it. Minister Navin Dissanayake had told SL's Planters' Association, a groping of senior managers of tea farms, that the ban will be relaxed. Tea sector will be allowed to import glysophate, following discussions with President, PM and related parties. more..

Pussellawa tense after police cell death

Sept 19 (DN) A Sub Inspector and a constable attached to Pussellawa Police have been interdicted over an incident where a suspect is said to have committed suicide while in police custody. Kaviraj Ravichandran, 30, a resident of Pussellawa was arrested on Saturday. The suspect had been ordered to engage in community service by court in connection with another offence and was arrested on Saturday for neglecting the order. more..

Convoy, bags follow Aluthgamage to prison

Sept 19 (SL) A large convoy and some travelling bags were seen following former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage into the remand prison premises on Thursday. Television footage showed luxury jeeps following the prison bus into the Welikada prison premises. Mahindananda Aluthgamage was arrested Thursday by the FCID. He was arrested after he had appeared before the CID to make a statement. more..

CEB engineers’ union paints dark picture for country’s power sector

Sept 19 (ST) Ad hoc decisions with regard to the country’s power sector will cost the Govt billions of rupees and the burden will have to be borne by the consumers, the CEB Engineers’ Union warned. Referring to the decision to scrap the Indian funded coal power plant in Sampur, CEBEU President Athula Wanniarachchi claimed a lack of clear direction by the Govt, coupled with apparent disregard for the advice of professionals, more..

Former President hits out at oppressive VAT proposals

Sept 19 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has opposed the amended VAT Bill and called on the Govt to reconsider the oppressive VAT proposals. Rajapaksa said that the VAT on goods and services will increase from 11% to 15% and cause hardship to the consumer. “We can in no way agree to the increase in the VAT rate, its unconscionable imposition on the sick and the elderly, and its imposition on more..

Farmers to receive power at cheaper rate

Sept 19 (DN) Farmers using water pumps for irrigation and other agricultural purposes will be provided with electricity at a cheaper rate between 10 pm and 6 am daily. The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy will formulate and implement a plan to ensure this said Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, when he attended a ministry organised National Electricity mobile service programme at Badulla on Sept 17. more..

SLFP supports VAT Bill

Sept 19 (DM) SLFP said the Valued Added Tax (Amendment) Bill was redrafted well in consultation with it, and therefore it had no reason to oppose it in Parliament. The govt has redrafted the VAT Bill to be enacted in Parliament. SLFP Vice President and Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkodi said the govt excluded services such as diagnostic tests, OPD charges from VAT based on proposals by the SLFP. more..

FCID digs deep into MiG deal

Sept 19 (SL) The FCID is digging deeper into the controversial MiG deal and is looking to probe newspaper reports in this regard. FCID sources said that newspaper articles published with regard to the controversial deal are being collected as part of the investigation. Sunday Leader had exposed the controversial deal surrounding the purchase of MIG aircraft when the former govt was in power. Purchase of four MiG-27 aircrafts more..

Chandimal has surgery after injuring hand

Sept 19 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal has had surgery after being struck on the hand while playing a domestic match last week. Chandimal suffered multiple dislocations around the right thumb area after he was hit during a Mercantile tournament match. The recovery period for the injury is three weeks and the Sri Lankan team management said that Chandimal is expected to be fit for the team's tour of Zimbabwe in October. more..

London Stock Exchange fills 100 tech jobs

Sept 19 (LBO) London Stock Exchange Group said its Business Services division in SL has completed the first stage of its set-up operations, with over 100 tech sector professionals recruited. Set up in May 2016, the new 26,000 sq ft technology centre at Expert City in Maradana, will be manned by 400 high-technology professionals once it becomes fully operational by the end of 2016. LSEG recently completed the first of two more..

It is the power that matters

Sept 19 (DM) The two leading political parties - SLFP and UNP - undoubtedly overshadowed the usual practice followed by them throughout the past six decades in holding their impressive conventions. Breaching the norm, the leaders of both parties attended each other’s convention held this year. While the SLFP held its 65th convention in Kurunegala on Sept 4, the UNP held its 70th in Campbell Park, Colombo on Sept 10. It was remarkable to witness leading personalities, more..

Time we tell mea culpa

Sept 19 (DM) Int'l Day of Peace is observed around the world on Sept 21. UNGA declared Sept 21 as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of Peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Theme for this year’s Day of Peace -The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace was adopted by the UN at its summit of the world’s leaders in New York in Sept 2015 and calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years, that is by 2030. more..

Power devolution to grassroots level : PM

Sept 19 (DN) The new constitution is being formulated by parliament sitting as a constitutional council. Once the new constitution is passed in parliament it has to be adopted by the people at a referendum, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe when he opened the new administrative complex of Jaffna Kachcheri. PM said initial discussions have also been started regarding the executive presidential system but no finality has still been reached. more..

Sri Lanka on alert for Zika, Chikungunya

Sept 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main international airport and Colombo Port have been placed on high alert to prevent the spread of the Zika virus and Chikungunya, which is raging in Asia. "The airport's health desks have been told to caution passengers travelling to the affected countries," Quarantine Director, Dr Palitha Karunaperuma said. Sri Lankan govt said that island nation faced a threat from the two deadly diseases, adding that state hospitals were being geared to cope with it. more..

Kabir to make statement

Sept 19 (DN) Minister Kabir Hashim will make a special statement in Parliament this week on the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 700 million in the digitalisation of the People’s Bank. Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana said the reply of the minister to the questions raised by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena on the project to purchase hardware for the digitalisation of the bank was ready. He said the minister would provide a detailed answer on the ongoing investigations more..