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War crimes probe Gotabhaya speaks out

Oct 7 (Island) Mangala Samaraweera had been SL’s Foreign Minister at the time the LTTE resumed hostilities, in Dec, 2005. Having helped the then Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa to win the Nov 2005 presidential polls, Samaraweera accepted the vital foreign ministry portfolio. In accordance with an understanding, with Western powers, President Rajapaksa, soon after assuming presidency, reiterated his commitment to the Oslo-led more..

Editorial: An unholy mess

Oct 7 (Island) A Sinhala newspaper, a few moons ago, carried a very rare picture of a minister bowing down before a layman, who was apparently a few years his junior, at a certificate awarding ceremony. Having previously worshipped a Buddhist monk who received a certificate from him the politician bowed low absent-mindedly when the next person walked up to him. It was obviously a faux pas. But, we believe, all ministers of education and higher education, both past and present, more..

Needed: A constitution with direct checks and balances to tame politicians

Oct 7 (Island) Whatever the form of govt, a state monopoly over power would be the end of all civilised politics. Experience has shown us that every man/woman vested with unbridled power tends to abuse it to carry his/her authority as far as it can go. The more politicians want power, the less they care for principles. As such, the existence of a constitution does not mean that there exists a democratic system to go along with it. At all stages of constitution making in the past our more..

Video: Sri Lankan sleuths say Maldives explosion pre-planned

Oct 7 (DM) The investigation, carried out by a team of four Sri Lankans on the explosion in the Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s speedboat on Sept 28, had revealed that it had been pre-planned and was not due to a technical fault in the boat’s engine as claimed earlier. The Sri Lankan investigative team comprising Govt Analyst A. Welianga, Chief Inspector Dimuthu Samaranayake of the STF bomb squad and more..

Environmental laws ignored due to selfish commercial interests: President

Oct 7 (PMD) Though there are sufficient laws and regulations related to environment preservation in development process, people act in contrary to them not because they are unaware of them, but for fulfilling their petty commercial interests and selfish private needs, says President Maithripala Sirisena. When the attention of entire world is paid on the environmental preservation, everybody should act to protect more..

Anura K wants to know steps taken against Coca Cola Company

Oct 7 (DN) Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake in Parliament questioned the measures taken by the govt with regard to the Coca Cola Company for allegedly polluting the Kelani river. Dissanayake was raising a question under Standing Order 23(2). He pointed out the investigations into the incident of the Kelani River water pollution on August 17 were not properly carried out. He directed the attention of more..

SL asks NTPC to shift planned plant again

Oct 7 (LM) In a fresh setback to the govt’s neighbourhood-first policy, Sri Lanka has asked India to change—for the second time—the location of a stalled $500 million power project to be built by state-owned NTPC Ltd. The long-delayed 500 megawatt (MW) power project is part of India’s strategy to wield greater economic and strategic influence in South Asia by helping to develop infrastructure projects. more..

Logos Hope brings international crew

Oct 7 (Island) Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair, will soon bring its international crew with their life changing stories to Colombo, before she saiIs to Africa. "I was afraid of leaving my family and country," said Priyanga Ukwatte, 26 years old from Colombo. She has always had a passion to help the needy abroad, buts he was too afraid to go. When Logos Hope visited Colombo in 2011, she joined the more..

Carlton sports uncovered by probe

Oct 7 (SL) Following the initial investigations carried out by the Police Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID), it has now come to light that the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) is owned by the Rajapaksa family, despite claims made otherwise when allegations were levelled against them for owning large amounts of wealth, after the fall of the Rajapaksa regime on Jan 8, 2015. It is alleged that Rs.230 million had been invested more..

Koslanda displaced yet to receive permanent housing

Oct 7 (Island) Maj. Gen. Mano Perera alleged that for want of required cooperation from civil authorities, the army couldn’t complete a housing scheme for those who had suffered due to late last year’s Meeriyabedde landslide. Maj. Gen. Perera of the Army Training Command stressed that the army planned to accomplish the task within three months. The officer was participating in a special live Sirasa more..

Wrong generation mix led to islandwide power outage

Oct 7 (ST) Monday’s island-wide blackout was caused by high voltage in the power system that led to a cascade collapse, CEB engineers said. It is the first time in five years that such an outage occurred. “There were nine island-wide power system failures from 2006 to 2010 but there were none since 2010 till the last incident,” said Athula Wanniarachchi, President of the CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU). more..

Vocational training promoted to enhance value of youth entering job market

Oct 7 (Island) A cabinet paper would be submitted soon to recruit the National Vocational Training Qualification (NVQ) holders to local and foreign employment soon after their training period, Skills Development and Vocational Training State Minister Palitha Range Bandara said yesterday. He said that the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), along with countries of the European Union (EU) had provided more..

'Reconciliation cannot take place when truth is Suppressed'

Oct 7 (DM) The wounds of the civil war still exist today. In addition to soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the motherland, there were large number of families living in the North and the East that became victims of Asia’s longest civil war. Out of those who sacrificed their lives are missing persons who were taken away by different groups. In an interview, Dr. Thangamuthu Jayasingham, officer in charge of more..

War on poverty; Lanka to produce its own food

Oct 7 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena, moving proactively in the afterglow of the international diplomatic successes in New York and Geneva, on Monday launched what he described as a war to alleviate or eradicate poverty. Significantly, it was launched at Iranaimadu in the Killinochchi District and among those present was the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran who spoke in Sinhala to assure the Sinhala community that he was not against the Sinhala people more..

Libraries: will they fade into oblivion?

Oct 7 (DM) In order to grow and prosper, information which nourishes the human intellect, is seen as vital as food, air and water to the human being. As we live in a world where technology is rapidly expanding, information is readily available at our fingertips. But barely a century ago when the world was experiencing an information famine, libraries served as the best centres for public information. Now with the increasing rise of modern technology, libraries which acted as more..

Rs. 180 mn to refurbish President’s official residence; Rs. 70 million for his limo

Oct 7 (Island) Govt submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of Parliament for an allocation of Rs. 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of President Sirisena. The supplementary allocation of Rs. 180,688,000 was presented to Parliament by Minister Gayantha Karunatillake. It sought the approval of the House to allocate Rs. 96,391,000 to rehabilitate and improve more..

Lawsuit filed seeking permission for human organ bank

Oct 7 (DN) A lawsuit has been filed before the Colombo District Court seeking the court's intervention to issue an order recommending that a mechanism must be put in place by the Department of Buddhist Affairs giving opportunities to those who die of various forms of accidents, to donate their human organs to a human organ bank. This civil action had been filed by Swarna Bopitiya Foundation president Ms. Bopitiyage Dona Swarnalatha through Attorney-at-law R.P. Bandula. more..

Grade-5 Scholarship results and cut- off marks released

Oct 7 (DM) Examination Department announced that Grade 5 Scholarship results-2015 have been released and could be obtained from or Cut-off marks according to the district basis as follows 160: Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Galle, Matara, Kurunegala, Kegalle. 158: Hambantota, Ratnapura 156 - Anuradhapura, Pollonnaruwa. 155: Badulla, Monaragala, Ampara, Mulative, Puttalam. 153: Vavuniya, Trinco, more..

War crimes: Pandemonium in parliament over hybrid court

Oct 7 (Island) Pandemonium reigned in Parliament yesterday following a protest mounted by opposition MPs inside the Chamber against the alleged moves to set up a hybrid court to prosecute the military personnel who crushed terrorism. The rumpus led to the suspension of sittings for ten minutes. When Parliament commenced notice of motions and orders of the day, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa sprang to his feet, claiming more..

Gota’s FR case re-fixed for Jan. 28

Oct 7 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for hearing on Jan. 28, 2016, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the former Secretary of Defence Gotabhya Rajapaksa, who had complained that he was unduly questioned by the FCID. The counsel for the petitioner Rajapaksa, Romesh de Silva, PC, told the court that since some of the cabinet ministers had changed, they had to amend the caption pertaining to the names of the respondents among whom were more..

Lankan pilgrim's body found in Mecca

Oct 7 (DM) The body of the SL pilgrim who went missing along with with his wife following the stampede in Mecca in Saudi Arabia on September 24 has been identified by a relative of his at the mortuary in Mecca, Minister Abdul Haleem said. He said a couple from Colombo, 56 year-old Abdul Aziz and 55 year-old Roshan Aziz, who were on hajj pilgrimage had gone missing since the stampede and that search operations were underway to locate his wife who was still missing. more..

JVP brings the plight of unemployed graduates to national attention

Oct 7 (Island) More than 20,000 unemployed graduates will gather in Colombo today for a demonstration, demanding jobs in the public sector, and the formulation of a national job policy for graduates. Convener of the JVP led Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Dhammika Munasinghe told The Island that their protest would be held in front of the Fort Railway Station at 10.00 am. more..

Motor traders call for policy consistency from govt

Oct 7 (FT) Ahead of Budget 2016, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) yesterday called for policy consistency to continue healthy growth in the industry and raised concerns over recent policy changes made by the Govt. Noting that the ad-hoc policy changes were disturbing the free-trade flow of the industry, the association said it hoped to see long-term policy measures in the upcoming Budget. “A stable policy framework will greatly enhance the development of the industry and more..

Kaushal could be picked for West Indies tests despite ban

Oct 7 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews gave his backing on Tuesday to spin bowler Tharindu Kaushal despite a ban for one of his bowling actions, raising the prospect of him being selected for the upcoming test series against the West Indies. The ICC has banned Kaushal's way of bowling a doosra — a ball delivered with an off spinner's action but which spins away from a right-handed batsman - because it exceeds the level of allowed elbow flexion. more..

Finance Minister warns of vehicle tax hike in November budget

Oct 7 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake had warned that new vehicle taxes would apply from the day of the budget on November 22, seen as an indication that taxes would go up. The warning to citizens of an impending tax rise is an improvement on the earlier practice of hatching taxes in secret and slamming them on the people through a mid-night gazette while the citizenry is sleeping, a practice more..

NCE commends CB proposal to merge EPF, ETF pension funds

Oct 7 (FT) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) yesterday commended the proposal of the Central Bank to merge the EPF and ETF pension funds. According to media reports, it is proposed to merge the EPF and ETF pension funds, which collectively accounts for more than Rs. 1 trillion, with a view to simplify the operations of the two fundsand provide more benefits to employees in the private sector, the NCE said in a statement. Through this move it is envisaged that more..

New DFCC Bank aims big with overseas assignments

Oct 7 (DN) The DFCC Bank hopes to entrench its footprint firmly in the country and also focus on financing international projects with its amalgamation with the DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB) last Friday. DFCC Bank CEO Arjun Fernando said the bank will also be focusing on international markets as well. “DFCC was chosen by two financial institutions overseas to provide consultancy and management services and this has already established the banks’ credentials overseas, more..

President discusses on Sri Lanka development with UN officials

Oct 7 (PMD) Relationship between Sri Lanka and the United Nations was strengthened as a result of the discussions had with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during the UNGA sessions, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He was speaking to the officials of UNDP who met him at the Presidential Secretariat today (6). During this discussion, attention was paid on required facilities for drinking water projects more..

Raghuram Rajan bares Japan deflation paper tiger in Sri Lanka oration

Oct 7 (EN) Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan dealt a decisive blow to interventionist criticism of Japan's deflation showing that growth was no lower than inflating developed nations, but unemployment was sharply lower. He said authorities in developed nations were obsessing for growth fearing deflation. "The canonical example here is Japan, where many are persuaded that the key mistake it made was to slip into deflation, which has persisted and more..

Sanga opens Murali Cup 2015 in Kilinochchi

Oct 7 (IC) Kumar Sangakkara opened the fourth edition of the Murali Harmony Cup on Tuesday. Sangakkara travelled to Kilinochchi to meet the players participating in the five-day tournament and took part in a question and answer session with the young cricketers. He emphasised that the tournament was about building friendships with teams from all across the island. Murali Cup is a reconciliation cricket tournament that promotes unity, goodwill, teamwork, spirit of fair play more..

SL’s spending on R&D lowest in the region

Oct 7 (DN) Sri Lanka lags in innovation and technological adoption in the Global Knowledge Economy Index of the World Bank, ADB’s Outlook for 2015 said. Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum ranks Sri Lanka behind other countries in university–industry collaboration in research and development (R&D), Patent Cooperation Treaty patents and applications, corporate R&D more..

Ranil to address Japanese Parliament today

Oct 7 (FT) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a State visit in Tokyo will address the Japanese Parliament today, followed by top level meeting with Premier Shinzo Abe. Today’s address in Parliament and meeting with Abe are key highlights of Wickremesinghe’s five-day visit that began on Sunday. After the meeting the two Prime Ministers will hold a joint press conference. Thereafter Abe will host Wickremesinghe to an official banquet. more..

Sri Lanka, Poland to expand trade ties

Oct 7 (DN) Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Leszek Soczewica said Sri Lanka is an ideal economic partner for many polish companies looking for diversification of their trade destinations. Addressing the ‘Sri Lanka-Poland Business Seminar and Business Networking Session’ with potential Sri Lankan and polish companies held in Colombo, he said Poland considers Sri Lanka as a potential destination for trade and investment in the South Asian region. Minister also reiterated more..

Sri Lanka and Windies rely on youngsters

Oct 7 (DN) Two equally matched teams, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will be hoping that their youngsters will inspire the country to victory when the two Test series gets underway on October 14 at the Galle International Stadium. Series is also of great significance considering the fact that the two teams will be battling for the Sobers-Tissera Trophy which is named after two former great cricketers who represented more..

First three-day game ends in a draw

Oct 7 (DN) The first three day game between the Pakistan under 19 team and the Sri Lanka under 19 team ended in a draw at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Sooriyawewa as predicted. Pakistan team chasing a victory target of 350 to be scored in a minimum of 41 overs were 142/3 in 40.4 overs when play was called off. Play resumed at 9.45 last morning and Sri Lanka continuing from their overnight score of 10/0 lost opener Kavin Bandara for 16 half hour into the game. more..

MTD Walkers PLC rebrands as Walkers CML

Oct 7 (FT) MTD Walkers PLC, one of pioneer integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions providers in Sri Lanka, re-branded as Walkers CML by consolidating two of its strong brands. New brand, Walkers CML, will bring all MTD Walkers subsidiaries under one uniform identity and one umbrella. MTD Walkers Executive Deputy Chairman Jehan Amaratunga addressing the gathering said that the new brand identity would open more opportunities to the Group, more..