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Yupun, the new fastest man in South Asia

Sep 10 (CT) Italian-based sprinter Yupun Abeykoon became the fastest man in South Asia when he shattered the Sri Lanka and South Asian records for the 100m with a sizzling 10.16 seconds to win the Anhalt 2020 competition held in Paul Greifzu Stadium in Dessau, Germany on Tuesday night. Yupun who is based in Italy since 2015, said that it’s just one step closer to his goal of reaching the qualification standard for more..

Elina wanted Premadasa to succeed JRJ

Sep 10 (Island) The late Elina Jayewardene (EJ), nee Rupasinghe, had strongly pushed for Ranasinghe Premadasa as her husband first executive President JRJ’s successor in the run up to the second presidential poll, in the late 80s, according to Elina Jayewardene, authored by journalist Sagarika Dissanayake. The then first lady had insisted that Premadasa should get the opportunity as he was the most suitable person to take over party, following JRJ’s retirement. more..

Sanidula Dahamdi wins Youth Girls Chess Grand Prix title

Sep 10 (Island) Sanidula Dahamdi of Musaeus College emerge the champion of the Inaugural SL Youth Girls Chess Grand Prix 2020 on Sunday. In the grand finals, Dahamdi scored 1 ½ points to ½ against Chanethma Marasinghe of Girls High School Kandy. In the 1st game Dahamdi won with white pieces and was fortunate to get an opening of center counter where she got a positive play in queens side. She just needed a draw in the second round with black pieces where she managed to get more..

Basil says SL has potential to be seafood processing hub

Sep 10 (FT) Prez Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication Chairman Basil Rajapaksa recently stressed SL has the potential to become a seafood processing hub given its strategic location and marine resources. Rajapaksa spoke of the scope for a hub when he visited the processing plant of leading exporter Global Sea Foods (GSF), accompanied by Managing Director Prabhash Subasinghe, more..

New Diamond fire: How it all unfolded

Sep 10 (Island) The New Diamond––a 330-metre-long tanker ship built in Japan in 2000 with a cargo carrying capacity of nearly 300000 metric tonnes––loaded crude oil from Kuwait on 23rd Sept and was sailing to Paradip in India. It was due to reach the destination on 5th Sept. It was carrying 270,000 tonnes of crude oil (approximately 2.1 million barrels or 13.2 million litres). The ship ran into trouble when the boiler exploded, according to media reports, around 7.45 in the morning on 03 Sept. more..

Editorial: Proposed ban on cattle slaughter

Sep 10 (Island) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to bring in new laws to ban cattle slaughter, according to media reports. He has earned praise from animal lovers, but meat eaters are not likely to take kindly to the proposed ban. PM may have anticipated protests from beef lovers and the food industry; that may be the reason why he has said beef imports will be permitted. If the ban happens to be imposed, the cattle will be saved from the butcher’s knife in this country, but more..

The return of the Executive President: Outlining the 20th Amendment

Sep 10 (Roar) The first draft of the proposed 20th Amendment is here and to no one’s surprise. Although the first version of the 20th Amendment was introduced, drafted, and billed in Parliament by the JVP in 2018, the new govt’s version promotes and parades entirely new reforms. Once passed, these reforms will become the 20th instance where the country’s constitution was amended by an empowered govt, more..

Australian support for establishing SL National Defence College

Sep 10 (Island) Sri Lanka has received a set of books from Australia in support of the establishment of Sri Lanka’s National Defence College. The following is the text of the Australian HC statement issued yesterday: “On 8th September, Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka David Holly and Australian Defence Adviser Group Captain Sean Unwin presented 600 books to the Commandant of the Sri Lankan National Defence College, Major General (ret’d) Amal Karunasekara. more..

Yasmin Sooka: Programmed to believe or victim of a truth factory?

Sep 10 (DM) I shall give Yasmin Sooka the benefit of the doubt. I’ll get to that presently. The back story is as follows: Yasmin Sooka and the outfit she leads, Int'l Truth and Justice Project — Sri Lanka (ITJP-SL), through counsel, has apologised to Brigadier Ravindra Dias for wrongfully using his photograph in a missive targetting the incumbent Director of the State Intelligence Service of SL, Major General Suresh Salley. Salley is just the latest of senior military officers targetted by Sooka more..

Mervin Silva

Reduce Local Costs

Sep 10 (CT) Yesterday Bakers’ Association of SL Chairman A.K. Jayawardana, said that the prices of bakery products except bread need to be increased by at least Rs 5 due to the hike in the prices of eggs and other ingredients like margarine, palm oil and sugar. Jayawardana said the decrease in the price of eggs by Rs 2 was insufficient and that discussions with the authorities were not fruitful. He said traders are ready to import eggs and await Govt approval. Price of a kilo of margarine has increased more..

Drug rehabilitation and web of deceit

Sep 10 (DM) The proliferation of narcotics, such as heroin, cocaine, cannabis, ecstasy and ice, in SL, their widespread use and the subsequent addiction to one or the other of these intoxicants is only too well known. Although news of the detection and seizure of large quantities of narcotics and the arrest of narcotic peddlers, distributors and traffickers is regular news in the electronic and print media, end to the narcotics menace is nowhere in sight. more..

Kidneys that whisper death

Sep 10 (DM) A flute version of Beethoven’s Für Elise was echoing from a distance, indicating the hour of the choon paan vehicle. The young and the old alike had arrived at the roadside to purchase an evening snack. Harmonising the background noise was the chatter of few women walking back home from an evening bath. We were in Galenbindunuwewa, a small township in Anuradhapura district. more..

A place to fall in love, with the wild again

Sep 10 (ST) The grass is alive. It’s after dark in Sigiriya and a full moon swims through a sea of stars above us. On my head I wear a headlamp masked by red tape (to protect the sensitive eyes of animals we encounter) and a pair of outsized wellington boots (to protect me from any irate reptiles out for a night-time slither). When I turn the headlamp on the ground beneath my feet, the field around us is aglow with tiny red dots – each is an eye reflecting my light. more..

Human-elephant clash over land

Sep 10 (ST) Last year on average, one person has been killed every three days of the year by an elephant in Sri Lanka. In contrast, every single day of the year more than one elephant has also been killed by humans. The fight has become intense over the years and decades causing more and more deaths – both humans and elephants. Numerous solutions have also been suggested and implemented, but they didn’t appear to have lessened escalating human-elephant conflict. more..

Vulnerable adolescents or victims of abuse?

Sep 10 (DM) On Sept 6 as many as 100 adolescent couples in Anuradhapura were taken in for questioning on the accusation of engaging in improper behaviour. The students were residents from Mahawilachchiya, Thanthirimale, Eppawala, Nochchiyagama and Galenbindunuwewa. Although it raised eyebrows among many a reader, several questions need to be answered. What sort of improper behaviour more..

Beat the bomb: An open letter to AG Dappula De Livera

Sep 10 (CT) I am hell-bent on revamping AG’s Dept, insisted the newly appointed 30th Attorney General (AG) of SL in his maiden interview, published in the Island of 26th May 2019. No one was more hopeful than me. I waited patiently for two and half years to see justice served for my 11 year old daughter subjected to corporal punishment and severe mental abuse at Gateway College, Negombo. However, I now realize that we are not simply fucked, pardon the French, as many have eloquently more..

The Neanderthal stage of constitution making

Sep 10 (CT) With to the 20th amendment, once again SL will return to the 1978 constitution in its original form. From the making of that constitution up to now has been a wasted time for Sri Lanka from the point of view of the development of an organized society capable of meeting the demands of modern times. A short list of catastrophes, which resulted from the 1978 constitution for 42 years, is as follows: Ever increasing debt which has become the major obstacle to economic development more..

UNICEF sign agreement to establish SL’s first child-friendly municipality

Sep 9 (UNICEF) Batticaloa Municipality and the UNICEF have formally signed a MOU to support the establishment of SL’s first Child-Friendly Municipality. Signed by Mr. T. Saravanabawan, Mayor of Batticaloa Municipal Council and Mr. Tim Sutton, Representative, UNICEF SL, the MOU marks the latest stage in Batticaloa Municipality’s journey to become the first city, town, municipality or community in SL more..

Possibility of supplying major types of fertilizer to local market in three years: Basil

Sep 9 (DM) Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa said there will be a possibility of supplying several major types of fertilizer to the local market within next three years. He said several universities including University of Sri J'pura have conducted research on locally producing fertilizer. In a statement, the PMD said researches have confirmed that the domestic demand for Single Superphosphate can be met utilizing Eppawala Phosphate reserve. more..

Red notices issued for five provinces as Met Dept forecasts heavy rain

Sep 9 (EN) Met department is issuing Red warnings for heavy rainfalls and strong winds for several districts in five provinces calling on the public to take action to minimize damage. The provinces are Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, North-Western and Southern province. The Met department said very heavy rainfalls above 150 millimetres will occur in Matale, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Gampaha, Colombo, Kalutara, Galle and Matara districts today more..

‘Reconciliation took precedence over national security under yahapalana govt’

Sep 9 (Island) Reconciliation had figured above national security on the Defence Ministry’s list of priorities under the yahapalana govt and it was a mistake, former Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis told the PCoI. He said so in answer to a question from one of the Commissioners. “Yes, reconciliation came first. The previous govt was trying to improve the country’s image because SL was facing many issues more..

NARA debunks oil spill claims

Sep 9 (CT) Fisheries Ministry on their website said that due to the MT New Diamond tanker catching fire 33 km off the coast of Sangmankanda, fishermen in Kalmunai had complained to subject Minister Douglas Devananda that it had in turn generated an oil spill off the coast of Kalmunai, thus, affecting their fishing. The Ministry further said that consequent to the oil spill, fishermen had refrained from going out to fish in that area. This was on 4 September, according to the Ministry website. more..

Many MPs would not be in Chambers: AKD

Sep 9 (CT) JJB Leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said in Parliament that if he had the power to punish criminals and corruption culprits, many current MPs would not have been sitting in the Chamber. Dissanayake, participating in the debate on the Central Bank report 2019, said that he regrets not having such power. He said that a separate report should be prepared regarding the alleged misuse of about three million rupees from the EPF which comes under the purview of the CBSL. more..

President instructs to rehabilitate 5,000 tanks immediately

Sep 9 (PMD) Prez Rajapaksa directed relevant authorities to rehabilitate 5,000 tanks scattered across the island following a mechanism combining ancient technology and modern scientific methods. In parallel to this initiative the National Food Production Contribution Programme covering 120,000 abandoned paddy lands will also be launched. Tanks will be rehabilitated under Wari Saubhagya more..

Sri Lanka: Using technology to train and mentor staff on the NCD frontline

Sep 9 (WHO) Every year, around 120,000 people die prematurely from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in SL. Despite its robust health system, gaps exist in the training and mentoring of health professionals to address NCDs in their services, resulting in avoidable diseases, poorer care and worse health outcomes for patients. Recognising that tackling these gaps could improve patient care, and responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, SL has established a new virtual more..

Presidency information office clarifies truth about tea gift from sri lanka

Sep 9 (NNA) The Information Office of the Lebanese Presidency issued the following statement: The news of the distribution of a quantity of Ceylon tea to the families of the soldiers in the Republican Guard Brigade provoked fake responses as part of a programmed campaign on social media, which aimed as usual, to distort reality and exploit the truth in an ambiguous manner. Hence, for setting the record straight, and in order to prevent cheap news exploitation for well-known reasons & goals, more..

SJB MP condemns those who back 20A, having voted for 19A

Sep 9 (Island) SJB MP Rohini Kaviratne lambasted the members of parliament who had now thrown their weight behind the proposed 20th Amendment after having voted for both the 18th and 19th Amendments in 2010 and 2015, respectively. Minister G.L. Peiris said that the 20th Amendment would be presented to Parliament in October ahead of Budget 2021. Kaviratne, questioned the credibility of those more..

Culprits to be brought to book: PM

Sep 9 (CT) PM Mahinda Rajapaksa said he had instructed not to clear forest reserves for cultivations and insisted that the law should be implemented strictly against those who destroy forests. He underlined that no forest reserve should be cleared for cultivations, whereas the Forest Conservation Department must take immediate action to prevent these acts. Rajapaksa said the reserve land should be divided as land that can be used for crop cultivation and that which must be spared. more..

Offer lifeline to Bandula Jayasekara

Sep 9 (FT) Bandula Jayasekara, former SL diplomat and senior journalist, is suffering from blood cancer for the past 14 months. He was planning to do his bone marrow transplant in Singapore since his transplant cannot be done in SL. Well-wishers started to raise funds for his transplant. A donor was available. However, COVID-19 came in between and the transplant got delayed, though discussions are still underway with the doctors in Singapore. Jayasekara is currently undergoing more..

SL Tea storm swirls around Lebanon Prez

Sep 9 (AFP) Lebanon's President Michel Aoun has come under fire after it emerged that tea donated by Sri Lanka for victims of the Beirut blast was distributed instead to families of his presidential guards. Critics see it as yet another example of official corruption in a country reeling from the August 4 explosion that killed more than 190 people, wounded thousands and ravaged central Beirut. Sri Lanka, many of whose expat community in more..

Ranil may resign by 31 December

Sep 9 (CT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will probably resign from the party leadership by 31 Dec, to pave the way for a new leadership, said Party Legal Secretary Nissanka Nanayakkara. He announced that a proposal had been submitted to the Party to appoint a Deputy Leader initially and that the new Leader will be elected to assume duties from 1 Jan 2021. Nanayakkara discussed this proposal with a group of Party seniors and a motion will be made in the UNP Working more..

Explainer: Why India is worried about the implications of Sri Lanka's 20th amendment

Sep 9 (TW) After the SL govt set the ball rolling for a new constitutional amendment that would remove many of the curbs on presidential power, there have been rising questions on how India, which has remained largely silent, will view the move. In New Delhi, the main worry is not the provisions of the 20th amendment, but whether the political will demonstrated to remake the constitution means that the constitutional provisions introduced through the 1987 bilateral accord are endangered. more..

Sri Lanka preparing its legal strategy with regard to the MT New Diamond disaster

Sep 9 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning its legal strategy to sue the owners of the Supertanker that caught fire off its shores and is currently leaking bunker fuel into the sea. At a meeting held today between the Chairperson of the MEPA Dharshini Lahandapura, its Director-General Dr Terney Pradip Kumara and Attorney General Dappula de Livera it was decided to set up a Command Centre to monitor and deal with the situation. more..

Thalatha says not involved in case against Premalal

Sep 9 (DM) While claiming that she was not involved in the case against MP Premalal Jayasekara as alleged by him, former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala MP said today that MP Jayasekara was convicted to death after considering evidence of 42 people. Raising a privilege issue in Parliament, Ms Athukorala said MP Jayasekara had made a false allegation that she, as the justice minister, had interfered in the case against him and said she regretted and protested over the allegation. more..

Animal rights should apply to all animals equally: Harin

Sep 9 (TM) All animals should have equal rights and slaughtering happens to every animal on a daily basis, MP Harin Fernando of the SJB said, responding to the controversial beef ban announced by the govt. “Even though we haven’t discussed this as a party yet, my personal opinion is that even though this ban is imposed, the consumption of beef will not stop. It is important to know that it has been a practice to slaughter animals (including fish) since the beginning of evolution. more..