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Fonseka’s shocking disclosure

Sep 12 (Island) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s recent admission that the cabinet had never discussed SL’s response to alleged war crimes allegations highlighted the culpability on the part of National Unity Govt for depriving the country of a proper defence. Cabinet regularly meets on Tuesday morning with the participation of Prez and PM. Sinha Regiment veteran & war-winning Army Chief said so at a media briefing at his ministry at Rajagiriya in response to a query posed by the writer. more..

Edtorial: Oil Yaka and nuts

Sep 12 (Island) People lived in mortal fear of Grease Yaka during the Rajapaksa govt. Covered in grease and armed with a sharp weapon, it would move about in the buff, scaring women. That much-dreaded creature has not been sighted or heard of since the 2015 regime change. But, the people are now troubled by another Yaka, under the yahapalana dispensation. Covered in a mixture of petrol, diesel and kerosene, it attacks people at midnight. Yahapalana Oil Yaka, operates more..

Udaya Gammanpila

Majority not always right

Sep 12 (DN) A Supreme Court constitution bench last Thursday pronounced a unanimous verdict – in four concurring judgments – scrapping the provisions of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalise unnatural sex between consenting adults, and was effectively used to criminalise homosexual relations in India for more than a century. The judgment decriminalises sexual acts between consensual adults and brings the curtains down on a decade-long legal struggle more..

JO Operation, A flop

Sep 12 (DN) The much bragged about Janabala Meheyuma or Operation People’s Power (OPP) is over. Was it a success of failure? Naturally opinions differ according to which side of the political divide you are. Its organizers have claimed success. Biggest ever, say some of them. It is the First Salvo in the fight for the overthrow of the Government that would certainly occur in the immediate future, much before the next Presidential or General elections, they declare. more..

'People are sick of present politics'

Sep 12 (CT) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga says although we tried to establish a govt and go on a good journey, it has collapsed at certain points, Especially when you consider sports today, it is totally destroyed. There are allegations that this govt, which came to set up a Govt of Good Governance and do something good, has today destroyed the country. Are you also, who is in Good Governance, disappointed with the actions of more..

The collapse of vocational training standards

Sep 12 (CT) One of my greatest achievements as Chairman of the Technical and Vocational Education Commission was to ensure recognition for govt employment of National Vocational Qualifications. I was fortunate in that the Minister at the time, Mahinda Samarasinghe, was intelligent, and understood immediately the importance of ensuring such recognition if we were to raise the profile of vocational training. The idea, and the justification, came when I studied SL Qualifications more..

Offences against public property: Mother of all sins

Sep 12 (CT) Presently, the topic of offences against public property is a widely discussed, with many stories being heard in connection. It is not only a matter that relates to politicians but also to every individual of a State irrespective of being employed in the State-sector or acting in a private capacity. In a very recent statement, President of SL emphasized the importance of imposing the death penalty for those who misuse and get involved in acts of mischief with public property. more..

Sathosa fraud trial begings: Daily hearings for Johnston

Sep 12 (SO) Former Minister and MP, Johnston Fernando and three others who were indicted on charges of misappropriation of state funds will be produced before the High Court of Kurunegala on Tuesday for the continuation of the trial which will be taken up daily. Fernando and two others were remanded by Kurunegala HC Judge Menaka Wijesundara last Monday when the case in connection with more..

2020 & beyond; politics of pie in the sky

Sep 12 (CT) On the day of independence in 1948, Hon DS Senanayake, the father of our nation said “No longer can we lay the blame for defects and errors in our administration on others. It is, therefore, the duty of every citizen of Lanka to grasp this opportunity and to strive and toil willingly for advancing the happiness and prosperity of the country.” What do we have after seventy years? Isn’t it prosperity for a chosen few and misery for the majority? more..

The real re-election deal for Yahapâlanaya

Sep 12 (CT) When the govt launched its Vision 2025 plan last year, some saw opportunity in it, while others saw disaster. The optimists thought having a mid-term plan of some sort would ensure policy stability and consistency, which was already in short supply. Further strengthening their hopes, the govt was able to tie up its budget proposals with the Vision 2025 plan. It also sent the message that the govt – whose popularity seemed to be on a sharp decline – had what seemed a genuine desire more..

Human rights to dismantle debt trap, says UN expert

Sep 11 (OHCHR) Human rights must be at the centre of measures by Sri Lanka to promote economic growth that would include everyone, says a UN expert. “The SL Govt should undertake an assessment of the human rights impact of both its economic reform policies and infrastructure projects,” said Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt on human rights, presenting a statement more..

PM says that Hambantota lease can be terminated if need arises

Sep 11 (AD) In an interview conducted by Nitin A. Gokhale, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe addresses the security aspects of the lease of Hambantota Port, SL debt and his relationship with President Sirisena. PM reaffirmed the security of the region following the lease of Hambantota Port to China and stated that Sri Lankan territory will not be used for anything harmful to Indian security. more..

Cabinet bans ritualistic animal sacrifices

Sep 11 (AD) The govt has decided to ban ritualistic sacrifices of animals and birds committed within the premises of Hindu Kovils or its borders, says the State Minister Niroshan Perera. Minister said that the decision was taken in accordance with a proposal submitted by the Minister D.M. Swaminathan, to implement legal procedures to ban ritualistic animal sacrifices within the Hindu Kovil premises. more..

Central bank rejects currency crisis report

Sep 11 (EN) Central bank Monday rejected a report that the island was at risk of a currency crisis, saying it had asked Nomura Holdings Inc., which made the analysis, to change its opinion. The analysis by Nomura, which was published by international media, said seven emerging economies are at risk of an exchange rate crisis. It described SL as having the worst outlook due to still-weak fiscal finances and a very fragile external position. more..

Severe drought hits Ampara

Sep 11 (CT) More than 39,000 villagers of Pathiyathalawa, Alayadivembu, Mahaoya, Thirukovil, Thambiluvil, Central Camp, Navithanveli, Damana, Lahugala and certain areas of Pottuvil in the Ampara District are very badly affected by the severe drought. District Secretary D.M.L. Bandaranayke said that in order to solve the drinking water problem of 64 Grama Niladharis Divisions, supposed to be worst affected more..

CID wants to question Gota & Fonseka again

Sep 11 (CT) The CID yesterday, informed Additional Magistrate Mount Lavinia, Lochana Abeywickrema that they will need to once again record statements from former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Army Commander and Minister Sarath Fonseka in connection with the journalist Keith Noyahr, abduction and assault case. The CID informed the Court that they will need to record more..

JVP to meet other Parties to garner consensus

Sep 11 (CT) The JVP which recently submitted the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, said that the ball was presently in the Speaker’s court and he would have to appoint a committee to study it and submit a report to the legislature within six months. The said Amendment was brought in the form of a private member Draft Bill. Subsequent to the appointment of the committee by the Speaker, which could be more..

Billions in unpaid bills: Cash crunch hits health sector

Sep 11 (CT) The country’s State Health Sector is facing a severe cash crunch that has its employees, suppliers and contractors deeply concerned as many have not received payments due to them this entire year. Health Ministry said it would find it difficult to settle its bills even by next year as a result of the Treasury’s delay in releasing adequate funds. Health Secretary, B.G.S. Gunathilake said that monetary allocations more..

'Trying to get 20A enacted as new Constitution is unlikely now'

Sep 11 (DM) JVP MP Vijitha Herath who presented the 20th Amendment speaks about it and his party’s future political agenda. Q: You have presented the 20th Amendment. The govt’s support is crucial to ensure its passage through Parliament. How certain are you of getting it? A:We have received positive responses from individual MPs of different parties. There is no official confirmation of support by their respective parties. more..

Elections watchdog prepares to hear voter list gripes

Sep 11 (ST) Elections Commission has begun inquiries into objections and appeals to the voter registration list and the final draft of the 2018 voter register will be ready by Oct 15, a senior official said. Deputy Elections Commissioner, M.M. Mohamed said, the inquiry process would continue till the end of this month and those who appealed and raised objections would be informed by registered mail that they be should be more..

Prevent third oil spill!

Sep 11 (CT) Sri Lanka has witnessed its own share of natural disasters and disasters caused by human activities over the years. While the major disasters such as the 2004 tsunami and the annual floods and landslips that result in a wide range of human casualties are always fresh in the public mind, it is but rarely we speak and discuss environmental disasters that have the tendencies of having prolonged repercussions. Take the recent oil spill that was caused by a burst offshore oil line more..

Building national harmony: A cardinal duty of the Govt

Sep 11 (DM) A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Building National Harmony has been appointed on Friday following a motion to that effect which was passed in Parliament last Wednesday. Despite national harmony in the country or reconciliation -- as it is called -- in the recent times being a long sought situation the news about this Parliamentary Select Committee did not seem to have created any enthusiasm among the people in general & minority communities in particular more..

Fuel prices increased from last night

Sep 11 (DM) Retail Prices of Fuel have been revised with effect from midnight today based on the Fuel pricing formula. Petrol (Octane 92) per litre will be increased by Rs.4 and the revised price is Rs. 149, Petrol (Octane 95) will be sold at Rs.161 an increase of Rs. 4 per litre. One litre of Auto Diesel was increased by Rs.5 and the revised price is Rs. 123 and One litre of Super Diesel will be increased by Rs.3 & revised price is Rs.133, more..

PM Modi for greater ties between India, SL

Sep 11 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi Monday called for greater people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka, saying it would enhance relations between the two nations. He made the remark during a meeting with a delegation of SL members of the parliament here. The multi-party delegation was led by Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Karu Jayasurya, a statement from the PM’s Office said. Modi stressed on the importance of linkages between the people of the two countries. more..

Video: Rajiv Gandhi assassination: MR refuses to comment

Sep 11 (ANI) Former President Rajapaksa refused to comment on the recommendation made by the TN cabinet to release all the seven convicts in the former PM Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. On his arrival to India, Rajapaksa said, "It is up to the Indian govt to decide. I do not want to comment on that, it is a legal matter." On Sunday, TN cabinet recommended the release of all seven life convicts in the case to Governor Banwarilal Purohit under Article 161 of the Constitution. more..

I know the reason for delaying Gin-Nilwala projects: MS

Sep 11 (DM) Prez Sirisena said he knew the reason why the Gin-Nilwala development projects were suppressed and sidelined during the past regime and even the present govt. He said while an inquiry was in progress over the delays that took place during the last regime, an inquiry has to be held over it's non-implementation by the present govt. "I am stopping short of commenting on it further because I know the reasons for delays more..

Almanac case against Basil: CA extends Interim Order staying proceedings

Sep 11 (DN) Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its Interim Order staying any further proceeding into the controversial almanac case filed against former Minister Basil Rajapaksa before HC Judge who was presiding over Court No. 6 of the Colombo HC, until Sept 21. Court of Appeal made this order consequent to a Transfer Application filed by former Minister seeking an order staying any further proceedings into the almanac case heard before Colombo HC Judge Kulatunga. more..

Ruwan condemns those instilling fear about national security

Sep 11 (DM) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene condemned the false and baseless statements made by some elements with ulterior political motives with regard to the national security. He said, this group of people had been engaged in a futile attempt of spreading such false statements regarding national security since the political change that took place in Jan 2015. He stressed that the govt always took decisions after analyzing matters relating to security, giving utmost priority to more..

Passports of Gota, Six others impounded

Sep 11 (DN) Permanent High Court-at-Bar set up to hear high-profile financial frauds and corruption cases yesterday served indictments on former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others. This is in connection with an incident that the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana was built using public funds amounting to Rs. 33.9 million. When the 7 accused appeared before Trial-at-Bar Bench more..

Enterprise SL cheap credit only for startups

Sep 11 (CT) Subsidized credit made available under an Enterprise Sri Lanka branded scheme to develop entrepreneurial culture is only intended for new businesses & banks should not extend these loans to old customers, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Some banks were attempting to give loans to existing customers, and they were instructed not to do so, he said. "We have had reports that some banks were talking in ways that discouraged new customers from taking loans" more..

Bank earns Rs 92.9 million from repo transactions with UL and SriLankan catering

Sep 11 (Island) Commercial Bank has earned Rs. 92.9 million, through repo transactions it made with SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Catering between 2014 and Jan 2018, Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on irregularities at SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Catering and Mihin Lanka was told. Indika Wickramaratne, Back Office Manager of Commercial Bank told the PCoI that SriLankan Airlines had done repo transactions worth Rs 110 billion with the bank between April 2014 and January 2018. more..

PM to showcase landmark changes in Sri Lanka at WEF ASEAN

Sep 11 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that he would showcase the landmark changes in SL, when he attends the 27th World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, which is scheduled to commence today. He said that the Forum would provide him with an opportunity to inform the world of the milestones reached by SL and its growing economic interconnection with the ASEAN region and beyond, that had laid more..

CPC at sea over oil spill losses

Sep 11 (FT) As clean-up efforts continued into a third day, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) yesterday said they were yet to calculate projected losses from the oil spill, but ruled out any fuel shortages as a result of the leak. CPC was grappling with cleaning the leak, which is reported to be about 1.5 metric tonnes of fuel, but had not calculated losses for insurance and other purposes. “We still don’t know the economic impact of the oil spill, because we have been engaged in more..

Govt to expand Agrahara scheme

Sep 11 (CT) The Govt is planning to extend its Agrahara medical insurance scheme to all Govt and semi-Govt sector (optional) retirees for their entire lifetime with a contributory premium, National Insurance Trust Fund Board (NITFB) Chairman Manjula De Silva said. At present, the Agrahara Insurance is applicable to those who have retired after 2016. Over 300,000 individuals who retired before 2016 are eligible for this extended Agrahara Insurance scheme. more..

Import of food crops that can be cultivated in country should be halted: President

Sep 11 (AD) President Sirisena says the attention of the authorities should be drawn to implement an appropriate process to immediately halt the import of the food crops which could cultivate in the country. He said these are done by various racketeers, who show consumer reports to show there is a need for imports. He made these remarks during a meeting held with the farming community in Hambantota more..