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Panadura SC denies wrongdoing, demands bans be rescinded

Sep 21 (CI) Administrators of Panadura Sports Club have demanded that SLC) rescind the bans handed out to its players, while several players themselves have formally asked the board to reconsider its ruling. On Saturday, SLC had announced that 22 first-class players would be banned from cricket-related activities for one year, for their supposed role in manipulating the result of a Tier B first-class match in January. more..

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya visits India

Sep 21 (FT) Speaker of the Parliament visited India to attend the 153rd birth anniversary commemorations of Anagarika Dharmapala, organised by the Mahabodhi Society of India. During the visit, the renovated premises of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai were declared open by the Speaker on 16 Sept. The official ceremony commenced with the National Anthem and lighting of the traditional oil lamp. Govt dignitaries, captains of industry, the Sri Lankan community in more..

Making the case for constitutional reform

Sep 21 (Island) Even as this article is being penned, the interim report of the Executive Committee of the Constitutional Council is scheduled for the 21st of Sept 2017, about one and a half years, since Parliament turned itself into a Constitutional Council in January 2016. This crucial process of nation building through state reform, is typically generating more political heat than shedding light on facts or creating a process of informed public discourse. Comparative international experience, more..

Pahatha Rata Natum: Dances from the Ruhunu Kingdom

Sep 21 (Roar) Kandyan dances may steal the spotlight on many occasions, but Low Country dances (pahatha rata natum) that date back to the days of Ruhunu Kingdom are performances that are unique in their own right. A few people in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka still practice many of these ritualistic dances, and it is not out of the ordinary to hear about them taking place in certain areas of the Western Province either. more..

Attempt to mislead President Sirisena on Disappearances Bill

Sep 21 (Island) It is not the policy of this newspaper to comment on articles published by other newspapers or websites. However given the importance of the ‘Bill to introduce into local law the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced isappearance’, and the campaign of misinformation surrounding this proposed piece of legislation, an exception will be made in this instance. In an article posted on D.B.S. Jeyaraj’s blog titled more..

Contempt of court case by BASL: War path on contempt charges

Sep 21 (DM) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) is on the war path against the Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka - an ardent opponent of bribery and corruption who campaigns with a vociferous voice and powerful activism to eradicate Bribery and Corruption. The BASL which is the only professional body of lawyers in Sri Lanka is contemplating filing a case against Ranjan alleging contempt for making derogatory and defamatory statements on the judiciary of bribery and corruption and more..

Arundika Fernando

Mavai Senathirajah’s landmark decision

Sep 21 (DN) During the month of August, amidst a summer dominated by high-level political resignations and firings, the Supreme Court ruled on a major case. A Three-Judge Bench, including Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, found that Tamil political parties who were advocating for an increased sharing of power under a new Federal model, were not breaking the law. “These parties did not support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State more..

Abortion, Women and Personhood

Sep 21 (GV) The govt’s plans to liberalise Sri Lanka’s abortion laws has polarised public opinion. Abortion is either supported as a natural extension of a woman’s autonomy and right to choose, or is opposed as legalised murder. But is there a path beyond the legalise vs criminalise debate? Support for abortion is founded on women’s dignity, rights and choice[1] – things that many Sri Lankan women are denied each day. They face constant harassment on the bus and the streets. more..

Govt scared of polls: Bandula

Sep 21 (NS) JO MP Bandula Gunawardena speaks about the current political climate in the country Following are excerpts: Q: Is the 20th Amendment ready to be presented in Parliament? A: The present govt does not listen to the people’s voice and does not hold elections in due time. Its governance is undemocratic. The previous govt held provincial and local govt elections replacing the ballot for the bullet in the North more..

Editorial:  A passport to impunity?

Sep 21 (Island) A claim made by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s counsel, before the presidential commission of inquiry probing bond scams, on Tuesday, has raised many an eyebrow. He said his client could not be compelled to give evidence as the latter was a Singaporean. The commission had previously ruled that it could not compel Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius to testify. Mahendran, however, chose to give evidence unlike his son-in-law, Aloysius. more..

Taking Ranjan to courts on contempt charges: BASL has a better role

Sep 21 (DM) “… The Bar Association of Sri Lanka notes with concern the undue and unwarranted attacks on the law enforcement authorities, the Attorney General’s Department and now the judiciary….” The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) in a press release has threatened contempt of Court action taken against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for making some serious criticisms against the Courts and the legal profession. Damage done by the restriction more..

Taximeters are welcome: All Island Three-wheel Drivers’ Union

Sep 21 (SO) Transport Ministry has given an extension of time until Dec 31 for trishaw drivers to fix taximeters, despite the Gazette notification issued on Sept 8, 2017 which has introduced several key regulations to be effective from Oct 1 to regulate the trishaw industry. Deputy Minister Ashok Abeysinghe said, the main purpose of introducing the new regulations is to prevent various irregularities and shortcomings, and more..

Cricket & reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Sep 21 (CT) A recent Skype chat with Uvindu Kurukulasuriya about Kumar Sangakkara inevitably led me to reflect upon the many reconciliatory measures Kumar has participated in – steps attempting to build bridges across the Sinhala-Tamil ethnic divide in Sri Lanka. Among these efforts, the most striking act was the powerful ecumenical statement he asserted at the end of his momentous Cowdrey Lecture at the MCC in London in 2011. “Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities more..

Constitution controversy: The real options

Sep 21 (CT) There are three types of separatists in the context of Sri Lankan politics and society: Firstly, those who openly advocate or support the project of a separate state carved out of this island. These elements exist in the Diaspora, in Tamil Nadu and also in the North and East. Secondly those who advocate ethno-federalism, the re-merger and self-determination, while knowing or not knowing but not caring, or simply not realizing, that given the geopolitics and history, more..

Selling Sri Lanka agenda: Sri Lanka considers listing of major state firms

Sep 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is considering listing two state-owned banks and an insurance company next year, by selling stakes of at least 10% in each, govt, regulatory and exchange officials said. Bank of Ceylon, the largest lender in SL, People’s Bank, and Sri Lanka Insurance are all earmarked for possible sales, the sources said. “The idea is to list at least 10% of the stakes in each institution by the first half of next year,” more..

India assists upgradation of Thondaman Vocational Training Centre in Hatton

Sep 20 (ST) India and Sri Lanka signed a MoU today, to upgrade Thondaman Vocational Training Centre (TVTC), Hatton located in Nuwara Eliya District of Sri Lanka, a statement from Indian High Commission said. The MoU was signed by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and  Secretary, Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Mrs. R. Nadarasapillai at an event held at High Commission of India, Colombo, more..

Increase tobacco taxes in line with income: Chairman NATA

Sep 20 (CT) Govt must increase the taxes on cigarettes, between 4–5% from 2018 Budget, in view of increase in the per capita income, Dr. Palitha Abeykoon, Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) said. Meanwhile, Executive Director of Verite Research, Nishan de Mel said that the Govt must introduce a tax formula to annually increase the price of cigarettes. "There should be a tax formula on cigarettes so that there is transparency in the manner in which more..

Private funding for Sri Lanka Megapolis, govt equity minimal

Sep 20 (EN) Sri Lanka’s govt is keen to get the private sector involved in financing critical urban infrastructure as its own equity contribution would be limited, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka said. Countries like Sri Lanka will have many challenges and opportunities associated with ongoing mass urbanisation, he said at a forum in Colombo on financing urbanization in Asia-Pacific region. more..

Myanmar to export rice to Sri Lanka

Sep 20 (EM) Myanmar is negotiating with Sri Lanka to export rice under a govt-to-govt agreement, according to the Ministry of Commerce. “We are in discussion with China as well as Sri Lanka to export rice,” said an official. Myanmar has exported rice to 65 countries this year, amounting to 1.3 million tonnes of rice. This is more than 800,000 tonnes of rice than the same period in last year, said director-general Yan Naing Tun from the Directorate of Trade under the ministry. more..

JVP calls for solutions to elections issues

Sep 20 (NR) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says there will be no obstacle to hold the Provincial Council Elections on the same day in accordance with the recommendations of the Supreme Court. Addressing Parliament today, he said the issues surrounding the matter can be solved. MP said there was an attempt to hold the Provincial Council Elections on one single day; however the attempt has failed due to the determinations of the Supreme Court more..

Video: Anti-SAITM protest tomorrow

Sep 20 (DM) The education, petroleum and healthcare sectors countrywide are likely to be disrupted tomorrow because of anti-SAITM protests to be conducted by a trade union alliance led by the GMOA. Those in the ayurvedic and dental sectors including nurses are also expected to join them in a picketing campaign outside the Colombo National Hospital. It said some 15 teacher and principal associations would more..

Railway unions call off strike

Sep 20 (DN) Railway unions today called off their planned 48-hour token strike following discussions with the PM’s Secretary. H.M Athulasena, speaking on behalf of the trade unions said that the unions - comprising station masters, drivers and guards - had decided to launch the token strike in protest of the Salary and Cadre Commission’s failure to implement the recommendations with regard to their salaries. He further said that the Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry has made recommendations more..

No official missive as yet

Sep 20 (CT) Minister of Prison Reforms D.M. Swaminathan said that the Ministry had not received any official letter, as yet, requesting the removal of Acting Chief Medical officer of Prison Dr. Nirmalie Thenuwara from the Prison Hospital. Swaminathan further said that he believes the letter will be received within a couple of days. "On 18 Sept I held a discussion with Minister Rajitha Senaratne. In that meeting, he listened to the allegations listed by other doctors who work in the prison hospital. more..

Sadeera, Roshen make SL Test squad

Sep 20 (CI) Uncapped batsmen Sadeera Samarawickrama and Roshen Silva have earned call-ups to the Sri Lanka Test squad touring the UAE. Back in the fray, meanwhile, are two relatively experienced batsmen. Lahiru Thirimanne, who last played a Test in June 2016, has been recalled, as vice-captain no less. Opener Kaushal Silva, whose most recent Test was in South Africa in January, is also in the squad. more..

Indonesia, Sri Lanka to form parliamentary cooperation group

Sep 20 (AN) Indonesia and Sri Lanka will soon set up a parliamentary cooperation group to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries in various fields such as politics, economy, and culture. "Indonesia and Sri Lanka both share an important relationship in terms of parliament between the two countries," Chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Board (BKSAP), Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, stated while receiving SL Honorary Ambassador to Indonesia, Dharshana Parera, more..

Video: CEB Employees issued final warnings to report back to work

Sep 20 (AD) Power and Renewable Energy ministry issued final warnings to CEB employees on casual and probation basis to report to work before noon tomorrow or face the consequences. Meanwhile the CEB Employees’ Union (CEBEU) announced that a massive protest will be staged tomorrow if the govt fails to address their issues before today noon. The govt should take up the responsibility of any inconvenience caused to public due to the trade union action, the CEBEU said. more..

Bond Scam II?: Central Expressway: Agreement to be signed with Taisai

Sep 20 (DM) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the agreement to hand over the construction work on the Central Expressway would be signed with the Japanese Company, Taisai next week. He that the Cabinet had approved the decision to do so. The minister said there had been no malpractice in the tender procedure and that they were able to reduce the Taisai bid from Rs.159 billion to Rs.134.9 billion after discussions. more..

Sri Lanka to change regulations to attract foreign investment

Sep 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will reform regulations to attract more investment to tackle growing debt and target economic growth, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday. Both 2018 and 2019 would be crucial years for Sri Lanka because of high debt repayments, he said in Colombo. "We are on the right track. We have strengthened the external situation of our country to better face global market vulnerability. We are creating a series of measures to attract non-debt creating inflows, more..

Dengue cases dropped by 90% – Rajitha

Sep 20 (NR) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the number of dengue cases reported in the island has reduced by 90%. Speaking at an event in Borella he said the likelihood of an outbreak of dengue during the monsoon season in October and November remains high. Accordingly the Ministry of Health has taken steps to conduct a special dengue prevention week from the 26th of Sept onwards. He also expressed his regard for the support granted to the govt’s positive move more..

Parliament adjourned due to tense situation

Sep 20 (DN) A tense situation erupted in the Parliament today when JO members stormed into the well of the House in protest of moving the second reading debate on the Provincial Councils Elections (Amendment) Bill.  Speaker Karu Jauasuriya adjourned Parliamentary proceedings for around two hours to reach to a decision on the continuation of the debate on the bill. Speaker suspended the sittings at around 11.20 am. more..

Mathews ruled out of 1st Test against Pak

Sep 20 (CI) Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi later this month with a calf strain. He had sustained the injury during training on Tuesday, before undergoing scans on Wednesday. SLC cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha confirmed Mathews' unavailability. This is the latest in a long history of leg injuries for Mathews - the last 12 months having been particularly problematic. He had suffered a torn hamstring more..

Entire Sirisena family at the UN

Sep 20 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is currently in New York for the the 72nd Regular Session of the UNGA has been accompanied by his wife Jayanthi, son Daham and daughters Chathurika and Dharani. Two yeas ago Daham Sirisena was spotted attending the UNGA sessions and seated with the SL delegation raising eyebrows and causing much embarrassment to the President. This year, however, President’s wife and elder daughter Chathurika, although seen at UN more..

PUCSL warns of shortcomings in Sri Lanka’s power supply : Report

Sep 20 (LBO) Public Utilities Commission of SL (PUCSL), island’s power regulator has warned of serious consequences to be expected and also continue in the next few years if the timely implementation of long term generation plan is not ensured, a statement said. “Shortcoming of implementation of SL’s Least cost longterm generation expansion plans (LCLTGEP) has resulted in cost overruns, load shedding, more..

Sri Lankan fugitive faces Sh2 billion theft charge in Kenya

Sep 20 (SM) Moshin Ranatunga, who entered Kenya on a 90-day visa, was charged last year with stealing Sh2 billion from his employer, Ranfer Teas Kenya, between July 2012 and Sept 2015. Assistant Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexander Muteti applied to have Ranatunga's Sh1 million bond cancelled, arguing that he was a flight risk. Muteti told the court that Mr Ranatunga had run away from the country in 2016 after a warrant of arrest was issued against him in connection with the lost money. more..

Govt tables legislation to increase number of HC Judges from 75 to 85

Sep 20 (Island) Govt introduced an amendment to the Judicature Act to increase the number of high court judges from 75 to 85. Amendment Bill was introduced by Minister Thalatha Atukorale. Amendment was approved by cabinet in May last year when it was presented by the former Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. Rajapakshe informed in the Cabinet proposal that as there was an enormous backlog of cases pending in courts, appropriate measures had to be adopted expeditiously more..