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New oil spill shows CPC keeps on ‘repeating mistakes’

Jan 28 (ST) In the third major oil leak in five months harming the environment, about 12,000 litres of diesel fuel from a storage tank is believed to have leaked into the Nilwala Ganga at Akuressa. The Ceylon Petrol Corporation (CPC) failed to check if the fuel depot that had the faulty tank had taken basic steps to prevent such a leak, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Deputy Director in Matara, Susantha Wedage, said. more..

Embilipitiya attack: Police probe yourself

Jan 28 (DM) Bar Association of SL has joined several other independent civic action movements in expressing it’s grave concern over what it calls the unacceptable conduct of the Police as seen in a series of recent incidents. BASL’s Rule of Law Standing Committee says the latest incident was a youth’s death where Embilipitiya Police Station officers are implicated, with their alleged conduct and behaviour unbecoming of any person in any responsible position, specially the Police. more..

Practise what you preach

Jan 28 (CT) A tense situation prevailed at the Homagama Magistrate's Court on Tuesday as a group of monks disrupted Court proceedings by protesting against the arrest of General Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera. The Thera, however, was remanded until 9 Feb on the charge of contempt of Court and intimidating Sandya Ekneligoda inside the Courtroom. Around 200 Buddhist monks entered Court premises protesting the arrest, with some even scaling more..

Presidential outburst stirs post-Cabinet meeting with UNP Ministers

Jan 28 (FT) During a post-Cabinet meeting with UNP Ministers including PM, President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday vented his frustration over what he described as nothing happening. President was visibly very angry and emphatic when he had said a common claim was that nothing is happening, and people and the private sector were losing patience. Sirisena has claimed that he cannot face the people when touring the provinces as more..

Bribery Commission to serve indictments against several persons

Jan 28 (DN) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has taken steps to serve indictments against several persons, including millionaires after completing investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption received against them. Among them are several politicians, Ministry Secretaries and corporation heads and other public officers belonging to Education Health and several other sectors including the defence establishment. more..

'Politically bankrupt trying to divide SLFP'

Jan 28 (DN) Senior President of SLFP and Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said that a group of persons who have been politically stranded are trying to divide the party by forming a new political party. He said that these persons who do not have a popular base, are trying to create rifts within SLFP using former President Rajapaksa as a cat's paw. "Such a new party will not last long," he said. He was addressing the media after calling on Mahanayake Theras of Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters more..

Yoshitha to be court martialed?

Jan 28 (DN) Speculation is rife that Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of former President Rajapaksa would be summoned before a military court in connection with the abuse of his position in violation of the Navy Act, authoritative defence sources said. Navy conducted a full scale investigation into the charges leveled against Rajapaksa and the investigation report has already been referred to the President. more..

Paranagama Commission says 40,000 figure a myth

Jan 28 (CG) Missing Persons Commission, also known as the Paranagama Commission says the figure of 40,000 civilians killed during the final weeks of the war is a myth. A statement signed by the Chairman of the Commission, Maxwell Paranagama, said that the issue of how many people were killed has been raised once again by Channel 4 presenter John Snow during a recent visit to Sri Lanka. The Commission says it has dealt extensively with the issue and all available figures more..

JVP concerned about Indian, Korean cultural invasion of local prime time TV

Jan 28 (Island) Prime time of local TV stations from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm had been hijacked by Korean and Indian teledramas and govt should take immediate action to change the situation for local artistes to get preference, JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said in Parliament. What the JVP called indianisation of local channels would only facilitate India’s cultural invasion of Sri Lanka, MP said, pointing out that cheap Korean tele dramas had become a threat to local TV artistes. more..

Live Events will pay up

Jan 28 (DM) Live Events, (the company that organised last December's controversial Enrique Iglesias concert) had agreed to settle tax payment to Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) after it was accused of not paying the correct amount, said Municipal Commissioner M.K.V. Anura. He said the CMC had decided not to file a lawsuit against Live Events though they had earlier contemplated legal action. more..

Sieren's China: No bearer of grudges

Jan 28 (DW) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena made no secret of the fact that he was looking for other partners in recent months. He showed the cold shoulder to China, which until then had been a reliable partner to the country. Immediately after being elected almost a year ago, he put a huge port project that his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa had clinched with Beijing on hold. The official justification was that the project did not meet environmental standards. more..

Rajitha wants nurses and family health workers to bury the hatchet

Jan 28 (Island) Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine (MHIM) Rajitha Senaratne has urged nurses and family health workers to set aside their differences and work in unity. Addressing the gathering at the opening of the Administrative section of the new Nurses Training School, of the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), Kalutara on Tuesday (26), Dr. Senaratne said different ethnic and religious communities had to get together to develop the country. more..

'Rebuilding SLFP shouldn’t be Maithri’s priority'

Jan 28 (Island) Convenor of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya yesterday alleged that President Maithripala Sirisena had deviated from his original mandate to restore democracy. Prof. Wijesooriya of the Sinhala Department of the University pointed out that the President had been engaged in a political project at the expense of the much-touted pledges made at presidential and parliamentary polls. more..

WFP funds Country Programme Action Plan 2016-2017

Jan 28 (GDI) The UN, World Food Programme (WFP) has agreed to extend the food aid assistance through the Country Programme Action Plan 2016 – 2017. The objective of this two year Country Programme Action Plan is to improve food and nutrition security, and build resilience of vulnerable communities to climate shocks. The total cost of the Country Programme Action Plan 2016-2017 is US $ 19,705,165. Accordingly, WFP will extend the support using in-kind and cash-based more..

Punish those who disrupt Court hearing of Eknaligoda abduction case: FMM

Jan 28 (FT) Free Media Movement (FMM) condemns in strongest terms the unruly behavior of extremist Buddhist monks who tried to disrupt court hearing of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda disappearance case. This disruption took place 25 Jan at Homagama Magistrate Court. BBS GalabodaAtthe Gnanasara Thero entered the court by force and shouted in uncivilised language blaming lawyers and court officials for conducting the case of Eknaligoda’s disappearance. more..

Ravi K reassures Parliament on economy

Jan 28 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake assured Parliament that leading the country to a safe but steady path is among the key priorities of the current Govt. Moving an Order under the Customs Ordinance, six Orders under the Special Commodity Levy Act, and a resolution under Inland Revenue Act, he explained the recent actions of the govt to settle pending payments for local parties for services rendered more..

Second win for Hambantota Troopers

Jan 28 (DN) Hambantota Troopers secured their second successive win in the Super T20 provincial tournament when they defeated Colombo Commandos by six wickets yesterday. Niroshan Dickwella made his second consecutive half century for Colombo but finished on the losing side as Hambantota chased down the total of 162/8 to win with 11 balls to spare. Despite the early dismissal of Hambantota skipper T Dilshan for four, Seekkuge Prasanna thumped 40 off 21 balls to set them more..

Chinese, Indian suppliers engage Sri Lanka’s packaging industry

Jan 28 (Island) Many members of the Asian Packaging Federation which includes China and India are scheduled to participate in the 16th edition of Lankapak 2016, to be held in Colombo from May 6 to 8, this year. President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Packaging (SLIP) J.D.C Perera said that he looked forward to the active participation of the Asian Packaging Federation (APF), especially members such as China and India who were the biggest suppliers of packaging material to SL. more..

Video: BBS accuses law enforces of double standards

Jan 28 (DM) Different standards were applied by the law enforcers to MP Hirunika Premachandra (when she was arrested for allegedly kidnapping someone) and the Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera when he was charged with contempt of court and the disruption of court proceedings, alleged the Collective of National Bikkhu Organisations today. The Collective of National Bikkhu Organisations comprises more..

No room for complacency as Sri Lanka U19 aims to top table

Jan 28 (ICC) Sri Lanka has taken good care to ensure that its preparation would be thorough in pursuit of a maiden trophy in Under-19 World Cup 2016. It started way back in Oct 2014, when it beat Australia by a 6-1 margin at home. There was a 2-3 loss to Bangladesh in January thereafter, a 3-0 victory over Pakistan at home and a loss to India in the final of a tri-series that also involved England. It has had matches aplenty under its belt, and enough time to settle on a combination. more..

Ambassador urges nationals to take advantage of opportunities

Jan 28 (KT) While calling on his countrymen who are illegally staying in Kuwait to turn themselves over to the authorities, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Kuwait noted that the current partial amnesty is not attractive enough to convince expatriates to take advantage of it. “When we communicate with our people, especially those who call with regards to the amnesty, they don’t seem to be convinced,” said Kandeepan Bala. “A regular amnesty means that you are allowed to leave the country without more..

Injury stricken Sri Lanka likely to send depleted squad

Jan 28 (DN) With several key players carrying injuries Sri Lanka are likely to send a depleted squad for the three-match T20 international series to India next month. Both countries are set to play a series of three matches prior to the Asia Cup as they look ahead to the World T20 in March. The matches in India are scheduled at Pune on Feb 9, Delhi on Feb 12 and Visakhapatnam on Feb 14. T20 captain Lasith Malinga is still recovering more..

Sri Lanka commercial property demand will expand with FDI: Regus

Jan 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s commercial property market will see a rise in demand as local firms expand their businesses and foreign firms start setting up in the island, a global work-space provider said. “There is huge demand for the commercial property in post war Sri Lanka and in the last 12 months the sentiment has improved with our local businesses expanding and foreign firms setting up,” Nirmal De Silva, Country Manager, Regus Sri Lanka said. “There seems to be more FDI potential more..

Towards sustainable wildlife tourism

Jan 28 (DM) Sri Lanka Tourism took the first step in addressing one of the tourism industry’s major concerns and its impact on wildlife tourism by hosting a lecture on the theme CITES and wildlife trade – What CITES does and how it links to wildlife tourism at The Galle Face Hotel on Monday. Lecture was delivered by Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), John Scanlon. He was here to attend the Destruction of Blood Ivory Event more..

Out of the shadows

Jan 28 (FT) He’s back. After a year in the shadows, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the controversial monk who leads the radical Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), is front and centre of the news cycle again. He is storming into courtrooms, insulting Govt lawyers and threatening, allegedly in foul language, the woman who has been searching for her missing husband for the better part of six years. more..

Sri Lanka faces more challenges this year

Jan 28 (TP) Sri Lanka and Maldives have always been good neighbours and often lent support to the other in a crisis or whenever a situation arose. However in recent months relations have soured after the SL govt expressed concern over the imprisonment of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed. Sri Lanka was joined by many western countries including Britain and US in urging the Maldivian authorities to release Nasheed, jailed over alleged interference in the judiciary more..

Who is the Crown Prince of Sinha Le?

Jan 28 (CT) Sinha Le organization organized an Adhishtana Pooja recently opposite the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic). The media reported that those present at this pooja carried a National Flag sans the symbols that signify the minorities in this country. Earlier, the distorted content of the National flag surfaced when former Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was summoned before Bribery Commission. Those opposed to summoning of Gotabaya before more..

A festering fisheries crisis amid cosy Indo-Lanka ties

Jan 28 (HT) Indo-Lanka relations have not looked this strong in decades, but renewed ties hold little hope for Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen, whose livelihoods are in serious question because of their Indian counterparts. The new dynamic between the countries followed the dramatic regime change in Sri Lanka in Jan 2015. It was hard to miss South Block’s relief over the defeat of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Sri Lanka tea and cinnamon, a tale of Mercantilism and oppression

Jan 28 (EN) Sri Lanka has a ban and taxes on the import of tea, preventing domestic value addition for export, supposedly to protect a Ceylon Tea brand, while also taxing exports of raw produce of farmers including cinnamon, supposedly to boost domestic value addition. Both these positions cannot be true, since they are contradictory. Both these acts of coercion and repression are supposed to benefit farmers, or the country, either in the long-term or short term. more..

Send Sarath Fonseka and impose martial law in Kurunegala

Jan 28 (Island) Recently I went to have a hair cut at a saloon in Kurunegala and it was a disaster. I didn't feel safe when I saw how they used the same brushes, combs and even razors on children, adults and even women. It was a saloon in the heart of the city with no supervision by authorities. When I inquired from a friend, he responded "But, who is going to supervise the authorities? It's a case of lawlessness in once ancient city and ordinary people are becoming more and more helpless" more..

Uththareethara: Tony Ranasinghe

Editorial: Power and brains

Jan 28 (Island) Time was when the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga used to call Mahinda Rajapaksa reporter in her Cabinet. She thought he was responsible for the so-called Cabinet leaks. He has apparently lived up to that sobriquet all these years. After being ensconced in power as the executive president, he made the best use of his journalistic skills; he ran the state media to all intents and purposes! Now that he is free from presidential responsibilities and has a lot of time more..

Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Point

Jan 28 (CT) Politicians are wont to speak frankly on issues that ail them, particularly with regard to issues they feel should be prioritised in the interests of the country. Sure, there’s no such thing as a clean motive when it comes to them, but it is true that once in a while, they tend to slip up the truth, though conveniently hiding part of it under ideology-garb. Can’t help. With politicians, here and elsewhere, this is as timeless a truism as it’s going to get. Former president (and present head of a more..

Sri Lanka’s new pace prodigy

Jan 28 (CT) He started his career as a gentle medium pace bowler while concentrating more on variation, line and length. But in a short period of time Dushmantha Chameera has shot into the limelight to become Sri Lanka's main spearhead while exploiting his natural talent and fitness level to good effect. Q: Tell us about your current activities? A: I came back to the island a few days ago after a long tour and enjoyed more..

Vetting our way to trust

Jan 28 (GV) The conversation on Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka has hitherto focused almost exclusively on the govt’s stated commitments to establish an Office of Missing Persons, a judicial mechanism with a special prosecutor, a Truth Commission and a Office for Reparations. Unfortunately, this conversation does not address the question of security sector reform, which is a central component of Transitional Justice. OISL Report’s list of recommendations included more..

An entente cordiale in Sri Lankan politics?

Jan 28 (SL) When one sees what is going on in the matter of endless parades of prominent and not so prominent people to the multiplicity of investigating/inquiring bodies set up by the Maithripala/Ranil (MR2) govt and the total absence of anything resembling prosecutions coming out of these investigations/inquiries, the question that I have posed as the heading of this column seems almost redundant. I have in the days that Mahinda Rajapaksa regime (MR1) ruled all of SL, more..