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Never-say-die Vidushi reaches personal best to win triple jump

Oct 12 (Island) Don’t give up till the end seemed to be Vidushi Sandeepani’s competition slogan as the youngster hailing from Emblipitiya edged out her opponents in her final attempt to win the Under-18 girls’ triple jump, arguably the most eye-catching field event on day one, of the All Island Schools Games Athletics Championship at a rain-soaked Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium at Diyagama on Wednesday. more..

Labrooy says selectors will be tough on fitness

Oct 12 (Island) Chairman of Selectors Graeme Labrooy says that the selectors will be tough on fitness of the players, an area that has been a bone of contention and led to a verbal confrontation between Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and Lasith Malinga. The selectors and team management have set up minimum standards for players to prove their fitness. Although the team management has not made an official announcement, it is believed that all players more..

Bond Commission: Why is PM's evidence important?

Oct 12 (CT) Two important witnesses were summoned before the COI investigating into the CB Bond Scam. They were Ministers Malik Samarawickrama & Kabir Hashim. According to the evidence led before the COI, so far, the names of these two Ministers came up in relation to one incident. That is the meeting that was held on the 26th February, 2015 at the CBSL premises with their attendance along with Ravi Karunanayake – Minister of Finance, Arjuna Mahendran and more..

Manohara De Silva

SL to be a base for human rights monitoring

Oct 11 (SL) Sri Lanka has over the years been at the centre of the human rights debate, often being accused of violating human rights. However now the country is set to be a base for human rights monitoring with one of the world’s leading human rights groups establishing its regional office in Colombo. The Sunday Leader learns that Amnesty International’s South Asia team  will look to operate out of a regional office in Colombo. It is also learnt that Amnesty International’s more..

Editorial:  NAB: Akka or Nangi?

Oct 12 (Island) The National Audit Bill (NAB) is reported to have passed muster with the Cabinet at long last; it is expected to be presented to Parliament shortly. We hope this is not another instance of nangi pennala akka deema or ‘showing a young man an attractive woman and getting him to marry her not-so-pretty elder sister’. The govt is quite adept at playing this trick on the electorate. The recent passage of the provincial council polls bill is a case in point. more..

'Demographics expert says No labour shortage in Sri Lanka'

Oct 11 (CT) What SL has is a youth bulge, Professor Indralal De Silva, the current acting Executive Director of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, and one of SL's foremost experts on demographics, claims, dismissing a popular belief that there is a labour shortage in SL. Q: You are one of the foremost authorities on SL demographics. So let's start with a brief introduction on characteristics of SL's population? more..

Blemishes in Parliamentary history: Result of failure to learn from errors

Oct 11 (CT) While the President, PM and even the Opposition leader had cheerful and optimistic views on Sri Lanka's Parliamentary history, other members of both the Opposition and Govt did not refrain from speaking of the mistakes and blunders that Parliament should be held accountable for. While taking part in the vote commemorating the 70th anniversary celebrations of the introduction of Parliamentary democracy to the country, Chief Opposition Whip and leader of the JVP more..

Oppressive religious orthodoxy & orphaned Muslim women

Oct 12 (CT) The issue of reforming Muslim personal laws and in particular the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is dragging on without any firm decision from the govt. The article by Shreen Abdul Saroor on Muslim Women’s Rights – When Is The Right Time? that appeared in this journal (10 Oct) is in my view a cry in desperation out of prolonged frustration and disappointment not only at the govt’s vacillation and indecision but also at the obsequiousness of Muslim intellectuals more..

A new controversy in the political sphere: Basil stirs up Basil

Oct 12 (SO) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa stirred up a hornet’s nest last Sunday, by admitting to crimes being committed by the military personnel during the time of war. He said, although the military forces, as a whole, did not commit war crimes, individuals from armed forces might have committed crimes in the war zone. The controversial statement by the former Minister has given rise to a new controversy in the political sphere as more..

A force of One : Krav Maga Self Defence

Oct 11 (DN) What do you call someone who quits his day job to fully dedicate himself to teaching vulnerable people and communities self-defence? Some might say hero. But Kunchana Ranasinghe baulks at the label. “I’m just doing my part,” he says. A former national champion in judo and mixed martial arts, Ranasinghe is presently the Director and Chief Instructor of the Krav Maga Kapap Lanka Institute. Recently, he stepped away from a career in marketing to channel all his energy into more..

New Constitution: Are we on the right path?

Oct 11 (NS) As we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of our Parliament it is more than a coincidence that a new set of proposals forming the basis of a new Constitution for the country is ready for its consideration. Though seven decades have elapsed since we gained independence from the colonial rule we have terribly failed in the task of drafting a proper Constitution acceptable to all communities. In this matter we are sadly behind India which succeeded in replacing the British more..

Aloysius’ PA Samuel gets chest pain and does not turn up to testify

Oct 11 (DM) In the wake of Aloysius’ personal assistant, Steve Samuel’s Counsel informing that his client was admitted to the hospital due to a chest pain and is unable to appear before the Commission, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena today stressed that the Commission wants to see the files maintained by PTL under the heading of ‘RK’ and ‘AM’. After a short adjournment, Commission again commenced its proceedings summoning more..

AG opposes Gammanpila’s request to travel to Italy

Oct 11 (DN) Attorney General today opposed PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila’s request that he be allowed to travel Italy between Oct 17 and Nov 4 to attend a function. MP Gammanpila whose passport was impounded by Court for allegedly cheating Rs. 20 million following his alleged fraudulent share transaction, sought Colombo High Court’s permission to temporary lift his travel ban. Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appearing for the Attorney General informed more..

Finance Minister meets US under Secretary in Washington

Oct 11 (GDI) Minister Mangala Samaraweera who is currently in Washington to attend the World Bank/IMF annual meeting met with the US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ambassador Thomas Shannon, yesterday at the US State Department. Ambassador Shannon will visit Sri Lanka in Nov 2017 to take part in the next round of the US/SL Partnership Dialogue, which was inaugurated in 2016 when he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a regular policy consultation designed to more..

Sri Lanka seen facing risks from global interest rate hike

Oct 11 (EN) Sri Lanka has the fourth highest external vulnerability risk to a rise in global interest rate among that could cause capital outflows or lower inflows, according to a new report on frontier markets by Moody’s Investors Service. The credit rating agency said debt levels of frontier market sovereigns will remain elevated and they will continue to spend more on debt service costs in the next year. The most vulnerable sovereigns more..

16-year-old kills himself using father's gun

Oct 11 (DN) A 16-year-old-boy of a leading school in Galle committed suicide by shooting himself using his father’s licensed gun, Galle Police said. The deceased boy who was preparing for his G.C.E. O/L Exam was identified as Kumuditha Adithya Hettiarachchi of Wataraka (East) in Galle. He was the second born of the family, whose father is a businessman and mother is a teacher. He had shot himself under a tree behind his home at around 8.30 pm yesterday. more..

JVP demands removal of Litro Gas Chairman

Oct 11 (Island) JVP yesterday said that leaders of the former govt had robbed SL banks and stashed away the stolen funds in foreign banks and the members of the present adminstration did it the other way around. "The leaders in this govt steal money from foreign banks and deposit it here," JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He called upon the govt to explain why it had not removed Litro Gas Chairman S. Moonesinghe remanded in connection with an int'l financial scam. more..

Namal tweets to UNHRC of their arrest

Oct 11 (EN) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa turned to the UNHRC soon after he was arrested along with two other MPs over their recent anti-India protest. Rajapaksa, a leading member of the JO which is highly critical of the UN Rights Council, complained to the world body as well as the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, about their arrest. "#SriLanka Police arrested us 4 our peaceful protest against selling national assets, more..

Rs 100 per day for school children?

Oct 11 (AD) Education Ministry denied media reports that Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has proposed a daily allowance of Rs.100 for school children. A responsible official confirmed that the Minster has not made such a statement. Meanwhile, Education State Minister V. Radhakrishnan also confirmed that the Ministry had not taken such a decision. The attempts to contact Education Minister regarding the statement were a failure as he was on an official tour to Finland. more..

Uva PC sends its best sanitary labourers on a study tour abroad

Oct 11 (Island) For the first time in the history of the country where usually only top politicians and their crony bureaucrats get foreign junkets, the Uva Provincial Council has decided to send 21 sanitary labourers on a study tour to Thailand. Uva Chief Minister Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, addressing a press conference, said that it was the first time sanitary labourers working in local govt bodies had got a chance to go abroad on a study tour. more..

Average land prices in Colombo increased by 36% in 2016: Study

Oct 11 (LBO) Land values in Colombo are growing at a remarkable rate while overall land prices in the country have also shown an accelerated growth within the last year, a recent study has found. According to the National House Price Index, average land prices in Colombo has increased by 36% within the last year alone, making it the biggest increase in the real estate sector, when compared against more..

Cabinet nod to import 50,000 MT rice

Oct 11 (DN) Sathosa received cabinet approval to import 50,000 metric tons of rice to cover expected rice shortages in the near future. The Yala season rice harvest this year had fallen by 50 percent as a result of the drought and this has led to a possible shortage of rice in the market until December of this year. Of the total amount needed, 100,000 metric tons have already been imported from India and a committee is to be appointed under the leadership of the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance to more..

SL to add dollar-denominated board to CSE

Oct 11 (LBO) Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is finalising plans to launch a dollar trading board, part of a broader strategy to develop Sri Lanka’s bourse into a regional capital markets centre and boost the inflow of foreign funds, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) said. In mid-July Ray Abeywardena, chairman of the CSE, announced that the exchange had received regulatory approval to launch a dollar trading board for foreign investors by the end of the year. more..

The story of a North Korea-backed rebellion in Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (NK) In part due to the DPRK’s continued missile and nuclear tests, several govts have recently expelled North Korean ambassadors and diplomats from their countries. This is not a new phenomenon. North Korean diplomats have a long history of being thrown out of their host countries, with one of the most egregious examples of DPRK diplomacy taking place on the small South Asian island nation more..

Sudarshana Gunawardhane new Govt Information DG

Oct 11 (AD) SLBC Chairman Sudarshana Gunawardena has been appointed as the Acting Director General of govt Information department today. Appointment was made following the vacancy which prevailed in the position after the resignation of Dr Ranga Kalansooriya, from his position as the Director General on Sept 29. Sudarshana Gunawardena was appointed as the Chairman of SLBC earlier June, this year. He is a lawyer by profession and was appointed as an advisor more..

CCD seeks AG’s advice regarding Tawheed Jamath

Oct 11 (DN) The case against six members of SL Tawheed Jamath (SLTJ) for allegedly making derogatory remarks on the Buddha and hurting the sentiments of the Sinhala-Buddhist community in the country has been referred to the Attorney General for his advice. Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) conducting investigation into the incident informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara that the extracts of the investigations have been forwarded to the Attorney General. more..

Govts not bound by UN experts advice: Ministry

Oct 11 (DM) Govts are not bound by the advice or recommendations of UN Special Rapporteurs, but can avail of the expert knowledge and experience of Special Rapporteurs who are available to Govts as a resource, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday. Issuing a statement, the Ministry said some media reports connected to the visit of UN Expert on Transitional Justice Pablo de Greiff, had given erroneous and more..

National Police Commission becoming hilarious by its conduct, says GL

Oct 11 (Island) Chairman of SL Podu Jana Peramuna and former UPFA Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that instead of arresting the ASP who had slapped the journalist while performing his legitimate duty, the National Police Commission was awaiting a report from the IGP on the incident, which was hilarious. Prof. Pieris asked, if the National Police Commission was independent why it would want a report from the IGP to an incident to which the whole country was a witness and added that more..

Police violates International Mob Control Laws: Protesters

Oct 11 (DM) While condemning yesterday’s police attack on anti-SAITM protesters, SAITM Virodhi Jana Pawura member Mahinda Jayasinghe said that they would complain to the SL Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) about the alleged violation of International Mob Control Laws. He said the attack was one of the most shameful seen in recent history and therefore would seek legal assistance over the violent behavior of the police. Responding to the allegations, Police Spokesman told more..

Shalila M. removed as Litro Gas chairman

Oct 11 (AD) Ministry of Public Enterprise Development has directed Chairman of SL Insurance Corporation to remove Mr Shalila Moonesinghe from the post of Chairman of Litro Gas Lanka Limited. Statement issued by the ministry today said that Secretary of the Public Enterprise Development Ministry, Mr Ravindra Hewavitharana, has directed Insurance Corporation chairman Hemaka Amarasuriya to immediately remove more..

Sri Lanka forum to boost economic freedom

Oct 11 (EN) In parallel to the worldwide release of the annual Economic Freedom of the world Report by Canada's Fraser Institute, Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank said it is kicking off a forum in a bid to boost economic freedom in Sri Lanka. Advocata is partnering with Canada's Fraser Institute, the publishers of the Economic Freedom of the World Report, and Atlas network, an international network of free-market think tanks. Roundtable discussions to bring together more..

Dayasiri & Kiriella clash during Cabinet meeting

Oct 11 (DM) Cabinet meeting held yesterday became very tense owing to a clash that erupted between Ministers Lakshman Kiriella and Dayasiri Jayasekera. Sources revealed that an argument arose between these two ministers on the construction of the section from Pothuhera to Kandy of Central Expressway led to this tense situation. Minister Jayasekera had pointed out to Minister Kiriella to refrain from obtaining a loan at a very high interest for the construction of this section more..

UNP engineered Bond Scam

Women representation and electoral reforms are for people’s benefit

Oct 11 (FT) Very recently, my Ministry successfully passed an amendment to the Provincial Councils Election Act. Ever since then, reasonable concerns were raised in respect of the manner in which it was passed. I believe some of these concerns ought to be dispelled before the positive nature of the amendment falls into question. It is first and foremost important to note the crucial changes to the Act. Firstly, there shall be a quota allocating a guaranteed 25% of the seats to women more..

Gabrielson says Chinese deals not always transparent

Oct 11 (CT) US Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific and Task Force 73, who is now in SL for the Galle Dialogue, said that Sri Lanka should be thoughtful when making deals with China because it tends not to be always transparent in its intentions. Gabrielson added that Sri Lanka must be thoughtful in making new deals with China and take a serious look at where projects like One Belt One Road (OBOR) are going & who will benefit from such a project. more..