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Friction between President and UNP to deepen over IGP

Sep 23 (CT) Prez Sirisena appointed nine new SLFP electorate organizers on Friday. Accordingly, Faiszer Musthapha was appointed as the organizer of Colombo Central while Western Provincial Councillor Hector Bethmage and former Kaduwela Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa were appointed as co-organizers for Kaduwela. MP Dayasiri Jayasekara was appointed as the SLFP Kurunegala District Leader and Co-Chairman of District Coordinating Committee as well as more..

Crushed by B’desh and aborted by Afghanistan, what next?

Sep 23 (Island) It took a mere three days for five times former Asia Cup champions, Sri Lanka, to make an ignominious exit lock, stock and barrel including the highly paid support staff, to return home. First it was Bangladesh, with practically ten men (injured star batsman opener Tamim Iqbal batted with one hand – as last man!) outplayed Sri Lanka by a record margin of 137 runs while the war-hit team from Afghanistan overwhelmed Angelo Mathews and his listless men most comfortably by 91 runs. more..

Presidential mobile service: People in Thellapilli asked to fund ceremony

Sep 23 (DM) Residents of Thellapilli in the Jaffna District have been asked to fund the inauguration ceremony of the presidential mobile service (Janadipathi Nila Mehewara), which was attended by President Sirusena, EPDP MP Douglas Devananda said. He said a notice has been sent by the divisional secretariat asking the people in the area to fund the event. “They are agitated by this notice. The govt should spend for its functions instead of asking the people to fund for them” more..

Face the Nation

The Rupee in free fall

Sep 21 (Island) Central Bank records show that in 1950, the average Rupee value of a US Dolllar was Rs. 4.76 and that it was retained at that rate for over one and a half decades till 1966. With the foreign exchange crunch that hit SL in the decade of the 1960s, the average price of a US Dollar rose by ten cents to Rs. 4.86 in 1967 and a decade later by 1977, it had risen to Rs. 8.87. With the opening up of the economy, the exchange rate nearly doubled overnight as free market forces came into more..

A despondent homecoming

Sep 21 (ST) My dear Angie and the SL cricket team, I thought I must write to you because everyone is talking about you and blaming you for your recent defeats in the desert where you lost to Bangladesh and even to Afghanistan. This must be an awful time for you, but you must be thankful that no one has set your houses on fire, like they do in India! I am writing to tell you that you need not despair. We in Paradise are a very forgiving nation. While people will blame you for a couple of months at most, more..

Former Tamil woman LTTE cadre tells her story

Sep 21 (CT) The book Tamil Tigress authored by a former woman cadre of the LTTE under the pen name Niromi De Soyza was published in Australia. The former child soldier is a University teacher in Australia and joined the LTTE as a girl of 17 just as it started recruiting women. The following interview first appeared in our sister paper the Mawbima. Sinhala readers of the Tamil Tigress would love to get to know things regarding more..

Little traction in assassination allegation

Sep 21 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena left for New York yesterday to attend the UN General Assembly sessions which customarily attracts leaders from small and big countries all over the world without any major developments in the explosive story published some days ago about an alleged attempt by a senior police officer heading the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) to assassinate both the president and former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

Central Bank de-centralised

Sep 21 (ST) The humble SL rupee is taking a nose-dive these days and questions are being asked from the Central Bank, whose duty it is to maintain some stability of the local currency – and the Govt, whose duty it is to ensure that the cost of living does not shoot upwards, what on earth is going on. Both the Finance Minister and the Central Bank Governor are at pains to say that what is happening is beyond their control. The rupee has crashed from Rs. 163 to Rs. 170 a US dollar in one week. more..

Mannar mass grave: Piecing the puzzle together

Sep 23 (SO) Mannar District JMO Dr Saminda Rajapaksha labours using miniscule tools to excavate skeletal remains discovered under the CWE Sathosa building in the town of Mannar earlier this year. He is joined by Forensic Archaeologist Prof. Raj Somadeva, who is busy observing small bones and meticulously recording notes and diagrams about each new piece of the large puzzle. Both Dr Rajapaksha and Prof Somadeva have been more..

Phobia is English

Sep 23 (CT) On Friday, Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment, possibly leading to the sanctioning of private local degrees in general, by affirming the validity of medical degrees awarded by SAITM, a local, private, medical degree awarding institution. SAITM degrees are recognized by the UGC, regulator of the country’s tertiary education system. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Institute which regulates physicians, had declared that SAITM degrees are invalid, more..

IGP, Law & Order and the JO

Sep 23 (SO) Is the Sri Lanka Police at a crossroads: either forward, toward a newly disciplined and diligently administered force or backward, toward a condition of decay and failure of duty? None other than the Inspector General of Police is in the centre of controversy today over the proper administration of the force and the enforcement of law and order in compliance with the Constitution and the Police Ordinance. While there are numerous allegations against the current IGP, more..

Video: Handover govt if unable to prevent depreciation of rupee: MR

Sep 22 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that the govt should resign if it is unable to prevent the depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee. Speaking during a press conference held in Colombo with regard to the present economic condition in the country, he alleged that the main reason for Sri Lanka’s economic woes was due to the absence of proper leadership in the incumbent govt. more..

President to address UNGA this week for the fourth consecutive time

Sep 22 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for New York today to address to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday (25). This will be his fourth consecutive annual address to the world body. This year’s theme of the UNGA Session is, Making the United Nations Relevant to All People: Global Leadership and Shared responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable & Sustainable Societies. more..

No archaeological monument destroyed in Kilinochchi: Govt

Sep 22 (Island) Higher Education and Cultural Affairs State Minister Mohan Lal Grero, told Parliament that the allegation that an archaeological monument had been demolished by officials of the Karachchi PS in the Kilinochchi district was false. In answer to a question by MP Dinesh Gunawardena, State Minister Grero said that no such archeological monument had been destroyed in the said area. more..

JVP suspects move to hand over Trico oil tank farm to India

Sep 22 (Island) The JVP charged in Parliament that there was a surreptitious move to hand over the Trincomalee oil tanks to India. Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the oil tanks in Trincomalee were to be shared between SL and India. "The 15 tanks in the lower system have been given to the Indian Oil company while the 85 tanks in the upper tank system have been split between Indian Oil Company and more..

'IGP not so bad though he danced a bit'

Sep 22 (Island) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara and his deputy Nalin Bandara yesterday strongly defended IGP Pujith Jayasundera’s recent conduct and the overall performance of the police under the current dispensation. The UNPers assured Jayasundera’s conduct would be probed by a team of officers of the Public Administration and Management and Law and Order Ministry whereas TID Chief DIG Nalaka more..

National inflation slows in August to 2.5%

Sep 22 (EN) Sri Lanka's nationwide inflation slowed to 2.5% in the 12-months to August 2018 from 3.4% a month earlier. Consumer Prices during the month fell 0.9% to with the National Consumer Price Index falling from 126.6 points to 125.4%. Sri Lanka stated operating a price formula for fuel from May, market pricing petrol and diesel. Market pricing fuel tends to help reduce demand for non-oil goods, keeping both consumer prices more..

CEB to implement new program to reduce consumption

Sep 22 (NR) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says a special program will be implemented to save electricity from the household level by using 10 million LED bulbs. Speaking at an event today, he said the LED bulbs will be provided by meter readers to consumers who use less than 90 units of electricity. Minister said the introduction of the LED bulbs will largely reduce the total electricity consumption in households. more..

Health and safety, priority concerns for FTZ workers, says researcher

Sep 22 (ST) Working conditions and industrial relations in Sri Lanka’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) need to be improved, a multi stakeholders workshop held to discuss occupational health hazards within global factories in and around the FTZ was told this week. The panel included ministry officials, BOI officials and factory managers. Chief speaker at the event was Dr. Sandya Hewamanne, lecturer at U of Essex. more..

Fuel costs bring more pain to the poorest

Sep 22 (ST) The increase in fuel prices for the second time in two months, in keeping with a Cabinet-approved pricing formula, has sent up prices of goods and services, increasing the burden on households. The latest fuel price hike on Monday saw a litre of petrol, both 92 and 95 octane, go up by Rs4 while a litre of super diesel increased by Rs3 and auto diesel by Rs5. The main victims of the price rise are farmers more..

Plantations to get glyphosate soon

Sep 22 (ST) Plantations Ministry has said a gazette notice confining the use of glyphosate only to rubber and tea plantations will be issued next week. Ministry Secretary J.A. Ranjith said the notice is with the govt printer and will be released on Sept 15, 2018. The weedicide will be distributed soon, he said. Imports will depend on the needs of Regional Plantation Companies and the Small Holding Companies. more..

Aimless search for puppet Presidents

Sep 22 (DM) Media is agog with conspiracy theories over alleged assassination attempts on President Sirisena and Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Importance of Gotabaya in such a plot cannot be thought of. But the President on any scale is extremely high profile and in a two-party Govt that is into heavy conflicts, the alleged plot sounds eerie. With an unstable coalition Govt, it turns more serious with concerns raised about how investigations are conducted and in lack of trust declared on incumbent IGP. more..

Crime against the soul of our societies

Sep 22 (DM) India was in crisis this week after a seven-year-old girl became the latest victim in a country where a rape is reported to be taking place in every 13 minutes. According to reports the seven-year-old girl is in a critical condition at a New Delhi hospital after undergoing surgery for injuries she suffered while being raped. Her mother was by her bedside after the girl underwent hours of surgery. It is alleged a metal pipe was used in the sex assault. A 21-year-old has been arrested more..

Cricketers badly hurt by FB posts: Faizer

Sep 22 (DM) Minister Faizer Mustapha said that the national cricket team was badly hurt due to some insulting facebook posts targeting them after the team's defeat against Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asian Cup tournament and appealed cricket fans not to bring down the mentality of the players. He told this in parliament during the adjournment debate moved by JO MP Kanchana Wijesekara stating that more..

'We advised Police Chief uphold his image'

Sep 22 (DM) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara has advised Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara to act in keeping with his status, Law and Order Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said. He told a news briefing that an inquiry had been launched on this matter. “The media has exaggerated recent acts carried out by Police Chief. We are not trying to justify what he has done and should admire the good things he has done,” he said and added that the people see only the negatives. more..

SC ruling on SAITM graduate: GMOA to decide its next step

Sep 22 (DM) The GMOA said it would take decisive steps next week in connection with the Supreme Court upholding the Appeal Court ruling which had directed the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register MBBS graduates of SAITM. GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said that their counsel were currently studying the facts included in the judgment and that the GMOA’s emergency Central Committee which was scheduled to meet next week would decide on this matter. more..

PCoI on SriLankan: Fmr Chairman undermined CEO’s role: Fmr-CEO

Sep 22 (CT) The decision of the Board of Directors of the SriLankan Airlines, to appoint Nishantha Wickramasinghe as a full time Chairman of the Airline, as per the Board minutes of 5 March 2011 sans a Board Paper, rendered the role of the CEO ineffective. This was disclosed in the testimony of the incumbent SLA Regional Head of Europe and the Americas and former CEO of the Airline from 2008-2011, Manoj de Vaas Gunawardena, more..

Gatembe prelate calls for defeating 20-A

Sep 22 (Island) Prelate of Getambe Rajopawanaramay Ven. Keppetiyagoda Siriwimala Nayake Thera says the attempts to abolish the executive presidency are unwarranted. The JVP’s motion to abolish the Executive Presidency should be defeated in Parliament, Thera has said in a media statement. The move to introduce a new Constitution was initiated by the pro-LTTE groups operating overseas together with a group dollar-drive NGOs bent on dividing the country. more..

Jaffna living-together couples tie the knot

Sep 22 (DN) Over 100 young couples living together in Jaffna registered their marriages led by Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the couples were not married because they are undergoing various issues. The Ministry resolved their many issues overnight during the Nila Mehewara National Mobile Service Programme held in the Jaffna District recently, he said. Minister said that over 12,000 issues of the Jaffna people were resolved during the September 14 and 17 Nila Mehewara. more..

Rajitha to resubmit cannabis Cabinet paper

Sep 22 (CT) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the Cabinet Paper in connection with legalizing the cultivation of cannabis for the purpose of producing certain medicines would be resubmitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. He added that although the Cabinet had been reluctant to consider the proposal when initially submitted, President Maithripala Sirisena had since himself stated that he will consider the matter at hand. more..

Iraq clinch Asia Men’s Challenge Cup

Sep 22 (DN) The first ever Asia Men’s Volleyball Challenge Cup which was held in Sri Lanka came to an end with Iraq clinching the Cup beating Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a thrilling five setter (17-25, 25-14, 25-16, 26-28, 15-23). Saudis got off to a fine start to win the first set 25-17 making a strong challenge to Iraqis from the beginning of the set. Iraqis came back gallantly to take the second set at 25-14 to come on equal terms and posed a threat to their opponents. more..

Three reasons why Sri Lanka’s exit should not surprise you

Sep 22 (DN) SL's first-round exit from this year's ODI Asia Cup - which they were defending - should not really come across as a surprise, unless you've not been following much cricket recently. Dip in the form of one of the best Asian teams of the 90's & 2000's has touched rock bottom, to say the least. While the team still has just about enough time to prepare for the World Cup next June, their shocking exit to two teams that did not play a single Test match before 2000 won't be easy to digest. more..

SDD DG transferred to PM’s office: Employees oppose transfer

Sep 22 (CT) A noted civil servant and the Director General (DG) of the Samurdhi Development Department (SDD), Jinasiri Dadallage has been transferred to the PM’s Office with immediate effect. To protest the move, SDD workers opted out of work yesterday afternoon and had staged a demonstration. When contacted, Secretary of the Ministry of Social Empowerment, Sriyani Weerakoon said that Dadallage had not been more..

Doctors enkindle Hope at Apeksha Hospital

Sep 22 (Island) Two very generous patriotic SL citizens, Prof. A.H. Ganjavian and late Mr. Ahmed Afshar, owners of Ahmed Tea of London, have constructed and donated RAZAVI Apeksha Medical Complex, Phase 1 to the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama, to bring about the state of contentment and hope throughout life’s journey, as a token of appreciation and a gratitude towards all the citizens of SL. This magnificent up-to-date hospital of the highest standard that more..

Access gets prime real estate in Colombo 2

Sep 22 (FT) Govt this week decided to give prime land in the heart of Colombo on a 99-year lease for Rs. 1.1172 billion to Access Realties. The land, extending over 114.56 perches at Mudalige Mawatha, Union Place in Colombo 2, has been given a base value of Rs. 1.1 billion by the Govt Chief Valuer, Minister Champika Ranawaka told the Cabinet, proposing to lease the land to Access Realties. A legal dispute over the land which was vested with the UDA under Section 44 of more..