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Term of commission probing corruption in govt extended

Jul 13 (AD) The official term of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing fraud and corruption at state institutions from 2015 to 2018, has been extended by another 3 months. The term of the commission was expected to come to an end on July 18, however following the extension it is expected to end on Oct 18. The commission’s term was extended and announced by Prez Secretariat following a request made by its members, more..

Video: Nine youths arrested with Ice and Kush at party in Boralesgamuwa

Jul 13 (AD) Nine suspects including 3 females have been arrested for the possession of narcotics such as Ice and Kush cannabis following a raid carried out by police during a party at a residence in Boralesgamuwa. Police said that 45mg of Kush cannabis, 5mg of Ice (crystal methamphetamine), 63 foreign cigarettes and equipment used to consume the drugs were taken into custody. more..

Top Specialist says sterility test safe in Shafi case

Jul 13 (RN) The country’s most senior Gynecologist and Obstetrician, Prof. Wilfred E Perera is questioning the right for the Director of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital to oppose the testing of women who have complained that a Surgeon in the hospital rendered them infertile against their will. The surgeon, Dr. Shafi Siyabdeen was remanded by the Kurunegala Magistrate on Wednesday, July 11. In a letter released on more..

Proposed land law can cause large scale displacement of poor: MP

Jul 13 (Island) Lawmaker Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, alleged that the govt was hell-bent on doing away with the restriction currently in place to prevent recipients of state land from transferring the ownership. Had the govt succeeded in its despicable bid, well organized unscrupulous politically influential persons would rapidly procure land received by the landless. The project would cause a massive displacement of people. more..

13 Sri Lankans among 7030 Interpol wanted fugitives with Red Notices

Jul 13 (Island) The official INTERPOL website on Friday (12) showed that among the 7030 Public Red Notices for individuals in circulation there were 13 Sri Lankans wanted for crimes committed in Sri Lanka, India, Romania and Canada. However, there is still no red notice for our fugitive ex-Central Bank Governor Dr. Arjuna Mahendran, who is said to have masterminded the biggest financial scam in the country. more..

RDA to provide parking areas on expressways

Jul 13 (Island) The RDA hoped to provide turn outs or parking areas (PAs) every 20 km (approx 20 minutes’ drive) for the convenience of motorists using expressways, RDA’s Chairman Nihal Sooriarachchi said. At present it is considered an offence to pull over on our expressways unless in an emergency. "As expressways were a novel experience to SL there was no provision made for parking areas where a motorist could stop more..

NPM, civil society group takes first steps in forming new political culture

Jul 13 (Island) A movement to unify the civil society comprising professionals, scholars, youth, the business community and village communities got underway this week in Colombo with the objective of preparing for the upcoming elections. The group calling itself the National Peoples’ Movement (NPM) launched its campaign with a panel discussion, and plan to have a series of events around the country to mobilise people. more..

Sri Lanka July tourist arrivals seen recovering further

Jul 13 (EN) SL's tourist arrivals which were hit by the Easter Sunday attack had recovered to 3,200 a day on average in the first week of July, from 2,500 a week earlier. "In the first week of July, arrivals averaged 3,200 a day," Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Kishu Gomes said. This is a 54% drop from the 7,027 daily arrivals in July 2018. However, it was a recovery from the average 2,500 a day arrivals in the last week of June. more..

Central Bank wants lending rates in Sri Lanka to fall 200bp

Jul 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's banks should lower the average lending rate by 200 basis points to avoid ceilings on lending rates Central Bank Govnor Indrajit Coomparasway said after price controls were controversially slapped on depositors. "The prime lending rate has come down by 120 basis points but the average weighted lending rate hasn't moved at all," he said. "We anticipate a significant reduction up to 200 basis points in lending rates, more..

How LTTE murdered senior Tamil leader Amirthalingam 30 years ago…

Jul 13 (DM) The cruelly tragic killing of five Tamil students by members of the security forces thirteen years ago in the Trincomalee town was revisited in these columns last week. This week’s column seeks to revive memories about a murder most foul perpetrated by the LTTE in Colombo exactly 30 years ago. It was on the fateful day of July 13, 1989 that foremost SL Tamil political leader & former opposition leader A. Amirthalingam more..

Looking ahead: Prospects for 2020

Jul 13 (DM) The next President will be constitutionally weak – which means it doesn’t matter who succeeds the constitutionally weak President we have already. The UNP’s strategy, given this, is to field a candidate who will gain legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate it has never really pandered to: the Sinhala Buddhist peasantry. The Sinhala Buddhist bourgeoisie will also throw its weight behind him, as will the minorities, including the Muslims, who have more reasons than more..

Prez’s latest attempt to extend his tenure

Jul 13 (DM) Prez Sirisena seems to be a good news maker. He always thinks differently and is always in the news. According to media reports last week, he was planning to get his term extended up to May next year and in the previous week he wanted to scrap the 19th Amendment. A week before that he wanted to hang four people convicted for drug related offences and days prior to that he wanted to hold a referendum to seek the public’s opinion to hold a midterm parliamentary election. more..

SL seeks fresh trial over student massacre

Jul 13 (AFP) SL's state prosecutor is to seek a fresh trial over the notorious murder of five students during the country's Tamil separatist war after a magistrate dismissed a case against security forces. Attorney-General Dappula de Livera ordered police to trace three key witnesses to the 2006 killings that drew international condemnation, his spokeswoman said. Move came after a magistrate this month discharged 13 security personnel, more..

Another Zahran accomplice arrested

Jul 13 (DN) TID with the support of the Navy Intelligence officers arrested another accomplice of suicide bomber Mohommad Zahran from Maharagama yesterday. Mohammad Thajudeen Aashif Ahmad (20), a resident of Aranayake area is said to have undergone weapons training with Zahran in their Blackpool training centre in Nuwara Eliya. TID made the arrest on a tip-off while the suspect was working at a garment factory in Maharagama, where he had joined 3 days more..

Dharmasena to stand in World Cup final

Jul 13 (Island) Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena has been appointed to stand in the World Cup final between England and New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday despite finding himself involved in a controversial incident with home batsman Jason Roy. The Surrey opener had made 85 to set England on their way to an eventual eight-wicket win against Australia in Thursday’s semi-final at Edgbaston, when he was given out caught behind down the legside by Dharmasena. more..

JO suspects JVP-TNA strategy to save UNP

Jul 13 (Island) The JO queried whether there had been an understanding between the JVP and the four party TNA though the former moved the much-touted no-confidence motion (NCM) against the govt over its failure to thwart the Easter Sunday attacks or minimize loss of life. JO MP Shehan Semasinghe told The Island the JVP move was meant to clear itself of being called rathu ali petiya without harming the govt. more..

MP Withanage asks for debate on political interference in sports bodies

Jul 13 (Island) Ratnapura District UNP MP Hesha Withanage asked for a Parliamentary debate on political intervention in Sports Associations which were under the purview of the Ministry of Sports. Withanage also urged the Sports Minister to take necessary action to prevent political intervention in those sports bodies. The UNP MP questioned whether the Sports Ministry monitored the officers elected to positions in Sports Associations and the manner in which they functioned. more..

Attending a ITN TV programme - I was stopped on Prez’s instructions: Hirunika

Jul 13 (DM) UNP MP Hirunika Premachandra raised a privilege issue alleging that under the advice of Prez Sirisena, she had been prevented from participating in a TV programme on July 1 telecast on ITN. She told parliament that she had been invited a week ago to participate in this particular programme but that on the previous night she was asked by an ITN official not to come to the programme on the following day. "When I asked why, I was told that the Prez had advised more..

UNP move in parliament to thwart Prez resuming judicial executions

Jul 13 (Island) A private member’s motion was presented to parliament, yesterday, to amend the laws to abolish death sentence and to prevent President Maithripala Sirisena carrying out his pledge of implementing the capital punishment. The motion was presented by UNP Galle District MP Bandula Lal Bandarigoda after parliament Standing Orders 52 and 53 were suspended by another motion by minister Lakshman Kiriella. more..

Public buses and trains to be available on Google Maps

Jul 13 (FT) Transportation and Civil Aviation Ministry said it had started the process of upgrading Google Maps to show public transportation services as a part of Google Transit and it would be available for use in Google Maps covering the Western Province over the next few weeks. Details of this process were discussed at the 25th anniversary of the National Transport Commission (NTC). Ministry has completed most of the framework to be sent to Google Inc. in order to activate more..

Travel and Leisure readers vote Sri Lanka best island in the world

Jul 13 (EN) Readers of US-based Travel and Leisure magazine have ranked SL as the best island in the world to visit in 2019, adding to the accolades the country received recently. SL debuted at the top of the list, for its diversity of experiences. Wildlife, marinelife, tea plantations and stunning beaches makes the island a must visit, Travel and Leisure writer Rebecca Ascher-Walsh said. Sri Lanka beat out a host of Greek islands, the Maldives, Fiji, Maui in Hawaii and the Palawan Island more..

17 unqualified persons posted overseas as SL ambassadors since 2010: JVP

Jul 13 (Island) Parliament was informed yesterday that 17 persons, sans required qualifications, had been posted as Ambassadors and High Commissioners during the past nine years. JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said those 17 persons included two with warrants against them––Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Udayanga Weerathunga. "This is a dangerous situation because Mohammed Zahran, too, had been more..

Epidemiological and statistical study - On allegations against Dr. Shafi

Jul 13 (DM) The opposition yesterday urged the government to conduct an epidemiological and statistical study into the allegations against Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Shafi Shiabdeen of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital without trying to sweep the allegations under the carpet. UPFA MP Ramesh Pathirana told parliament that it was the responsibility of the health ministry to conduct an epidemiological and statistical study and find out the truth behind the allegations. more..

Health Minister accuses drug companies of giving big bribes to doctors

Jul 13 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament that drug companies paid doctors for prescribing their drugs. "There was a drug sold for $ 30 and after I intervened they reduced it to $ 3. This clearly shows how high the markups are." Minister said he had issued instructions to break that monopoly for the benefit of the public. "When I want to break this monopoly these issues arise. When I decided to open the doors for other brands to be imported then the prices started decreasing. more..

John outlines numerous initiatives taken to develop tourist hotspots

Jul 13 (FT) Govt has taken a number of new initiatives to develop tourist hotspots in the country to facilitate and encourage more tourists to visit SL. Minister John Amaratunga this week outlined that the new facilities and developments at popular destinations across the country included Arugam Bay, Yala, Ella and Nuwara Eliya. According to the Minister, a few extra entrances will be opened at Yala National Park this month more..

Eight police officers transferred based on service requirements

Jul 13 (DM) Eight police officers including five superintendents of police (SP), two assistant superintendents of police (ASP) and an inspector of police (IP), have been transferred based on service requirements, police said today. They said the transfers were made following the orders of the National Police Commission. Accordingly, SP W.K.J.R. Dias was transferred to the Kelaniya Police Division from the Colombo-South Division and SP P.A.D.A. Wijerathne was transferred to more..

SLGMBC concludes successful biz promo mission to Myanmar

Jul 13 (DM) Sri Lanka – Greater Mekong Business Council (SLGMBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce organized a successful business promotion mission to Myanmar recently. The delegates met with the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Myanmar and attended the Yangon Investment Forum organized by the Yangon Regional Govt. Council together with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Myanmar organized an information session for delegates, which was followed by more..

JO MP says facing harassment for criticising President

Jul 13 (FT) JO MP Roshan Ranasinghe yesterday raised a privilege issue highlighting life threats from parties related to President Sirisena and Police and said his complaints had been ignored for four years. MP Ranasinghe, who represents the Polonnaruwa District, brought the attention of the House to harassment he had faced, highlighting how the Police had barely take action in relation to investigating the complaints. more..

Agreement reached on amendments to Muslim Marriage Act

Jul 13 (CG) An agreement has been reached on amendments to the Muslim Marriage Act, MP Faiszer Musthapha said. He said the amendments to Muslim Marriage Act were unanimously agreed upon after discussions with all the SL Muslim MPs. It has been proposed that the age of marriage for both the bride and the groom should be 18 years. Bride should sign the Register of Marriage as a sign of her consent. It has also been proposed to upgrade the required qualification of a Kadi to Att-at-law. more..

Shangri-La partners Dialog Foundation to provide relief to Easter Sunday victims

Jul 13 (FT) Following the tragic incidents of Easter Sunday, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, made a generous donation towards the Rally to Care initiative by Dialog Foundation, which will enable long-term educational support to a segment of affected children until the age of 19. Additionally, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, will also host an educational and psychosocial program filled with entertaining activities at its premises for the children affected by the tragic events of Kochchikade more..

'NCM against Bathiudeen - If Muslim ministers sworn in'

Jul 13 (DM) UPFA MP Dilan Perera said if the Muslim ministers, state ministers and the deputy minister, who resigned from their posts in support of MP Rishad Bathiudeen were sworn in again, the joint opposition would move a no-confidence motion against Mr. Bathiudeen. He said he was aware of the remarks made by former deputy minister Ameer Ali in Parliament on Thursday soon after the govt defeated the NCM that more..

100 projects to help the poor under latest Gammadda initiative

Jul 13 (FT) A hundred new projects to help thousands of poor families resolve issues related to water, sanitation and farm land were launched on Thursday by the Gammadda Foundation, which is a charity under the Maharaja Group. Maharaja Capital Group Director Chevaan Daniel speaking at the report launch shed light on the motivation behind the creation of the Gammadda initiative. “The inability to comprehend, and reconcile the level of poverty, and inequality motivated us to set up more..

BoC Thurunu Diriya disburses over Rs. 358 m among 875 youth

Jul 13 (FT) The Enterprise Sri Lanka –Thurunu Diriya loan scheme implemented to empower young, small and medium entrepreneurs has successfully disbursed loans worth over Rs.358 million among 875 young entrepreneurs by the second week of July. Within a span of one year, since Thurunu Diriya loan scheme was launched, it has elevated the life of more than 850 budding entrepreneurs across the country, weekly progress report issued by Bank of Ceylon, on 10 July revealed. more..

Amendments to NMRA Act to give more teeth to regulate cosmetics

Jul 13 (FT) National Medicines Regulatory Authority Act is set to gain wider purview to regulate cosmetic products in the market and revise penalties outlined in the legislation. The cosmetics regulatory function, which was earlier handled by Cosmetics, Devices, and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA), was removed from the NMRA Act, which replaced the earlier entity. However a revision of the Act, more..

Under 19 provincial 50 over tournament to be played in Dambulla and Pallekelle

Jul 13 (DN) Sri Lanka Cricket held a media briefing yesterday to announce the Under 19 Super Provincial 50 over Tournament which will be conducted from July 16 to 23, with the participation of the four Super Provincial Teams, namely Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Dambulla. The matches will be played at the RDICS, Dambulla and PICS, Kandy. The main aim is to find the future players for the national team and our main target is 2020 world cup and this tournament will helps to finds more..

The ship from Valvettithurai which sailed the seven seas

Jul 13 (Island) In 1937 an adventurous Yankee sailed a small yacht round the world – the smallest to do so, at that time – stopping awhile in Ceylon. After many adventures, he returned to Ceylon in search of a Jaffna-built ship whose elegant lines had caught his eye. He found her, bought and refitted her in Colombo and sailed for Boston, with an all-Jaffna crew. Boston was as overwhelmed by the vision of this ghost of the legendary Bounty, as by its dusky crew and of the voyage itself. more..