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Don't abuse right of expression: TRC

Nov 18 (DM) Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) warns against abusing the right of expression to insult, promote hatred and to commit character assassinations by using modes of telecommunication In a newspaper advertisement, TRC said that the right of expression should not be misused to insult, promote hatred and to commit character assassinations by using modes of telecommunication such as social media, more..

Rare sighting: Five live dugongs

Nov 18 (ST) The dugong is the most threatened marine mammal and is likely to disappear from our waters soon. Occasionally carcasses of dead animals emerge reminding us of their plight and the sighting of a live dugon is very rare. However this week a local tour operator Samith Ishan Fernando got lucky and was able to photograph a group of five dugongs. Mr.Fernado runs a boat service for tourists along the Puttalam lagoon where they usually spot dolphins. more..

'Detrimental decisions affected the economy'

Nov 18 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says several officials who made detrimental decisions pertaining to the country’s economy during the previous UPFA led govt will be removed from their posts. Speaking in Parliament PM said a decision in this regard will be reached at the conclusion of the 2018 Budget debate. PM said during the UPFA led govt the Treasury was under the rule of the govt claiming at present the Treasury and the CB both come under the purview of the Parliament. more..

Govt attempting to establish Police state: MR

Nov 18 (DM) Referring to the recent revelations on phone records at the Bond Commission, former president Rajapaksa said the govt was attempting to establish a Police State by tapping phones. He told the media outside the Welikada Prison that all phones were tapped and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the govt should clarify this matter. Mr. Rajapaksa said when considering what was happening now it was doubtful whether more..

Mother and son detained for forging the signature of Chathurika Sirisena

Nov 18 (AD) Two suspects that were arrested for forging the signature of Chathurika Sirisena and a letterhead of the Presidential Secretariat were remanded till Nov 29, by the Colombo Magistrate’s court.  It has been reported that a govt bank received a letter penned on a letterhead of the Presidential Secretariat requesting a concession to be provided to a bank loan. Reports confirm that the signatory of the letter was Chathurika Sirisena. Upon receiving the request bank employees more..

New legislation allows those in custody to talk to their lawyers

Nov 18 (DM) The govt has drafted legislation to be presented in Parliament, providing for people in police custody to consult their lawyers at the respective police stations. The Bill termed the Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions - Amendment) Bill, if enacted, will enable an Attorney representing a person in police custody to meet his client, provided such a meeting does not affect the investigations being conducted in respect of the person in custody. more..

SL well placed to take first-innings lead

Nov 18 (CI) Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews compiled contrasting fifties and shared a 99-run partnership that put Sri Lanka in the ascendancy of the Kolkata Test, cutting their deficit to just 7 by stumps on the third day. They were united with the score on 34 for 2 but neither batsman chose to counterattack considering the plausibility of one delivery beating their defenses. They left well and allowed themselves to be more..

Ancient artefacts in need of conservation

Nov 18 (ST) Many ancient archaeological sites in the country are at risk of further damage due to the lack of proper conservation. One such site is the Dutch Fort at Galle. One of its attractions has been the clock tower which is considered one of the most beautiful old clock towers in the world. Recently it was struck by lightning. The Heritage Foundation in Galle which spent around Rs 8.3 million to restoring the tower has added a lightning conductor to the tower. more..

He proved no permanent pals or foes in politics

Nov 18 (DM) JO stalwart Panchaudha of Fast-unto-death fame had a surprise the other day when he got a telephone call from the purohita who was at the centre of the recent oil fiasco. Panchaudha’s surprise transformed into exultation when the purohita said that he called him to thank him! “I wanted to thank you because you are the only opposition member who explained to the country the real complexion of the oil crisis we had to face!” The purohita proceeded to confide in more..

වනාන්තර රැක ගැනීමට කෙතරම් අණ පනත්...

Story telling & Bowel movements

Nov 18 (CT) Dr. Dayan Jayatillake has accused me of a shoddy, shabby hatchet job in defending Mangla Samaraweera’s budget. To make his point, he resorts to nauseous and obscene deceit. I do not mind the adjectives of Shabby and Shoddy. Those who read our exchanges will decide. I don’t do hatchet jobs. Dr. D.J is free with his opinions. “First off, Sarath is intellectually dishonest in implying that I am opposed to globalisation. Nothing I have ever written or said can support that charge. more..

Plugging Leakages

Nov 18 (CT) Prohibition was the USA's failed attempt to ban liquor. It ran for a period of 13 years from 1920 to 1933 before its abolition. In the interim it spawned an illicit liquor industry leading to gangsterism, corruption and bloodshed as different groups tried to gain control over this multimillion US dollar illicit industry. It was not only illicit, it also proved to be a health hazard as there were no minimal quality standards that this illegal brew had to observe in its manufacturing process. more..

Police arrest 19 over racial violence

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan police arrested 19 people after a clash between extremists from the majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities in which four people were injured, a spokesman said on Saturday. Tension has been growing between the two communities this year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalising Buddhist archaeological sites. more..

UNHRC adopts the 3rd UPR outcome on SL

Nov 18 (NR) The UNHRC has adopted the outcome of the third Universal Periodic Review on Sri Lanka at the 28th session of the Universal Periodic Review. At the session the President of the Human Rights Council Joaquín Alexander Martelli proposed to the working group to adopt the recommendation section of the draft report and the UPR of Sri Lanka was adopted. The review of Sri Lanka was held on Wednesday. more..

Tamil Nadu politicians urged to visit Sri Lanka before commenting

Nov 18 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu politicians are welcome to visit Sri Lanka and see the plight of hill country Tamils before hastily commenting on matters pertaining to them, Minister Palany Thigambaram said. “While they [State politicians] have always spoken up for Eelam Tamils in the north and east, they seldom acknowledged the existence or challenges of Tamils living in the hill country,” he told The Hindu on Friday. more..

COPE under a cloud: Speaker urged to restore credibility now

Nov 18 (Island) Former Chairman of COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera said that his successor JVPer Sunil Handunetti should immediately request Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to remove the members who had been in touch with Perpetual Treasuries Chief Arjun Aloysius and conduct an inquiry. Former Minister said so when The Island asked him what would have been his reaction if he had faced a similar situation. more..

To improve female labour force participation in Sri Lanka, first change attitudes

Nov 18 (WB) Earlier this year in Hatton, I met a group of talented, young adults who had just participated in a social innovation pilot program. They were enthusiastic and dynamic, brimming with potential. But the potential to realize that potential was going to be influenced along gender lines; the expectations and obligations to the families were the most important determinants.   I heard about some of these challenges. more..

India, Bangladesh set to feature in tri-series in Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (WB) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), on Friday (17), announced fixtures for the T20I tri-series, including India and Bangladesh, to be played from March 8-20. The three teams will play two league matches each against one another, before the final which will be played on March 20. All games will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Speaking about the tournament, Rahul Johri, BCCI CEO, added: more..

'Retain Executive Presidency'

Nov 18 (DN) The Executive Presidency should be retained for the country’s defence and to protect its unitary status, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said in Parliament. He also said that the powers of the governors’ who are representatives of the President should not be reduced too. “The Northern Province Chief Minister has refused to hoist the National Flag at a ceremony at a school in the North,” he said. more..

President warned not to put off LG polls

Nov 18 (Island) JVP says it would like to join with the devil or devil’s grandmother to defeat the govt’s plans to delay elections using courts. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake participating in the third reading stage debate in parliament said his party would join anyone including those who would not agree with them ideologically to take to the streets if the govt went on postponing elections after 22nd of this month. more..

Three-wheeler regulations from Jan 1, demerit system early next year

Nov 18 (ST) As concerns rise over an increasing number of fatal accidents on Sri Lankan roads, the authorities are gearing up to implement new safety regulations governing three-wheelers from January 1 and the new fine system together with a point-based demerit feature from early next year. Arrangements were being made to implement the revised three-wheeler regulations were first gazetted on Jan 9 this year more..

Rs 3b for Aruwakkalu Waste Management- Budget 2018

Nov 18 (ST) Govt’s 2018 Budget has allocated Rs 3 billion to accelerate the Aruwakkalu Waste Management programme which includes the construction of a sanitary landfill. Denying inefficiencies had held up the project, The initiative will be completed on schedule, after meeting environmental prerequisites and tender procedures. Proposal for a sanitary landfill put forward by the previous Govt failed its EIA. more..

Senaka Bibile’s drug policy reminds of Bernard Shaw’s Doctor’s dilemma

Nov 16 (DM) Hypocritic oath, humanity, professionalism all weighed against pecuniary interests leads to conflict of interest, pushing doctors to a catch-22 situation. With little options, naturally they would choose the economic alternative; select the affluent patient over the most deserving case.  A century ago in 1906, George Bernard Shaw borrowed the title from a contemporary writer to name his Drama Doctor’s Dilemma where for the first time in Medical history, more..

How to win the Referendum? A tale of two Constitutions

Nov 16 (DM) Every country has two Constitutions: a Legal Constitution and a Political Constitution. To win a referendum and to introduce a new Constitution, Sri Lanka must change both. The focus for the past two years has been on the Legal Constitution. From now, it must be on the Political Constitution.   A Constitution answers a series of questions about the State. Is it unitary or federal? Which is more powerful, Parliament or the Executive? more..

Bond issue: COPE Chairman wants phone details presented to Parliament

Nov 18 (DM) COPE Chairman and JVP MP, Sunil Hadunnetti requested Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to take steps to record in the hansard the details of the telephone conversations said to have taken place between some COPE members and PTL owner Arjun Aloysius, during COPE proceedings on the bond issue so that people would know what had been discussed. He said it was unethical for COPE members to talk to person under investigation more..

Minor incident being escalated into racial issue in Galle: Vajira

Nov 18 (AD) Minister Vajira Abeywardena today expressed his utmost regret on behalf of the govt with regard to a minor incident in Ginthota, Galle escalating out of control and developing into a tense situation. He also said that he will accept complete responsibility on behalf of the govt to prevent this situation from further escalating.  He said that additional police teams from surrounding police stations, riot squads, STF and tri-forces personnel have been called into last night more..

First session of Foreign Office Consultations between SL and Switzerland ends

Nov 18 (FT) First Session of Foreign Office Consultations between SL and Switzerland concluded yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The formal but inclusive bilateral engagement followed the signing of the MoU on Foreign Office Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SL and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation in March 2016. MoU provides a platform for a regular and more structured review of more..

Treasury bond scams: JO asks Maithri to quit govt, appoint new PM

Nov 18 (Island) Alleging that the ruling UNP had been grossly implicated in the alleged Treasury bond scams involving the Central Bank and the Perpetual Treasuries, the Joint Opposition (JO) urged President Maithripala Sirisena to quit the unity govt without further delay. President Sirisena committed a section of the SLFP to UNP-led govt after the latter’s failure to secure a simple majority at 2015 parliamentary polls. more..

Police curfew imposed in parts of Galle

Nov 18 (AD) Police curfew has been imposed in several areas in the Galle District until 9am today due to a tense situation, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said. He stated that police curfew has been imposed in Kurunduwatta, Maha Hapugala, Welipitimodara, Ukwatta, Ginthota and Piyandigama Grama Sevaka Divisions. The Police Spokesman said that the curfew was imposed in order to control a tense situation prevailing in the area and to restore normalcy. more..

Venomous snake in parliament

Nov 18 (Island) Parliament workers found a cat snake – (mapila in Sinhala and poonai pambu in Tamil) in a committee room of the Parliament complex yesterday morning. The snake was first detected by some cleaning workers in a corner of the Committee Room Number One located on the ground floor; it is mostly used for meetings between ministers and govt officials. Workers immediately alerted the House Keeping Department employees who took action to remove the snake. more..

Parliament Mafia pointing the finger at each other

Nov 18 (CT) While noting that they are only bound by the agreement between the SLFP and UNP to form a consensus Govt, Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara, in Parliament dropped a minor bombshell by alleging that there is an underhand deal between UNP and JO, to sling mud at the SLFP. Minister Jayasekera was explaining the situation that has cropped up following statement made by JO MP Kanchana Wijesekera demanding to know more..

Suranga Lakmal offered free taxi ride in SL

Nov 18 (PO) Suranga Lakmal’s superb bowling figures in India is being keenly followed by a taxi driver in SL. Incidentally, his name is also Suranga Lakmal. (Full name: Manimeldure Suranga Niroshan Lakmal). “I am proud to be also known as Suranga Lakmal and all my other taxi driver-colleagues tease me…”, Taxi driver Lakmal speaking exclusively over telephone from his taxi (he was carrying a passenger from airport to the city), said. “Yes, I follow cricket and take much more interest in more..

'UNP’s objective to strengthen parliament'

Nov 18 (NR) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says UNP’s goal since obtaining power has been to strengthen Parliament powers. He said govt has worked towards this endeavour over the past three years. Minister said they have shared the responsibility of each Sectoral oversight committee among all political parties adding their intention was to strengthen the parliament. He said through enactment of the 19th amendment, several powers of the Executive President have been more..

'Budgets alone cannot change SL’s destiny'

Nov 18 (FT) State Minister Eran Wickramaratne said that budgets alone could not change the destiny of a country, insisting that there were many hard and soft factors involved in changing the ecosystem of an economy. Stressing that the Enterprise SL Budget concept would empower Sri Lankans to take their future into their own hands, he added that it was critical to rekindle the entrepreneurial/trading spirit to boost exports more..

LG polls nominations begin on Nov 27

Nov 18 (DN) Returning Officers have been notified by the Elections Commission to publish notices calling for nominations from Nov 27, Additional Elections Commissioner M.M. Mohamed said. He explained that Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya had informed them of this after a meeting at the Commission. Nominations therefore would be accepted at the end of 14 days from Nov 27. Seventeen days after the date (27), nominations would close at 12 noon. more..

INSSSL holds panel discussion

Nov 18 (MoD) The Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) conducted a panel discussion on "The Role of Armed Forces in Post Conflict Sri Lanka" to a delegation from The Centre of Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS), Doha on the 17th of Nov. The delegation, led by Sultan Zuhdib Majid Barakat, comprised of MSc students from 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The discussion was chaired by Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera Director General of more..