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Supreme Court upholds SAITM ruling

Sep 21 (AD) The Supreme Court today upheld the Appeals Court decision calling upon the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register SAITM medical graduates. SAITM is legally eligible to issue medical degrees to its students, Court of Appeal had ruled on Jan 31, 2017. Appellate Court had also directed SLMC to give provisional registration to medical students passing out from the private medical college in Malabe. more..

Court stays CID probe into Ravi K

Sep 21 (DM) The Colombo Chief Magistrate today issued a stay order on the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) investigation of MP Ravi Karunanayake over allegedly providing false evidence to the Bond Commission. Counsel appearing for MP Karunanayake said the Bond Commission had no legal authority to direct the CID to launch investigations. Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake said an order would be given in this regard on September 26. more..

Preaching distorted Dhamma: Four monks warned and pardoned

Sep 21 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera warned four young monks that they would be expelled from Siyam Nikaya Malwatte Chapter if they continued to engage in the propagation of distorted version of the Buddha Dhamma. The four young monks were summoned by the Malwatte Maha Vihare following complaints against them. The four monks having admitted that they were engaged in the act of propagating more..

Govt assures swift solution to worker shortages

Sep 21 (EN) The SL govt will take up concerns over worker shortages at the highest levels and will adopt a pragmatic approach to the problem, a senior minister said. Shortages of workers in industry, agriculture and services has led to calls to liberalise entry procedures to allow foreign labour, especially those in sectors facing skills scarcities although vested interests oppose the move. The govt will do everything possible more..

More FDI exits than entries

Sep 21 (CT) A recent study by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) revealed that, although foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Sri Lanka recovered last year, hitting the US$ one billion mark, the underlying bottlenecks of poor ease of doing business, attracting the wrong types of investments and policy uncertainty have prevented Sri Lanka from ushering in optimal FDI gains throughout the post-war period. IPS, on a recent posting on its website further said that an entry/exit analysis found that, more..

Yahapalana bonanza for Sumal Perera

Sep 21 (AM) Access CEO Sumal Perera, who recently demonstrated his eagerness for a despotic ruler in SL, received a Yahapalana bonanza this week when the Cabinet approved to give him 114.5 perches at Union Place, Colombo 02, on a 99-year lease. Perera, moderating a recent panel discussion in Colombo, slammed the government for lack of policy stability and firm decision-making in the country. When Softlogic CEO Ashok Pathirage, speaking at the same discussion, more..

Russian warship deal resurfaces due to Sirisena’s intervention to protect Ravi W.

Sep 21 (CT) Although four days have elapsed after the Mexican National Day, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, who left the shores to attend the event on behalf of President Maithripala Sirisena, has still not returned to the country. Wijegunaratne left the country last week, under Sirisena’s blessings, despite a high-profile investigation against him for allowing Chandana Hettiarachchi more..

Writ against bribery case on ex-CJ and Judge: SC reserves order for 1 Oct ...

Sep 21 (FT) The Supreme Court yesterday reserved for 1 October its order on granting of leave with the Writ petitions challenging the decision of the Bribery Commission to institute proceedings against former Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and incumbent Superior Court Judge A.H.M.D. Nawaz in the Magistrate’s Court. Bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep and Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda and Lalith Dehideniya. The Petitions were filed by Justice Nawaz, Bar Association of Sri Lanka and more..

High possibility for afternoon thundershowers from Sunday

Sep 21 (AD) Dept of Meteorology said that the possibility for afternoon thundershowers over the Island, particularly in the Northern, Eastern, North-central and Uva provinces from 23rd Sept is high. Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in Central, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Western provinces while several spells of showers will also occur in North-western province. Showers or thundershowers are expected to occur at several places in Eastern and Uva provinces after more..

Chandima Weerakkody

The bald truth about fake news, etc.

Sep 21 (FT) In its most innocent forms, we may all enjoy a bit of fake news and go to bed with a lighter heart and clean conscience. A meme on Facebook urging social media consumers to caution – You can’t believe everything you read on the internet – Abraham Lincoln – is both funny and ironic. Or virtually any short piece by those pastmasters of parody, NewsCurry, would suffice to make the point to say nothing of alleviating mood. Note… it’s not quite satire, but who cares when it’s so more..

Cricket: Change the Top

Sep 21 (CT) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), in the past quarter century, reached its high watermark in 1996 when it won the 50-over World Cup (WC) in 1996 in Pakistan. SLC was then managed by Ana Punchihewa, Managing Director Pure Beverages, a now defunct soft drinks company, who was President, SLC and Dave Whatmore, an Australian, its National Coach. But no sooner after this global victory, for inexplicable reasons Punchihewa lost his re-election bid to Upali Dharmadasa, more..

Parliament suspends MPs Weerawansa & Ranaweera

Sep 21 (NR) UPFA MPs Wimal Weerawansa and Prasanna Ranaweera have been issued temporary suspensions from Parliament. Minister Lakshman Kiriella tabled a motion in the House stating the two MPs violated the Code of Conduct of MPs by behaving in an unruly manner against Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya in Parliament recently. Accordingly MP Prasanna Ranaweera was suspended for four weeks more..

Thajudeen murder: Siriliya Foundation vehicle used in abduction: CID tells Court

Sep 21 (DN) The CID conducting investigations into the murder of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen yesterday informed Court that there is reliable information to support the fact that a Defender vehicle given to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation had been used to abduct Wasim Thajudeen. Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Dilan Ratnayake appearing on behalf of the CID made this revelation, when magisterial inquiry more..

Entrust misappropriated Rs. 1.2 bn in public funds: President’s Counsel

Sep 21 (DN) President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya speaking at a public forum of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) made damning revelations that Entrust Securities PLC previously known as Ceylinco Shriram had misappropriated public funds amounting to Rs. 12 billion since 2013. “There have been audit reports and an investigation by the FCID which stated that the company had unsound. more..

Longest elephant fence: Environmentalists irked

Sep 21 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday (20) opened the country’s first 30-kilometre long fence constructed with concrete posts to protect elephants. Located at Gomarankadawala in Trincomalee, the 30-kilometre fence was constructed by the Army. However, while criticizing the decision of making the elephant fence using concrete posts instead of wood, environmentalists dismissed it saying that more..

JO calls for immediate PC elections to preserve democracy

Sep 21 (FT) The Joint Opposition yesterday called for Provincial Council elections to be held to prevent collapse of democracy in the country. Provincial Councils of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces expired a year ago, and the official terms of the Northern Provincial Council are also close to an end, MP Ramesh Pathirana said. He claimed that unknown to President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, more..

'Govt cannot release foreign reserves to manage rupee depreciation'

Sep 21 (FT) As the rupee depreciates daily to new lows, State Minister Dr. Harsha Silva defended the Govt’s stance to refrain from artificially managing the value of the currency, warning of the negative impact an interference may bring. “As a responsible govt we have to come to an agreement and face reality, to ensure the continuity of a stable economic environment we can’t intervene to stabilise the rupee” more..

I’ve got your nude picture

Sep 21 (ST) A young female student’s online texting and sharing of images with her boyfriend turned out to be a nightmare, when a hacker sent her a ransom demand, threatening that he would upload compromising content featuring her on to publicly accessible websites, if she did not comply. The girl, a student of a higher education training institute, had exchanged nude images and videos with her boyfriend, unaware that more..

Controversy over a deprived promotion

Sep 21 (DM) The Commander of Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Sirimewan Ranasinghe is now in the limelight for allegedly depriving Lt. Commander Krishan C. Welagedara his due promotion, because he gave evidence against the navy officers who were behind the spate of abductions that took place between 2008 and 2009. Reportedly the 11 Tamil youth had been abducted for extortion. more..

JVP leader says 20-A will benefit Mahinda

Sep 21 (Island) The abolition of the executive presidency would benefit former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said JVP leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake responding to the media in Kandy on Wednesday. At the moment Rajapaksa family and Wimal Weerawanse were what he called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bail, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. Dissanayake spoke to the media after more..

'We’ll ensure SLFP’s victory at the upcoming polls'

Sep 21 (DM) The Dailymirror recently interviewed Minister Duminda Dissanayaka and these were the views he expressed on politics and current affairs. Q: How has the SLFP progressed with its preparations for the forthcoming provincial council, presidential and general elections? A: We are keen to ensure a victory for the SLFP at these three elections. The party’s reorganization is running in full gear after the setback at local govt elections more..

MR and India: A business deal

Sep 21 (DM) If there had been issues between the Indian Govt of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and if Modi’s Govt was willing to refresh the relationship with Rajapaksa now, the best broker for the purpose would be none other than Controversial Indian politician Dr Subramanian Swamy. Swamy, who is also a senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party led by Modi, visited the former President at the ancestral house of the latter in Medamulana, more..

Why Sri Lanka loves India’s Modi

Sep 21 (DM) Sri Lanka has suddenly shown a keen interest to strengthen ties with India with both Govt representatives and members of the opposition meeting up with Premier Narendra Modi, in New Delhi recently. India was lagging behind China, one of Sri Lanka’s main partners helping build the island nation’s infrastructure like ports and highways. But with the topic of elections emerging in Sri Lanka, India knows that it can make some influence in the little island. more..

Mangala responds to concerns over state of Lankan economy

Sep 21 (FT) Govt said that it has thus far been successful in curbing excess import growth and controlling the depreciation of SL rupee, which had started to hit record lows during the last few days. According to Minister Mangala Samaraweera, SL has been less affected than many other countries with economies of different sizes and stability. “Between 1 Jan and 18 Sept 2018, SL rupee has depreciated by approximately 7.4%. more..

Some ministers’ personal staff got better vehicles than Deputy Ministers: JVP

Sep 21 (Island) The issue of the personal staff of ministers abusing state vehicles was raised in Parliament. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said that the vehicles allocated for the personal staff of Cabinet Ministers were better than those given to the Deputy Minister of the same ministry. "In most cases the vehicles allocated for personal staff of ministers are SUVs while deputy ministers are given ordinary vehicles." He said traditionally ministers appointed their family members to their personal staff. more..

Sri Lanka to fast-track visas for tech industry expansion

Sep 21 (EN) Sri Lanka is proposing to fast-track visas for migrant tech professionals amidst a talent crunch and changes to its higher-education laws to develop local talent and attract foreign universities to set up campuses in the island. "In order to stimulate and enable sustainable growth in the IT-BPM industry, a number of regulatory amendments need to be implemented," govt's National Export Strategy 2018-2022: Information Technology Strategy policy document published in 2018 notes. more..

Sri Lanka yet to finalise project proposals for 2 bn yuan grant

Sep 21 (Island) Sri Lanka is yet to receive a two-billion-yuan (nearly USD 300 mn) grant from China as project proposals have not been finalised. President Maithripala Sirisena revealed that the Chinese offer in late July, 2018, at a ceremony to launch construction of a Chinese-funded kidney hospital in Polonnaruwa. Turning towards the Chinese Ambassador in Colombo Chang Xueyuan, Prez Sirisena said that more..

Rs 9,000 mn to help drought stricken

Sep 21 (DN) Rs. 9000 million has been allocated to provide relief to people affected by the drought prevailing in various parts of the country. President Maithripala Sirisena following discussions with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had taken this decision. President after reviewing programmes implemented by the Govt to provide relief to people affected by the drought advised officials to accelerate them, President’s Media Division said. more..

Video: IGP is a special character: Fonseka

Sep 21 (AD) Minister Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka says that the allegations against Inspector General of Police (IGP) should be proven before he can be removed from his post.However, the IGP is a special character and if there are any allegations against him, it should be investigated immediately, said Fonseka. Both the accused and the accusers should be inspected and one cannot be removed from a post by simply just accusing them, further said Fonseka. more..

Singapore-SL FTA Professional services not liberalized: Malik

Sep 21 (CT) The movement of independent professionals is not liberalized or allowed in the Singapore-SL Free Trade Agreement (FTA); in fact, the Singaporeans did not want it, said Minister Malik Samarawickrama. Moreover, he said both Sri Lanka and Singapore decided that the FTA should be limited to business visitors and intra-corporate transferees in a few sectors; hence, the agreements completely exclude more..

Protecting NP politicians not army’s responsibility, says Jaffna SF commander

Sep 21 (Island) Security Forces Commander, Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Dharshana Hettiarachchi yesterday said that it was not the task of the military to protect northern politicians or support their activities. Maj. Gen. Hettiarachchi said so in response to a query raised by a Jaffna-based journalist, at a special media conference, called by Security Forces HQ, Jaffna to explain the current security situation. Declaring that Aava group was incapable of posing a serious security threat, more..

Govt revenue up 5%, expenditure up 8%

Sep 21 (CT) Govt revenue and grants during the first six months of this year ended June reached Rs 925 billion, representing nearly 41.5% of the target for this year, while the total State expenditure reached Rs 1.27 billion, representing 44% of the total expected for the year. Govt revenue increased 5% to Rs 920.8 billion during the first six months from Rs 876.3 billion a year ago, while recurrent expenditure increased 8% to Rs 995.6 billion from Rs 918.2 billion during same period last year. more..

Crux of currency crisis!

Sep 21 (FT) Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy yesterday declared the rupee was under pressure more due to exogenous factors, but reassured it would ease as a follow up to ongoing stabilisation measures whilst being wary of overly aggressive propping up, saying past exercises led to double-whammies. The reassurances on the currency as well as insights to the challenges faced were shared by more..

SLFP rebels want President to take over Law and Order Ministry

Sep 21 (DM) Three SLFP rebel group frontliners, MPs S.B. Dissanayaka, Dilan Perera and Thilanga Sumathipala urged President Maithripala Sirisena to take over the Law and Order Ministry immediately under his wings and remove IGP Pujith Jayasundara from his post. They alleged that there was a real threat to the lives of Prez Sirisena & Gotabaya Rajapaksa as exposed by Police informer Namal Kumara and added they believed that PM Wickremesinghe was behind the conspiracy. more..

Climate change to erode Sri Lanka living standards, slow growth: World Bank

Sep 21 (EN) Climate change could decrease Sri Lankan living standards around 4.9 to 7% by 2050 and wipe out up to 50 billion dollars in GDP, a new World Bank report said. “In Sri Lanka, living standards will go down by around 5%, and in the worst-case scenario will decline by around 7%,” said Lead Economist Muthukumara Mani, who was one of the authors of the report, titled South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards. more..