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Norway extends Rs.150m further support for resettlement and reconciliation in the North

Nov 17 (Ta) Ambassador of Norway to SL, Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther and Country Director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in SL, Jørn Sørensen signed an Agreement to extend Govt of Norway’s support to the resettlement of the communities in the newly released Myliddy harbour area in Jaffna District. UNDP will work with the Govt authorities to gradually restore Myliddy Pier as a Fishing Hub more..

Corrupt probing the Corrupt: ‘Everyone guilty in Bond issue must be penalized’

Nov 17 (NR) MP Harshana Rajakaruna says the stance of the UNP is that all persons found to be guilty of involvement in the controversy surrounding the issuance of treasury bonds must be penalized. He stressed his personal affiliations to the organization connected to the bond controversy had no influence during investigations conducted by the COPE. He said the incident occurred before he was elected as a MP adding he was not a MP when the Treasury bond issue occurred during more..

Table Audit bill in Parliament promptly: JVP

Nov 17 (NR) The JVP has requested the govt to promptly table the proposed Audit Bill in Parliament. Speaking in Parliament on the first day of the Committee Stage Debate JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said the Audit Bill is necessary to ensure financial management and financial discipline. The MP said the Auditor General has released a report on a racket related to the purchase of stocks of rice adding he has also released reports on issues pertaining to the purchase of coal. more..

COPE denies impeding Bond investigations

Nov 17 (NR) COPE member and UNP MP Hector Appuhami has denied any involvement in impeding the COPE investigation over the Bond transactions issue. According to a testimony made yesterday before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds, several COPE members had allegedly engaged in telephone calls with an official attached to Perpetual Treasuries Limited. more..

'Jayalath Dissanayake delimitation committee report 95% correct'

Nov 17 (Island) Asoka Pieris National Delimitation Review Committee (NDRC) report had only changed by about five percent when compared with the Jayalath Dissanayake National Delimitation Committee (NDC) report, Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. He maintained that 95% of the NDRC report was similar to the NDC report completed under the previous govt. The report of the NDC, which was appointed in 2012 and chaired by Jayalath Dissanayake, was gazetted by more..

Speaker approves request to probe COPE committee

Nov 17 (AD) A request was made of Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya to launch an investigation into the members of the COPE, due to allegations made that the information sheet of the COPE committee was secretly revealed to undisclosed individuals.   Reports confirm that MP C.B.Ratnayake made the above request from the speaker during parliamentary proceedings today. Speaker stated that an investigation will be conducted into the alleged incident. more..

Seine net fishermen’s issues to be resolved before Dec 1

Nov 17 (DN) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera had instructed relevant authorities to take immediate measures to solve all issues faced by seine net fishermen before Dec 1 and to implement a programme to issue licences for them. During a discussion held on Wednesday at the Ministry premises with regard to the issues faced by these fishermen, Minister Amaraweera instructed Fisheries Director General Christy Fernando more..

Seeking postponement of LG polls: SLFP supporters behind move claims JO

Nov 17 (DM) It transpired in Parliament yesterday that six supporters of the SLFP had moved the Supreme Court against the gazette notification delimitation on the local govt elections. Joint Opposition MP for the Matara district Kanchana Wijesekara said three supporters of Ministers Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane, Dilan Perera and Dayasiri Jayasekara were among the petitioners. He said the remaining three were also supporters of the SLFP in the govt. more..

Doubtful new High Court will be able to play expected role

Nov 17 (CT) UNP Working Committee, after considering a comprehensive report on the progress made by law enforcement authorities in handling fraud and corruption cases, yesterday declared that shortcomings on the part of the AG's Department have resulted in creating a public outcry against the Govt's inaction in fighting corruption. According to this report submitted by Minister of Law and Order, Sagala Ratnayaka, although 370 cases have been forwarded by the FCID thus far, more..

Effects of good governance with Maithree G.

Starship budgets and the Bicycle Brigade

Nov 17 (FT) One has only to read the wide and varied responses to Budget 2018 (B18) to realise how fissured our society is. Some like it so much as to say that they love it. Others loathe it so much they’re dying of envy, or apoplexy, or both. There is little point in analysing the fiscal big picture of the nation in these columns again and adding more woes to woahs or vice versa. Because the management of a nation’s wealth, treasure, assets (generally received in trust and more often more..

Bill Gates ready to assist SL’s health sector

Nov 17 (SL) American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates has said he is prepared to assist Sri Lanka’s health sector, the Health Ministry said. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne had a brief meeting with Gates in Abu Dhabi during an international conference on health. During the meeting, Gates had reportedly told the Minister he was aware of the efforts being taken in Sri Lanka to improve the health sector. more..

Audio: Dayasiri admits speaking to Aloysius while Ajith P. Perera denies

Nov 17 (AD) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara and Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, responded to the allegation that they had telephone conversations with Arjun Aloysius, while they were members of the COPE committee inquiring into bond scandal. An analysis report submitted by the CID to the PCoI revealed that five members of the COPE had telephone conversations with the owner of Perpetual Treasuries, more..

Arrest warrant issued for Jaliya Wickramasuriya

Nov 17 (NR) Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court has issued an arrest warrant for former SL Ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya. The order was issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne this morning. Wickramasuriya, who is released on bail, left the country on Court approval to seek medical attention in the US for a period of two months. However an arrest warrant was issued as Jaliya Wickramasuriya failed to appear more..

'We won’t allow Aava group to raise its head'

Nov 17 (AD) Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka assured that the govt would not allow the so-called Aava group, or any other criminal gang, to raise its head in the North. He said the Police had unleashed its full strength to curb the activities of the criminal gang and bring its members to book.  “It was reported that the gang had launched 8 attacks in the Northern Province recently. Police have already arrested six more..

'Google & Facebook would have failed in SL'

Nov 17 (EN) Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has severely criticised SL's lending institutions saying that they would not have funded the founders of Google and Facebook if they were to start up in the island. Addressing parliament, Samaraweera said Sri Lanka's lending institutions were not geared to funding young entrepreneurs and had not kept pace with changing needs of customers. more..

JO, JVP, CaFFE, PAFFREL object to petition seeking postponement of LG elections

Nov 17 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for Nov. 22 its ruling on whether to issue notice on the Minister of Local Govt, Provincial Councils and the Secretary to the Ministry regarding a writ application filed by five electors who have requested the court to grant them interim relief by suspending the gazette dated Feb. 7, 2017. Deputy Solicitor General Arjuna Obeysekera, who appeared for the Minister Faiszer Musthapha said that more..

Mullaitivu land issue: Problem already addressed, Minister tells TNA chief

Nov 17 (Island) Minister D. M. Swaminathan has, in a letter to TNA & Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, said Mullaitivu land issues raised by the former have already been addressed. A spokesperson for the ministry said that Minister Swaminathan was in touch with relevant administrative, military and civilian representatives. The ministry made available a copy of Minister Swaminathan’s letter to Opposition Leader more..

Govt committed to develop the Buddha Sasana: President

Nov 17 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the Sri Lankan society nurtured with disciplined and moral values, which we cannot see anywhere in the world, as a result of the teachings of Buddhism and said that the present govt is totally committed for the progress of the Buddha Sasana.  President made these remarks participating in a religious ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the three-storey more..

Court says no to releasing Gotabhaya from Avant Garde case

Nov 17 (NR) The Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today denied a request calling for the release of Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and 7 others from the Avant Garde case. The order was issued by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara. The request in this regard was made by attorneys of the individuals. The case was filed by the CIABOC for allegedly incurring a loss of 11.4 billion rupees to govt more..

Petrol crisis: Urgent need for independent regulator

Nov 17 (ST) The week-long fuel crisis which triggered a war of words between Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and the Minister of Petroleum Industries has highlighted the urgent need for an independent regulator. LIOC, which claimed it was unfairly criticised for the petrol shortage, is among those calling for market regulation. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has also long pushed for reform. more..

Contradictions and controversies in Mangala's maiden budget

Nov 17 (DM) Much has been said and more talked about Mangala’s maiden budget, the 72nd budget in Independent Ceylon and now Sri Lanka. Yet there’s enough left that can be said and should be said about his budget for year 2018.  Leaving out all controversies over beer and moonshine, pollution-free urban travel and then wild beasts and safari in Yala National Park among many others, Mangala’s preamble to the budget more..

Towards re-honouring the nation

Nov 17 (DM) I do not come to bury Yahapalanaya or to herald the blossoming of the pohottuwa. The Yahapalanists are burying Yahapalanaya and that’s not cause for celebration but lament. As for the fortunes of the pohottuwa, again it appears that Yahapalanists are doing the honours and this too is not a cause for celebration.    Let’s not talk of burial and resurrection or their relative merits. Let us, contrary to all logic, assume that we are ruled by or sought to be ruled by honourable men more..

Will TNA be affected by EPRLF’s split?

Nov 17 (DM) After a long-running wrangling between its main constituent party and the other relatively smaller parties, the main Tamil coalition - TNA - seems to have finally split clearly. Suresh Premachandran, the leader of the EPRLF, one of the constituent parties of the TNA announced on Sunday that his party along with the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) would form a new political front in the north to contest the forthcoming elections under a new symbol.  more..

Swindlers List: Aloysius spoke to COPE MPs during sittings

Nov 17 (DM) Evidence revealed that PTL Owner Arjun Aloysius spoke to several members of COPE during COPE hearings. Aloysius had spoken a total of 227 times to Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe, 18 times with Dayasiri Jayasekara, 176 times with Harshana Rajakaruna and 73 time of Hector Appuhamy during periods commencing January 2015. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had also been in communication with Aloysius with 18 calls more..

JVP takes up plight of hard pressed sugar cane farmers

Nov 17 (Island) JVP, in Parliament, raised the problems and grievances of thousands of sugar cane farmers of Sevenagala, Pelwatte and Hingurana now engaged in the Satyagraha campaign. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said more than 25 days had elapsed since the sugar cane farmers commenced their Satyagraha, demanding solutions for several longstanding problems. Farmers participation in negotiations with authorities concerned, held demonstrations more..

50,000 health employees to stage token strike

Nov 17 (Island) The Joint Council of Health Professionals (JCHP) issued a warning that trade unions in the health sector would resort to a token strike next week to pressure the govt to rectify salary anomalies caused by a new salary structure introduced to the Railway Department. Joint Convenor of the JCHP, Ajith P Tillekeratne warmed that 16 health sector trade unions inclusive of the Govt Registered & Assistant Medical Officers (SRAMO), Govt Nursing Officers (GNOA), more..

Ravi K and family spoke to Aloysius over 750 times

Nov 17 (DM) Evidence revealed that former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and his family spoke to Arjun Aloysius over 750 times in total during the period Feb 5, 2015 to June 20, 2017. There were 84 calls between Aloysius and the former Minister between Feb 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 the period of the controversial Bond Issuance, out of the total of 387 calls. Aloysius had been in communication with minister's wife 320 times more..

CTU demands Edu Minister be transparent

Nov 17 (Island) Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTC) said govt could not solve the problems at the Examinations Department by appointing committees. Even the interdiction of high ranking officials of the department who had been found guilty of wrong doing was not a solution to the problem. Education Minister should reveal what the decisions and recommendations made by the committee the govt appointed and take disciplinary action against all those responsible for more..

Report on telephone conversations allowed

Nov 17 (Island) In spite of strong objections by attorney-at-law Chanaka Silva, Counsel for former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, the PCoI yesterday allowed the CID to submit a comprehensive report pertaining to telephone conversations among some of those persons summoned by PCoI probing into alleged treasury bond scams during the period under investigation. Sub Inspector Yasantha Jayasinghe of the CID handed over the report to PCoI yesterday. more..

Mahendran’s phone records show calls to PTL CEO Palisena

Nov 17 (DM) The forensic communication report presented before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) by SI Yasanka Jayasinghe of the CID revealed phone calls between former CB Governor Arjun Mahendran and several employees of PTL including CEO Kasun Palisena. It was also revealed that Mahendran had had spoken with the Chairmen of the BoC, NSB and People’s Bank on the day that former Finance Minister more..

Finnish firm to produce alternative energy from sea waves

Nov 17 (DN) For the first time, a company would be investing in Sri Lanka to produce alternative energy from sea waves. Finland-based AW Energy, an ocean wave energy company, is working with the Govt to set up a project to harness the potential of ocean wave energy around the southern coast of Sri Lanka. They are ranked number one globally in this technology, according to a survey by Bloomberg and they will work with SL company Sunpower Systems (Pvt) Ltd, in their local operations. more..

SL Navy arrests 10 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Nov 17 (DC) Close on the heels of a controversial alleged attack by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Rameswaram fishermen in the Palk Bay for their alleged twin trawling, the SL Navy have apprehended ten fishermen of Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu and seized their mechanised boat near Delft Island for alleged poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters. SL Navy personnel on board a fast attack craft attached to the Northern Naval command on routine patrol apprehended more..

Looters as Rulers: Sad state of SL politics

Nov 17 (FT) Testifying before the PCoI on the controversial bond issuance, CID official said that former Director of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius had telephoned several members of the second COPE investigating the matter during the period of its tenure in 2016. According to a report submitted by Sub Inspector Yasanka Jayasinghe 62 calls had taken place between the mobile phones registered to Aloysius & UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe. more..

Land Development Ordinance to be amended

Nov 17 (FT) The Cabinet has given its approval to amend the Land Development Ordinance to change the methods of preparing a new grant and revising available conditions. Minister of Lands and Parliamentary reforms Gayantha Karunathilaka presented the proposal to Cabinet. According to the Cabinet paper, several new methods have been proposed as amendments to the ordinance, such as not requiring the approval of the Govt agent in disposing of a holding within the family itself.  more..

President thanks Lord Naseby

Nov 17 (Island) President Sirisena has expressed his deep appreciation to Lord Naseby for the efforts he has continued to take to further Sri Lanka’s cause both within the UK Parliament and outside. In a letter dated Nov 2, 2017 the President says; "I have followed with keen interest the debate on Sri Lanka at the House of Lords held on 12th Oct 2017 which you had secured with much effort. It was noted that an overwhelming majority of speakers spoke well of the efforts taken by my Govt towards more..