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Video: Lalith and Anusha granted bail

Sep 20 (AD) Former Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and former Director General of the TRC Anusha Palpita, who were sentenced over the ‘Sil Cloth’ case, have been granted conditional bail by the Colombo High Court. They were ordered released on a cash bail of Rs 100,000 each and three personal bails of Rs 1 million each, when the bail application filed by their attorneys was taken up for hearing at the High Court today. more..

Prez urges world to support reconciliation

Sep 20 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the int'l community to seriously consider the tremendous progress made by the govt towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law and extend the fullest support to the slow, but the steady forward march of Sri Lanka to build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society with high morals and discipline. more..

TNA thank Gammanpila for canvassing for sovereignty of PCs

Sep 20 (EN) The TNA paid tribute to the Sinhala nationalist PHU of  Udaya Gammanpila for recognizing the sovereignty of provincial councils while challenging the 20th amendment to the constitution. TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran told parliament that Gammanpila had canvassed for the sovereignty of provincial councils while objecting to the 20th amendment which the Court held required a referendum if it was to be enacted. more..

Prison docs back govt action to transfer their acting head

Sep 20 (Island) A group of doctors at the Welikada Prison Hospital (WPH) alleged that transferring of former Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Nirmali Thenuwara was not politically motivated. Refuting the allegations made by Dr. Thenuwara that she had been transferred as she recommended that the former President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and ex-Director General of TRC Anusha Palpita convicted in the sil redi case, more..

Expressway project corruption: JO accuses govt of trying to silence COPE Chairman

Sep 20 (Island) The JO accused the govt of exerting undue pressure on Chairman of parliament watchdog committee, COPE to block investigations into alleged frauds in central highway project. JO MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage said the govt was trying to silence the COPE chairman. He said so when a heated argument ensued after govt MP Ashu Marasinghe charged that COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti more..

Court restricts Pindapatha to outer limits of Kiribathgoda town

Sep 20 (CT) Police had obtained an Enjoining Order, from the Mahara Magistrate's Court, to shift the Pindapatha, planned to be held in the Kiribathgoda Town yesterday, to another place away from town.This Pindapatha had been organized to collect money to pay the fine imposed on Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita, who have been sentenced to three years in prison subsequent to being found guilty by Court more..

Blatant violation of conditions governing garbage disposal for filthy lucre

Sep 20 (ST) A Commission probing the collapse of the garbage dump in Meethotamulla on Sinhala-Tamil New year’s day, has received startling details on how moneymaking deals were made over garbage. The Commission headed by former Judge Chandradasa Nanayakkara, received information on how a private company was contracted to spray the garbage dump with a chemical, a few weeks before it collapsed, more..

‘Those who received the most votes were corrupt’

Sep 20 (DM) Senior retired state official and former Auditor General Sarath Chandrasiri Mayadunne in an interview aired his views on the proposed Audit Bill, the incident relating to Anusha Palpita and Lalith Weeratunga and issues relating to state officials. Q: President Sirisena had also expressed his regrets over the delay in the Audit Act. Even the Auditor General had mentioned about this matter. What is the cause of this delay? more..

Mahendran a foreign citizen: PCoI

Sep 20 (CT) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran proceeded to testify before the PCoI, after his Counsel claimed that he would testify although not being legally required to so, as a foreign citizen. Mahendran's Counsel Romesh de Silva, PC making a statement prior to the witness's arrival in the witness box, claimed that his client is giving his testimony, as a Singaporean citizen, to prove his innocence and to support the Commission. more..

'We are making plans to topple the Govt'

Sep 20 (CT) In 100 days it was not done. Two years passed it was not done. Now to whom are they saying that they will develop the country by 2025. We are planning to topple the Govt, it may in an election or in some other way. UPFA C.B. Ratnayake says Arundika Fernando won the election thanks to Mahinda's photo, 'If Arundika wants to contest the next election, whatever privileges he enjoys in this Govt, he has to be more..

CV exposes the true image beneath the Sinhala Selfie

Sep 20 (DM) Following is an excerpt of a speech delivered by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Vigneswaran at the launch of Kusal Perera’s book Rajapakse the Sinhala Selfie. It gives be immense pleasure to be involved in this book launch. Apart from Kusal being a friend of ours, who was kind enough to accompany us to meet the Mahanayake Theros last weekend, the book launched by him is also about a friend of his. The book is titled Rajapakse the Sinhala Selfie. more..

20A: You only vote twice

Sep 20 (DM) Bill on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution has been so controversial that the Joint Opposition is said to have planned a mass cross over from the Govt to the Opposition, when it is taken for debate in Parliament this week as scheduled. However, it is reported that the Govt has deferred its debate. Whatever the veracity of the reports on the crossovers was, the essence of this piece of legislation is very important in terms of democracy, as it is mainly meant for more..

Public auctions were needed to meet stunningly large requirements: Mahendran

Sep 20 (FT) Former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he had recommended public auctions over private placements for treasury bonds taking into account the stunningly large amounts required by the Govt for March 2015. This decision, he claimed, reflected Govt policy at the time and had been arrived at after holding discussions with the relevant Deputy Governor of CB who had agreed with his suggestion. more..

Missing telephone data: CoI directs Mahendran to provide explanation

Sep 20 (Island) ASG Yasantha Kodagoda, PC, revealed to the CoI that data pertaining to calls taken from two mobile phones used by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, for a period of 11 months, had gone missing. The former Governor appeared before the Bond Commission. ASG Kodagoda said that as the data in respect of the period under investigation by the CoI were missing they wanted to clarify some matters with Mahendran before proceeding with investigations. more..

PC Minister files petition challenging Wigneswaran’s power

Sep 20 (FT) An ousted Provincial Council Minister challenged Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in the Court of Appeal, saying that he has no power to appoint or remove any provincial council minister. The Court of Appeal yesterday fixed its order for 3 October on whether to issue an interim order and notices in respect of the writ petition filed by expelled Minister B. Deniswaran. The bench comprised justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (CA President) and Shiran Gooneratne. more..

Little Johnny and New Charley feature in conversation between Aloysius and Palisena

Sep 20 (DM) At the onset of the proceedings, DSG Milinda Gunatilleka played a new Voice recording, in which PTL CEO Kasun Palisena and Arjun Aloysius were part of. In this conversation, Palisena initially refers to some Little Johney and in the latter part they were discussing about getting the yield rate down of a particular bond maturity (2026). In this conversation, Palisena talks about an individual called New Charley. more..

Dayasiri to act on Malinga’s charges

Sep 20 (CT) Ceylon Today reliably understands that Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has appointed a special committee to probe certain charges brought to his notice by Lasith Malinga. Malinga made these comments against certain officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), during the brainstorming session held recently by Ministry of Sports. Minister has appointed an Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and the SLC officer attached to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit to this committee. more..

Tharanga relief at Windies loss

Sep 20 (SS) Upul Tharanga backed his side to uphold the island's proud World Cup record after their automatic qualification for the 2019 edition in Britain was assured by West Indies' seven-wicket loss to England on Tuesday. With Sept 30 set as the cut-off date for automatic qualification for the International Cricket Council's showpiece 50-over tournament, two-time champions West Indies (78 points) now cannot move ahead of Sri Lanka (86 points) in the ODI team rankings regardless more..

SL secure World Cup berth after WI defeat

Sep 20 (CI) Sri Lanka have become the eighth and final team to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup, following West Indies' 7-wicket defeat against England in the first ODI. With Sep 30 set as the cut-off date, West Indies (78 points) now cannot move ahead of SL (86 points) in the ICC ODI rankings, irrespective of how their remaining matches against England pan out. They had gone into the 5-match series needing to win by 4-0 more..

Nocturnal Zone at Dehiwala Zoo Fri-Sun

Sep 20 (DM) A special nocturnal zone would be opened at the Dehiwala National Zoological Gardens for three days from 22, Sept, Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said. Zoo will be opened on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. Entrance fee for adults is Rs. 200 and for children Rs.100. “Opening event will take place tomorrow under the patronage of Minister Mangala Samaraweera and participation of several Ministers, ambassadors, Ministry Secretaries. more..

Remarkable time for SL as a hub, says US

Sep 20 (FT) The US has stressed that there shall be no major change in its trade policy towards Sri Lanka following the arrival of its new administration and hinted at stronger economic relations in the future based on the US-SL Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) inked in Washington in 2002. “It is tough to predict the future,” stressed the new Washington DC-based visiting Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asian Affairs Mark Linscott in Colombo.  more..

LG polls only after Jan: PM

Sep 20 (DM) LG elections could only be held in January next year while the party leaders could decide on PC polls later, PM informed Parliament. PM, who made a statement in the House said LG elections could only be held January next year because of GCE O/L Exam, which would be held in mid-December and because of the budget. He said the Ministry of education has requested that the polls should not be held in Dec this year. more..

‘Sri Lanka Customs’ National Single Window will reduce red tape’

Sep 20 (DN) National Single Window and the Trade Information Portal will reduce red tape and help to improve transparency said Australian Deputy High Commissioner Tim Huggins. Speaking at an event held at the Sri Lanka Customs to spell out details of the advantage of a single window concept to stakeholders, he said that the biggest benefit in this regard would be for the SME sector. “Unlike large companies who have special departments to iron out export-related issues, more..

Pakistan PM meets President Sirisena, discusses mutual ties

Sep 20 (TN) Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met President Maithripala Sirisena on the sidelines of UNGA. The meeting began by reiterating the deep and historic relations between the two countries. It was decided to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was also agreed that both the countries would continue to cooperate at all the multilateral forums in the spirit of neighbourhood and longstanding relationships, which were rooted in history. more..

Labrooy determined to put cricket back on track

Sep 20 (Island) The new selection panel headed by former fast bowler Graeme Labrooy received their letters of appointment from Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara yesterday. Minister, who had earlier criticized the fitness levels of the national cricketers had reiterated to the selectors to stress on players’ fitness. SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala, Secretary Mohan de Silva and CEO Ashley de Silva accompanied the 5 selectors. more..

World Federation of Exchanges CEO visits CSE

Sep 20 (Island) Making her first visit to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) Ms. Nandini Sukumar commended the special relationship between the two organizations and stressed on the important contribution made by the CSE to regional capital market development. Her visit aims to further strengthen the relationship between CSE and WFE and will also offer the Federation’s insight on strategic initiatives pursued by the CSE. more..

‘Contactless payments growing rapidly in SL’

Sep 20 (DN) Contactless payments are rapidly growing in popularity across the world and in Sri Lanka too this segment is showing growth, said Visa Group Country Manager for India and South Asia, T.R. Ramachandran. He said that in Sri Lanka, contactless payments only began rolling out in September 2016 and so far growth numbers across the first 12 months are growing rapidly. “Visa has already begun deploying contactless payment technology in Sri Lanka and expects to have more..

Denial of US visa to Fonseka: GL responds

Sep 20 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris reiterated that Sri Lanka had been unfairly treated on the basis of unverified and unsubstantiated wartime allegations propagated by interested parties. He named South African NGO operative Yasmin Sooka as one of those who had been pursuing an anti-Sri Lanka agenda. The previous govt brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009. more..

Issues of SAITM are issues of privatisation

Sep 20 (Island) Performance record of the current govt re-establishes a number of principles about politicians promising systemic change. The first of these is the public choice theory of economics that explains political behaviour of all economic actors — politicians, voters and bureaucrats — on the basis of greed. Based on this premise, public choice rules out the potential for major changes in policy outcomes through a change of the identities of the people who hold public office. more..

Who can clean the Augean stables at SLC?

Sep 20 (Island) The hierarchy of Sri Lanka Cricket seems to be now desperately trying to right their sinking boat by simply emptying the water with a tea-cup. One need not be an expert in rocket science to realize that making efforts to recall personnel who had already left the sinking boat is not the answer in the long term. Having knowledgeable professionals and/or those who have the ability to take the right decisions for the welfare of our cricket is the answer. more..

President's address at the UN

Captains made the scapegoats for the sins of clubs

Sep 20 (DN) The much awaited verdict on the match fixing incident that took place in a Premier Tier B League cricket match between Panadura SC and Kalutara PCC early this year at the Surrey Village grounds, Magonna was reached by the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket based on the independent commission report and the recommendations of the tournament committee when they met on Saturday. But to the astonishment of everyone the real culprits, 2 clubs involved more..

Further cross examination into Gammanpila misappropriation case on Oct 10

Sep 20 (DN) The cross examination into the Udaya Gammanpila misappropriation case will be taken up again on October 10. When the case against PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila regarding the alleged misappropriation of Rs 20 million through the sale of shares of a company using a forged power of attorney was taken up for hearing in the Colombo High Court, High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe put off further cross examination by the defence for Oct 10. When the case was taken up on Monday, more..

Harsha says trade reforms essential to integrate economy with world

Sep 20 (FT) To take Sri Lanka to the next level with structural breaks along a different growth path, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva insisted that trade reforms were absolutely essential to integrate the economy with the rest of the world. Acknowledging that a dramatic decline in exports to GDP was the biggest issue, he highlighted significance of creating an ecosystem that would help Sri Lanka to ride on GSP more..

The world’s first EleFriendly bus

Sep 20 (GV) The world’s first EleFriendly bus celebrated its first birthday on Sept 9th, 2017 in the Wasgamuwa area. I was lucky to be able to attend the event.  The EleFriendly bus is an innovative project developed by the SL Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) to reduce human-elephant conflict. SLWCS statistics show that human – elephant conflict has been reduced by 80% since the bus started running. In the first seven months, the number of conflicts fell from 83 to 21. more..

Editorial:  Prisoners, docs and pundits

Sep 20 (Island) Some UNP MPs have taken exception to the admission of former President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to the Welikada prison hospital after being sentenced to three years RI. They claim he has received preferential treatment. A senior prison doctor has been transferred by way of punishment for allegedly favouring him. One is intrigued by their brouhaha and line of reasoning. The UNP MPs’ conclusion that Weeratunga should not be in prison hospital is based on more..

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