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Higher Education: Free fall or free for all!

Oct 6 (CT) Minister of University Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella vowed to provide maximum autonomy to all higher educational institutions; leaving the management and care of universities and other institutions in the hands of the vice chancellors and the directors. He made this statement last Tuesday at a discussion session between him, the officers of UGC, the VCs and directors of universities and higher education institutions. more..

Legal action slow against Ethanol mafia

Oct 6 (SL) With the exposure of how certain UPFA politicians were involved in the illegal importation of ethanol to the country, action is yet to be taken by the AG’s Department against them as revealed by Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, recently. Startling revelations have come to light as to how one of these accused MPs, who now holds a portfolio in the new govt is continuously involved in the illegal ethanol importation racket more..

Spate of crimes: What’s happening, ask people

Oct 6 (ST) A sudden rise in reports of child molestations, kidnappings and killings of children and women in the past two weeks and the brutality of the crimes, have created a fear psychosis among the people who doubt the law enforcement authorities ability to deal with the alarmingly increasing crime rate. The rape and killing of four-year-old Seya from Kotadeniyawa, the brutal murder of a ten-year-boy in Athurugiriya and the killing of a 48-year- old woman, more..

Parliamentary Oversight and Self-interested politicians: Can they do it?

Oct 6 (DM) In reality, having invested large sums of money and effort for elections, after they get elected, naturally - they have no option other than resorting to various means - illegal, corrupt, or fraudulent, to reap profit to remain in Parliament, term after term. We should, therefore, remember that politicians are self-interested individuals and are only interested in looking after their personal interests rather than those of the public. Does this mean the elected representatives more..

Neighbour must not dictate terms

Oct 6 (DM) The Tamil Nadu leaders seem to be furious after the adoption of the US initiated resolution at the UNHRC sessions a week ago which called on the SL Govt to create a domestic judicial mechanism including Judges from the Commonwealth and other countries to address the accountability issues in respect of the war. They are pressing for an international judicial process for the purpose and one of them, Dr. Ramdoss, the leader of the pro-LTTE PMK has gone to the extent of calling for more..

Murder of little Seya: Kondaya's brother reveals all

Oct 6 (DN) Minuwangoda Chief Magistrate D.A. Ruwanpathirana yesterday re-remanded Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya, the main suspect in the Seya Sadewmi rape and murder until October 19 pending his DNA investigation report. The second suspect, Saman Jayatilleke produced in Court by the CID yesterday was ordered to be produced before the Gintec Institute, on Oct 6 for a DNA investigation more..

President Sirisena launches another land return drive

Oct 6 (Hindu) President Sirisena on Monday launched another round of returning lands held by the military in Northern Province to Tamils, the original landowners. At a function in Killinochchi, Mr. Sirisena symbolically distributed land deeds for 613 acres in Killinochchi and Mullativu districts. riginal owners included individuals and institutions. This followed the release of 818 acres in Sampur of the Eastern Province and 1,013 acres in the Jaffna district of the Northern Province. more..

Wigneswaran insists he is not against Sinhalese

Oct 6 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran insists he is not against the Sinhalese community. Wigneswaran said this when he spoke at the inauguration ceremony of the National Program for Local Food Production, held in Iranamadu today. He said that he believes it is important to ensure unity prevails among all communities in the country. Wigneswaran said that he has a lot of faith in President Maithripala Sirisena and his vision for the country. more..

Eknaligoda probe: CID to take suspects to army camp

Oct 6 (DM) The CID has said as part of its ongoing investigations into the fate that had befallen journalist Pragneeth Eknaligoda who had gone missing, it would inspect the Giritale Army Intelligence Corps Camp where he was alleged to have been detained. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said the 11 suspects currently detained by the CID would be taken to the military facility between Oct 3 and 13 to facilitate the investigations. more..

Ranil attacks Foreign ministry

Oct 6 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe who is now on an official visit to Japan announced that he would introduce a new Foreign Service in the country and noted he was working with the belief that there is no Foreign Ministry in Sri Lanka. There appears to be utter confusion in Sri Lankan Foreign Missions and I will resolve this issue when I get back to Colombo," he added. Premier made these observations when top officials of the PM's office and the media crew accompanying him complained about more..

'Colombo Fort to become a port city'

Oct 6 (DN) Colombo Fort will be transformed into a port city and Katunayake will become an airplane city while Malabe will be a technology city under the Western Province Development Programme, Minister Champika Ranawaka said. Ranawaka said that people tend to go to cities leaving the villages for several reasons, specially people settle down in Western Province as there are better job opportunities. The population in cities have increased with time. more..

Japanese firms urged to contribute to Lanka’s future economic development

Oct 6 (FT) Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday declared that bilateral ties with Sri Lanka would strengthen further and urged his country’s private sector to contribute to the future development of the island nation. He made this clarion call when he delivered the keynote at a packed Sri Lanka Investor Forum organised by NWS Holdings Ltd. yesterday in Tokyo. Fresh from a meeting with the visiting Sri Lankan PM Ranil more..

Prisoners scream in court about prison corruption

Oct 6 (CT) A heated situation arose at the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court yesterday when a group of prisoners shouted that they are being assaulted by prison wardens if they do not comply with demands for money. These wardens force the prisoners to give them money, some even use the 'eZ Cash' mobile payment system, they claimed. It took almost 30 minutes to quieten the prisoners. "Some prison officials ask as much as Rs 5,000 from relatives who come to see us. If money is not being paid, more..

Thajudeen's phone: SD card & SIM missing

Oct 6 (CT) The Information Technology Faculty of the University of Colombo yesterday informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris that the memory card and the subscriber identity/identification module (SIM) card of the mobile phone that was allegedly used by murdered ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen, were missing. The phone, of the Nokia E72 brand, had been used by Thajudeen for a long period and was on his person at the time of death. In the report prepared by more..

Opposed to foreign role in probe: JVP

Oct 6 (Hindu) JVP said that former president Rajapaksa and his supporters might use, to their benefit, the issue of participation of foreign jurists in the proposed judicial mechanism to probe alleged rights violations during the civil war. “This is why we, in JVP, are opposed to the involvement of foreigners in any probe on accountability,” General Secretary Tilvin Silva said. Party was not against investigation per se, more..

Video: Man claims he was arrested because didn’t bribe jailors

Oct 6 (DM) A man, whose brother is a suspect in remand custody, charged today that prison officers were soliciting bribes from him to talk to his brother and had arrested him when he refused to do so. “They always ask for money to let me talk to my brother. I gave Rs. 5,000 the previous day too. When I said I have no money today, they arrested me,” he charged. Meanwhile, dismissing the claim, a prison officer said the man was arrested because he had attempted to send more..

Northern civilians receive an ambulance water craft from the Navy

Oct 6 (SLN) An ambulance water craft, built by the Sri Lanka Navy on the request of Governor of the Northern Province, for the benefit of civilians in the northern islands was ceremonially handed over to President Sirisena by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi at Killinochchi on 5th Oct. President in turn handed over the craft to the Director for Health Services of Northern Province who accepted the craft on behalf of the Governor of Northern Province. more..

'Urban Sri Lanka will be holistic, smart'

Oct 6 (DN) Urbanization has both positive and negative impacts on society said Minister Champika Ranawaka said at the Capacity Building Programme for urban sector officials. “Urbanization has resulted in increased employment opportunities, escalated standards of living and easier access to healthcare, education, transport facilities and entertainment. Social integration took new heights in the urban society. more..

Under 19 youth test: Sri Lanka on top

Oct 6 (DN) The first three day game between the touring Pakistan under-19 cricketers and the Sri Lanka under 19 team was heading for a draw at the end of the second day's play at the MRICS Sooriyawewa. When Sri Lanka resumed their innings last morning, Night watchman Charith Asalanka became the second Richmondite to score a double ton in an under 19 international game. Charith in his determination to surpass Yasodha Lanka's score of 212 was unfortunate to be more..

'Ravi K’s blanket amnesty against global financial rules'

Oct 6 (FT) Despite the invitation extended by Minister Ravi Karunanayake requesting citizens holding Swiss bank accounts to redeposit the cash in the country’s banking system with a promise that no questions will be asked, industry experts say that it is against international regulations. “If we are to follow Singapore and the UK standards, all significant inward remittances need a declaration of source of funds,” East West Holdings Group Chairman Nahil Wijesuriya said. more..

Ranil toughens stand after Mangala’s foreign service stooges defy him

Oct 6 (CT) A head-on confrontation between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera has become inevitable after officials in the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Service have continue to defy the PM. After tensions between the two began to mount, Wickremesinghe has said he will raise all the pertinent issues with Samaraweera when he returns to Colombo. He is now on a tour of Japan more..

Video: 12 injured as two buses topple in Medawachchiya

Oct 6 (DM) Twelve people were injured today in an accident when two buses toppled on the road in Nawakkulama, Madawachchiya. Madawachchiya police said the busses which had skidded off the road had toppled due to the high rainfall in the area. Police said the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus which was travelling from Kilinochchi to Anuradhapura had collided with a Sri Lankan Navy bus travelling from Anuradhapura to Vavuniya and the two buses had toppled on the road. more..

Vehicle import levies to be applied after Budget: Ravi

Oct 6 (DM) The import duty rates on vehicles, to be imposed in this year’s Budget, would be applied to all the vehicles that reach Sri Lankan shores after the budget was produced, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said today. He said many people had criticized last year that they were not informed beforehand when the previous govt imposed taxes on imported vehicles. “We decided to make this announcement as we were subjected to heavy criticism last year. more..

Govt to inhale more revenue from fags

Oct 6 (FT) The Govt will raise more revenue via the latest hike in tax on cigarettes, a move that has been welcomed by anti-tobacco lobby but with caution by the sole manufacturer. An industry expert told the Daily FT that the Govt’s decision to go ahead with the tax hike on cigarettes would result in at least a 10% increase of tax revenue to the State. Over the weekend the Govt increased the excise duty on 1,000 cigarettes of Gold Leaf variety more..

Turkish business union inaugurates office

Oct 6 (TZ) In order to boost trade between Turkey and Sri Lanka, the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) commenced the operations of its affiliate, Turkey Ceylon Business Chamber, in Colombo last week. An inaugural ceremony held in Colombo was attended by Rishad Bathuideen, the Sri Lankan minister of industry and commerce and Sujeewa Senasingha, the minister of international trade, along with businessmen from Turkey, France, more..

Q&A: Condos nearing peak, shortage in ‘A’ grade commercial property

Oct 6 (LBO) Apartment complexes have had a strong hand in shaping the skyline of Colombo with the island’s real estate and construction industry sectors presently experiencing a boom. The key market drivers remain the luxury condominium market which has picked up within the last year. However, experts warn that buying by expatriate Sri Lankan and foreigners who are driving the condo market may have peaked or may be nearing its peak due to their finite numbers. more..

Govt gets wakeup call from WB ahead of budget

Oct 6 (FT) With the new Govt’s first Budget around the corner, the World Bank gave a wakeup call to policy makers urging to improve fiscal management, measures to boost Foreign Direct Investments and exports. Perfect dose of recommendations was contained in the lender’s twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus report released yesterday. Striking a positive note, World Bank said the newly-elected govt more..

Pussalla to invest on poultry feed mill

Oct 6 (DN) Pussalla Meat Producers, a leading poultry producer in SL, signed an agreement with Andritz feed milling and bio fuel company in Denmark to build a fully automated poultry feed milling facility. Total investment of the project is Rs. 900 million and constructed at Udamapitigama, Dompe in the Gampaha district. “The mill capacity is 20 tonnes per hour and capable of producing 12,000 metric tonnes of feed per month,” Pussalla Meat Producers, MD, Philip Wewita said. more..

The need to restore public trust in Police

Oct 6 (CT) The Police was set up for Protection Of Life In Civil Establishment. And, the Police Officers were told to be Polite-Obedient-Loyal- Intelligent-Courageous-Efficient. Some in the Police Department seem to be ignorant of these noble precepts when dealing with the public. Thus, the public trust in the Police has fallen to low ebb. The cause is the derogatory behaviour of some Policemen who take the law unto their hands. Over the past decade, the conduct of the Police more..

Losing more than a good address: Moving from Torrington to Wanathamulla

Oct 6 (CT) Previous Ministry of Defence and Urban Development led by former Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa swindled Rs 400,000 per 400 square feet and Rs 360,000 per 500 square feet from each apartment, through forced urban relocation and resettlement of the impoverished, the UNFGG alleges. Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, citing a report commissioned by PM's Office, prepared by the Chief Quantity Surveyor of more..

Should the govt be in the business of running an airline?

Oct 6 (IPS) The famous President of American Airlines, C.R. Smith once said “These days no one can make money on the goddamn airline business. The economics represent sheer hell.” While he made these remarks on the financial condition of airlines, the most legendary joke of all was probably by Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, most financially successful airline in the world: “If the Wright Brothers were alive today, Wilbur would have to fire Orville to reduce costs”. more..

President Sirisena’s broken promises: Start with ensuring justice to Wasim Thajudeen

Oct 6 (GV) Wasim Thajudeen’s death and lackluster investigations took center stage during the run up to the August 2015 general elections. His body was exhumed, and after further examination was reburied a few days ago. I was a witness to the exhumation at the Dehiwela Mohiyadeen Jummah masjid. The media and civil society who were very vocal about Wasim’s death inquiry have now joined the political vultures and are forgetting Wasim. Was this part of election agenda of a vested few. more..

Boston Lanka: October 5, 2015

About Western hypocrisy and presidential progeny

Oct 6 (ST) Hallelujah! British govt is ready to stand steadfastly by Sri Lanka’s side as Colombo adopts and proceeds with the implementation of the recent Geneva resolution that it acceded to, readily co-sponsoring it. Not to be outdone, the US which has actively pursued the chastisement of Sri Lanka for several years at successive Geneva confabs and elsewhere joined in the commendation. Sri Lanka, said the US ambassador Keith Harper, was taking “courageous steps to strengthen democracy more..

Containing fiscal deficit critical for economic stability and growth

Oct 6 (ST) The most fundamental economic problem that must be resolved is the containment of the fiscal deficit. The increasing public debt, foreign debt and trade deficits are closely connected with, and arise to a large extent from, the continuing fiscal deficit. Bringing down the fiscal deficit to 5% of GDP or below is essential for economic stability and growth. Containing the fiscal deficit is vital as a high fiscal deficit has serious repercussions on the economy. It creates inflationary pressures, more..

Police tortured student in Idi Amin style

Oct 6 (CT) Schoolboy Suranjan Seneviratne who was arrested by the Police on suspicion says that he was assaulted by the Police officers asking whether he raped and killed 4-year-old girl Seya Sadewmi. It had been a misery for this schoolboy who was subjected to cruelty, assault and being stripped naked. CID too had behaved in an inhuman degrading manner. Young student had suffered unbearable pain being assaulted more..