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Siva Senai in Sri Lanka gets Shiv Sena support, Colombo worried

Oct 14 (N18) Shiv Sena in Mumbai has extended its support to a new Sri Lankan Tamil outfit called Siva Senai, triggering concerns among the mainstream politicians in SL that sectarian outfits will reopen wounds of a 20-year-old civil war that ended only in 2009. Siva Senai, based out of Vavuniya, is led by M Sachithananthan. Party takes its name from Lord Shiva and plans to fight coercive conversion from from Hinduism to Buddhism, more..

PM congratulates new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Oct 14 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today extended warm congratulations to Antonio Guterres on his appointment as the next Secretary-General of the UN. “I am confident that with your extensive experience as both the Prime Minister of Portugal and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees you will lead the United Nations on a path that will ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for our world,” the PM said. His full text of his message is reproduced below:  more..

Cardinal leads protest against dumping garbage in Ja-Ela

Oct 14 (Island) Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has once again led an outcry against transferring of Colombo garbage to Ja-Ela. In a joint communiqué addressed to President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe, Cardinal Ranjith has drawn their attention to the fact that the land that has been proposed by the Colombo Municipal Council for dumping its garbage at Ja-Ela is in a thickly populated area surrounded by streams and rivers flowing into the Negombo lagoon. more..

Popular schools not to be offered through grade 5 scholarship in future

Oct 14 (AM) Education Ministry has planned to hold Grade 5 scholarship exam only to provide scholarships and no popular school preferences, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. Minister has already taken necessary steps to initiate this program. This decision was taken as parents have made the exam such a competition that children have to suffer, he further stated. more..

Intimidation won’t change GMOA stand on ETCA

Oct 14 (Island) GMOA said it would not change its stance on the controversial Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) despite intimidatory tactics adopted by the govt. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen de Zoysa warned that even though the armed conflict had ended, the effort by foreign powers to rob the country’s economy had not ended. The govt was looking for ways and means of cornering GMOA President Dr Anuruddha Padeniya owing to his union’s opposition to ETCA more..

Charge sheet served on Namal Rajapaksa in contempt of court case

Oct 14 (AM) The charge sheets were served on UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa in the contempt of court case filed by the Bribery Commission in the Supreme Court. Case is considered before a three member bench comprising of Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justices Priyasath Dep and Buwaneka Aluvihare. Director General of CIABOC filed the case at the Supreme Court against UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa on June 30. Commission has informed court that Rajapaksa had repeatedly more..

Killing of three protesters in Rathupaswala ruled as a crime

Oct 14 (DM) The killing of three youth in the Weliveriya town in 2013 during a protest campaign demanding drinking water for Rathupaswala, was today declared as an act of crime by Gampaha Chief Magistrate Ms Kavindya Nanayakkara. Of the three victims, Shamly Ravishan Perera and Don Akila Dinesh had died of gunshot injuries on their heads while Nilantha Pushpakumara had died of injuries caused more..

PM Modi’s Ravana terrorism comment draws ire in Sri Lanka

Oct 14 (PTI) PM Narendra Modi’s comment that Ravana was the new form of terrorism has drawn fire from Ravana followers in Sri Lanka. PM Modi had linked Ravana with terrorism and said that “the first person to fight terror was neither a soldier nor a politician, but mythological bird Jatayu who fought against Ravana to protect a helpless Sita, whom he was trying to kidnap”. “We condemn the statement made by the Indian PM equalling King Ravana to a terrorist,” more..

Judiciary under pressure from Maithri; Judge releases Army intelligence officer

Oct 14 (CT) With undue pressure from President Sirisena, an Army Intelligence Officer who was identified as the culprit behind the assault of former editor of Rivira Newspaper, Upali Tennakoon and his wife was released on bail today. Gampaha Magistrate Kaweendra Nanayakkara ordered Army Intelligence Officer Premananda Udalagama to be released on a cash bail of Rs. 25,000 and three sureties of Rs. 500,000. The decision comes just days after President Sirisena launched more..

Central Bank concerned over primary dealer activity

Oct 14 (EN) The governing board of central bank said it was concerned over profits of a primary dealer and a "pattern of trading" in bond markets. The statement came after reports of sharp increases in reported profits of Perpetual Treasuries, in the wake of allegations of securities fraud. Full statement: The Monetary Board, at its special meeting held on 14th Oct, considered an interim report on the operations of primary dealers, more..

President congratulates new UN Chief, vows to work closer with UN

Oct 14 (GDI) President Maithripala Sirisena in his congratulatory message to Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General designate of the UN said that the wealth of knowledge from the past experiences of Antonio Guterres, as the Prime Minister of Portugal and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will assist him greatly in better serving the challenges faced by the world in the 21st Century. Full text is below: It gives me great pleasure to convey to you my warm congratulations more..

Nightingales’ issue at Mahamodara on slow burner

Oct 14 (Island) Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) accused the Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr Palitha Mahipala and the Health Ministry of ignoring the prolonged trade union action of nurses against the administration of the Mahamodara Hospital, Galle. PSUNU Administrative Secretary Dayananda Boralessa said their grievances included the unfair transfer of a nursing sister in charge of an ICU following her return from a month’s training in Singapore. more..

Debt for People; luxuries for Ruling Class

Sampanthan, lead the Tamils towards a genuine solutions

Oct 14 (CT) My fourth letter in the series is not going to be that palatable to you. You have not taken serious note of the Judgment delivered on the 25th of August at the Ottawa Ontario Federal Court, in the case heard in Toronto Ontario, referred to in my last letter to you. The said case was an appeal filed by a Sri Lankan asylum seeker, for Judicial Review of a decision of the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (ID). The Honorable Mr. Justice Brown delivering the Judgment more..

Indira’s bombshell

Oct 14 (CT) Export Development Board of Sri Lanka (EDBSL) Chairman Indira Malwatte dropped a bombshell recently. Speaking at the inauguration of the 16th World Export Development Forum which took place at the BMICH on Wednesday, she said that in negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) and in lifting of trade barriers, the govt needs to take into consideration concerns expressed by industrialists. Malwatte made this statement in the presence of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, who, more..

Police coup alert deepens SL political crisis

Oct 14 (EN) A police alert shortly after President Maithripala Sirisena's controversial remarks heightened fears of a coup similar to the alleged action of his predecessor in trying to remain in power by using force. Police across the capital were ordered by a senior DIG to remain on maximum alert with further instructions due on Thursday as the nation grappled with Sirisena's apparent U-turn on good governance. more..

Cardinal draws attention to serious damage being caused to coastal belt

Oct 14 (Island) Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith heeding representation made by Fishermen and People’s Organisations distrubed by the large scale dredging of sand from seashore for the filling up of the Port City, appealed to authorities to address their concerns. The text of Cardinal Ranjith statement; Representations have been made to me by fishermen and people’s organisations in more..

Suspect sans Attorney till police record statement, a EU concern

Oct 14 (ST) European Union (EU) voiced concern about the Govt’s proposed amendment to Criminal Procedure Code which will deny suspects the right to an attorney before the recording of their first statement by police. The amendment has been widely criticised by civil society and rejected by both the Human Rights Commission of SL (HRCSL) and The Bar Association of SL (BASL). more..

EU Ambassador amazed at progress made by Sri Lankan govt

Oct 14 (PMD) The Ambassador for European Union Tung-Lai Margue said the European countries are amazed at the rapid progress made by Sri Lanka under the new govt during a very short period. He assured President Maithripala Sirisena that EU would extend fullest support to the govt plans for reconciliation, economic development and social progress. The new ambassador presented his credentials to President Sirisena today. more..

Sri Lanka abstains from voting on UNESCO resolution

Oct 14 (CG) Sri Lanka abstained from voting on a resolution by UNESCO which denounced Israeli violations in and around the al-Haram al-Sharif (also known as the Temple Mount) compound in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds. 24 countries, including Algeria, Brazil, China, Iran, Russia and South Africa, voted in favor of resolution, while six countries US, Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania & Estonia opposed it. more..

Video: Court orders auctioning of Malwana land after Basil denies ownership

Oct 14 (AD) The Pugoda Magistrate’s Court today ordered the disputed 16 acre land and house in Malwana to be auctioned after former minister Basil Rajapaksa and its registered owner had denied ownership of the property.  When the case was taken up for hearing, Magistrate D.A. Ruwanpathirana ordered that the money from the auctioning be handed over to the Pugoda Magistrate’s Court.  more..

Colombo’s recurring floods: Hidden secrets revealed

Oct 14 (ST) The fact that Colombo is a protected City, protected from floods of Kelani Ganga, was well known. The City is still protected by the same two weak bonds built by the Dutch in the 1800s and completed by the British in 1924. Irrigation Department is the sole custodian of these bonds. Hardly any new thinking had taken place since then except a study done to establish the present status of these bonds to withstand more..

VAC challenges President

Oct 14 (CT) institutions that carry out investigations into accusations of corruption are working according to the political agenda of the UNP, then details with names and places should immediately be revealed to the country, the Voice Against Corruption (VAC) emphasized to President Maithripala Sirisena. Last Tuesday the President said that if the CID, FCID and CIABOC are acting according to political agendas, more..

New twist to attack on night club

Oct 14 (Island) The NFF leader and Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalist Wimal Weerawansa said that the investigation into the attack on the upmarket Clique night club at Lipton Circus, Colombo-02 had taken a different twist with the victim of the attack now in hospital claiming that he could not identify the President’s Security Division personnel who attacked him. Weerawansa charged that President Sirisena’s son Daham and more..

'Govt dances to the tune of India'

Oct 14 (ST) Home-grown entrepreneur and Chairman of Ceylon Biscuits Mickey Wickramasinghe, says Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) is a camouflage for Compressive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) proposed with India during the previous rule. The attempt to sign that agreement was thwarted at that time. Mickey said he had a bitter experience more..

For the poor, justice must not seem to be an organised conspiracy

Oct 14 (DM) At a time when the independence of the judiciary is being restored with little or no political interference, the Judicial Services Commission JSC has issued effective and practical directives to end the long standing crisis of the law’s delays.  For several decades the legal and judicial  processes have been plagued by a crisis where most cases drag on for years or sometimes even more than a decade. Many are the cases, specially land or testamentary issues, where more..

The National Question and the vague-speak of Tamil moderates

Oct 14 (DM) There are some fundamental differenes between moderates and extremists that go beyond the obvious degree of flexibility. Extremists are upfront, moderates are cagey. Extremists may believe (even if they don’t say it) that the fact of extremism gives moderates maneuverability and therefore increases the chances for moderates to secure ground. Moderates tend to believe that the non-negotiability that is inherent to extremism hardens the other side to a point that makes more..

Bankrupting SL: Organised crime inside Parliament: Duty free car permit racket

Oct 14 (Island) One-time head of Customs Revenue Task Force Nagananda Kodituwakku revealed that 20 vehicles which had been imported by affluent persons using vehicle permits issued to sitting members of Parliament were registered by Commissioner General of Motor Traffic. He said that he had obtained all relevant information pertaining to importation of the vehicles as well as their registration from Customs and Commissioner more..

Top official of Independent commission to resign?

Oct 14 (DM) An high-ranking official who holds a top position in an independent institution is expected to resign soon, informed govt sources said. “This officer has decided to resign after the wrong interpretation expressed recently by some,” sources said. This officer had informed one of the senior leaders of the govt of this decision. This officer is of the opinion that it was unfair that some persons give wrong interpretation about this institution when it was performing a difficult job with regard to more..

'President or the Govt can take action if unhappy with FCID'

Oct 14 (DM) While declining to comment on the views expressed by President Sirisena on the FCID, its Chief DIG Ravi Waidyalankara said action could be taken in case the President or the Govt was not happy with the manner in which the FCID functioned. “I am aware about the remarks made by President Sirisena but I cannot comment on them being a public servant. However, the President or the govt can take action against the FCID if they are not happy about its activities,” he said. more..

Perpetual Treasuries 14-month profit exceeds Rs.10bn: leaked CB report

Oct 14 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), the controversial primary dealer connected to the family of former CB Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, has recorded a mammoth after-tax profit in excess of Rs.10 billion within a period of 14 months, according to a draft report by CB, which has been leaked to the public domain by a whistleblower within the bank. Based on published accounts, PLT recorded an after tax profit of Rs. 5.1 billion more..

NPC to cancel 84 Principal appointments following protest

Oct 14 (DN) Northern Provincial Education Ministry on the advice of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is preparing to cancel the appointment of 84 Principals appointed to schools in the Northern Province. The move is a result of opposition which has risen over 84 being chosen through an interview process even though 398 had passed the examination for the post of Principal. A protest by the 314 candidates who passed the exam but were not appointed, more..

'China pledges investments exceeding US$ 10 bn over next 3 years'

Oct 14 (DM) China has pledged over US$ 10 billion in investments to Sri Lanka over the next 3 years in addition to other bilateral investments,Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said at the conclusion of the World Export Development Forum 2016. “China has committed to about US$ 10 billion within about 3 years,” he said. This represents an escalation of Chinese investment plans, since the Chinese Ambassador had last month said that China was willing to invest US$ 5 billion more..

Former Ukraine President to support MR’s politcal journey: Udayanga

Oct 14 (DN) Former SL Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga said that he was organising support from a leading politician in Ukraine to help the future political journey of Kurunegala MP Mahinda Rajapaksa. He stated that on Sept 28, he met former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and had informed him of the injustices meted out by Yahapalana govt. Weeratunga also added that he was also trying to amass support for his more..

Ankara donates boats, nets and water pumps to communities in Trincomalee

Oct 14 (Island) Turkey will donate 80 fishing boats, 400 fishing nets, 30 electric water pumps and 30 kerosene water pumps to fishing and farming communities in Trincomalee October 16th at an event to be held at the Public Library Hall in Kinniya. The fishing and agriculture equipment is donated by the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), the development arm of Turkish govt, as part of Turkey’s ongoing development assistance program to support more..

President, PM, Sagala hold special meeting

Oct 14 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met last night for a special discussion at the official residence of the former, informed sources disclosed. According to the sources, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake had accompanied the Prime Minister. The discussion comes in the wake of the President's criticism of the CID, FCID and Bribery Commission -- and speculation about differences of opinion between the two leaders. more..