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Scrapping Coal Power: Is it a must?

Sept 29 (SL) Subject of coal power plants has been widely discussed in public. The much anticipated Norochcholai coal power plant was not able to perform up to its expectations as it faced countless technical problems and breakdowns. The proposed coal power plant in Sampur faced strong objections by residents in the area, finally bringing the project to a halt. Accordingly govt has decided not to approve any more coal power plants more..

Editorial: Beggars’ at-home

Sept 29 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has become a spoilsport of sorts for some politicians. Troubled by colossal amounts of public funds being spent on politicians’ foreign junkets, he has ordered that the Central Provincial (CP) Council members’ tour of Russia scheduled for mid October be cancelled forthwith. He has asked CP Governor Niluka Ekanayake to explain why councillors are allowed to see the world without his permission in this manner. more..

Karu at 76: Always for his fellow-citizens and the nation

Sept 29 (Island) Much can be written about any individual who has lived 76 years.  A lot happens over a period of 76 years after all.  However, most lives are marked by fairly common routines in pursuit of quite unremarkable goals and their achievement.  On the other hand there are a few who are so productive and the way they conduct themselves are rare that it is difficult to capture their lives with a few hundred words.  Frankly, it is hard to begin and harder to select more..

Karunarathna Paranawithana

Beats from Berklee

Sept 29 (DN) Coming from a family deeply rooted in music it is no wonder that Sanchitha Wickremesooriya chose music as his career. However the dynamic youth did not limit his musical talents to singing alone. He turned it into an entrepreneurship by establishing a venue, The Sooriya Village where all forms of art are celebrated. “I promote any type of music and any form of art. I believe that there is nothing called Sri Lankan music as such. Nothing in the world is original. more..

At war again on Nandikadal?

Sept 29 (DN) While the Sinhala-Buddhist elements in the South were all excited about Gunaratne’s book, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran ruffled a lot of feathers by organising a protest march titled Elagu Tamil, in Jaffna, over the weekend. The rally was organised by the Tamil People’s Council, led by Vigneswaran. Several other hardcore members of the TNA and other Tamil organisations were also present at the event, showing their solidarity with the cause. more..

'Moderates will be proved right ultimately'

Sept 29 (CT) NPC Chairman C.V.K. Sivagnanam commenting on the Ezhuga Thamizh (Arise Tamils) procession said, there is nothing fresh in the demands that have been proposed or raised at the rally that was recently held in the North. "At this juncture such a rally is unnecessary. I, personally, on these grounds, would not have taken part in the rally, even if I was in Jaffna. I don't see anything new in this procession. more..

RTI: A reality check

Sept 29 (GV) Sept 28 is the global Right to Information Day – a day of added significance to Sri Lankans this year since the country passed its own Right to Information Act – now hailed by the Centre for Law and Democracy as the 9th best in the world, the strongest among the new countries to enact RTI legislature. Yet ensuring a culture of transparency and openness goes beyond simply enacting legislature. While there have been groups actively working to educate MPs on RTI more..

What was in the secret note Biswal gave when Maithri-Kerry discussed?

Sept 29 (CT) An incident of curiosity took place during the meeting between the Secretary of State of USA John Kerry and President Maithripala Sirisena in New York America. Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal who participated in this meeting, sent a note to John Kerry. Kerry who read the note asked Maithri about the situation of the UNP-SLFP National Govt. If Maithri had a doubt as to why Nisha Biswal sent a note to Kerry requesting him to ask about the National Govt, more..

Mannar wind farm where migratory birds landfall

Sept 29 (SO) In July this year the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUSL) created serious concern among the public when it was announced that Sri Lanka is now moving towards a major power crisis if appropriate action is not taken by 2018. PUSL warning the CEB had said that under drought conditions and even with planned plant additions, Sri Lanka is set to face energy capacity shortages in 2018 and beyond. more..

The transformation of SL & The Indian ocean

Sept 29 (CT) Following the 2015 elections and change in political leadership, Sri Lanka is experiencing major policy shifts at the national, regional and international levels. The confluence of these shifts has significant political, economic and cultural implications for the island as well as the Indian Ocean region. In a seeming return to the dominant minority position they enjoyed during the British colonial period, Tamil elites have been appointed to some of the highest positions more..

Climate change, animal welfare & buddhism

Sept 29 (CT) Teachings of Lord Buddha found in core Buddhist doctrine such as the Dhammapada, recognize the symbiotic connection between human activities and nature, advocating the harmonious co-existence of all sentient including eco-systems and humanity. As exemplified in the life of Lord Buddha himself, his journey as Bodhisattva until the epitome of attaining the supreme state of Nibbana under the shelter of a tree, highlights the untenable historic connection Buddhism shares with nature. more..

Partners in Crime: Perpetual Treasuries records over Rs.5bn profit

Sept 28 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries, the controversial primary dealer connected to the family of the former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran, has made an after-tax profit of Rs.5.1 billion for the year ended in March 31, 2016, increasing from Rs.959.5 million recorded a year ago, the financial results showed. The performance was purely due to the Rs.5.2 billion net capital gains made by way of trading financial assets more..

He laughed all the way back home from the Customs

Sept 28 (DM) Despite the firm commitment of the Big Boss to the Matata-titha temperance campaign, there are a few lesser mortals in yahapalanaya who are bent on minting money by racketeering in the booze trade. This story is about the exploits of a powerful politico belonging to the aforesaid category. A large shipment of ethanol consigned to a company owned by a close pal of this politico that had arrived in the city harbour was duly sent to a Customs warehouse recently. more..

The man who put Sri Lanka on cricket map

Sept 28 (DS) I want us to raise our standards to be able to compete with Australia. This is a very achievable objective if we can close the gap between domestic and international cricket. As I have said before, we have the talent here in Sri Lanka. We have top coaches and most of these are employed overseas. So this shows we have talented coaches in Sri Lanka. What I’d like to see is this talent being developed. And, in addition, we have to encourage more first-class cricketers more..

'RTI should be open to each and everyone'

Sept 28 (GDI) Right to Information (RTI) should be open to each and every one, as Sri Lanka is a country where the democracy, freedom, human rights are natured and ensured, said President Sirisena.  He made these remarks addressing the International Conference on RTI held today in Colombo parallel to the International RTI Day. The event was organized by Department of Govt Information in collaboration with more..

Uncovering the mystery of journalist's death

Sept 28 (TA) Before they came to kill him, Lasantha Wickrematunge wrote a 2,500-word story about how he was glad to be labeled a traitor, and happy to join the ranks of Sri Lanka’s dead journalists. Wickrematunge was killed as the country’s decades-long civil war neared its final months. For much of the 25-year fight between the govt and Tamil Tiger separatists, Wickrematunge criticized the govt for killing its own citizens, and he founded the country’s most anti-establishment newspaper, more..

Kumar, Roshan to rescue of disabled kids

Sept 28 (CT) Project Ayathi that includes construction of a special multipurpose retail outlet has been opened for the specific purpose of making available to children with special learning and physical disabilities, items of special importance to them with the objective of enabling them to enjoy a better quality of life. Well known cricketers Roshan Mahanama and Kumar Sangakkara have been appointed trustees of this project. Professor Nilanthi De Silva, Dean of Medical Faculty of more..

Govt to present evidence against LTTE being removed from terrorist list

Sept 28 (Island) The govt will present evidence to thwart attempts being made to get the LTTE removed from the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations. "We will tell the EU why it should keep the LTTE on the list of terrorist organisations. We will advance reasons to justify the decision to maintain the LTTE on the terrorist list," Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in New York last week on the sidelines of a media briefing by more..

CPJ welcomes new probe into murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga

Sept 28 (CPJ) Police exhumed the body of slain journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga as part of a new investigation into his death in 2009, according to news reports. A Sri Lankan judge this month granted permission for the police to exhume the editor's body due to contradictory post-mortem reports--two months after a military intelligence officer was arrested in connection with the killing, according to news reports. President Maithripala Sirisena, elected in January 2015, has pledged to more..

CB Governor says 2Q growth should be higher than 2.6%

Sept 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s second quarter economic growth for this year should be higher than the published 2.6%, Central Bank Governor said. Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that he would expect it to be higher than the current figure, once it gets revised. “If you look at proxies for growth like availability of cement for the construction sector, electricity consumption and credit growth, economic growth may not have slowed down as much as 2.6%,” Governor said. more..

Video: CV's protest confirms northern people given equal rights

Sept 28 (DM) UNP MP Mijibur Rahaman said that the protest had confirmed that the people in the Northern are being given equal rights.  “Northern people did not have the right to protests in the past but today they have been given that right. This is why the Northern Province CM had taken to the streets without fear” he said.   Further, he said there are no more abductions and killings in the North now. more..

Video: MR's ex security chief released on bail

Sept 28 (DM) Former Chief Security Officer of former President Rajapaksa, Neville Wanniarachchi, had been released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate in five cases filed by the Bribery Commission. Commission charged of not revealing his assets and liabilities from 2010 to 2015 and filed five cases separately for each year. He appeared in court on a notice issued earlier by the magistrate over the allegations. Subsequently, suspect was released on cash bail of Rs. 10,000 more..

Court permits Yoshitha to travel abroad

Sept 28 (AD) Colombo High Court granted permission to Yoshitha Rajapaksa to leave the country for one month to receive medical treatment. Rajapaksa, who was released on bail after being arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, had requested through his attorneys the release of his passport which was handed over to Kaduwela Magistrate’s Court.  According to the request, Yoshitha Rajapaksa requires surgery on his foot and therefore needs to travel overseas. more..

'SL govts have been suspicious of NGOs'

Sept 28 (AD) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says that govts in Sri Lanka have been very suspicious of NGOs and in the past decade the country has seen not only suspicion but “hatred” being sown towards the international community.  “That is no more. That has ended,” she said addressing an event held at the BMICH in Colombo today, on Zero Hunger which is one of 17 Global Goals that make up 2030 Agenda more..

A forklift driver with a Test cap

Sept 28 (CI) When Tillakaratne Dilshan played his final international matches this month, special attention was being paid by a forklift driver in Melbourne's western suburbs. It drew his interest not because he was Australian and Dilshan was playing against Australia, but because he was a Sri Lankan for whom the moment had personal significance. His name is Indika Gallage, and last century he and Dilshan shared an international debut. The year was 1999. Sri Lanka had just completed more..

Political justice is not enough to rebuild SL

Sept 28 (TRF) The civil war that raged for 26 years in Sri Lanka was always about more than political grievances. The politics were rooted in economic and social disenfranchisement of the Tamil minority by the Sinhala majority. A govt policy adopted in the mid-1950s that declared Sinhala to be the country’s only official language may have been the spark that started the fire, but the impact over decades was a systemic marginalization in all sectors of politics and the economy that fueled Tamil grievances more..

Video: Drafting of new constitution is a fraud

Sept 28 (AD) Former foreign minister G.L. Peiris charged that the drafting of a new constitution by the Yahapalana (Good Governance) govt is a fraud. He said that a new Constitution is not necessary when the existing constitution can be amended.He claimed that the govt is fulfilling the demands of various extremists under the guise of drafting a new constitution. Former Minister Professor Tissa Vitharana, who also spoke more..

Video: Chanuka, 4 others re-remanded

Sept 28 (DM) Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Chanuka and four others, who were arrested by the FCID on charges of misusing Rs.4.2 billion in govt funds were re-remanded till September 30 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. The FCID told Court that the suspects had misused the funds belonging to the Central Bank and the CEB Employees Provident Fund by investing the funds in Govt Securities through a company named Entrust Securities, which is headed by the suspects. more..

MP Jayantha Samaraweera arrested

Sept 28 (AD) UPFA MP Jayantha Samaraweera has been arrested by the FCID, a short while ago. The Kalutara District MP, who is a member of the NFF, was arrested after he appeared before to give a statement regarding alleged misuse of govt vehicles.  He was arrested in connection with an ongoing probe into the misuse of Presidential Secretariat vehicles in the Presidential Election campaign in 2015. The FCID is investigating a complaint that 13 private vehicles hired by more..

People’s Bank protest a flop

Sept 28 (CT) Out of a total strength of 17,000 members, including pensioners, of the Peoples Bank, only about 300 attended the protest that was organized and staged in the Fort yesterday, by the suddenly formed People's Bank Rescue Front. The protest was staged against the media, which exposed the bank's expenditure fraud, involving a whopping Rs 700 million on a digitization project, according to several officers of more..

State land to encourage fruit exports

Sept 28 (EN) Govt plans to give fruit and vegetable exporters access to land owned by state plantations in a bid to increase supply which has become a constraint in increasing earnings, a senior official said. Export Development Board (EDB) is trying to get unused land owned by the state-run Janatha Estate Development Board for cultivation, its chairperson Indira Malwatte said. “EDB has just had a dialog with JEDB and we are trying to use their unutilized and underutilized land,” she said. more..

AG given time top file amended charge sheet against Gnanasara Thera

Sept 28 (Island) Court of Appeal gave the Attorney General time till Oct 13, to file an amended charge sheet for the application of Contempt of Court, against Venerable Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera. The complaint of contempt had been made under Article 105(3), by the Magistrate of Homagama claiming that on Jan 25, 2015, Thera by words and gestures made in open court, committed the offence of contempt. The thera disturbed the Magistrate’s Court by speaking out of turn, more..

Video: Govt only keen to exhume bodies, survey lands: Namal

Sept 28 (DM) MP Namal Rajapaksa said today the biggest problem for the govt was the extent of my grandmother’s land and not the hardships faced by the drought affected people in Hambantota and Polonnaruwa or the possibility of the IMF loan being turned down because of the failure to implement the VAT increase. He told journalists after being present at the surveying of the land owned by Yoshitha Rajapaksa in Dehiwala adding that more..

JR’s creation in flames

Sept 28 (CT) Yesterday, this newspaper reported that two British constitutional experts were in town this week to help the govt to formulate a new Constitution. A new Constitution has been in the pipeline since the advent of the new Unity Govt comprising President Maithripala Sirisena from the UPFA/SLFP coalition and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe from the UNF/UNP coalition, last year. As reported on a daily on its 11 Dec 2015 issue, which, quoting Wickremesinghe, more..

Govt to launch national mass media academy

Sept 28 (Island) The govt was not satisfied with the current teaching at journalism training schools, including such faculties in Sri Lankan universities, Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media, Karunaratne Paranavithana said. He said there were several media training schools and faculties in the country, but their output was not up to standard to join media organisation. "Journalism is a practical subject, but university faculties are focusing only on the academic side," he said. more..