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MR's lucky charm recovered after covert operation

Nov 28 (EN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s lucky charm ring went missing yesterday during a wedding reception at the Cinnamon Grand where a discreet undercover operation was launched to find it. Hotel staff scanned the carpets at the Oak room for the gem-studded ring while an army of staffers along with Rajapaksa’s own security searched a washroom he had used soon after arriving at the hotel. more..

President to leave for France to attend UN conference on climate change

Nov 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Malta, will leave for France tomorrow (Nov. 29) to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015. The conference will be held in Le Bourget, France form 30th of November to 11th of December, 2015. This is the 21st Conference of the Parties, i.e. the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate. more..

Opening of the A9

Nov 28 (CT) All the investigations I had to engage in, and the rebuttals of so much propaganda against the govt, may have created the impression that much of the work of the Peace Secretariat was negative. That perhaps was why Prof. Uyangoda referred to us as a War Secretariat, and why I became the butt of much criticism. But in fact, all this was a tiny part of our work, which had much more to do with looking at how the war affected Sri Lankans on the ground, and trying to reduce problems more..

Jaffna remembers slain LTTE cadre

Nov 28 (ENS) Great Heroes’ Day (Maaveerar Naal), which commemorates the slain Tamil Tigers, passed without incident in the Tamil-speaking parts of Northern and Eastern Provinces on Friday. Even the funeral of 18-year-old Rajeswaran Senthooran who apparently committed suicide demanding an independent Eelam and the rehabilitation and release of detained Tamil Tiger suspects was peaceful. more..

BASL concerned over appointment of High Court Commissioner

Nov 28 (AD) Bar Association of Sri Lanka today expressed grave concern over the appointment of a retired High Court Judge as a High Court Commissioner. “The provisions relating to the appointment of High Court Commissioner exists to be used in exceptional circumstances and where the circumstances warrant such an appointment such as where there is a shortage of judges conversant in a particular language,” it said in a statement. The present appointment has been made whilst more..

State Minister Wijewardene graces felicitation ceremony

Nov 28 (GDI) State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene was the chief guest at a felicitation ceremony held at Darussalam Primary Vidyalaya in Thihariya on Thursday. Upon arrival at the school the State Minister was accorded a grand welcome by the children, Principal and staff of the school. During the occasion Minister presented medals to students who had excelled at the grade five scholarship exams this year. Newly renovated administrative office of the school was also declared open. more..

UK steps up reconciliation and human rights support for Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (GovUK) PM of UK held bilateral talks with President Sirisena of Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta yesterday, and announced a significant increase in UK support for reconciliation and human rights, recognising the considerable progress Sri Lanka has made since it hosted the last CHOGM in 2013. UK will provide £6.6 million to SL, spread over 3 years, to support reconciliation, military reform more..

CEB raids continues, with 3.8 m income per a three month

Nov 28 (GDI) Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy states that through raids had collected nearly Rs. 3.8 million per a three month. 405 cases of people obtaining electricity illegally has been reported during July, August and September. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya further stated that through these illegal methods of obtaining electricity by way of altering the metres and using hooks to obtain electricity illegally, the CEB incurs heavy financial losses. more..

Rishad calls for more industrial training in school curriculum

Nov 28 (DM) Sri Lanka’s proposed economic reforms are of such a magnitude that it is possibly the third generation of reforms in the country’s economic history, and Lankan youth are increasingly attracted to services and it is now time to enlist them to manufacturing as well, said Industry and Commerce Minister Rihad Bathiudeen, presenting his Budget speech in Parliament yesterday. He also called for lowering of energy costs to sustain country’s manufacturing competitiveness. more..

Video: Siyam’s father retracts comments on Vass Gunawardena

Nov 28 (AD) The father of murdered businessman Mohamed Siyam today withdrew the statement he made regarding former DIG Vass Gunawardena after the latter was sentenced to death in connection with the killing. “I was not in a right mind when I made that statement yesterday. I withdraw it,” said Mohamed Zubair Mohamed Huzamdeen, speaking to reporters at his home. The former DIG, his son Ravindra Gunawardena more..

Students to receive uniform gift voucher by Dec 3

Nov 28 (DN) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam stressed that all students will receive a gift voucher to purchase uniform material by Dec 3 prior to the commencement of third school vacation. The minister urged the Zonel Education Directors to ensure that every student receives the gift voucher by the due date. Zonal Education Directors and Provincial Education Directors were made aware regarding the method of offering vouchers for students instead of giving uniform materials. more..

Senthuran’s death reflection of disillusioned North

Nov 28 (CT) Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan addressing Parliament yesterday condoled with the family of Rajeswaran Senthuran (18) who committed suicide emphasizing the release of Tamil political prisoners by jumping in front of a moving train at the Kondavil Railway Station in Jaffna on Thursday. Sampanthan while condoling with the family of Senthuran, had stated that the incident had demonstrated the frustration of the people in the North and the East, more..

Harin sheds some light on his brush up with Ranjan

Nov 28 (DM) Two youthful ministers of the Yahapalanaya government are presently accusing each other over several controversial subjects that may even end up in courts. Minister Harin Fernando has now openly challenged his erstwhile Cabinet colleague Minister Ranjan Ramanayake which is a development that came to light when the former was interviewed recently. Excerpts of interview with Minister Harin Fernando: more..

Policeman jumps into tank to save drowning youth

Nov 28 (ST) A quick-thinking Ampara police constable saved a youth from drowning while he was swimming in a tank. Sergeant S M Kulathissa and police constable A M.A Nishantha were on duty last Saturday in the vicinity when they heard people shouting for help from the bund of the tank close by. When they ran to the spot they saw someone struggling in the water about 15 metres away from the bank. Immediately, PC Nishanha removed his weapon handed it over to sergeant more..

Building a new life in rural Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (NYT) It was a vacation for his 40th birthday that sold Paddy Dalton and his partner, Rob Ioannou, on Sri Lanka. Their stay at the Aman resort in the southern town of Galle was intoxicating enough that the couple returned three weeks later in search of a permanent home. They found it on the first day, acquiring a working tea and cinnamon estate a half-hour drive into the hills behind the surf town of Weligama on the island nation’s south coast. Five years later, they have completed more..

Suranga and his path to national cricket

Nov 28 (CT) Q: Where is your hometown? A: My home town is Tissamaharama Q: Where did you school at? A: Well, in fact I went to three schools. First it was Tissa MV and then to Debarawewa NS, finally to do my A/L I went to Richmond. Q:Tell us about your family? A: I am an only son to my parents, there are 4 elder sisters and one younger, altogether 8 of us. Q: How did you start cricket? A: I can't pinpoint where more..

PRECIFAC quizzes Former Minister Jagath Pushpakumara

Nov 28 (CT) Former Minister of Coconut Development Jagath Pushpakumara was called to the PRECIFAC yesterday. Secretary General of the PRECIFAC Lacille de Silva said, former minister was summoned to record a statement regarding several irregularities that had allegedly occurred in the ministry during his tenure as the minister. He was questioned regarding the ministry's acquisition of a 45-acre land in Buttala in order to cultivate coconut trees. more..

Master Plan for Colombo to be unveiled in January

Nov 28 (CG) The Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Honorable Champika Ranawaka says the Govt will unveil the Master Plan it has developed to build Sri Lanka’s proposed Western Region Megapolis, during early January, 2016. According to the Minister, the govt is planning to adopt a four pronged strategy to build the Megapolis which will be built within three phases running between the years of 2016 to 2030. The first phase will span from the year 2016 to 2020, more..

Indian army chief, SL to discuss defence ties

Nov 28 (HT) Army chief General Dalbir Singh kicks off on Sunday a five-day visit to Colombo where he could discuss upgrading the island nation’s ageing warplanes, tanks and air defence guns as part of New Delhi’s efforts to curb China’s growing influence over Sri Lanka. If Colombo’s request to upgrade and overhaul its defence equipment goes through, it would mark a sharp turnaround in India’s policy to not supply more..

Neurologists meet to pick each other’s brains

Nov 28 (ST) All that is wonderful about the human brain has been on the minds of eminent neurologists, both local and international, as they focused on what could trigger mishaps of this power organ, over three days ending today. As the 9th Annual Academic Sessions of the Association of Srilankan Neurologists (ASN) concludes, there has been much brainstorming on a wide range of issues including peripheral nerve injuries, neuro-rehabilitation and vertigo that makes the lives more..

Dullas claims John aware of pills to stay young

Nov 28 (CG) UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma claims Minister John Amaratunga is aware of pills he needs to take to stay young. Spekaing during the 2016 budget in Parliament, Alahapperuma said that Amaratunga had advised him to support the budget in order to protect his MP seat. “This is a senior member of the UNP telling us in the SLFP. He is telling me to support the budget to protect my MP seat. I guess he knows there are pills to take to stay young. He knows that,” he noted. more..

Sirisena appoints disgraced SriLankan Airlines racketeer to the Mobitel board

Nov 28 (CT) Kapila Chandrasena, ex-CEO SriLankan Airlines, who was forced to resign when his termination on charges of corruption was eminent, has been appointed to the Mobitel Board of Directors on the directive of President Sirisena. Ironically, Chandrasena will be replacing Thusitha Haloluwa, once Secretary to Maithripala Sirisena and presently Coordinating Secretary to Mangala Samaraweera, the former Minister more..

Historic site in danger

Nov 28 (ST) The winds and waves are taking toll of the ruins of what was once the residence of Sri Lanka’s first British Governor -Frederick North- in Mannar. The remains of the building are under threat of coastal erosion. Department of Archaeology says it needs Rs. 150 million to restore the building. In those days the British ruled the waves and waived the rules and looted the gems and pearls of this country with gay abandon. However they did leave behind fascinating more..

The great land robbery

Nov 28 (ST) A woman who recently purchased land in a residential area, close to Colombo, was in for a shock when two months after the transaction she found a board had come up informing that the land belonged to the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and trespassers would be severely dealt with. She had bought a 40 perch land off the Malabe-Kaduwela road for Rs 40 million after checking on the necessary documentation. She lodged a complaint with the CID. more..

Face the Nation

Mobitel considers strategic acquisition of local operator

Nov 28 (LBO) Mobitel, a fully-owned unit of listed SLT, said it is considering a strategic acquisition of a local operator and denies reports that the company intends to pay over and above the value of the target entity. “Mobitel denies the assumptions and opinions made on the subject that Mobitel is intending a payment which is over and above the value of the target entity,” mobile operator said. “Mobitel has stated that they are considering a strategic acquisition of a local operator to enhance more..

Lankan Muslims suffered ethnic cleansing: Samantha Power

Nov 28 (CT) US Ambassador to UN, Samantha Power said the Muslims of Jaffna had experienced ethnic cleansing even before the term ethnic cleansing was coined. Speaking to a gathering at Osmaniya College, Jaffna, earlier this week, she commended the school's efforts to house and provide refuge to recent flood victims of Jaffna. "It was on these grounds that just over 25 years ago the Muslim community of Jaffna was gathered and told to leave their homes. more..

Sri Lanka price control minister waxes lyrical on social market economy

Nov 28 (EN) In a bizarre turn of events, Minister of Trade and Commerce, who is in charge of an agency that imposes price control by gazette has praised the concept of a social market economy. "I commend PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s call for clear long term economic policy for Sri Lanka to become a highly competitive social market economy," Minister Rishard Bathiudeen was quoted saying in parliament. more..

SL Ambassador to Saudi Arabia approves stoning to death of SL house maid

Nov 28 (SB) Newly appointed Sri Lankan ambassador to Saudi Arabia Azmi Thassim has criticized the local media for their comments on Saudi law of stoning to death. Recently a Sri Lankan house maid was sentenced to death by stoning in Saudi Arabia for alleged relationship with another Si Lankan. Media has criticized the law as inhuman. But the SL ambassador Azmi Thassim defending saudi decision has said that the problem lies more..

Concerns rise over Sri Lanka's risky interventionist moves to coerce banks

Nov 28 (EN) Concerns are rising that Sri Lanka's interventionist proposal to ban leasing from banks, made without evidence based policy making or a consultation may have serious negative effects on the people, including small borrowers and depositors. Ranel Wijesinghe, a director of state-run Bank of Ceylon told a business forum at Ceylon Chamber of Commerce that while lenders like People's Bank had a subsidiary, his bank more..

'LTTE did not represent Tamils'

Nov 28 (CG) Minister Mangala Samaraweera says the LTTE terror did not represent the hopes and aspirations of the majority of the Tamil community. He made this observation while speaking at the Meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers in Malta. He said that as radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism undermine the core Commonwealth values of democracy and pluralism, Commonwealth states should direct it’s focus more..

SLAS wants vehicle permits restored

Nov 28 (DM) Perturbed over the withdrawl of concessionary vehicle permits, senior public servants have written to President and PM urging that the circular prohibiting such vehicle permits be withdrawn and the status quo restored. The privilege to purchase an imported or locally manufactured vehicle on a concessionary rate had been withdrawn in the 2016 Budget and a circular issued to this effect. more..

‘Avant Garde not illegal’

Nov 28 (CT) Collective of Aggrieved Employees of Avant Garde Maritime Security Services (AGMSS) said, AGMSS is not an illegal establishment despite the claims of mentally deranged politicians. Chairperson of Collective, Retired Commander Anura Ariyaratne said, for nearly 11 months various companies conducted investigations on the legality of AGMSS, but they were unable to find sufficient proof that it was illegal. more..

Re-think on certain tax proposals

Nov 28 (DM) In the wake of widespread protests over some of the budgetary proposals such as the increase in the fees for vehicle emission tests, the govt is contemplating amending the charges during the Budget debate. The Budget proposed to increase the charge for the vehicle emission test to Rs. 5000. As a result of protests from several quarters govt is now planning to introduce a congestion charge from motorists. more..

On the trail of Paynter’s paintings; sold and regained

Nov 28 (ST) A respected academic in his late seventies is accused of secretly hawking to local collectors, the works of one of Sri Lanka’s greatest artists because he needed money. Prof. Albert Dharmasiri was granted bail by the Nuwara Eliya Magistrate this week. His arrest sent shockwaves through the country’s academic and artistic community. The nine paintings and two drawings he is alleged to have sold off are more..

Minister Ramanayake says his piece on Avant Garde

Nov 28 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake in a discussion with the said that party democracy faded when it came to the Avant Garde issue. He alleged that the chairman of Avant Garde had bought over many people with money. Q: Last week Minister Harin Fernando made a comment that he will take action against you if you actually had said that he was bought in an Avant Garde deal? Did you actually make such comments? more..