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PMK demands fuller probe into torture centre

Nov 19 (PTI) A day after discovery of an illegal detention centre by UN experts in a SL naval base where Tamils were allegedly tortured, PMK demanded Centre to take steps to send an international team there for a comprehensive probe. "Central govt should take steps to send an international team to Sri Lanka to carry out a comprehensive probe into past and continuing torture centres and for punishing more..

Cabinet Subcommittee on Sri Lankan identity

Nov 19 (CG) A Cabinet Subcommittee is to be appointed to provide guidance to implement various programmes within the year 2016 to protect Sri Lanka’s identity. It has been observed that it is essential to implement suitable programmes to have long lasting peace and reconciliation among the various communities living in Sri Lanka. Govt said that although, each community has its own unique cultural and religious characteristics, they should be able to live in the country more..

Penang forum on search for peace in SL

Nov 19 (MK) Last year around November, the Penang Society of Advancement of Tamils (PSAT) organised an international conference on Tamils with the sub-theme of in search for an identity. One of the topics that were discussed was the extent of human rights violations in Sri Lanka and why the international community was dragging its feet in terms of investigation and punishing those responsible for crimes against humanity. This year, on Nov 21, PSAT will be organising more..

MR undecided on supporting SLFP at polls

Nov 19 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is still undecided on if he will support the SLFP at next Local Govt (LG) elections. Rajapaksa said that while some in the SLFP want his support there are others who are demanding that he retire from politics. He said that the public, however, now realize that they need him to solve their problems and he hopes the govt will do just that. Rajapaksa said that as a MP he has more..

Bhutan-Sri Lanka strengthens relations

Nov 19 (KO) The first annual bilateral consultation between Bhutan and Sri Lanka on Nov 16 in Colombo discussed several issues from political relations, trade, investment, tourism, human resource development, to cultural exchanges, and cooperation in regional and multilateral forums. Foreign Secretary Tshering Dorji and SL Foreign Secretary Chitranganee Wagiswara welcomed the institution of the annual bilateral consultations as a valuable bilateral forum to further enhance more..

Sri Lanka Navy arrests 14 Indian fishermen

Nov 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Navy has assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to arrest 14 Indian fishermen for illegally poaching in local waters, the navy media unit said Thursday. Fishermen were taken into custody along with three fishing trawlers in the northern seas, in close proximity to Delft island. The navy said that the arrested fishermen and the trawlers were brought to Karainagar in the north and handed over to the officials of Department of Fisheries for onward action. more..

Sri Lanka to improve living standards in former war-torn north

Nov 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt on Thursday said it will launch special projects in war-ravaged north to improve living conditions of the families residing there. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said that on a proposal submitted to the cabinet by Minister of Rehabilitation and Resettlement, D.M. Swaminathan, govt had approved implementation of ten projects to upgrade the living status of these communities. more..

Wives of detained army men file habeas corpus application

Nov 19 (CT) Wives of two army officers who are in detention in connection with the abduction/killing of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda have filed two Habeas Corpus petitions in the Court of Appeal. Wasantha Padmaseeli and Nirmala Sudashin filed plaint on behalf of their husbands Sergeant Major W.G.U.P.D. Upasena and Lance Corporal Ravindra Rupasinghe. They have said in their petitions that their husbands had been arrested in connection with the abduction of Prageeth Ekneligoda. more..

Nishan Dhanasinghe new Prisons Commissioner

Nov 19 (DM) Prisons Commissioner Nishan Dhanasinghe has been appointed the Acting Commissioner General of Prisons with effect from Nov 12 by Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan. A prison officer has been appointed to the post after 18 years. Mr. Dhanasinghe has been working as Prison’s Commissioner for nine years. He has received his appointment letter from Minister more..

Akila explains why voucher system for school uniforms is better

Nov 19 (AD) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that govt decided to provide students with vouchers instead of school uniform material in order to prevent students from receiving poor quality material and middlemen from pocketing commissions. Govt will be able to save around Rs 500 million through this process and that it will be used to improve education in the country. Minister said that govt spent Rs 2.3 billion more..

Dual Citizenship at a price!

Nov 19 (CT) According to a news item in today’s papers, some 2,000 Sri Lankan expatriates were “awarded” certificates of dual citizenship at a ceremony held at Temple Trees on 17 November 2015 by HE Maitripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka. One is struck by the solemnity and grandeur of the occasion, apparently, graced by a constellation of local dignitaries including the Prime Minister. Nevertheless, there seems to be something odd about this particular spectacle. more..

Harin demands action against Chathura

Nov 19 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has promised tough disciplinary action against MP Chathura Senaratne if the latter had entered the office of Minister Harin Fernando by force and perused his documents. During the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday night, Fernando had told his cabinet colleagues, that the son of Cabinet Minister Rajitha Senaratne had entered his office while he was away and had gone through some of his documents without permission. more..

Govt to hike compensation payments to accident victims

Nov 19 (Island) Govt plans to hike the compensation packages to road accident victims and is set to introduce new regulations, according to Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. Third party insurance scheme should be amended and implemented to provide reasonable compensation to victims. Minister noted that his ministry would hold discussions with insurance companies to seek the possibilities of enhancing compensation more..

Mahendra Ratwatte resigns as Mayor of Kandy

Nov 19 (DM) Kandy Mayor Mahendra Ratwatte has resigned from his post this morning to contest the election of Kandy Sri Vishnu Devala. He handed over the resignation to the Municipal Commissioner Chandana Tennakoon. Sources said that he resigned from the post to contest the election of Kandy Sri Vishnu Devala that would be held on December 01. The post of Basnayake Nilames of the Kandy Sri Vishnu Devala had been held by members of the Ratwatte family since long. more..

'Sri Lanka in reform drive for logistics hub in budget'

Nov 19 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he plans to introduce key reforms in tomorrow’s govt budget that will make it easier and cheaper for logistics and shipping companies to do business in the island. "The budget will ensure logistics are going to be given real pride of place," he told the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka. "International freight forwarding companies will find the ownership and legal problems they faced more..

Ada Cartoon

Criticism not the answer to crises

Nov 19 (CT) There's lot of infighting and criticism within the Yahapalanaya Govt. Cabinet Ministers battle each other in public over controversial issues that are being investigated. The Avant Garde arms deal controversy takes the lead in that direction. Despite being warned and advised by President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Rajitha Senaratne continue to criticize each other through the media. more..

Shares rise for third day ahead of budget

Nov 19 (Reuters) Shares rose for a third straight session on Thursday, led by blue-chips in thin volume as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of Friday's budget. The main stock index ended 0.55%, or 38.21 points, firmer at 7,020.18, its highest close since Nov. 9. "Everybody is waiting to see the proper direction more than the taxes. It's not about taxing, but how they tax," said a stockbroker. Minister Ravi Karunanayake will seek to boost tax revenues and rationalise spending more..

Veerasingham Anandasangaree

Work on Colombo-Kandy Expressway to begin in Feb

Nov 19 (Island) The construction of Colombo-Kandy Expressway would commence next February from Galagedara area, Minister Lakshman Kiriella said. He said with the completion of the Colombo-Kandy Expressway the travelling between the two cities would be easier and efficient. Kiriella made the observations at the launching of a Joint Rural Road Rehabilitation National Programme near Kandy Lewalla Bridge to develop Gangasiriwatta-Polgolla and Sirimalwatta-Naththaranpotha roads. more..

JVP student wing elected unanimously to WFDY

Nov 19 (Island) JVP’s student wing, Socialist Students’ Union has been elected unanimously for the Vice Presidency of the World Federation of Democratic Youth during the 19th General Assembly of the WFDY held in Havana, Cuba recently. Havana assembly held from Nov 8 to Nov 12 marked the 70th anniversary of the WFDY and JVP MPs Bimal Ratnayake and Dr Nalinda Jayatissa participated representing the SSU and the Socialist Youth Union. more..

Sri Lanka to amend local authorities act to increase women’s representation

Nov 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to amend the local authorities act so as to increase women’s representation in local authorities. Although about 51% of Sri Lankan population is women, only about 5% from the total members elected to the parliament, provincial councils and local govt institutions are women. Sri Lanka’s new administration promised to allocate 25% of representation for women in provincial councils and local govt institutions. more..

Hopper prices up from Nov 26

Nov 19 (DM) A collective decision had been taken to increase the prices of all varieties of items sold at canteens from – Nov 26- the day of V Prabhakaran’s birthday, the national organizer of the All-Island Canteen Owners Association Asela Sampath said today. “The LTTE had been the most feared terrorist organisation in Sri Lanka and black marketing has now become another form of terrorism,” he said. more..

JVP leads protest by parents and teachers

Nov 19 (Island) Teachers and parents of students who sat the Grade V scholarship exam this year protested opposite the Education Ministry, Isurupaya yesterday against what they called a govt decision to limit the number of successful candidates to 20,000. General Secretary of pro-JVP CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said that they had organised the protest as the Education Ministry had been silent on their earlier more..

Biometric NICs will take another 2 years

Nov 19 (ST) Sri Lankan citizens will have to wait another two years before the new biometric National Identity Card (NIC) is issued, Internal Affairs Minister S.B. Nawinne said. He said that, although Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake wants it done early, there are legal issues that have to be met “We cannot do it immediately,” he said. In explanation, he said that Cabinet approval has been obtained for the issuance of biometric NICs, more..

HNDA students win demand, ask for more

Nov 19 (Island) Higher National Diploma in Accountancy students won one of their three main demands by making the govt to issue a fresh circular granting the HNDA the same status as general degrees awarded by the national universities. The govt posted the fresh circular on the web while the HNDA student union leaders were threatening to resume their protest action at a press conference at Centre for Society & Religion. more..

Minister slams blown up media reports

Nov 19 (CT) Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera criticized various media reports which have blown up the controversy relating to Indian fishermen poaching in Lankan waters into the dimensions of a war between TN and Sri Lanka, "We are only trying to work out something that will be in the best interest of the Tamil fishermen in the North" he said. He said there have been many complaints from fishermen in the North. more..

Blacklisted company submits tender

Nov 19 (SL) While Omax Healthcare, the suppliers of Pegylated Asparaginase 3750 IU injection (Oncaspar), which is used to treat children suffering from Cancer, was suspended from supplying the Cancer Hospital with the drug following allegations of fraud, it is alleged that they have now submitted tenders to supply the same drug under a different company name. Even though the name has been changed from more..

Harsha calls for Evidence Based Policy Making

Nov 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha de Silva articulated the need for evidence based policy making in the complex world of today where there is no room for policy blunders. He said while delivering the keynote address at the 5th South Asia Regional Conference of the Think Tank Initiative in Gurgaon, India, today and called for stronger ties between think tanks and policy makers. more..

Ex LTTE member appoints Sri Lanka monitoring panel

Nov 19 (CG) The Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by former LTTE member V Rudrakumaran, has nominated a panel of five legal experts to monitor the design and implementation of the transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka, including the judicial measures to investigate and prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide (Monitoring Accountability Panel or MAP). more..

Abolishing the Executive Presidency is a colossal task

Nov 19 (DM) Followed by his avowal at the funeral of Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera to abolish the Executive Presidency, President Maitripala Sirisena initiated action at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting by seeking to pursue his intentions. Cabinet decided to appoint a committee comprising party leaders to study the proposal to abolish the Executive Presidency and to introduce a new electoral system. more..

Horrors of teenage pregnancy

Nov 19 (DM) Namali was a bright and promising student from Anuradhapura. She excelled at her Ordinary Levels and was hoping to score high marks for her A/Ls as well. She knew education was her ticket out of a life of poverty and abuse. Her dreams, however, were shattered when she discovered she was pregnant at the age of 18. It all started when her abusive father – who had abandoned his family -- decided to return home. In his absence, his wife was left with the sole responsibility of caring for more..

Middle path of dialogue & justice. So be it

Nov 19 (DM) President Sirisena, acting fast to fulfil a solemn pledge he made before the sacred body of the revered Sobitha Hamuduruwo on Nov 12, yesterday presented to the Cabinet comprehensive proposals to abolish the executive presidential system and to restructure the electoral process. These two goals, had been the highlights of Sobitha Hamuduruwo’s vision and mission. Reports said that during the past few months and especially in the last weeks of his grave illness, more..

Stern action if there is proof: Mangala

Nov 19 (DN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said stern action will be taken against any person irrespective of status if the allegations made by the UN working group that some of the people whom they met had later been questioned by a third party, are proven. He said some of the officials are still influenced by the practices of the former govt. He said that Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is already expired and more..

Police stock up on batons, tear gas

Nov 19 (Island) The police have decided to purchase 5,000 canisters of tear gas to replenish their stocks. The Supplies Division of the Department would soon call for tenders from several foreign manufacturers, suppliers or their local agents to obtain bids to supply a stock of tear gas canisters, a high ranking police officer said, adding that the stock should reach the country around January next year. Usually, the police purchased tear gas shells from the UK or China. more..

New NDDCB Chairperson

Nov 19 (CT) Professor Ravindra Fernando was appointed to the controversial position of Chairperson of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB). Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe was the chairperson of the NDDCB which operated under Ministry of Law and Order. Following Dr. Samarasinghe's removal from his post, former minister of law and order, Thilak Marapana appointed retired SSP M.M. Sirisena Herath. This appointment led to various controversies more..