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IKEA inspired Hayleys’ Dhammika to comfort more homes with Singer

Sep 18 (FT) The world’s most iconic home furnishing brand IKEA is said to have inspired business leader Dhammika Perera to take control of Singer Sri Lanka Plc via the biggest listed corporate acquisition worth over Rs. 11 billion last week. Similar to IKEA’s vision, Dhammika, the biggest shareholder and Co-Chairman of Hayleys, is also keen to offer a range of home furnishings of good design & durability at affordable prices more..

'Private-public sector suspicions nullify commercial progress'

Sep 18 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody, says the usual outlook of the business community was that the private sector was suspicious of the public sector. The public sector, in turn, harbored similar suspicions about the private sector. The end result of this unwritten animosity was that commercial progress was gravely stifled. Allusion to this internecine continuation of working at cross purposes achieved negative results, in consequence the economy did not progress. more..

Police seargent hit by Colombo-Kandy express train

Sep 18 (ST) A Police sergeant was killed when he was hit by the Colombo – Kandy express train in the Dematagoda area, a coroner’s court inquiry was told. Officer in charge of the Police station Anuradha Mahindasiri told the inquiry that sergeant Pallegedara Anuratillake, from Anuradhapura, was proceeding for an interview to admit his daughter to Yashodhara Vidyalaya Gampaha when he was hit by the train on Friday. He had taken over duties at the police station two weeks ago. more..

Chamara Silva banned for 2 years from cricket

Sep 18 (CI) SLC has slapped former Sri Lanka player Chamara Silva with a two-year ban from all cricket-related activities for his supposed role in a Tier B first-class match that featured unusual scoring rates. The ruling comes after a seven-month inquiry into events of the third day of the Panadura Cricket Club v Kalutara Physical Culture Club match played Jan 23-25. Many others have also been banned for their participation in the game, more..

V2025: A country enriched: A wish-list far beyond reach

Sep 18 (Island) The govt launched a new policy document titled V2025: A Country Enriched early this month. The launching event seemed to have been designed to attract the youth with choreographic acts in an ultra-modern stage setting. The few youngsters who appeared along with President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe on the stage posed questions to the two leaders. The V2025 document starts with the statement, "Our vision is to make SL a rich country by 2025. more..

Editorial:  Yahapalanaya, Omerta and Devadatte method

Sep 18 (Island) How the treasury bond rackets were planned and carried out has come to light thanks to a process of witnesses ratting on their bosses before the ongoing presidential commission of inquiry. It was recently revealed that Perpetual Treasuries owner, Arjun Aloysius, had lied to the COPE on bond rackets. He is also alleged to have received inside information from the Central Bank, which was, at that time, headed by his father-in-law, Arjuna Mahendran, and made huge profits more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: Polonnaruwa

Pensions dept. that demeans the pensioner

Sep 18 (SL) The wife and children maintenance fees which was initiated during the colonial era as a show of gratitude to foreigners who worked in this country on contract, was later passed as the Pensions Act through the Constitutional Board. Pensions Department was established as the sole authorised institution that pays this pension, during the British era. Currently the Pensions Department has to bear the burden of having to pay these foreigners’ dependents a pension payment in Pounds more..

Sil Redi and subversion of Buddhism

Sep 18 (SL) Exposures made in the Sil Redi (Holy White Cloth) case have torn the sanctity of the garb worn by pious Buddhists on Full Moon Days to shreds. The massive Rs. 650 million gift to the pious adherents by the TRC, the High Court held, amounted to misappropriation of state funds. The verdict delivered has been hailed by some legal pundits, self-declared pundits on many subjects, most of the general public and delighted UNPers as justice being finally done while more..

'I did my best for the Country'

Sep 18 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa, who is said to be one of the colourful Presidents in the Asian region, amidst having to face political attacks from his opponents, said that he did his best for the country and he could defend himself on that. He also pointed out the presence of the Chinese was only to invest in projects and they had not influenced him otherwise. On becoming the next PM of Sri Lanka, ex-President said, more..

Problem of Arjun Aloysius & reach of law

Sep 18 (ST) The Order by the Commission of Inquiry into the issuance of Treasury Bonds declining to compel Arjun Aloysius, principal shareholder and director of Perpetual Treasuries to give evidence before it, raises interesting points of law for consideration. Indeed, its effect has wider ramifications beyond the subject matter of this Commission. In its Order, the Commission has exhaustively listed as to why it is desirable that the CEO of Perpetual Treasuries more..

Venerable villainy of mercenary monks

Sep 18 (CT) The picture says it all. They are venerable villains brazenly repudiating the rule of law and demanding that we submit to a rule by the robed whose allegiance is to the Rjapaksa clan. The smug satisfaction of the receiver holding the bowl, the mock display of a cheque for Rs 50,000 by the giver and approving glance of the rotund onlooker demonstrate the abysmal depth these spiritual stooges are ready to stoop to in their determination to restore Rajapaksa kleptocracy. more..

Power, Religion and Impunity

Sep 18 (GV) I ordered, he says, as if those two words would suffice. Perhaps they do, in his eyes. I’m the state, Louis XIV declared, according to Carlyle. Mahinda Rajapaksa sees himself as the nation, which also encompasses the state. So how can he misuse state-funds? Rajapaksa’s anger at the sil-redi verdict is not contrived. He doesn’t understand the fuss; he certainly doesn’t understand the verdict. more..

Mister Mahinda, so sorry to say, your sil slip is showing all the way

Sep 18 (ST) Emerging from the gates of Welikada jail where he had gone to see firsthand the penance his permanent secretary was paying for acting on his orders, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa flared in anger when answering questions raised by the posse of journalists as to whether he held himself responsible and felt any remorse for the fate that had befallen his trusted lieutenant Lalith Weeratunga for following his illegal orders without question. For once, Lanka’s top doctor of spin more..

International Book Fair in Colombo & The thirst for (critical) knowledge

Sep 18 (CT) This month the annual international book fair is being held in Colombo. It is reported that hundreds and thousands Sri Lankans of all ages will flock to BMICH to taste a sample of books published by local and international writers. Listening to Mr Vijitha Yapa in a recent Pathikada interview, it seems that the book publishers association of SL have gone into much trouble to organise this mammoth event for the benefit of the reading public in Sri Lanka and visitors to the Island. more..

GE & PC Polls under electoral system: Prez

Sep 17 (NR) President Sirisena has announced that he is determined to hold the next General Election and the Provincial Council election under the electoral voting system. President made this observation during a discussion held with a group of SLFP North-Central Provincial councillors at the official residence of the President. He has reiterated the importance of introducing new election laws to remove existing Preferential voting system. more..

Arundika Fernando in ‘JO’ colours

Sep 17 (NR) Former Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando says he has decided to continue his political journey by working with the Joint Opposition. President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday removed Arundika Fernando as the Deputy Minister of Tourism Promotion and Christian Religious Affairs. Following the announcement, Arundika Fernando said he will work towards defeating the good governance govt. more..

PET Scanner that’s still only a dream: Kickbacks from pvt hospitals?

Sep 17 (CT) Humaid had a dream, he was all set to make it a reality but bungling red-tape thwarted his sincere efforts and finally he carried on unsated, to meet his maker! The young lad was fighting a desperate battle with cancer for more than three years. He was taken to the best of hospitals in India, private hospitals in SL and finally to Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama. He knew that his chances for survival were rather bleak. more..

SLPP stands firm on 20A: Says it needs 2/3rd majority and Referendum

Sep 17 (CT) The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) stands firm on the 20th Amendment that seeks to hold the Provincial Council elections on the same day, needs a two thirds majority in Parliament and approval at a referendum, its President Prof. G.L. Peiris said. The amendment is due to be debated in Parliament later this month and the Unity Govt is canvassing support among MPs to gather a 2/3 majority. more..

Trishaw unions to defy new regulations

Sep 17 (SO) The country´s trishaw unions are out to defy the new regulations set out by a Gazette notification last week requiring them to install meters and issue receipts to passengers. Chairman of the All Island Three Wheel Owners Association (AITWOA) Sudhil Jayaruk told the Sunday Observer that members of his union will not adhere to the Gazette notification which is due to be enforced from October 1. more..

Cabinet to review controversial LPG tender

Sep 17 (SO) The tender board recommendation regarding the supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for the years 2017/2018 to Litro Gas Lanka Ltd, is to be reviewed at the next Cabinet meeting, sources within the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development said. “Cabinet has the power to make the ultimate decision whether to go ahead with the recommendations or whether it should be re-tendered,” more..

Sri Lanka not likely to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty at UN

Sep 17 (ST) Sri Lanka, in an unprecedented move in the country’s diplomatic history, is not signing a major international treaty which it has already voted on. Along with 121 other countries, Sri Lanka voted last July to approve a landmark UN treaty that bans the possession, development, testing, and use of nuclear weapons worldwide. Sri Lanka was not listed among the countries scheduled to sign the treaty at more..

'PCoI order leaves ominous precedent'

Sep 17 (CT) The controversial order by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), probing bond scam, calling Arjun Aloysius as a witness, while being accused of a crime, might well leave behind an ominous precedent for future Commissions too. Former Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa told Ceylon Today that such a precedent would cripple future Commissions of Inquiry, as, more..

Prof. Samarasekera to spill the beans on Thajudeen’s murder

Sep 17 (SL) The controversial former Colombo Chief JMO, Prof. Ananda Samarasekera, who is under interrogation by the CID, is expected to spill the beans which can be anticipated as a new twist in Wasim Thajudeen’s murder case, defence sources are of the view. Following the CID informing the Colombo Magistrate on Thursday, August 24, that there are prima facie evidence (sufficient to establish a fact or raise more..

President angry over some highway contracts, calls for national policy

Sep 17 (ST) President Sirisena is livid over complaints that there are irregularities over multimillion dollar contracts for major road construction projects and he wants a national policy on highways. He made the declaration at the Progress Review meeting of the RDA last Thursday at the Presidential Secretariat. Mr Sirisena wanted to know the status of the ongoing road construction projects and the funds being spent. more..

Govt gasping; Rajapaksas dead-meat

Sep 17 (Island) It’s time to move on. Maybe the January 8 victory has delivered all it can, with one exception and this is of utmost importance, the constitution. Last week I dealt with this and expressed my hopes and my fears. In human affairs, more so than even weather forecasting, uncertainty is built into the fabric of reality. I have reproduced a diagram, released on Sept 1 by the US National Hurricane Centre, of the 20 most likely paths of hurricane Irma more..

One more symbolic step: Wigneswaran’s audience with the Mahanayake Thera

Sep 17 (Island) We need a break from the tedium, rather the opprobrium, of national corruption. To paraphrase Dr. Harsha de Silva’s public lamentation, the whole country is awash in corruption. The continuing non-promotion of people like Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne to full cabinet rank shows the depth of cabinet entrenchment by the corrupt and the crooked and the extent of exclusion of the bright and the honest. Govt leadership has a lot to answer for more..

For the first time, 3-pronged election battle for PCs and local councils

Sep 17 (ST) Plans are on the drawing board for the two coalition partners – SLFP & UNP – to contest each other at an upcoming Provincial Council or Local Govt election. It is most likely the PC polls will come first followed by elections to local govt institutions. Such a poll will also break with the tradition of two major political parties vying with each other during past elections. Entering the fray will be a third formidable group, more..

Foreign vessel abandoned by owner Crew close to starvation

Sep 17 (CT) A 13-member all foreign crew, on board a Bahraini flagged cargo ship, are close to starvation at the Colombo port after the owner abandoned the vessel, International Transport workers Federation (ITF) said. Local ITF Inspector Ranjan Perera said that the ship was arrested on 7 September since it was in the red of some Rs five million to the local port authorities. The MV Sanad sailed into the Hambantota port with a cargo of cement and was later towed to Colombo on June 05 after more..

Govt destroyed self-sufficiency and has to now import rice: MR

Sep 17 (Island) Former President Rajapaksa said that he was ashamed that the govt was importing rice to the country though the govt doesn’t seem to be ashamed of such a move. "During my tenure of office, Sri Lanka was self-sufficient in rice, but the present regime has destroyed it", he said. Continuing, former President said that the govt now has no proper work plan or a viable development plan. The only motive of the UNP is to dispose of the assets of Sri Lanka to foreign countries. more..

Ruwanpura: RDA pushes ahead without EIA report

Sep 17 (ST) Road Development Authority (RDA) has started acquiring land for the US$ 1.8 billion (Rs. 275 billion) Ruwanpura Expressway even before a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) and an economic feasibility study are completed, prompting Central Environment Authority (CEA) sources to denounce the process as inside out. Tens of families have been issued notices under more..

Over 150 containers of refuse tea slips through

Sep 17 (SL) Over 150 containers of refuse tea had managed to slip through customs and reached their overseas destinations, officials said. The containers had passed through scanners used by the Customs Department and reached Dubai and Iran via Kuwait. Officials said that the refuse tea had not been detected as the scanners were not operating properly. Investigations had revealed that seven suspects were involved in the scam to export refuse tea between 2016 and 2017. more..

NPC Head echoes UN Human rights High Commissioner’s warning to Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (Island) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein, has expressed his concern over the slow pace of reforms in Sri Lanka and said the absence of action, on accountability meant exercising universal jurisdiction was even more necessary. This means that Sri Lankans can become subject to int'l law even in foreign countries. This statement needs to be seen in the context of the war crimes cases registered against former army commander General Jagath Jayasuriya more..

Bond Scam: Ravi Karunanayake’s miss and Arjun Aloysius’ refusal

Sep 17 (CT) After what transpired at the Presidential Commission on Boand Scams, this past week, we believe that former Minister Ravi Karunanayake might just be overwhelmed by the idea that he could have pulled off an Arjun Aloysius when he was summoned to give evidence, and had refused to do so. That way, it might have been possible for him to retain his, now lost, ministerial portfolio as well. Oh well, what's gone is gone more..

Hirunika writes to Rajitha on prison hospital doctor

Sep 17 (SL) MP Hirunika Premachandra has written to Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne calling for the transfer of the prison hospital doctor. In her letter, Premachandra accused the doctor of giving special treatment to VIP inmates transfered to the prison hospital. She said that even the former prison doctor had been transferred after he gave special treatment to VIP prisoners. MP accused some prison officials of being corrupt resulting in VIP inmates enjoying a luxurious life in prison. more..

Buddhists flay moves to accept Rohingya

Sep 17 (CT) Several Buddhist organizations yesterday launched a protest to condemn govt ministers who insult Buddhist monks and to oppose moves to accept Rohingya refugees to Sri Lanka while expressing support for Buddhists in Myanmar. The protesters marched from Torrington Circus up to the Myanmar High Commission in Colombo. Protesters yelled slogans condemning the govt ministers for making disrespectful remarks on Buddhist monks. more..