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COPA cites IT lapses

Sept 24 (CT) Chairman of Committee on Public Accounts (COPA), MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna, said Committee had indentified that several key State institutions needed to develop their IT proficiency and infrastructure to increase productivity and curb losses. COPA Chief, while noting that SL Customs Department, Inland Revenue Department, Excise Department and the Department of Motor Traffic were the four institutions that earned more..

Colombo, world’s fourth fastest-growing tourist destination

Sept 24 (DN) Colombo is the world’s fourth fastest-growing destination for international visitors, according to 2016 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. According to the Index, which projects the number of tourists staying in 132 of the most popular cities worldwide, Colombo will see a 19.57% increase in foreign travellers this year. Mastercard’s latest list shows the growing international significance of Asia, as seven of the 10 most-visited cities in the world are in the continent, more..

CID investigates Lankans deported from Japan

Sept 24 (ITN) CID is conducting inquiries into the 30 Sri Lankans who were deported for staying illegally in Japan. 27 men and three women who were illegally staying in Japan have been deported. They arrived in the island yesterday in a special flight. Japanese Police Officers who nabbed them handed over the Sri Lankans to officials of the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Accordingly they were directed to the CID for further inquiries. As a result of such Sri Lankans staying illegally in Japan more..

HIV test: Tea head quits

Sept 24 (NS) In an unexpected turn of events, the Chairman of the Tea Board, Rohan Pethiyagoda has tendered his resignation, protesting against regulations that constitute an unlawful invasion of privacy over the mandatory disclosure of one’s HIV status to ensure the official’s position in the institution. Pethiyagoda who was appointed Chairman had expressed his protest over the request made by Committee on High Posts more..

Mirihana Police summon Sanga

Sept 24 (Island) The former SL captain will make an appearance at the Police Station not because he has been on the wrong side of the law. He has been invited to deliver a talk to the police personnel attached to the Emergency Unit 119. Sanga has been invited to address police officers attached to the 119 by former Royal College and Police SC rugby player Chief Inspector Salinda Samarakoon. Sanga, who returned home on Sunday after finishing his county stint with Surrey more..

Sri Lanka maintains lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in S.E.Asia

Sept 24 (DN) Sri Lanka still maintains lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence in South East Asia which is less than 0.01. “SL cannot be satisfied and rest because this is a result of hard work which should continue, strengthened and expanded,” Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said that 2,436 HIV/AIDS cases had been reported from Sri Lanka so far from the day the first cases were detected in 1987. “Govt provides free ARI treatment for HIV/AIDS affected persons. more..

HRC opposes amendment to Criminal Procedure Code

Sept 24 (Island) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) says that the proposed amendment to Criminal Procedure Code will severely undermine constitutionally guaranteed rights of people. A senior spokesperson for the HRCSL said that the proposed amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act was meant to deprive suspects access to lawyers until their statements were recorded violated the rights more..

Probes crippled by vital documents going missing

Sept 24 (Island) Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) Lasantha Alagiyawanne alleged that investigations undertaken by the CID, CIABOC as well as FCID into fraud and irregularities at the Inland Revenue Department, the Customs Department and the Registrar of Motor Vehicles had been badly affected due to disappearance of vital documents. MP Alagiyawanne was addressing the media in Parliament in the wake of the presentation of COPA report. more..

I have handed over a list of corrupt officials to BC: Ranjan

Sept 24 (DM) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said he had given a list that contains the names of several ministers and opposition MPs who were engaged in corrupt activities to Bribery Commission. Speaking during the debate on the motion to increase remuneration to the heads of independent commissions in Parliament, the Deputy Minister said he would continue to talk about these ministers & MPs. "I will name these MPs even though their names are expunged from Hansard. more..

Bullets for a Bronze

Sept 24 (NS) A battle-scarred SL soldier is on course to becoming just the kind of exhibit his country may have yearned for after gaining Olympic or Paralympics immortality and then stepping off a plane only to pocket Rs.2.5 million for bagging a bronze medal in Rio last week. Dinesh Herath, who took three bullets in his left forearm during a firefight in the jungles of Killinochchi against the now obliterated LTTE, more..

Kumar Sangakkara agrees new Surrey deal

Sept 24 (CB) Kumar Sangakkara, the former Sri Lankan captain, resigned with the English county club Surrey on Friday (September 23) for a one-year period. The new deal will see Sangakkara in action for another season in the county circuit through to the end of the 2017 season. "Surrey CCC are very pleased to announce that Kumar Sangakkara has signed a new one-year contract for the 2017 season," Surrey's official Twitter account declared on the micro-blogging site. more..

Nalanda and Mahinda continue strong form in Murali Harmony Cup

Sept 24 (Island) Nalanda College continued with their impressive early-tournament form with another clinical display on day two of the Murali Harmony Cup 2016, defeating Kaluthara Maha Vidyalaya to remain group leaders. Batting first, Nalanda College made 118 runs thanks to a sensible run-a-ball 51 by S. D. Wijewardana who anchored the innings for his team. Lakshan and Silva were impressive with the ball for KMV each bagging three wickets for 27 runs. Set a target of 119, KMV were more..

Financial City draft regulation with incentives to Parliament this month

Sept 24 (FT) The recently announced Colombo International Finance Centre (FC), formerly known as the Colombo Port City, will have legislation and tax laws separate from that of the rest of SL, govt revealed, as it ramped up efforts to attract investment and capitalise on its strategic location in the region. “We are home to almost one-fourth of the world’s population, bordering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc. more..

Blames Mathews for axing

Sept 24 (CT) Dilhara Lokuhettige announced his retirement from Test and ODI cricket. Lokuhettige is one of the first Sri Lankan cricketers to be labelled a Twenty20 specialist. His reputation as a dangerous Twenty20 player had been built on his powerful batting – as a pinch-hitter or lower order batsman – coupled with his bustling seam bowling. Although he announced his retirement from two formats he would continue to play T20 cricket and he also made the following comments: more..

Outrage over Ministers having a field day

Sept 24 (NS) There has been a call from civil society for the establishment of five special High Courts to hear cases pertaining to crimes including murder, corruption and money laundering. National Movement for a Just Society (NMJS) urged the Govt to create a system which would result in the State being able to obtain the support of public officials in relation to the administration. Civil society organizations also called for certain Cabinet Ministers, whose conduct and behaviour they more..

Uduvil school crisis raised at Northern Provincial Council

Sept 24 (FT) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) denied an opposition motion requesting CM C.V. Wigneswaran to intervene in Uduvil Girls’ College crisis, where students and parents have been protesting against the appointment of a new principal for the school. Uduvil school crisis was raised at the NPC just hours before retiring headmistress Shiranee Mills formally vacated the principal’s bungalow inside school premises. more..

Sri Lanka must formulate action to fight digital poverty: ICTA CEO

Sept 24 (DN) Digital poverty is the worst form of poverty in a technological age and without better access to affordable IT related services, a huge proportion of the global population especially unconnected countries and people are likely to live in digital poverty, missing out on the immense social and economic benefits that the ICTs represent in the future,Information and Communication Technology Agency of SL CEO Muhunthan Canagey said. Speaking at National ICT Networking session more..

Erudite monk who guided many on the path of meditation

Sept 24 (ST) Saffron-robed monks and nuns in their hundreds carrying sprigs of white flowers solemnly walked along the red carpet at Parliament grounds to pay their last respects to one of the most erudite Maha Theras in modern Sri Lanka, the Most Venerable Nauyane Ariyadhamma Anu Nayaka Thera of the Sri Ramanna Nikaya. Well -versed in the Burmese tradition of meditation, the Maha Thera’s serenity, composure and loving kindness were evident in his personality. more..

First batch of rubber professionals head to India for training

Sept 24 (FT) The first batch of Lankan rubber industry PhDs, scientists and research and development personnel will fly out to India on Sunday to gain more insight and experience to develop the industry. “My ministry is an implementing partner in the Govt’s Rubber Master Plan. These training opportunities are provided as part of this Master Plan,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister was addressing 25-member team, more..

Dilrukshi sets new Sri Lanka record

Sept 24 (CT) Pole Vaulter Hasitha Dilrukshi of Army's 3rd Women's Corp (3(v) SLAWC) set a new Sri Lanka record vaulting over 3.40m at the women's pole vault final in the 53rd Army Athletics Championship started at Diyagama yesterday. Dilrukshi, who started her vaulting at 2.70m, vaulted 2.90m, 3.0m and 3.20m in the first attempt while her competitors could only manage to vault 2.50m. Fighting a lone battle to get at the Sri Lanka record Dilrukshi took two attempts to go over 3.20m more..

Trade and Investment with Sri Lanka

Sept 24 (VoA) Ambassador Keshap noted that the US, through a number of ongoing assistance programs, seeks to further strengthen the strong economic ties with Sri Lanka. An inter-sessional meeting of the U.S.-SL Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting was held on Sept 1, in Colombo. The meeting was Co-Chaired by Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South & Central Asia Michael Delaney, representing more..

Pros and Cons of the death penalty

Sept 24 (SL) Much anticipated judgement on Bharath Lakshman murder case was delivered recently. 5 people including former MP Duminda Silva were given the capital punishment. Issue of Death Penalty and life imprisonment has become a much discussed topic in the society at present. With the issue of child molestation and murder there was a outcry from the society to impose the capital punishment. more..

‘Growth prospects bleak for tea industry’

Sept 24 (Island) Adverse weather conditions, combined with rising costs and greater competition, threaten to weaken SL’s position in the global tea industry, though efforts to develop new markets could help offset downturns in exports and revenue. Flooding in mid-May struck a number of tea-producing regions and led to the inundation of several tea export facilities around Colombo, causing widespread disruption and compounding losses from El Niño-related drought more..

Old Anandians as authors: From Emergency ’58 to Road to Nandikadal

Sept 24 (CT) Chief Justice K. Sripavan graced the annual prize giving of his alma mater, Jaffna Hindu College as Chief Guest last Monday. Sripavan is the second Old Boy of Jaffna Hindu College to become the Chief Justice of SL after late S. Sharvananda. Jaffna Hindu College being one of the premier educational institutions in the North, the school celebrated its 125th anniversary last year. Apart from Sripavan and late Sharvananda, Jaffna Hindu College has also produced several legal more..


Phone call profits for Master Servants

Sept 24 (Island) "Did you see that new notice at the office of that guy who is supposed to represent us in that august assembly", asked Maha Janatha. "What new notice", asked Podu Janatha. "He has opened a telephone service to the public". "Is it a free service?" "No, no. They never give anything free - the notice says it is at half rates, as a public service," said Maha Janatha. "Well he is the ideal people’s representative, making a good profit from monthly Rs. 50,000 phone allowance they get now," more..

Editorial: Enemies of reconciliation

Sept 24 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has, in his address to the recently concluded UNGA, reaffirmed his govt’s commitment to bringing about national reconciliation. He has also ruled out the possibility of the country being plunged into another war. His commitment to the reconciliation process and safeguarding minority rights cannot be called into question. In fact, he is duty bound to protect the rights of minorities who overwhelmingly backed his presidential bid. more..

'No move to assist people of the North'

Sept 24 (SL) Leader of PLOTE and TNA MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan claims that the development of the Northern Province has come to a standstill. He feels that no concerted effort is being put in constructive development that will truly benefit the people of the North. He said that unemployment rate is high in the North and proper development should take place to provide more employment opportunities for the youth. more..

Communal card the easiest to play

Sept 24 (NS) Whatever his faults, JNP leader WimalWeerawansa can be counted to make news and hog the headlines. The indefatigable young man is known for his racy rhetoric which even his harshest critics will concede, is entertaining and enthralling. He is also known for his blind loyalty to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, having firmly hitched his wagon to Rajapaksa, after having defected from the JVP where, had he remained, he would arguably be the leader today. more..

Get at the root of the school issue

Sept 24 (NS) Every parent has the desire to give his or her child the best possible education. The platform to give such primary and secondary education is the country’s school network. It is a well-known fact that there is a huge disparity between urban and rural schools when it comes to facilities for learning and sports. The current fight by the government medical officers to get popular schools for their children is part of that issue. There is a great demand for the few more..

Sri Lanka's first local air pilot

Sept 24 (SO) Vasantha de Silva, was a female I almost met by chance. She was introduced to me as a VIP. Huh, I exclaimed, not much acquainted with that species. Then, I was told, she is the widow of the late IGP, Indra de Silva. More VIP connections to follow, she is the daughter of Lanka's first local air pilot, name Paulis. One would expect sky flying characters like him to hail from Colombo 3 or 7 where usually the elite more..

The Rajasingam legacy: A quest for quality

Sept 24 (CT) After nightfall on 21st Sept 1989, Rajasingam Master called on his bicycle at my mother’s home quite unexpectedly and delivered his pithy message, Rajini has been shot. His voice showed no evident emotion. After a brief exchange of words, he turned back. That was the man; stoic, incorruptible, who lived by his strong sense of duty. Master, his wife Mahila Acca, and their daughters were familiar to us from childhood days in the St. James’ Church choir. more..

Dear Mr. Obama, Please lift the ban on LTTE

Sept 24 (CT) Dear Mr. Obama, The continued, unfair and unjust labelling of the Tamil Tigers cannot stand. Please lift the ban on the LTTE. In the light of the opinion given by the advocate general to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to remove LTTE from the European Union’s (EU’s) terror list, I am appealithe ng to you, to give credence to that advice and act – it should now be accepted the continued unfair and unjust labelling of the Tamil Tigers cannot stand. more..

Video: World’s endorsement of SL’s achievements a great incentive: President

Sept 23 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that the world leaders have commended Sri Lanka on the achievements of the last 18 months and that is a great incentive, encouragement and a blessing for Sri Lanka. He said this while briefing media on his discussions with several Heads of State and other leaders at the Loews Regency Hotel in New York. He said that even during the last UNGA, he met these leaders, but more..

ADB to give Sri Lanka US$ 24.2 million for transport feasibility studies

Sept 23 (LBO) Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Sri Lanka prepare studies and designs for new road, railway, and port projects to assure the islands transport system is ready to support economic growth in the medium term. “With US$ 24.42 million in ADB technical assistance, Road Development Authority will formulate an expressway development program and prepare priority projects, such as a port access road to link the Colombo port area to the highway network,” the Bank said. more..

Small businesses offer Sri Lanka’s war-weary a second chance at life

Sept 23 (USAID) In 2009, 20 years after fleeing the conflict between Sri Lanka and the separatist Tamil Tigers, 59-year-old Subramaniam Yogadas and his family returned to his coastal village in the Eastern district of Trincomalee. They had been refugees in India and the end of the conflict allowed them to rejoin their few surviving relatives. Amaranthé Bay, a small luxury hotel poised between a lagoon and the sea, offered a bright new beginning for him and his family of six, which includes a disabled child. more..