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North Central Province has the most affordable land prices

Nov 21 (LBO) According to the Land Affordability Index compiled by, which compares the land prices of a province against the average earnings of the residents in that province, North Central Province comes up as the most affordable for its residents, while not surprisingly Colombo is the least affordable. On the house affordability conducted within the Colombo District, Hanwella DS more..

Rajitha to deal with private hospitals fleecing the sick

Nov 21 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that a new pricing formula would be introduced by the Health Ministry to prevent private health institutions from fleecing patients. He accused private health institutions of failing to heed the govt call for an end to overcharging patients. He said there were patients who were forced to sell their belongings to settle hospital bills. There were also instances where patient died of the illness but the relatives had to pay their dues to the hospital more..

Video: Chamara Silva's attempt at inventing new shot ends in major embarrassment

Nov 21 (NDTV) Sri Lanka batsman Chamara Silva became a laughing stock on social media after his failed attempt to play a bizarre shot in a match between MAS Unichela and Teejay Lanka at P Sara Oval in Colombo. It wasn't a scoop, nor he tried to play a reverse sweep to a fast bowler. It was an innovative shot of a new level. The 37-year-old went behind the stumps and swung the bat to play a pull shot but it seemed he forgot he could get out bowled too. more..

Marginalised and Unprotected: Sri Lanka’s unequal citizens

Nov 21 (Roar) Last September, a young man was brutally murdered in Dambulla. He was found dead near the city’s central bus stand, with the weapons used for the act found in the vicinity. Mainstream media headlines screamed—not against the act itself, but about his identity. From transgender, to transvestite and cross-dresser, the headlines focused more on his gender, with the rest of the text highlighting how he would loiter more..

Navy chases 1,700 TN fishermen away

Nov 21 (PTI) More than 1,700 Indian fishermen were allegedly chased away on November 21 by the Sri Lankan Navy which also snapped fishing nets of 75 boats off Katchatheevu islet. The fishermen belonging to the island town of Rameswaram were fishing near Katchatheevu on Nov 21 morning when Sri Lankan naval personnel came in four boats and threatened them, Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association president P. Sesuraja told reporters in Rameswaram. more..

'Corrupt COPE members should resign'

Nov 21 (NR) UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage says members of the COPE who are alleged to have maintained contacts with those charged over the controversial Treasury bond issue should be removed from their posts. Speaking in Parliament he said a written request was produced to the Speaker of House calling for an investigation. MP Aluthgamage said the COPE is responsible of the finances of Parliament and referred to the COPE as a supreme committee. more..

Video: Sujeewa says he is disappointed with President

Nov 21 (DM) While calling to appoint Presidential Commissions to inquire into ship deals, MiG deals, spectrum deals and advertising firms, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said that he is badly disappointed about the President. He said that he called Arjun Aloysius only to write the book about the Bond issue and challenged the CID to prove that he called to commit a fraud. He said he expects to take legal action in this regard more..

Money laundering case against Mahindananda fixed for trial

Nov 21 (DN) A case filed against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for allegedly purchasing a house worth Rs.27 million at Kynsey Road, Colombo 7 through illegally acquired money was fixed for trial by the Colombo High Court, today.  Accordingly, the case was fixed for trial on Dec 13, 14 and 15 by High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga. Meanwhile, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage was not present in Court, citing that he had to attend parliament sessions. more..

Two cases against Shashi Weerawansa fixed for further trial on Dec 7

Nov 21 (DN) Two cases filed against Shashi Weerawansa, the wife of NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa over an incident where Mrs. Weerawansa had fraudulently obtained two passports including a diplomatic passport by submitting forged documents to the Department of Immigration and Emigration were yesterday fixed for further trial by Colombo Chief Magistrate. Accordingly, the cases were fixed for further trial on Dec 7 by Chief Magistrate Lal Bandara. more..

'Northern Edu Minister’s negative feelings understandable'

Nov 21 (AD) Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran responded to a question raised by a journalist on his view on the controversial actions of the Northern Province Education Minister who refused to raise the national flag at an event earlier this month.  Chief Minister stated that even though the National flag of a country cannot be disrespected, every citizen is entitled to their own individual opinion.  more..

Two Awa group members arrested

Nov 21 (NR) Two key figures of the Awa group that operates in Jaffna have been arrested. The suspects were arrested by the STF during a spontaneous road block during mobile inspections in Nirweli, Point-Pedro. A sharp weapon was recovered by Police during inspections of a three-wheeler the suspects were travelling in. Police also found pictures of the suspects holding the weapons while inspecting their mobile phones. An investigation was launched to arrest members of Awa group more..

Petitions against Ranjan to be heard today

Nov 21 (NR) Two petitions filed against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake on charges of Contempt of Court are due to be heard today. The petitions will be heard at the Supreme Court. A notice was recently issued to Deputy Minister Ramanayake to appear before court today. On the 21st of Aug, Deputy Minister charged that most judges in SL courts were corrupt. Accordingly, two petitions were filed at the Supreme Court by the General Secretary of Sinhala Ravaya more..

SriLankan Airlines restructuring dragged further even after 2 years

Nov 21 (LBO) Restructuring process of SriLankan Airlines align with suitable business partner dragged further even after two years without having meaningful outputs. In the latest fiscal management report, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said delays in the restructuring process have increased the burden of business loss to the organization. “The loss of the airline has increased to Rs. 28.4 b in review period of more..

AirAsia's Tony Fernandes praises Sri Lanka, after reports of talks

Nov 21 (EN) Boss of Malaysia's AirAsia Tony Fernandes tweeted praise for Sri Lanka following reports that the budget carrier was in talks to set up a joint venture airline and help build a budget terminal in the island. "Applause to countries like Sri Lanka who realise that not one airport fits all," Fernandez said. SL's The Sunday Times newspaper said AirAsia had met senior ministers and a high powered economic policy committee to make the case for a joint venture airline. more..

National consumer price inflation hits 8.8% in October

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's national consumer price inflation hit a high of 8.8% in October from a year ago, the Department of Census and Statistics said. National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) inflation reported for the month of Sept 2017 was 8.6%. A statement said that for the month of Oct 2017, the reported increase in inflation is mainly because of the comparatively lower price levels that prevailed in Oct 2016 particularly, prices of coconuts, rice and vegetables. more..

Video: Trains come to a halt on main line and Kelani valley line

Nov 21 (DM) Train services on the main line had come to a standstill after a express train collided with a lorry at the Hunupitiya railway crossing this morning, the railway control room said. They said train services on the two rail tracks on both ways through Hunupitiya on the main line had come to a halt due to the accident. “Lorry had been thrown to the other line after the collision while the train was halted on the other line. more..

Police Sub-Inspector commits suicide

Nov 21 (AD) A Police Sub-Inspector attached to the Mulleriyawa Police division committed suicide earlier today. Police sources confirm that the sub-Inspector shot himself using his own service pistol at the Police barracks in Mulleriyawa. It has been reported that the deceased Sub-Inspector named Premasiri took his life at 9.15am. Sub-Inspector Premasiri was due to appear in court for a human-rights violation trial today (21). Mulleriyawa Police is investigating. more..

Foreign investment to hit US$1.5bn this year

Nov 21 (EN) Foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka are expected to reach US$1.5 billion this year, almost double that of 2016, Board of Investment chairman Dumindra Ratnayaka said. “This year has been better, we expect almost double the investments of 2016,” he told a forum on new initiatives by the BOI held by the investment promotion agency and Council for Business with Britain. “But most of the investment is coming from existing investors expanding capacities and more..

A Sri Lankan’s Photograph of African Lionesses Captivates The World

Nov 21 (SLE) A Sri Lankan won the Grand Prize at the world’s preeminent nature photography competition. Lakshitha Karunarathna’s photo of a pride of huddling African lionesses was the Grand Prize winner of the 2017 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice Awards held in Washington D.C. on Nov 16. Karunarathna accepted the award at a gala event at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. more..

Vasu asks why CBK not being probed as per court order

Nov 21 (Island) UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara found fault with the govt for not continuing the investigations against former President Chandrika Kumaratunga on the basis of a Supreme Court ruling on the Lanka Marine Services deal. MP Nanayakkara, participating in the third reading stage debate on budget 2018 under the expenditure heads of the Justice Ministry, said that he had filed a case before the Supreme Court with regard to the Lanka Marine Scandal in 2007. more..

Sri Lanka's new trade policy has deadly Mercantilist myths

Nov 21 (EN) Sri Lanka's new trade policy published in the ministry of development strategies and international trade says a lot of home truths protectionism, but it also reinforces a dangerous Mercantilist myths that can hurt the poor and increase public discontent. Such beliefs can undermine the entire reform strategy like it did in the 1980s. An enduring myth in Sri Lanka has been that balance of payments crises are caused by trade deficits. more..

Bond Scam

Today’s bonding with Bhagavad-Gita

Nov 21 (FT) We live in times of moral complexity. Whose deed is more pernicious, a burglar raiding the vault or the cop who wipes away the burglar’s fingerprints?  PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will appear before the PCoI today (20). Commission, according to a news report, has summoned Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya to lead the evidence of the Prime Minster. “The reason they have summoned me is due to the respect of protocol for the PM, who is the second citizen of the country. more..

Liberalizing Shipping

Nov 21 (CT) Before President J.R. Jayewardene opened up the economy 40 years ago in 1977, the country had soaring double digit unemployment, corruption, cronyism, shortages, rationing and queues. Whatever local industries that functioned, were essentially catering to the local market. They were not good enough to produce goods for export as the quality of their products was questionable. Sri Lanka's exports then were led by the plantation sector, tea, rubber and coconut, more..

Privilege Committee to probe phone tapping

Nov 21 (NR) Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya says the Privilege Committee will investigate the allegations that the Bond Commission tapped phone conversations of MPs. He informed the house of the decision during today’s Parliament session. A heated situation subsequently arose where MP Bandula Gunawardena said the Bond Commission stated that it did not phone tap any conversations involving MPs. more..

Gamini Senarath, two others released on bail

Nov 21 (DN) Three suspects, including former President’s Chief of Staff  Gamini Senarath were today ordered to be released on bail by Colombo Fort Magistrate for allegedly misusing public funds by illegally investing Rs.4 billion from the Rs.18.5 billion approved by the Cabinet for a hotel project in 2012. While ordering the release of the three suspects -  Gamini Senarath, former SL Insurance Corporation Managing Director more..

Only 10 detained under PTA: Govt

Nov 21 (CT) Govt maintained that there are only 10 individuals currently detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) adding that all of them are suspects in serious cases of terrorism. Cases include the murder of Major General Janaka Perera, the suicide bomb attacks on former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, killing of 7 persons in the Wilpattu more..

Gintota divided into 3 for security: Police

Nov 21 (CT) IGP Pujith Jayasundara said that the Gintota incident could have been prevented by the Police had they acted sooner, but their failure to do so, was yet another black mark on the Police. The IGP added that in the future, such incidents would be prevented and added that stern action would be taken against instigators. Gintota will be divided into three zones and each division will be overseen by a different ASP, more..

The price of freedom: Sri Lankans cry out for help from Manus Island

Nov 21 (DM) The crisis on Manus Island continues as 421 refugees and asylum seekers refuse to leave the refugee processing centre on Manus Island to the alternative abodes provided. Twenty one among these refugees and asylum seekers are Sri Lankans. Since 2013 Australia has denied entry to anyone reaching its shores unofficially by boat. They were sent to refugee processing centres in Manus Island & Nauru. more..

Next round of ETCA negotiations set for next month

Nov 21 (SL) The next round of talks on the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India is scheduled to take place next month. Minister Malik Samarawickrama told Parliament that six rounds of talks on ETCA have been completed. He said the key objective of ETCA is to resolve the implementation issues on the existing Free Trade Agreement with India. Minister noted the importance of the deal for SL, more..

Sri Lanka roadshow takes Perth by storm

Nov 21 (TW) Beginning in the Western Australia capital of Perth the first of three travel trade roadshows went off with a bang yesterday. Over 100 members from the travel industry including representatives from Australian travel agents and wholesalers met with Sri Lankan hoteliers, tour operators and tourism officials for a series of B2B meetings. Australia has delivered 8% increase increase arrivals to SL more..

Bond commission & Parliamentary privileges

Nov 21 (DM) Govt MPs and their peers in the joint opposition seem to agree at least on one thing; their opposition to the AG’s Department for revealing secret telephone conversations among govt members of the COPE and Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius. Since it is not about one missed call or two, but regular telephone conversations spanning over the period of COPE investigations into CB’s dodgy bond deal more..

Experts panel to find petrol-crisis culprits within three weeks

Nov 21 (ST) A three-member probe panel will, within three weeks, identify those who are responsible for the recent petrol crisis and submit its report to the Cabinet, Petroleum Ministry Secretary Upali Marasinghe said. He said the panel would likely be appointed tomorrow in consultation with Minister Arjuna Ranatunga. The appointment of an experts panel was recommended by Cabinet Sub Committee appointed by Prez Sirisena more..

'What’s now being exposed is the mafia behind it'

Nov 21 (DM) COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said that the revelations of COPE members in constant contact with Perpetual Treasuries owner Arjun Aloysius was evidence of a mafia type organised crime ring. Q: As the Chairman of COPE, which investigated into the Bond Scam, what is your take on the recent revelations of phone calls between members of your committee and Arjun Aloyius? more..

Time to turn a new page

Nov 21 (DM) The latest budget is out, and the electronic media is going full-throttle interviewing the man and woman on the street to get his and her opinion. He or she is indeed a valid voice in the situation, they are the ones who are directly affected by the mangala mohotha of Minister Samaraweera. He sure is on a high and the budget has triggered a tendril of hope among the masses, maybe it could be termed as a beginning of a new page, which is so badly needed in today’s Sri Lanka. more..

Significance of Article 9 of the Constitution

Nov 21 (DM) Article 9 of the Constitution has become the subject of much discussion. Could or should it be removed from the Constitution?   Article 9 reads as follows;   “The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e). (Emphasis mine). Critics allege that this Article leads to inequality. more..