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MiG deal case: AG cites Udayanga’s absence as reason for delay in concluding investigations

Sep 23 (ST) SL’s former Ambassador to Russia Udyanga Weeratunga evading the inquiry into the MiG deal was among the reasons for the delay in concluding investigations, Senior State Counsel Udara Karunathilaka, who appeared for the Attorney General, told Colombo High Court this week. Remark was made when a special motion filed by Mr. Weeratunga was taken in the Colombo HC re-questing court to issue an order to release funds from two of his bank accounts more..

How pragmatic is high-end tourism promotion?

Sep 23 (CT) After the pandemic dust has settled, the tourism industry has been outdoing its performances every year and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has now set a rather optimistic target of making the tourism industry the top foreign revenue generating sector by 2027. To do so, the plan is to attract five million annual tourist arrivals, out of which 2.5 million are high-end tourists, who will spend lavishly when in the country. more..

Lekamge flexes muscles before Asian Games

Sep 23 (Island) Javelin National record holder Dilhani Lekamge flexed her muscle ahead of the Asian Games to win the best athlete title of the Army Volunteer Force Athletics Championships concluded at Diyagama on Thursday. The athlete trained by Pradeep Nishantha threw the javelin to a distance of 59.39 metres, which is just one and half metres short of her National Record established at the recently held Asian Athletics Championships. “I had planned to compete at the Army Meet ahead of the Asian Games. more..

තරගෙට රෙදි ගලවා ගැනීමේ විවාදය

Priyadharshani stars as Sri Lanka cruise into semis

Sep 23 (Island) Inoshi Priyadharshani’s career-best returns of 4 for 10 backed up by a quick 32 from Anushka Sanjeewani helped SL brush aside Thailand by eight wickets and advance to the semi-finals of the Asian Games in Hangzhou. Chasing 79 in the rain-reduced 15-overs-a-side quarter-final, SL coasted to a win in 10.5 overs. Rain and a wet outfield had delayed the start of the game by close to an hour-and-a-half. Once the weather cleared, SL opted to field under grey skies. more..

Police submitting doctored drug samples to Govt Analyst: House committee

Sep 23 (ST) A Parliamentary oversight committee revealed that certain Police officers intentionally submit drug samples that yield negative results to the Govt Analyst’s Department. The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Just and Law-Abiding Society found at least 1,580 such false samples were submitted to the department last year alone. Police stations in Maradana (59), Peliyagoda (58), Kaduwella (58) and Borella (49) turned in the highest number of false samples. more..

Making waves with butterfly stroke

Sep 23 (ST) At just 16 years old, butterfly stroke specialist Jessie Seneviratne accomplished a milestone for any young swimmer, crossing the finish line with a timing under 30 seconds in a 50m event. A student of Holy Family Convent Bambalapitiya, she became one of the latest SL swimmers to break the elusive 30 second barrier in the women’s 50m butterfly event while competing at the National and Junior National Long Course Swimming Championships, more..

Some buildings with their attributes gone forever

Sep 23 (Island) Rest houses were places we grew up with and most had existed during the later years of British rule in Ceylon. Counterpart in India was called a dakh bungalow, or so Cass remembers from staying overnight long ago in one in Sanchi. Rest houses were really what their name implied: places to rest in; mostly for govt administrators when they travelled on govt business termed circuits. There were the circuit bungalows too but they were in remote areas and with much less amenities. more..

Editorial: Of that nasty set-to

Sep 23 (Island) SL political leaders are known to exude piety from every pore and make it a point to be on their best behaviour when they appear in public. Clad immaculately in white, they speak in a measured tone, pretending that butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths and quoting from various religious texts. Perhaps, during parliamentary debates, the Dhammapada is more quoted than the Constitution, or Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice. But these self-righteous worthies show their true colours more..

ඇමතිවරු මරපු සිංහල කොටි.ගේම ගැහුවේ ත්‍රස්තවාදීන්...

Embekke: The Devale of legend

Sep 23 (SO) The third and final destination of our detour of the Daulagala road was Embekke Devale. In the early morning sunlight we visited Gadaladeniya and Lanklatilaka and it was late morning when we arrived at the Embekke Devale. Travelling towards Embekke, which is another two kilometres along the same road that winds through lush green fertile paddy fields and the typical rustic Embekke village, we caught a glimpse of an impressive landscape of rural Kandyan setting. more..

Anti-terror law to confront future aragalayas, troubling media, terrorist Muslims, impossible diaspora and insubordinate Church?

Sep 23 (FT) The Counter Terrorism Bill, originally gazetted six years ago on 17 Sept 2017 and then abandoned due to strong public criticism, has been re-gazetted on 15 Sept, re-named Anti-Terrorism Bill, with some insignificant amendments, with provisions more draconian than in the controversial Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (PTA). A debt stricken SL is now being displayed to the world as wanting to counter foreign investments, tourism, exports, etc. more..

Nipah Virus infection: A brief overview

Sep 23 (CT) Nipah Virus (NiV) is an emerging zoonotic virus. It can be transmitted to humans from wild or domestic animals. Fruit bats are the natural host for this virus. Although NiV infections were first identified in Malaysia over two decades ago, it has once again come into the headlines, on account of causing infections in six persons from the Indian State of Kerala, of whom two died. This is a brief overview of some of the characteristics of the Nipah Virus, more..

An open letter to the Prez & The judiciary

Sep 23 (CT) SL’s current election system has installed a Parliament that has only brought misery to its people. Some MPs have no people’s mandate. The country is bankrupt, and no resolution is in sight. There is a need to have a people’s Parliament to resolve people’s problems. Installing a Proportional Representation and electoral district-wise meritocratic (PR-DM) election system via a referendum will ensure electoral district representation in Parliament for a brighter future. more..

Anti-Terrorism Bill Version 2.0: Still worse than PTA

Sep 23 (FT) On 15 Sept 2023, Govt of SL published an Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATA). The Bill is presented as a revision of an earlier version that was gazetted in March 2023, when it received widespread public criticism, including from local and int'l human rights groups. An analysis of the Sept 2023 Bill reveals that although minor changes have been made, the ATA continues to be an unprecedented expansion of executive power, both in form and in its potential for the repression of citizens. more..

Power supply: CEB appeals for urgent tariff revision

Sep 23 (TM) The CEB is in the midst of a deepening financial crisis and has made an urgent appeal to the Ministry of Power and Energy for an immediate increase in electricity tariffs. This plea comes as the CEB anticipates year-end losses surpassing Rs. 30 billion, primarily attributed to tariff revisions implemented in June. The situation has deteriorated rapidly following daily losses resulting from tariff revisions mandated by the PUCSL on 1 July. more..

No free passes to the land of integrity

Sep 23 (CT) The late Professor Ashley Halpe, delivering the keynote address at the annual conference of the SL Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (SLACLALS) in 2011, pointed out the importance of liberation from our complicities. Today, more than a decade later, in a discussion with Khury Petersen-Smith at Brookline Booksmith in Boston, Ru Freeman spoke about free passes. ‘Transformation requires us to be willing to say that just because you are Sri Lankan or more..

How pragmatic is high-end tourism promotion?

Sep 23 (CT) After the pandemic dust has settled, the tourism industry has been outdoing its performances every year and the SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has now set a rather optimistic target of making the tourism industry the top foreign revenue generating sector by 2027. To do so, the plan is to attract five million annual tourist arrivals, out of which 2.5 million are high-end tourists, who will spend lavishly when in the country. As of now, the average daily spending of more..

සජිත්ගේ සාක්ෂි සමඟ සරත් හැප්පෙයි

Video of Cargills staff brutally assaulting female goes viral

Sep 22 (DM) A video showing a group of staff members from a Cargills supermarket outlet brutally assaulting a female customer is circulating on social media. The incident is reported to have occurred at the Cargills outlet in the Hanwella area. However, police have launched an investigation to confirm the location and identify the suspects. CCTV footage captured multiple male and female employees from the outlet brutally assaulting the customer, allegedly in response to suspected theft. more..

India’s IRCON to enhance railway signalling system

Sep 22 (CT) In a development aimed at enhancing the transportation infrastructure in SL, the Ministry of Transport and Highways of Sri Lanka and India’s IRCON Ltd. signed a contract yesterday, for the design, installation, testing, and commissioning of a Signalling system for Sri Lanka Railways, from Maho to Anuradhapura, covering a distance of 66 km. This momentous agreement, signed yesterday, in Colombo, was attended by dignitaries, including Minister Bandula Gunawardena, and more..

National Hospital has highest number of post-op infections

Sep 22 (CT) Concerned Medical Specialists accused the National Hospital Colombo of allegedly having the highest number of post-operative infections (septicaemia), mainly as a result of it violating the Infection Control Manual guidelines endorsed by the WHO. Specialist doctors of the NHSL lamented, despite having a Deputy Director General, three Deputy Directors, close to 200 medical specialists, and a large number of Senior Medical Officers, more..

Hosts Sri Lanka to kick off 2024 Men's Under-19 World Cup on January 13

Sep 22 (CI) The 2024 Men's U-19 World Cup will kick off with hosts Sri Lanka taking on Zimbabwe on January 13. Defending champions India will take on Bangladesh, to begin their campaign the following day. The 41-match tournament will be played across 23 days in five venues, all in Colombo. The R Premadasa Int'l Cricket Stadium will host the tournament opener, the semi-finals on January 30 and February 1, along with the final on February 4. The P Sara Oval, Colombo Cricket Club, more..

Exploring optimal utilization of mineral resources to bolster the nation’s economic growth

Sep 22 (PMD) Mr. Arundika Fernando, State Minister of Urban Development and Housing, emphasized the nation’s commitment to bolstering its economy through the judicious utilization of mineral resources. He underscored the potential for creating high-value -added products from these resources and stressed the importance of carrying out these activities with a steadfast commitment to safeguarding the country’s land. State Minister Arundika Fernando made these remarks more..

Ali Sabri Raheem suspended from representing parliamentary committees

Sep 22 (AD) A resolution proposing the suspension of MP Ali Sabri Raheem from representing Parliamentary Committees was approved by the parliament on Friday. Presenting the motion in parliament this morning, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa stated that MP Sabri’s continued representation of Parliamentary Committees despite his recent involvement in illegal misconduct, has raised concerns and created a problematic situation in relation to more..

A fair and insightful review of the only tournament in cricket that matters - the Asia Cup

Sep 22 (CI) The Asia Cup, which is the world's premier cricketing tournament for countries that tell their friends they hate each other but constantly send each other "U up?" texts, has finally ended. As is standard for situationships of this nature, nobody is really fully happy with how it all went down. So let's debrief. I guess. Oh god. For several tournament cycles, the ICC has unashamedly put India and Pakistan in the same group, or created a round robin structure in which more..

Indian national nabbed with laptops worth Rs.2.9mn

Sep 22 (DM) An Indian national was arrested today with 39 laptop computers worth Rs. 2.9 million while he was attempting to smuggle them to India, police said. They said the suspect was arrested at a temporary residence at Moor Street in Colombo 12. The suspect was identified as Kalandar Edul Ali, a resident of Hanuamantha Puram in Chennai. Police investigations revealed that the suspect had imported the 39 laptops while paying Customs duty. more..

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

National Film Corporation Act amended only to dub Murali’s movie in Sinhala

Sep 22 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardana has officially granted permission to dub the internationally-produced biopic movie '800' into Sinhala while amending the National Film Corporation Act for the first time. This decision serves as a meaningful tribute to the legendary Sri Lankan cricketer, Muthiah Muralidaran, he said. Addressing the media after launching the movie trailer, he said permission to dub the movie in Sinhala was granted only for this movie. more..

IT conference to attract investors for local companies

Sep 22 (EN) SL’s apex ICT body has projected a substantial boost of 15 billion US dollars to the country’s gross domestic product through the expansion of the digital economy by 2030. “Presently, the digital economy contributes US$ 3.7 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” Chairman of the Federation of Information Technology SL, Indika De Soysa said. The 41st National Information Technology Conference, themed Towards a Sustainable Digital Society, more..

Shooting incidents claimed 44 lives thus far in 2023: Police

Sep 22 (AD) Police Spokesperson SSP Nihal Thalduwa says 44 lives in total were claimed in gun violence incidents reported in the months that have elapsed in 2023. He mentioned that majority of them were found to be revenge attacks executed by organized criminal gang members. Meanwhile, DIG in charge of Western Province Deshabandu Tennakoon has said the support of good citizens is imperative to crack down on the crimes taking place in the country. more..

Sri Lanka to import test kits to detect Nipah virus after outbreak in Kerala

Sep 22 (AD) SL’s Ministry of Health has placed orders to import testing kits to detect Nipah infections after the southern Indian state of Kerala reported an outbreak of the bat-borne virus. However, the ministry said Sri Lankans should not have any undue fears about this virus infection, adding that the ordered test kits are expected to reach the country in the coming days. Following the outbreak in Kerala, the Indian govt has moved to institute mass testing to arrest the spread of the Nipah virus. more..

Angoda Weli Suda nabbed with Italian made semi-automatic pistol

Sep 22 (DM) An underworld gangster, Priyantha Sirinanda alias Weli Suda has been arrested by the STF during a raid in Mulleriyawa, while in possession of an Italian-made semi-automatic pistol, with which police believe that he was planning to commit a crime. The raid was carried out by Special Operations Division 1 on a house at Ambatale junction in Angoda, Mulleriyawa on Thursday on information received by Chief Inspector Wijayaratne, the Station Commander of STF. more..

Video: President Ranil calls for restructuring global fiscal system in UNGA speech

Sep 22 (AD) Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, Prez Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged to lead SL towards sustainable growth, ensuring peace and prosperity for all, with the support of both the nation and the int'l community. He stated this while delivering his address during the General Debate of the 78th Session of the UNGA. Prez told the UNGA that currently, there is a stark contrast with the 2030 promise, as poverty and hunger levels are at multi-decade highs. more..

Date fixed for hearing of Pastor Jerome’s petition

Sep 22 (AD) Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by Pastor Jerome Fernando, requesting the court to issue an order preventing his arrest by the CID is set to be heard before the Court of Appeal on 4 Oct. The relevant order was given when the matter was heard before Appellate Court President Justice Nissanka Karunaratne and Justice Chamath Morais today. On 26 May, the self-styled prophet filed an FR petition before the SC, through his attorneys, seeking an order preventing his arrest. more..

Stability shouldn't come at the expense of freedom of expression: US Ambassador

Sep 22 (TM) International Peace Day was commemorated today (22) in Colombo. The event, graced by Ambassador Julie Chung, the United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, shone a spotlight on the imperative task of translating the abstract concept of peace into tangible actions. In her address, Ambassador Chung also issued a call to action, encouraging active involvement and leadership from the youth, whom she described as the torchbearers of Sri Lanka's future. more..