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COPE finds 15 State bodies guilty: Losses to Govt runs into billions

Oct 20 (CT) Latest report of the COPE has found corruption, fraud and financial misappropriation in 15 State institutions causing losses amounting to billions of rupees to the State. Report, fourth by the incumbent COPE committee, was presented to Parliament by COPE Chairman, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti. Soon after submitting the report, Handunnetti called on the relevant Ministers and Ministry Secretaries to take necessary more..

Central Expressway: JVP urges forensic audit through PSC

Oct 20 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said today a forensic audit should be carried out through a Parliament Select Committee on the Central Expressway. He told parliament that a forensic audit would reveal the truth behind the awarding of tenders for the Central Expressway. Speaking at the adjournment debate on the Central Expressway, Mr. Handunnetti said the fraud and corruption on the Central Expressway may surpass the Central Bank Bond scam. more..

A ten-year-old French boy dies from rabies

Oct 20 (DM) A ten-year-old French boy has died from rabies after he was bitten by a stray puppy while on holiday in Sri Lanka. The unnamed boy, from Rhone in eastern France, became infected with the virus in August after the dog bit him on a beach in Dikwella in the south of the country. His family were not initially concerned following the incident, and the boy returned to France. However, when he began to show signs of the disease, including difficulty swallowing, more..

PM slams mischievous media spin

Oct 20 (DN) Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter rejected media reports which mischievously suggested that he opposed any Constitutional reforms, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera told the PM that privately-owned newspapers and TV networks misled the public into believing that he objected to a new statute being formulated. more..

Once a month to a foreign city just for a night-out

Oct 20 (DM) Believe it or not! A yahapalanaya purohita had made it a practice to make a round-trip to a destination in a neighboring country once a month for the past several months in a row just for a night-out! Diplomatic sources have been mystified when it had come to light that this purohita hailing from a district bordering Wilpattu used to enplane for one particular destination in an evening and would fly back home the following day, once a month. Purohita had failed to inform the authorities more..

Kiriella says he has Rs 400 mn in bank so no need to steal

Oct 20 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that he had Rs. 400 million in his bank account. Responding to a question raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who said that mega frauds had taken place in the construction of the Central Expressway, he said: "We do not need others’ money. We have been rich since the days of ancient kings. My wife’s grandfather had over 30,000 acres in Balangoda. My grandparents, too, had properties equal to that. more..

Treasury bond scams: John gets tough with CB, demands EPF data

Oct 20 (Island) Minister John Seneviratne said he will soon seek data from Governor of CB, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, in respect of Treasury bonds bought by EPF, in the secondary market from the now suspended primary dealer, Perpetual Treasuries Limited, (PTL) and others embroiled in the scam. CB on July 6 suspended PTL’s licence for a period of six months. Minister said so when The Island questioned him on more..

Arthur C. Clarke Centre calls for asteroid footages

Oct 20 (DM) Arthur C. Clarke Centre requested the general public to handover original video footage or images of the asteroid, which entered the earth’s atmosphere Wednesday night for its observations. Centre's senior research scientist Saroj Gunasekera said that the Centre could come to a determination only after receiving original footages. He said that they had to determine the entry point of the asteroid. “After making calculations, we can come to a decision of the asteroid as more..

Major multi-stakeholder $ 12 m initiative to make youth employable

Oct 20 (FT) To enhance the employability and skills of youth, a multi-stakeholder major four-year initiative with $ 12 million funding kicked off yesterday. Spearheaded by the USAID and the Govt, the initiative involves a coalition of partners from the private sector, non-profit organisations, think tanks and academic institutions.  Titled YouLead, it will link youth to productive careers by creating a more market-oriented, skilled and flexible workforce in the country. more..

Not satisfied with UNP’s present conduct: JR’s grandson

Oct 20 (DM) While pledging to defeat new proposed Constitution, grandson of first Executive President Pradip Jayawardena said he has decided to contest the upcoming LG polls from the SLFP because he is not satisfied with the UNP conduct. He said his grandfather introduced the present Constitution because there was a credible reason to introduce it but said there was no such need to bring in a new constitution today. more..

Regulatory framework for electric vehicle charging stations by middle of next year

Oct 20 (FT) The Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) yesterday expressed confidence that the regulatory framework for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), consumer rights and related areas would be effective by the middle of 2018. PUCSL Director General Damitha Kumarasinghe said the commission expects to draft the identified regulatory measures resulting from the discussion to be effective during the first half of 2018. “We expect the regulatory framework for EVCS, more..

Sri Lanka to take leased land from privatized firms for worker housing

Oct 20 (EN) Cabinet has approved a proposal to take-over leased land from privatized plantations companies to build over 2,500 houses with title deeds for plantations workers. SL plans to build 2,551 houses under a program labelled Haritha Ran, and 1,134 houses will also be built under an aid scheme from India for families hit by disasters. Another 75 title deeds will be granted to families who were caught in Miriyabedde landslide disaster, who are now living in temporary accommodation. more..

FR Petition on PC (Amendment) Bill: Ex-CJ lashes out at govt

Oct 20 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva replying to the preliminary objections on the maintainability of his fundamental rights petition charged the Yahapahana govt of repealing all the original clauses and inserting new clauses in the PC (Amendment) Bill at the Committee Stage. He alleged that the Constitution was dismantled in the passage of the said Bill. He maintained that the PC Amendment Bill ceased to exist. more..

Vaccination of schoolgirls against cervical cancer resumes

Oct 20 (Island) Acting Chief Epidemiologist, Dr Samitha Ginige, reassured the public that Epidemiology Unit had recommenced the administration of Human papilloma virus vaccine to schools once more. He said the vaccination for Human papilloma virus (HPV) had been launched through school immunisation programme in July this year. HPV causes cervical cancer, which has the second highest prevalence in SL. Virus affects women in their middle ages (45-60). more..

Indonesian Naval Ship Kri Bung Tomo arrives at port of Colombo

Oct 20 (SLN) The Indonesian Naval Ship Kri Bung Tomo arrived at the port of Colombo on a goodwill visit today (19). The ship was welcome by the SL Navy in accordance with naval customs, upon her arrival. A group of officials from the Embassy of Indonesia in Colombo was also present on the occasion. Subsequently, the Commanding Officer of the ship, Captain Heri Triwibowo together with a host of Indonesian representatives called on Deputy Area Commander of Western Naval more..

Malwatte Chapter does not oppose new constitution: Anunayake thera

Oct 20 (DN) Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha of the Malwatte Chapter had not decided to oppose a new constitution or bringing amendments to the present Constitution of the country, Anunayaka of the Malwatte Chapter Ven. Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thera said yesterday. Refuting media reports that Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha of both Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters had decided to oppose a new constitution, more..

Dispirited SL desperate to end 10-match rut

Oct 20 (CI) An ODI league structure beginning in 2019, approved by the ICC, came at a welcome time, especially considering the gulf in quality between teams currently. There would otherwise have been much soul-searching about relevance of ODI cricket these days, and whether series such as the ongoing one between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE was the best exposition for the format. Anyone making that case would have a point. Three games played so far have not been of more..

Tea output jumps 27.6% in September

Oct 20 (FT) SL’s tea output jumped 27.6% due to good weather in September and a lower base last year. Production in the first nine months of the year rose 6.2% on the same period last year. “There is a jump on month on month because last year same month production was affected by the bad weather,” SL Tea Board Director-General S.A. Siriwardena said. “The good weather that helped to increase the production (means that) this year we will have a better production than last year.” more..

Lankan ODI team lacks characters with fighting spirit: Pothas

Oct 20 (DN) Interim head coach Nic Pothas came down hard on the players and said the team lacked characters and fight after Sri Lanka lost the third ODI to Pakistan to concede the five-match series 3-0 on Wednesday. Sri Lanka put another pathetic batting performance to be dismissed for 208 and lose the match by seven wickets with more than seven overs to spare to suffer their 10th straight defeat in this format. more..

Rural private hospital by retired school teacher wins NCCSL award

Oct 20 (Island) National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the National Enterprise Development Authority organized an awards ceremony to place emphasis on SMEs' role in the rural sector. A private rural hospital bagged a couple of prime awards at the event. President, National Chamber of Commerce of SL Sujeewa Samaraweera inaugurating the awards ceremony said the national awards in this instance were to recognize SME sector & their achievements. more..

Sadeera set for ODI debut today

Oct 20 (CT) Sri Lanka currently on a seven-match losing streak and extremely low in confidence, will face Pakistan in the fourth ODI in Sharjah today. It will be another uphill task for the tourists to turn the corner with the hosts having already taken a 3-0 unassailable lead in the five-match series. Sri Lanka will need to bolster their batting line up in today's fourth ODI, after their batsmen had misfired in the first 3 games of the ongoing series. Pakistan on the other hand are on a 7 game winning streak, more..

Sagala shapes up private sector

Oct 20 (FT) Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, made a compelling case that things are happening and urged private sector to move forward, saying the Govt was putting the right environment in place. “We are open for business as a country. We want the private sector to engage and move ahead. Do your part. There will be no other time to do it right in this country. Don’t wait for Govt hand-outs and handholding. more..

Hafeez reported for suspect action yet again

Oct 20 (CI) For the third time in three years, Mohammad Hafeez finds his bowling action under scrutiny by the ICC. Soon after the third ODI against SL in Abu Dhabi, Hafeez's action was reported to be suspect by match officials. He now has 14 days to have his action tested though until the results of that test are known, he can continue bowling. But it leaves Pakistan to once again ponder the prospect of doing without a man who is, in some situations, central to balance of their ODI bowling attack. more..

Dhruv wins 130th SL Amateur Golf title

Oct 20 (DN) Dhruv Sheoran from India fought back in a startling fashion with a thin persistent drizzle in fading light and cold wet conditions to beat Sisira Kumara on the 36th Hole to become the Sri Lanka Amateur Golf Champion 2017 as the annual most prominent Amateur golf event concluded at the Nuwara Eliya Golf Club yesterday. Sisira Kumara gave Sri Lanka much to be proud of when he built a comfortable lead of 4 up at the halfway mark after 18 holes in an epic 36 hole final. more..

Colombo Int'l Shopping Festival starts today

Oct 20 (FT) Colombo International Shopping Festival, which will be one of the major events of the year, will get underway for the first time in Sri Lanka under the patronage of Minister John Amaratunga, from 20-22 October at the SLECC from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. This event is organised by the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs in collaboration with Tourism Promotion Bureau & Retailer’s Association, more..

Chauvism against new constitution

Oct 20 (DN) The new Constitution has not yet seen the light of the day. Only an interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly has been presented to Parliament. An interim report is obviously not a final document. It contains only draft proposals. They include ones that has consensus as well as independent individual proposals. All views are presented so that Parliament could choose what the majority desires. This is the democratic way. more..

Editorial:  Elephants and chameleons

Oct 20 (Island) The JVP has fired the opening salvo in what seems to be a well organised campaign to prevent President Maithripala Sirisena from seeking a second term. Its Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath, MP, has vowed to defeat Sirisena if he contests again. SLFPers loyal to Sirisena want him to seek another term as their political survival is dependent on him; they have been busy sending trial balloons for the past several months. President Sirisena declared, on several occasions, more..

Satana

Eyes wide shut: Fate of our times

Oct 20 (FT) Eyes Wide Shut was the title of a film by famed director Stanley Kubrick. Loaded with Freudian sub-currents, the film was about an occult society that eliminates any one who cross its path. A theme that would no doubt appeal to a buccaneer primary dealer in sovereign bonds!  The enigmatic title is a play on the familiar phrase eyes wide open. It conveys a subconscious urge to circumvent inconvenient truth. This writer was reminded of Kubrick’s movie title more..

Romance of the Rain

Oct 20 (Island) Who doesn't love the rain? Who doesn't want rain drops to fall on her/his head? Why are the rain gods crying? Are they tears of joy or tears of sorrow? How come the rain gods are unfair and don’t send rains to our farmers? Of course, they do expose shoddy jobs undertaken by government contractors. Thanks to the rain gods there are more cuddles and hugs. Real ones ( I am sorry for the ones who believe in social media hugs. Please get a life as fast as possible ). more..

Winter of discontent for tourism

Oct 20 (CT) Tourism earnings on the eve of the country's main tourism season slumped last month, aided by dengue advisories, emanating from diplomatic missions in Colombo catering to the island's key tourism generating markets led by the UK and the Continent and also that of China. As a result, tourism earnings last month, slumped by 2.3% (US$ 5.87 million) to US$ 248.90 million year-on-year (YoY), more..

Enabling the disabled

Oct 20 (DN) She is someone who breaks stereotypes and defines stigma. Together with her colleague Janitha Rukmal, Krystle Reid formed Enabled Lanka, an organisation which works towards helping the needy by enabling them to become abled citizens. Her work gained recognition as she was named as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2017. She was picked from over 200 entries for the title. This was the first time a Sri Lankan has won overall prestigious award. more..

Three Constitutions, three Legislations, three Electorates: A man named Molamure

Oct 20 (DN) Sir Francis Molamure of Panmure fame was born in 1888. He was elected to the Legislative Council-[LG] under Colebrook Constitution in 1924 to represent Kegalle District; Francis returned unopposed to the first State Council in 1931 under Donoughmore Constitution as the member for Dedigama seat. He not only set a world record by becoming its Speaker but again in 1947, winning Balangoda became the first Speaker to the first House of Representatives too under more..

Excise Department ransom scam: Helen urges victimized parents to come forward

Oct 20 (CT) Helen Meegasmulla the recently appointed Commissioner of Excise Department of Sri Lanka has urged all those who have been victimized by officers of the Excise Department in the recent past to bring forth their cases to her in person. When Commissioner Meegasmulla was informed that several victims had contacted Colombo Telegraph after it published the story Excise Department Scam: Victimized Parents more..

SLFP reforms within political party system

Oct 20 (CT) Reforms in political parties are necessary in the process of democratisation of any country, however on the condition that those are progressive and democratic, and not regressive or authoritarian. In the history of political parties in SL there have been many splits, famously in the Left parties, and formation of new parties, but very few attempts at reforming parties within and in the democratic direction. The political party system is not something adequately more..

Why did the AG mislead the speaker?

Oct 20 (CT) Those supporters of the Yahapalana Regime whose apologies have diminished to the point they take refuge in what I call the At Least Thesis in the now tired game of comparison, have rightfully found some fuel in the recent assertiveness of the AG’s Department. The reference is of course to the uncompromising positions taken by Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera and Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunathilaka in questioning witnesses before the PCoI more..

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