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IGP under fire over phone-gate scandal

Dec 3 (FT) IGP Pujith Jayasundera is under fire from the Opposition and corruption watchdogs after he was caught on camera attempting to interfere in an investigation by the FCID earlier this week. IGP told an unidentified caller in the presence of media personnel in a video that was aired, that he had instructed the FCID to seek his permission before arresting an individual in a case that appeared to be of concern to the caller. more..

'No threat to security in the North'

Dec 3 (NR) Secretary to Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi has assured that there is no shortfall in security in the Northern and Eastern provinces. He made this statement during an event in Galle. The Defence Secretary said there are several reports on the internet which claim that national security is under threat but those reports are completely untrue. Hettiarachichi said he visits the Northern Province every two weeks and communicates with officers stationed there. more..

19 persons remanded for unruly behaviour at Negombo protest

Dec 3 (NR) 19 persons who behaved in an unruly manner during a protest in Negombo yesterday were remanded till the 9th of Dec. The order was issued by Negombo Magistrate’s Court. The court also issued an injunction against the demonstration yesterday which the protestors defied prompting police to use force. Suspects who were arrested yesterday were produced before court today. A bus and 6 three-wheelers used by protestors to block the Colombo-Chilaw road were also seized. more..

SL foundation joins International Society of Nephrology to tackle kidney disease

Dec 3 (ENS) Sanjeev Gardiner, who heads the Gardiner Foundation in Sri Lanka, has tied up with Brussels-based International Society Nephrology (ISN), to tackle the scourge of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), not just in Sri Lanka, but world-wide. The 46 year old Gardiner, who owns the iconic Galle Face Hotel, was motivated to take up the cause of CKD patients seeing the havoc CKD is causing in SL's North Central Province. more..

Former Gampaha PS chairman hospitalised

Dec 3 (AD) Former chairman of the Gampaha Pradeshiya Sabha, Ranjith Gunawardena, has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital following the tear gas and water cannon attack on the protest at the Parliament Roundabout today.  He has reportedly been admitted to the hospital’s accident ward after sustaining an injury during the protest, which was organized by the Joint Opposition demanding that the Local Government elections be held immediately.  more..

No clear solution to this fishy problem

Dec 3 (ENS) Despite hopes raised by the meeting of the Foreign and Fisheries Ministers of India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Nov 5, the issue of Tamil Nadu fi shermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters and getting arrested or beaten up, continues. Apparently, no steps have been taken by India to provide the fi shermen with an alternative to bottom trawling in the Palk Strait, or secure the release of 105 trawlers, now in Sri Lankan custody. With each costing `25 lakh, the detention is hitting huge numbers of more..

AI-run national toll system next year

Dec 3 (DM) The govt will be introducing a nationwide toll system run by artificial intelligence by the 3rd quarter of 2017, state’s Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) said. The 2017 budget had included the proposal, which will be implemented  by ICTA. “We need to have greater traffic management using artificial intelligence, because the traffic build up is slowing down the economy. more..

SL’s envoy in Kabul falls foul of SL expats

Dec 3 (ST) The Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched an inquiry into complaints by the Lankan expatriate community against Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Afghanistan A.L.T. Najeemudeen. “The inquiry is on but we cannot divulge any details,” Media spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said. Mr Najeemudeen has come under severe criticism by the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Kabul, and his failure to promote Sri Lanka in that country. SL Association of Afghanistan, in a petition more..

SL prepares for UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Dec 3 (Island) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka together with the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment hosted a workshop on the introduction of the Third National Communication on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change last week. Sri Lanka ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1993 followed by the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. The Protocol is based on the principle of common but more..

LRH to build ten storey fully equipped Cardiac and Critical Care Complex

Dec 3 (Island) Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH) said that annually for every 400,000 live births there were 2400 to 3000 children born with congenital heart disease. Dr Nalin Kitulwatte said the LRH had a waiting list of 1,400 paediatric patients for surgical correction of cardiac ailments. The number of estimated deaths in the country each year from treatable heart diseases was 1,500. Estimated 5 deaths occurred daily. more..

President appoints committee to look into public transport issues

Dec 3 (NR) President has appointed a special board to look into conflicts that have arisen in the public transportation sector including the grievances of private bus owners. The committee was appointed following a discussion this morning between the President and bus owners who engaged in a strike yesterday. The Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Transportation, the DIG in charge of Traffic, representatives of the Commissioner of Motor Traffic and the Attorney General more..

Melstacorp to focus on premium liquor, diversity into oil palm

Dec 3 (EN) Melstacorp Limited (MCRP), which becomes the parent firm of Distilleries Company of SL in a share swap, aims to focus on premium products in its alcoholic beverage business, which generates the bulk of sales, and get plantations to diversify into oil palm. According to the group’s future plans, revealed in a draft introductory document filed with the stock exchange, it is highly dependency on beverage segment which generates over 70% of MCRP group’s net revenue. more..

Ignorance of Colombo NGOs and Bar delays appointing RTI Commission

Dec 3 (CT) The Colombo Telegraph learns that the Presidential Secretariat is in the process of finalizing procedures for the appointment of the two remaining Commissioners to Right to Information (RTI) Commission. The appointments are expected to take place within the coming week/s. The Commission consists of five persons appointed by the President upon the recommendation of Constitutional Council. more..

Exposition of St. Josheph Vaz’ couch courtesy Buddhist prelate

Dec 3 (ST) In an inspiring act of Buddhist-Chrisatian unity, the couch or kavichchiya on which St. Joseph Vaz is believed to have slept during his missionary presence in Gurubewilla in Avissawella, and now found in a Buddhist temple in Maniyangama, has been made available for exposition and veneration. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith the Archbishop of Colombo in a statement said, the Chief prelate at the temple had graciously consented to release the couch to Ratnapura Bishop Cletus Perera, more..

Police fire teargas outside parliament

Dec 3 (EN) Police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse thousands of opposition-backed protestors outside parliament Saturday as law makers debated the annual budget. Demonstrators led by loyalists of former president Rajapakse held up traffic and blocked the main access to the parliament complex for several hours in the capital. Opposition lawmaker Ranjith Soysa said protesters were demanding local elections which were due last year, but postponed to devise a new electoral system. more..

Fire safety regulations under intense fire

Dec 3 (ST) Outdated fire safety regulations mean many multi-storey buildings in the country; offices, condominiums and apartments among them, may become potential death traps in the event of a major fire, a Sunday Times investigation has found. Prior to being approved for occupation, owners of any building have to obtain a <>Certificate of Conformity from local govt authority in the respective areas that it is situated. more..

Greater inputs into education

Dec 3 (CT) One reason vital for different institutions responsible for education to work together is the continuing shortage of teachers in vital subjects. All our students need to improve in subjects such as English and Math, but many rural schools have no teachers. There is also no proper training for teachers who take these subjects in primary school, and this means that, when students move on to secondary schools, they find it difficult to catch up, even when there are sufficient teachers. more..

Ethnic reconciliation facing double jeopardy

Dec 3 (CT) To say many Sri Lankans who voted President Maithripala Sirisena-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe combine to power are disappointed with its performance to provide good governance would be repeating a cliché. But that would be ignoring the magnitude of the twin tasks of promoting ethnic reconciliation and restructuring governance. It requires dismantling empire of sleaze and corruption that had come into existence during President Rajapaksa’s rule for over 9 years more..

SLFP ටයි UNP එකටයි, එකට වැඩ කරන්න බැහැ

TISL whistleblowers ignored, bullied, victimised, and corruption report suppressed

Dec 3 (CT) SL Chapter of the global anti-corruption body, Transparency International (TI) is accused of suppressing the inquiry report of its own corruption and malpractices. In August, Colombo Telegraph, reported serious allegations of corruption and malpractices at TISL. We reported that one of the whistleblower, Ananda Jayasekara, who had worked for TISL for ten years continuously although under several contracts renewed periodically, was victimised after whistleblowing. more..

CEB profits overstated; China debt service excluded

Dec 3 (EN) Profits of CEB has been arrived at without accounting for the interest payments on a 1.3 billion dollar loan from China to build a coal power plant, Deputy Minister Ajith Perera said. He said the CEB had taken a US$ 1.346 billion loan from China to build a 900 MegaWatt coal plant but power users were not paying its cost. Loan's interest and capital was serviced from taxes taken from the people by the Treasury, and is not taken in to account when calculating the profit, more..

Robbing People's hard earned money

Northern politics Changing scene

Dec 3 (CT) Kangeskar Kanapathipillai, a man from an aristocratic Hindu family in Jaffna, went to England when he lost out as a barrister with a new name G.G. Ponnambalam. Jaffna-born and bred Ponnambalam started living in Colombo where rich educated aristocratic Tamils lived. He had a son, Kumar Ponnambalam, who was a practising lawyer. He was later killed. It was a political killing. G.G. Ponnambalam is said to have got his new name from a French politician Geegee. more..

Castro and Cuban baseball

Dec 3 (CT) Baseball was kept alive in Cuba because Fidel Castro was a lover of the game. There were no American Presidents about whom stories associated with baseball were written so much as linked to Fidel Castro in the past almost fifty odd years. American writers knew about Castro's background with the game and persistently kept on fabricating stories, always to show Castro's failure. Castro was supposedly reputed as a fast arm pitcher, who played for Havana University and more..

PM defends IGP accused of tampering

Dec 3 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe objected to the Constitutional Council discussing the controversial conduct of police chief Pujith Jayasundara. Wickremesinghe told parliament that there was no formal complaint against IGP Pujith Jayasundara who was caught on camera allegedly interfering in a FCID investigation. "If there is any complaint against the IGP let us know. Right now, there is no such thing," PM said more..

Thajudeen murder has new CCTV footage

Dec 3 (NS) Closed-circuit television footage obtained from a source at the scene of Wasim Thajudeen’s murder has revealed the image of an individual, and police are now hoping his family would be able to shed some light on the unidentified suspect. This new revelation comes via footage obtained from the scene of the crime. Previous footage and images sent overseas showed no positive identification of persons in it. more..

LG polls under old system: Majority agrees to Anura’s proposal

Dec 3 (LT) The local govt election that is due shouldn’t be postponed but could be held according to the preference system and then a new electoral system could be introduced said the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka in Parliament today. A majority in the Parliament agreed with the proposal. Jo MP Mr. Dallas Alahapperuma, who stood up while Mr. Dissanayaka was making his proposal said he agrees with Mr. Dissanayaka. more..

Govt changes job title to attract more solid waste workers

Dec 3 (Island) Govt will re-designate more than 6,000 workers engaged in solid waste disposal at 22 municipal councils as solid waste operation assistants. This move is aimed at overcoming the problem of low esteem associated with this kind of work. Municipal Councils are faced with a severe shortage of manpower and vehicles to carry out solid waste disposal. It is difficult to recruit workers to remove solid waste due to social stigma more..

'IGP’s Sir could have been his teacher'

Dec 3 (CT) Leader of the House, Lakshman Kiriella, told Parliament yesterday that the unknown caller, referred to as Sir, by the IGP could have been anyone, including even a former teacher of the IGP. The leader of the House was responding to a question raised by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who inquired as to who IGP Pujith Jayasundara was referring to as Sir while answering a mobile phone call during an event which more..

No more games for importers

Dec 3 (NS) The govt has initiated stringent measures to streamline imports to Sri Lanka by establishing a separate investigations unit to monitor the importers. Accordingly, Department of Import and Export Control is currently in discussions with the Attorney General’s Department, pertaining to establishing the investigation division. Controller General of the Department, Nimalka Dias said the reason for a separate investigations unit was more..

Corruption allegations over NLB tenders; employees petition AG

Dec 3 (ST) A group of National Lotteries Board (NLB) employees have petitioned the Auditor General alleging corruption in awarding tenders. In their petition to Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe the employees claimed that the NLB invited bids for designing, developing, printing, bar-coding, supply and delivery of scratch-off (instant) lottery tickets on April 4 this year, although the present supplier’s contract ended last year. more..

Senior citizens’ 15% interest scheme faces chaotic state of affairs

Dec 3 (ST) The senior citizens’ 15% interest scheme on a deposit of Rs.1 million announced in last year’s budget 2015 which was then extended to Rs. 1.5 million in the 2016 budget benefiting elders of 55 years and over, has run into all kinds of problems. Business Times has repeatedly highlighted  the need for the govt to implement this proposal based on pleas of depositors but no action has been taken to more..

Jumbo leap over courts to swindle baby elephants

Dec 3 (SL) Many have expressed concern over the govt’s move to return the baby elephants to individuals who allegedly had illegal permits or none at all. Several environmental lawyers claimed the move to return the elephants to the suspects was at fault since the court is yet to arrive at a final decision on the matter and it still remains a pending case. Environmentalists and environmental lawyers who had been more..

Maestro W. D. Amaradeva created a distinctive genre of Sinhala Music

Dec 3 (DBS) Renowned SL vocalist, violinist and music composer W.D. Amaradeva passed away in a Colombo hospital on 3 Nov, just one month short of his 89th birthday. Millions of Lankan rasikas scattered throughout the world were saddened by Pandit Amaradeva’s death while the Govt declared one week of national mourning in his honour. In an illustrious musical career spanning almost seven decades the maestro had more..

Remembering those killed in the war

Dec 3 (DM) “For the first time in 7 years, events of Maveerar Day for the commemoration of the valiant militants who sacrificed their lives in the Tamil Eelam struggle were held in public and in full swing yesterday with emotional fervour.”  This was how the SudarOli, one of the Tamil dailys published in Colombo started to explain in its front page lead story, the remembrance of LTTE cadres who died in their fight for a separate Tamil State, by their relatives in the North and the East on Nov 27, more..

Drive the nail but not on poor people’s head

Dec 3 (DM) The famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in an equally famous poem titled Perseverance; “Drive the nail aright, hit it on the head, strike with all your might, while the iron is red,”. In a twisted version of this inspiring poem we saw on Wednesday and yesterday, medical doctors and transport workers striking with all their might while the iron is red. But being hit on the head were millions of innocent common people who on Wednesday suffered without healthcare and more..