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Rs. 180 mn to refurbish President’s official residence; Rs. 70 million for his limo

Oct 7 (Island) Govt submitted a supplementary estimate seeking the approval of Parliament for an allocation of Rs. 180 million to renovate and refurbish the official residence of President Sirisena. The supplementary allocation of Rs. 180,688,000 was presented to Parliament by Minister Gayantha Karunatillake. It sought the approval of the House to allocate Rs. 96,391,000 to rehabilitate and improve more..

Motor traders call for policy consistency from govt

Oct 7 (FT) Ahead of Budget 2016, the Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) yesterday called for policy consistency to continue healthy growth in the industry and raised concerns over recent policy changes made by the Govt. Noting that the ad-hoc policy changes were disturbing the free-trade flow of the industry, the association said it hoped to see long-term policy measures in the upcoming Budget. “A stable policy framework will greatly enhance the development of the industry and more..

Grade-5 Scholarship results and cut- off marks released

Oct 7 (DM) Examination Department announced that Grade 5 Scholarship results-2015 have been released and could be obtained from or Cut-off marks according to the district basis as follows 160: Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Galle, Matara, Kurunegala, Kegalle. 158: Hambantota, Ratnapura 156 - Anuradhapura, Pollonnaruwa. 155: Badulla, Monaragala, Ampara, Mulative, Puttalam. 153: Vavuniya, Trinco, more..

War crimes: Pandemonium in parliament over hybrid court

Oct 7 (Island) Pandemonium reigned in Parliament yesterday following a protest mounted by opposition MPs inside the Chamber against the alleged moves to set up a hybrid court to prosecute the military personnel who crushed terrorism. The rumpus led to the suspension of sittings for ten minutes. When Parliament commenced notice of motions and orders of the day, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa sprang to his feet, claiming more..

Gota’s FR case re-fixed for Jan. 28

Oct 7 (Island) Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed for hearing on Jan. 28, 2016, the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the former Secretary of Defence Gotabhya Rajapaksa, who had complained that he was unduly questioned by the FCID. The counsel for the petitioner Rajapaksa, Romesh de Silva, PC, told the court that since some of the cabinet ministers had changed, they had to amend the caption pertaining to the names of the respondents among whom were more..

Lankan pilgrim's body found in Mecca

Oct 7 (DM) The body of the SL pilgrim who went missing along with with his wife following the stampede in Mecca in Saudi Arabia on September 24 has been identified by a relative of his at the mortuary in Mecca, Minister Abdul Haleem said. He said a couple from Colombo, 56 year-old Abdul Aziz and 55 year-old Roshan Aziz, who were on hajj pilgrimage had gone missing since the stampede and that search operations were underway to locate his wife who was still missing. more..

JVP brings the plight of unemployed graduates to national attention

Oct 7 (Island) More than 20,000 unemployed graduates will gather in Colombo today for a demonstration, demanding jobs in the public sector, and the formulation of a national job policy for graduates. Convener of the JVP led Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Dhammika Munasinghe told The Island that their protest would be held in front of the Fort Railway Station at 10.00 am. more..

Lawsuit filed seeking permission for human organ bank

Oct 7 (DN) A lawsuit has been filed before the Colombo District Court seeking the court's intervention to issue an order recommending that a mechanism must be put in place by the Department of Buddhist Affairs giving opportunities to those who die of various forms of accidents, to donate their human organs to a human organ bank. This civil action had been filed by Swarna Bopitiya Foundation president Ms. Bopitiyage Dona Swarnalatha through Attorney-at-law R.P. Bandula. more..

Kaushal could be picked for West Indies tests despite ban

Oct 7 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews gave his backing on Tuesday to spin bowler Tharindu Kaushal despite a ban for one of his bowling actions, raising the prospect of him being selected for the upcoming test series against the West Indies. The ICC has banned Kaushal's way of bowling a doosra — a ball delivered with an off spinner's action but which spins away from a right-handed batsman - because it exceeds the level of allowed elbow flexion. more..

Finance Minister warns of vehicle tax hike in November budget

Oct 7 (EN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake had warned that new vehicle taxes would apply from the day of the budget on November 22, seen as an indication that taxes would go up. The warning to citizens of an impending tax rise is an improvement on the earlier practice of hatching taxes in secret and slamming them on the people through a mid-night gazette while the citizenry is sleeping, a practice more..

NCE commends CB proposal to merge EPF, ETF pension funds

Oct 7 (FT) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) yesterday commended the proposal of the Central Bank to merge the EPF and ETF pension funds. According to media reports, it is proposed to merge the EPF and ETF pension funds, which collectively accounts for more than Rs. 1 trillion, with a view to simplify the operations of the two fundsand provide more benefits to employees in the private sector, the NCE said in a statement. Through this move it is envisaged that more..

New DFCC Bank aims big with overseas assignments

Oct 7 (DN) The DFCC Bank hopes to entrench its footprint firmly in the country and also focus on financing international projects with its amalgamation with the DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB) last Friday. DFCC Bank CEO Arjun Fernando said the bank will also be focusing on international markets as well. “DFCC was chosen by two financial institutions overseas to provide consultancy and management services and this has already established the banks’ credentials overseas, more..

Outer Circular Highway phase II daily revenue tops Rs. 2.5 m

Oct 7 (FT) RDA said that the authority receives a daily revenue collection of over Rs. 2.5 million from the second phase of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH) from Kaduwela to Kadawatha. The revenue collected was above the authority’s expected revenue target. There were 10,000 vehicles using the Kaduwela to Kadawatha OCH daily and the number of vehicles during the weekend increases to 12,000. more..

Sri Lanka, Poland to expand trade ties

Oct 7 (DN) Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Leszek Soczewica said Sri Lanka is an ideal economic partner for many polish companies looking for diversification of their trade destinations. Addressing the ‘Sri Lanka-Poland Business Seminar and Business Networking Session’ with potential Sri Lankan and polish companies held in Colombo, he said Poland considers Sri Lanka as a potential destination for trade and investment in the South Asian region. Minister also reiterated more..

Sangakkara opens Murali Cup 2015 in Kilinochchi

Oct 7 (IC) Kumar Sangakkara opened the fourth edition of the Murali Harmony Cup on Tuesday. Sangakkara travelled to Kilinochchi to meet the players participating in the five-day tournament and took part in a question and answer session with the young cricketers. He emphasised that the tournament was about building friendships with teams from all across the island. Murali Cup is a reconciliation cricket tournament that promotes unity, goodwill, teamwork, spirit of fair play more..

SL’s spending on R&D lowest in the region

Oct 7 (DN) Sri Lanka lags in innovation and technological adoption in the Global Knowledge Economy Index of the World Bank, ADB’s Outlook for 2015 said. Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum ranks Sri Lanka behind other countries in university–industry collaboration in research and development (R&D), Patent Cooperation Treaty patents and applications, corporate R&D spending, and quality of science research institutions. more..

Ranil to address Japanese P’ment today; talks with PM Abe

Oct 7 (FT) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is on a State visit in Tokyo will address the Japanese Parliament today, followed by top level meeting with Premier Shinzo Abe. Today’s address in Parliament and meeting with Abe are key highlights of Wickremesinghe’s five-day visit that began on Sunday. After the meeting the two Prime Ministers will hold a joint press conference. Thereafter Abe will host Wickremesinghe to an official banquet. more..

Raghuram Rajan bares Japan deflation paper tiger in Sri Lanka oration

Oct 7 (EN) Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan dealt a decisive blow to interventionist criticism of Japan's deflation showing that growth was no lower than inflating developed nations, but unemployment was sharply lower. He said authorities in developed nations were obsessing for growth fearing deflation. "The canonical example here is Japan, where many are persuaded that the key mistake it made was to slip into deflation, which has persisted and more..

Sri Lanka and Windies rely on youngsters

Oct 7 (DN) Two equally matched teams, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will be hoping that their youngsters will inspire the country to victory when the two Test series gets underway on October 14 at the Galle International Stadium. Series is also of great significance considering the fact that the two teams will be battling for the Sobers-Tissera Trophy which is named after two former great cricketers who represented more..

Can sell Golden Key Hospital at right price, at right time

Oct 7 (CT) The govt will kick-off the second phase of the failed Golden Key Credit Card Company's (GK) repayment procedure this month, govt officials confirmed. "We have already settled GK depositors, who had deposited up to Rs 2 million," sources said. According to sources, the govt has paid up to Rs 540 million among 1500 GK depositors, who had deposited up to Rs 2 million each. Those who had deposits between Rs 2 and 10 million, will get 41% of their repayment within this month while more..

Brandix to sponsor Sri Lanka's safety & health program

Oct 7 (F2F) Sri Lanka's largest apparel exporter, Brandix will be the principal sponsor of the 2015 National Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Week. “This will support Sri Lanka's efforts to promote occupational safety and health at workplaces across the island,” the company informed. Organised by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Ministry of Labour, this year's National Occupational Safety & Health Week is scheduled for Oct 12-16, 2015. more..

'Teacher can make a child a worthy man'

Oct 7 (PMD) School is the place where the child, given birth by mother is converted to a philosopher, scholar, intellectual, artist, politician and leader of the people, while teacher is the one who makes the child a true human, says President Maithripala Sirisena. It is the teacher’s main responsibility to develop the student with knowledge, disciplines, skills and thoughts, he added. That is why the teacher is respected in society more..

MTD Walkers PLC rebrands as Walkers CML

Oct 7 (FT) MTD Walkers PLC, one of pioneer integrated infrastructure and engineering solutions providers in Sri Lanka, yesterday re-branded as Walkers CML by consolidating two of its strong brands. The new brand, Walkers CML, will bring all MTD Walkers PLC subsidiaries under one uniform identity and one umbrella. MTD Walkers PLC Executive Deputy Chairman Jehan Amaratunga addressing the gathering said that the new brand identity would open more opportunities to the Group, while more..

First three-day game ends in a draw

Oct 7 (DN) The first three day game between the Pakistan under 19 team and the Sri Lanka under 19 team ended in a draw at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Sooriyawewa as predicted. Pakistan team chasing a victory target of 350 to be scored in a minimum of 41 overs were 142/3 in 40.4 overs when play was called off. Play resumed at 9.45 last morning and Sri Lanka continuing from their overnight score of 10/0 lost opener Kavin Bandara for 16 half hour into the game. more..

President discusses on SL development with UN officials

Oct 7 (PMD) Relationship between Sri Lanka and the United Nations’ Organization (UNO) was strengthened as a result of the discussions had with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during the UNGA sessions, says President Maithripala Sirisena. He was speaking to the officials of UNDP who met him at the Presidential Secretariat today (6). During this discussion, attention was paid on required facilities for drinking water projects more..

Selling SriLankan Airlines in grand mother country

Oct 7 (CT) The current cause célèbre over the position of Sales Manager of SriLankan Airlines in London is a reaffirmation of the hopelessness, futility and the sheer lunacy of hoping to run an efficient, profitable state owned airline. A state owned enterprise is everybody’s business and nobody’s liability. The UK has the largest Sri Lankan diaspora community. Sri Lankan airlines with daily flights to London is the umbilical cord that keeps all those of Sri Lankan origin in the UK more..

Prime Minister’s Clarion Call

Oct 7 (CT) As one of the three world leaders to address the Japanese Parliament PM Ranil Wickremesinghe called for the international community's support for the country's forward march, having taken into consideration the rapid improvement in the country's human rights situation over the last ten months. Premier Wickremesinghe who on his five-day official visit to Japan, spoke to a packed house at the 12th Annual General Meeting of Science and Technology in Society Forum more..

'CWC won't downplay plantation workers'

Oct 7 (CT) President of CWC and MP, Muthu Sivalingam said his trade union will not downplay the plantation sector people. He also said his union will act firmly to do away with the new proposal that has been adopted by plantation companies in some estates thus forcing the employees to retire before the usual age. "These poor people work for money, without consulting us, they gave in writing that they are retiring. more..

What is the American agenda?

Oct 7 (CT) Different views and thoughts have surfaced amongst top govt ranks in Colombo over the conduct of the US with regard to the recent developments in Geneva and New York. Prior to the tabling of the UNHRC Resolution, US Senior Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal arrived in Colombo and stated that a resolution would be moved in support of Sri Lanka. She became popular here over that positive assurance at a time Colombo was placed in an embarrassing situation more..

Tourism is a masala tea

Oct 7 (FT) We sat in the newly-opened restaurant, styling itself on the trendy Indian fast food concept, quick, clean and easy on the purse. My companion wanted a typical vegetarian meal – the kind of meal they used to serve at Greenlands, a popular eating place in the austere 1970s for the middleclass. Born a Sri Lankan, Peter has chosen Australia, where he has now resided for over 35 years, as his country of domicile. He was 16 when he arrived there. The adopted country has been good to him. more..

'Sensation drowns sensibility in Parliament'

Oct 7 (CT) Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle is one among the handful of female ministers and MPs in govt. While the Yahapalanaya Govt promises a new country for women, it has few women running the show. In an environment where women are judged more harshly than the men for the same mistakes, she said that it is not that women are incapable of running the country but that that the work they do is not valued much. more..

A wall between No. 4 and top three

Oct 7 (SL) The return of skipper and playmaker Fazil Marija for the second of the three-tournament Asian Sevens Series in Thailand last weekend, injury having kept him home for the opener, a step up in the Asian rankings of Sri Lanka wasn’t exactly a fanciful prospect. For one thing, in the first-leg of the series, in Qingdao China in early September, Sri Lanka had finished fourth; so, with the inventive Marija back and four significant changes in the squad’s personnel, more..

Independence of the judiciary & the BASL on hybrid judges

Oct 7 (CT) Independence of Judiciary concerns the entire judicial system as, when the judges are not independent, not quality and not living up to the expectations, the administration of justice will collapse. Judges are charged with the ultimate decisions over life, freedoms, rights, duties, and property of citizens. The 6th United Nations Congress called upon the Committee to create guidelines relating to the independence of judges and selection of professional training more..

US resolution on Sri Lanka: The good, the bad and the ugh!

Oct 7 (SO) US Resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and adopted by a consensus at the UNHRC's 30th session last week, has been given different colours and hues by various stakeholders and critics of the Govt. While former SL's Ambassador to Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, a strong critic of Minister Mangala Samaraweera and the National Unity Govt, opined Resolution that was passed without a vote more..

Maithri, Castro and family bandyism

Oct 7 (SL) Nodath Pandita, well known TV personality in wedding dress – full suit and red tie – was conducting his weekly talk show on current affairs: How Do You Know, on the Bookie Channel. The Panel comprised: Dr. Havana Bahubootha (Specialist in all subjects), Hival Beerabangsa (Revolutionary and Specialist of Conspiracy Theories) Amana Baldhihila (Oriental philosopher, embryonic politico) and Bucket Gorynayake (Actor and Con artiste). more..

Threats emerged within National Govt

Oct 7 (DM) Why is a National Govt needed? An average view of the General Public is that a National Govt is better than a weak Govt formed by a single party which has only a thin majority in Parliament. A National Govt would be stronger and more capable of tackling national issues effectively than that of the Govt based on a single party, and in that context, National Govt is the need of the hour. In addition to the plus factors and benefits of National Govt above referred to the intention of more..