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CPC Unions fear privatization

Aug 24 (CT) Trade unions of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) demand that the CPC revokes the decision to award the Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery Plant Modernization Project to a new contractor. Convener of Petroleum Trade Union Coalition Janaka Rajakaruna said trade union action would be launched next week if their demands were not met. He said that the effect would be drastic if more..

Sri Lanka hotel boom seen hitting room rates

Aug 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s hotel construction boom, especially in the capital Colombo, could put pressure on room rates, a hospitality investment forum was told. The island does need more investment in hotels to keep pace with rapid growth in arrivals since the ethnic war ended seven years ago, said Jesper Palmqvist, area director Asia Pacific of STR, a hotel industry market research company. “Arrivals are increasing steadily to two million tourists,” he told Hospitality Investment Conference. more..

Samurdhi Movement will be turned into an efficient and effective institution: President

Aug 24 (PSL) President Sirisena says he will make the Samurdhi Movement which has become an unsatisfactory state institution due to the disappointments of its employers, caused by the bad management by the former govt, to an efficient and effective institution. He made these remarks at a special meeting on professional issues of the Samurdhi Managers held today (23). The discussion, in which all related parties took part, focused on the issues faced by Samurdhi more..

Govt slams news reports sabotaging economic development

Aug 24 (AD) Govt of SL denied as misleading news reports alleging that it will obtain the services of a leading global law firm to prepare new laws and that professionals walked out from discussions on the proposed trade agreement with India. Issuing a statement in response to the negative reports which have appeared in the newspapers on the engagement of internationally reputed consultancy firms by the govt, more..

SLMC's Kariyappa advocates for Muslim Personal Law reform

Aug 24 (DN) SLMC Media Spokesman Nizam Kariyappa in a bold move advocated for Muslim Personal Law reform and supported the amendment of Article 16 of the Constitution. Making his submissions to the Fundamental Rights Sub Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to form a new Constitution at Parliament, Kariyappa admitted that it was time that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) be amended to truly represent Islamic law and its principles. more..

Indonesia, Sri Lanka sign MOU on election management cooperation

Aug 24 (JP) The General Elections Commission (KPU) has signed a MoU with Sri Lanka’s Election Commission on cooperation in the management of elections. The ceremony was held on Wednesday during the Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum III in Bali. KPU chairman Juri Ardiantoro and Election Commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya inked the MoU to promote democratic values through cooperation in information exchange and other issues in the field of electoral management. more..

Thajudeen case: Telephone records at PS erased

Aug 24 (DN) The CID conducting investigation into the murder of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen informed Colombo Additional Magistrate today, that the telephone records on calls made from the Presidential Secretariat to the then OIC of the Narahenpita Police Damien Perera on the day of Thajudeen's death, have been erased. At the previous occasion, CID told Court that several telephone calls originated from telephones at more..

Sri Lanka corporate earnings growth slows to 6% in June quarter

Aug 24 (EN) Sri Lanka's corporate earnings grew 6.6% from a year earlier in the June 2016 quarter to Rs50 billion, slowing from 15.9% in the March quarter. CAL Research, a Colombo-base equities research house, said trailing 12-month earnings grew 5% to Rs217 billion, compared to a 16.5% growth last year. CAL compared the results of 265 companies for year-on-year data. March quarter data involved 269 firms and the difference was not material, an analyst said. more..

Bakeer Marker appointed chairman of National Information Center

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Cabinet has approved appointing former Media Minister Imthiaz Bakeer Marker as the chairman of the proposed National Information Center for a period of two years. The centre will provide official information of the govt to electronic and print media, coordinate information and act as the govt’s official media spokesperson. The center will be established under a Patron Council comprising the President, Prime Minister and Media Minister. more..

Video: Cabinet approval given to Central and Ratnapura highways: Gayantha

Aug 24 (DM) Cabinet approval had been given to call bids to select a contractor for the Central Expressway Project and to call for technical and financial proposals for Ratnapura Expressway project, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. He said obtaining bids and proposals for the construction of third phase of the Central Expressway Project from Pothuhera to Galagedara covering a distance of 32.5 km more..

Amaraweera to remove ‘racists’ from SLFP

Aug 24 (Island) Racists would be removed from the SLFP, UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said. Addressing the launching of Wewak Samaga Gamak, a development project at Mannar, he said UPFA would not form coalitions with political parties with racist agendas. Minister said the SLFP was not a racist party as it represented all ethnic groups in the country. But during last few years minorities had left the party as UPFA formed coalitions with racist parties. more..

Alleged Sex Pervert released on bail

Aug 24 (CT) The main suspect accused of sexually harassing female students at a study camp in Kandy, were released on bail by the Kandy Magistrate yesterday. Police sources said yesterday that suspect Nimal Peiris was released on a bond of Rs 100,000 and cash bail of Rs 10,000. The second suspect and two other alleged accomplices were not released because they were unable to meet bail requirements. The case was postponed to 21 Nov. The two main suspects had conducted more..

Investors flabbergasted

Aug 24 (CT) Investors attending the Jaffna Investors Forum (JIF) held Monday were perturbed when they were informed at the panel discussion that any projects undertaken in the North would be allowed 30 years leasing, only of the land. It is said local politicians in the North had been quoting a range of land leasing arrangements; between 29 years to 35 years, leaving the investors shocked beyond words. more..

Govt merging huge tracts for Development

Aug 24 (CT) China has insisted on 15,000 acres of land from the proposed industrial park to be set up in Hambantota which at the moment has only 3,000 acres, identified as land made available for the special zone. Announcing this in Parliament PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Industrial Park abutting the Hambantota Port would be controlled under a new mechanism in which the BOI will also be included. Responding to a query by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake he added that more..

Some reservations about new SLFP organisers: Arundika

Aug 24 (AD) Deputy Minister Arundika Fernando says that no one can accuse President Sirisena of taking sudden decisions with regard to removing several SLFP stalwarts from organiser posts as those members were given plenty of opportunities to resolve issues through discussion. He stated that they were given several opportunities and only in the end were decisions reached regarding certain electorates, organisers & discipline. “Even regarding that there is still discourse within the party. more..

Police seek public help to find abducted businessman

Aug 24 (DM) Police today released a picture of the29-year-old Mohammed Sakeem Sulaiman, a businessman who went missing last Sunday night, seeking public assistance to find him. Police suspected Sulaiman had been abducted and asked the public to inform the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) or the Bambalapitiya Police Station, if they had any information about the missing businessman. more..

Sarana on trial from 9 Dec

Aug 24 (CT) Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday decided to fix the nine cases, filed by the Bribery Commission, against former Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardene pertaining to alleged malpractices committed by him, during his tenure as the Chairman of the Development Lotteries Board (DLB), for trial from 9 December. When the case was taken up for hearing yesterday, the accused former Deputy Minister was in Court. Bribery Commission amended two of the charges, more..

The sacred and profane at cross roads

Aug 24 (CT) Listening to President Sirisena at the Matara rally threating to reveal secrets of the joint opposition, instinctively I recalled this exquisitely emblematic confluence of the benign and the bawdy that Steinbeck describes in his novel East of Eden. It was Steinbeck’s greatest work in which he explores the good and evil in the human condition. Steinbeck saw the confused world as a poem, a habit or dream. Sen though a peep hole its inhabitants were whores, pimps, gamblers & sons of bitches, more..

Australian companies linked to bribe scandals in Sri Lanka and Congo

Aug 24 (SMH) Two Australian companies are embroiled in bribery scandals that reach into the offices of the presidents of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo, as the firms sought to secure multi-million dollar contracts. Coming in the wake of foreign bribery allegations implicating Tabcorp, Leighton Holdings and BHP Billiton, the revelations will put pressure on the Turnbull govt to reform Australia's failing anti-corruption framework. more..

SL student in UK jailed over money laundering

Aug 24 (E&E) A student and a shop worker have been jailed after they helped launder almost £200,000 stolen from Exeter Chief's sponsor South West Communications. Adeesh Watte and Adaikalam Swaminathan allowed the fraudsters behind the Hustle style scheme to use their accounts to disguise where the money went. They were just two of a number of people who worked together to defraud the Sowton based company out of £784,551.15 in a scam in which more..

Signing of OMP Bill without changes, dangerous: JHU

Aug 24 (DM) The endorsement of the Bill to set up the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) sans submitted amendments was a grave error, which could lead to negative repercussions, JHU charged. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said it had been reported that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had placed his signature to the OMP Bill without including the amendments. “Both President Sirisena and the JVP submitted amendments to the OMP Bill. If amendments are not included, more..

Video: Janaka Wakkumbura to resign as SLFP Organiser

Aug 24 (AD) UPFA Ratnapura District MP Janaka Wakkumbura says that he will resign from the position of SLFP Organiser for Kalawana electorate. He announced this decision after a proposal calling for his resignation from the position of Kalawana Organiser was approved during a SLFP central organizations meeting held today. Several SLFP Parliamentarians currently aligned with Joint Opposition have said that they will resign more..

Treasury duty bound to refund EPF investment in SriLankan: Labour Minister

Aug 24 (Island) Minister John Seneviratne told Parliament that Treasury was duty bound to return Rs. 500 million invested by the EPF in the loss incurring SriLankan. He said both Monetary Board and Cabinet had approved the investing of EPF monies in SriLankan Airlines. In answer to a question raised by JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa, who demanded to know on what ground the EPF monies had been invested in a loss making institution, minister said the intention would more..

Sri Lankan stocks slip from over 3-mo closing high on month-end settlements

Aug 24 (Reuters) Shares ended weaker on Wednesday, slipping from their highest close in more than three-months posted in the previous session, due to month-end settlements. Analysts said turnover was higher on expectations of better economic performance after the govt said it would achieve its revenue target for this year. SL's tax revenue in the first seven months jumped 23% to 769.8 billion rupees from a year earlier, and Minister Ravi Karunanayake is optimistic about more..

නිස්සංක දිද්දෙණිය

Grade V Scholarship: Are we continuing education torture?

Aug 24 (CT) It's that time of the year where all serious-minded individuals and those who think they are serious (social media warriors and libertarians, we are looking at you) start criticizing the psychological implications of the Grade Five Scholarship exam on students. Like last year, this year also the criticism comes on time. And it is most welcome because it is necessary. The criticism is justified in many ways. With time, the Grade Five Scholarship exam has become more..

'Attack on Tamil–Muslim students at Pera Uni is not a counter attack on Jaffna clash'

Aug 24 (CT) Dr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi, Senior Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya has said that the Monday attack on minority students at the Peradeniya University was not an attack to counter the recent clash at the Jaffna University’s Science Faculty. The Monday clash left several Tamil and Muslims students injured and four hospitalized. The clash occurred between a group of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese students, including seniors and a group of freshers’ from the University’s more..

PTA to be replaced with Counter Terrorism Act

Aug 24 (CG) Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) will soon be abolished and it will be replaced by the Counter Terrorism Act, the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs said. Minister D.M Swaminathan said that the Attorney General is scheduled to submit a review on 78 trials pending under the Prevention of Terrorism Act with regard to Tamil suspects, by 15th September. more..

'New constitution to be presented to people at referendum'

Aug 24 (Island) The new constitution will be placed before the people at a referendum after being presented to the Parliament, Minister Lakshman Kiriella says. He revealed this at the opening ceremony of a new four storey women’s hostel of Eastern University. Hostel consists of 140 rooms and can accommodate up to 350 students. It was built at a cost of Rs. 250 million. He said countries like Singapore and Malaysia had solved more..

Late poet P. B. Alwis Perera awakened the people through poetry: President

Aug 24 (PMD) The 50th commemoration ceremony of the poet P. B. Alwis Perera was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the National Library and Documentation Services Board, yesterday (22). Expressing his views during the ceremony the President said that the poet P. B. Alwis Perera was a great human being who fulfilled his duties towards the nation and the people. more..

GMOA warns govt against move to bring ETCA through back door

Aug 24 (Island) The GMOA warned the govt against bringing the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India through backdoor while promising to formulate a national policy on international trade agreements. Addressing the media, GMOA spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda said the same team which prepared the ETCA had been assigned to draft the national policy just to avoid public protests. more..

Ministry Sec. denies: Individual vehicle importers barred from Finance Ministry

Aug 24 (DM) The newly formed individual vehicle importers, who were affected due to the recent tax increase said that they were barred from entering the Finance Ministry office over any vehicle importation related issues by Minister Ravi Karunanayake since June 17. However, the Finance Ministry Media Secretary Sisira Wijesinghe contradicted the allegations and said the individual importers had imported more..

Army safe from Office on Missing Persons (OMP)?

Aug 24 (SL) The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) which was approved by Parliament recently, has made sure there is no mention of investigating the army for rights abuses. The Bill on the OMP which was passed with amendments, notes in its mandate, that it will be authorised to appoint a specified officer to enter without warrant and investigate, at any time of day or night, any place of detention, police station, prison or any other more..

CB Chief urges private sector to grab Sri Lanka’s best growth opportunity

Aug 24 (FT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy last night made a strong case for the private sector to step up their investments emphasising that SL’s best opportunity for growth was before them. Delivering the keynote address at the CIMA Sri Lanka Business Leaders Summit, Governor said due to a host of factors the best and most favourable set of circumstances were before SL for the first time since independence. more..

'National Policy on Trade: Need of the hour'

Aug 24 (DM) The GMOA, a body vociferously critical of the ETCA, says a proper national policy on trading should be evolved before signing any bilateral agreement for trade with other countries. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, in an interview with the Dailymirror on the subject said the Govt appeared to be trying to open up the service sector, and it would have far reaching effects on economy. more..

Avant Garde struck by mid sea thunderstorm

Aug 24 (CT) Absolute power corrupting absolutely was an epitome in Sri Lanka with the advent of the previous regime and the Avant Garde case was no exception. The recently released COPE report says it all. Of the irregular performance of the institution, COPE said, that from the year 2003 onwards, approval of the relevant divisions has not been sought for the budget of the institution. more..

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