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The Business of Wesak

Police announces special traffic and security plan for IIFA weekend

June 3 (LP) Acting Inspector General of Police Senior DIG N.K. Ilangakoon stated all security measures are in place for the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) ceremony and connected events commencing today and ending on June 5. The Acting IGP stated that security is provided solely by the Sri Lanka Police with support from the Three Forces on instructions of IGP Mahinda Balasooriya under more..

Govt to work towards bilingual public service

June 3 (DN) The National Languages and Social Integration Ministry will conduct a survey to study the possibility of making the public service bilingual. Accordingly, a top level delegation will leave for Canada this week to study the National Language policy there and also the bilingual public service in that country. The Canadian Government has pledged to provide financial assistance to make the State service bilingual in Sri Lanka. more..

Vehicle import duty reduction hailed

June 3 (DN) Local vehicle importers hailed the Government’s decision to reduce excise duty on motor vehicles by 50 percent which will boost vehicle imports significantly. The Daily News spoke to some vehicle importers to seek their views. While some of the importers said increase in taxes for motorcycles is detrimental, some said it is a good move to control heavy volumes of motorcycles being imported to the country. more..

Second corrupt institution: Police won’t agree unless…

June 3 (Island) The police yesterday challenged Sports Minister C. B. Ratnayake’s assertion that they were the second most corrupt institution in the country. Addressing the media at the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) headquarters, Minister Ratnayake on Monday rated the education sector as the most corrupt followed by the police and the Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Flood Victims of the Gampaha

President orders alarm system for bamboo gates

June 3 (DN) The Transport Ministry officials were yesterday directed to look into the possibility of introducing an alarm system or automatic gates to replace over 700 bamboo gates which have become death traps due to operators’, negligence. President Mahinda Rajapaksa made this order when an issue related to the unprotected railway gates were taken up for discussion at the Transport Ministry’s Progress Review meeting more..

CTU alleges western province's education politicized

June 3 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers Union has alleged that the chief minister and the ruling party members in the western provincial council were effecting teacher transfers at their whims. This so-called balance transfers have resulted in the province's education sector being politicized, he told 'Colombo Today.' According to him, teachers in Kelaniya and Negombo education zones have been the main victims of this politically-motivated action. more..

Beer drinking, smoking drops

June 3 (Island) Beer consumption and smoking in Sri Lanka have decreased by 70 per cent and 34 per cent respectively since the implementation of the National Alcohol and Tobacco Act in 2007, according to a survey. A ministry official said that the Act had been introduced in 2007 and amended in 2008 to facilitate the establishment of the National Alcohol and Tobacco Authority. more..

Editorial: Slash on vehicle duty, other side of story

June 3 (DM) The slash on the import duty certainly comes as a relief for the customers. There are no two words about that. However the 50% cut of vehicle duty has two sides to the story since the people are likely to be heavily inconvenienced as a result although it comes as a big help for anybody who badly wanted a vehicle but had put it off due to high prices. Already there are major traffic jams in Colombo and big cities like more..

Tax cuts to help improve govt revenue

June 3 (Island) While importers welcomed the tax cuts, the government’s decision to slash taxes and remove surcharges on imports would help the government improve its revenue as volumes make up for the reduction in taxes and it is in line with proposals made by the Presidential taxation committee an official said. The govrnment has slashed an import excise duty on vehicles by 50 percent, lifted 15 percent surcharge on all imports, more..

Post-LTTE era: Reasons for a bigger Navy

June 3 (MoD) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa says despite annihilation of the LTTE's conventional military capacity, the Navy will have to be further strengthened to meet any eventuality. The Navy alongside the intelligence services, he says should be the first line of defence to thwart a fresh LTTE threat. The war veteran emphasized the pivotal importance of developing a cohesive approach as more..

Now showing: C.B. Ratnayake’s latest film ‘Chandiya’

June 3 (Island) Can you walk along Bloemendhal Road, or Grandpass without scratching your eyes at least once? Any bets? So many saw mills and the air is always filled with a host of saw dust…can you run the Sri Lanka cricket board without corruption and financial mismanagement, like walking along Bloemendhal road without scratching your eyes? more..

CEPA to take centre stage

June 3 (DM) The controversial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will take centre stage during official talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh next week. The CEPA is expected to be signed before the end of this year and will take centre stage at the official bilateral discussions between the two heads of state during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s official tour to New Delhi next week, more..

Health Minister cracks the whip on local gauze manufacturers

June 3 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday warned local gauze manufacturers that if they failed to supply surgical gauze on time to State healthcare institutions their quota permits will be suspended forthwith. During a discussion held at the ministry, 262 gauze manufacturers undertook to supply surgical gauze in time to avert the severe scarcity of surgical gauze at Government hospitals, more..

Truth commission A ploy to please world body: UNP

June 3 (DM) Charging that the appointment of the ‘Lessons Learnt Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ was a sop offered by the Government to please the international community, the main opposition UNP yesterday said it should not suffer the same fate which the Udalagama Commission suffered in the recent past. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference yesterday the Government should more..

Understanding Sri Lanka's Youth

No tax on foreign currency

June 3 (DM) In the wake of Tuesday’s tax reduction on the import of vehicles and other luxury goods, the Cabinet yesterday approved a tax exemption on the import of foreign currency notes. Sources said the Cabinet meeting presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa took the decision to exempt the import of foreign currency notes from the Export and Airport Development Levy, the Nation Building Tax and the Value Added Tax (VAT). more..

Imported vehicle prices could come down by 25%

June 3 (Island) A fifty percent reduction in excise duties on imported vehicles could bring down their prices by about 25 percent but importers are still uncertain how the tax revisions would be applied by the Customs Department. Vehicle importers welcomed the government’s decision to slash the excise duty by 50 percent, but are yet to be updated on the new tariff formulas vis-a-vis eight to 10 other taxes imposed on vehicle imports. more..

Sri Lanka skipper hails attending Bollywood stars

June 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket captain Thursday applauded the "courage" of stars attending the annual Bollywood film awards being held this year in Sri Lanka despite a boycott call by the Tamil cinema industry. Kumar Sangakkara said the Bollywood celebrities who have already arrived in Colombo for Saturday's glitzy Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards had refused to bow to outside pressure. more..

Sri Lanka rolls out the red carpet for IIFA

June 3 (PTI) The 11th edition of the IIFA Weekend began here on Thursday with the host country Sri Lanka rolling out the red carpet for Bollywood actors who are participating in the extravaganza despite calls to boycott the event. Stars such as Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan are participating in the controversy-ridden event which has been boycotted by the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce as a mark of protest more..

Sri Lanka shares hit new record high on banks

June 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares hit a new all-time high for a second straight day on Thursday as investors bought into banking shares on a speculation the government would reduce tax on banks after it slashed import levy. Buoyed by the government tax cut on imports, analysts said, investor sentiment has surged zeroing in on companies that could benefit from the tax cuts and post-war economic growth, more..

UNP, Bandara rift deepens

June 4 (DM) The rift between the UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara deepened today with UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka saying MP Bandara had not lodged a written complaint over the assault on him recently and Bandara saying a verbal complaint was lodged soon after the incident. Tissa Attanayake said that the party had appointed a disciplinary committee headed by lawyer Asendra Siriwardane to conduct inquires into the assault on MP Palitha Range Bandara. more..

Debrief News - 03. 06. 2010

Sri Lanka to generate power from garbage

June 4 (GDI) The Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Environment Anura Priyadarshana Yapa to enter into an agreement, on obtaining approval of the Attorney General’s Department and the treasury scrutiny, with the Horizon Renewable Energy Private Ltd., to covert the Bloemendhal Road Garbage Dump as raw material and establish a Power Supply Project utilizing garbage. more..

Susil Kindelpitiya refused bail yet again

June 4 (CT) Journalist and unsuccessful general election candidate of the UNP Susil Kindelpitiya has been refused bail once again. Taking up the case today (June 03), Colombo additional magistrate Kumari Abeyratne ordered to hold Kindelpitiya in remand custody until June 17. The court rejected a bail application filed by him after police informed court that investigations to identify the type of the firearm said to have been found from more..

Sri Lanka tourism revival, exports, elections drive beer demand

June 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Lion Brewery, a joint venture with beer maker Carlsberg, said it was expanding capacity 30 percent as tourist arrivals rose following the end of a war and elections and exports drove demand. "It was the first time in three decades that Sri Lankans celebrated the festive periods of December and April without the clouds of conflict and celebrate they did & rightly so," more..

UK Channel 4 bags media award for controversial coverage of Lankan war

June 4 (C4) Channel 4 News picked up both awards it was nominated for at last night’s Amnesty Media Awards. Our Sri Lanka coverage won the TV News Coverage and Somalia journalist Jamal Osman won the Gaby Rado award for new journalists. The Amnesty Media Awards recognise "excellence in human rights reporting and acknowledge journalism's significant contribution to the UK public's awareness and understanding of human rights issues". more..

Dialog invites disabled War Heroes to witness IIFA celebrity cricket match

June 4 (MoD) Dialog Telecom, the connectivity partner to the Micrmoax IIFA Awards and the Videocon IIFA Weekend, joined the Ministry of Defence to gift 150 tickets to be extended to disabled war heroes enabling them to witness the Celebrity Cricket Match between Indian cinema stars and Sri Lankan cricketing idols. In a joint statement, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivaad Cabraal and more..

Jaffna Church finally reaches displaced children

June 4 (UCAN) Displaced children in former battle zone villages on the Jaffna peninsula finally have access to Christian education and catechist classes thanks to the efforts of local priests and nuns. Father M. Jero Selvanayagam, rector of St Patrick’s College in Jaffna, says that despite the difficulties, some 150 students have gained admission to the college, including 45 who are given free hostel facilities. more..

We are here for entertainment, not politics: IIFA Stars

June 4 (OI) With many big names including brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan missing from its guest list, the IIFA awards may be low on glitz but the Bollywood stars attending the extravaganza say politics won't stop them from entertaining. The Bachchan family including Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai, regulars at the IIFA red carpet, has decided to stay away from the event amid boycott threats by more..

Brandix ready for probable withdrawal of GSP+

June 4 (F2F) Brandix, a major garment producer of Sri Lanka stated that, they are getting ready for probable removal of the European Union trade concessions, GSP+. Ashroff Omar, CEO, Brandix said that, the company, while considering the contingencies that may arise in case, the trade concessions to Europe are withdrawn, was viewing to tap Asia’s new markets. Omar said that, according to them, removal of GSP+ would not be a major cause of concern for the company. more..

Collapse of Tigers, UNP crisis and forgotten Panditharatne report

June 4 (Island) Now that a six-member committee, headed by one-time Speaker and National List MP Joseph Michael Perera, has proposed a secret ballot to elect the UNP leader, in the absence of a consensus among warring factions to tackle the latest bid to oust Ranil Wickremesinghe, it would be pertinent to discuss Sajith Premadasa’s first move, made way back in 2004. The Hambantota District MP called for the election of all office bearers, more..

As shuttle program ends photographer stops time

June 4 (Examiner) At any given launch there are a number of photographers that attempt to capture the moment, to hold the power and majesty that is spaceflight. Most amateur photographers catch a blur, professionals pick up far more and then there are those that manage to actually freeze time. One of these photographers is Suresh Atapattu. His body of work shows an eye for detail and more..

A change of paradigm if not of ‘chinthanaya’

June 4 (LG) Apparently the US is happy with the steps taken by the government on reconciliation, though we know that in general the statements made by external ministers are for the consumption for the general masses. The US must be having some ideas on reconciliation and it is not necessary that the Sri Lankan government also has the views on the subject. The US may be happy as probably it thinks that its ideas on reconciliation would be explored by the Sri Lankan Government. more..

Editorial: Ruling over the vanquished

June 4 (LG) By the joint effort of the UNP and SLFP led governments since 1978, the executive presidential system has managed to achieve the following: Suppression of the workers movements; Suppression of the middle class by the undermining of the judiciary and attacking the freedom of expression; Suppression of the opposition in the South by suppressing the JVP; and Vanquishing the minority through the war with LTTE. more..

Tamil grievances in Sri Lanka: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

June 4 (TA) As a genuinely detached and impartial observer of the Sri Lankan political scene I get flak from all sides. I refuse to be suckered by battalions of straw men into defending a position that I do not hold – I will not adopt the position of Sinhala nationalists who claim that Tamils in Sri Lanka have never had anything to complain about. Neither will I accept that the Tamil Tigers were simply freedom fighters defending an oppressed minority. more..

See Lanka

June 4 (TW) The change is distinctly perceptible. From the swelling crowds in front of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai, hoping after years to go back to the comfort of their homes, to the roads in Colombo that are far less intimidating than in 2008, everything points to the tremendous transformation that the island country has undergone. “I cannot wait to go back to my village in Trincomalee. There can never be a more opportune moment,” more..

Listening to M.I.A's music and politics

June 4 (NPR) In the much-discussed cover story of this weekend's New York Times Magazine, Lynn Hirschberg profiles M.I.A., née Maya Arulpragasam, the British-by-way-of-Sri-Lanka musician whose third album comes out later this summer. It's an interesting piece (even if its subject doesn't think so), not least because it's the first celebrity profile I've read that begins with a thorough parsing of Sri Lankan dissident politics. The subject comes up because a frequent more..

Whose success is IIFA? Sri Lanka government or Tamil nationalist lobby?

June 4 (LP) Eleventh ceremony of Indian International Film Academy Award (IIFA), the Indian equivalent of the Oscars, is to be held in Sri Lanka since today. However, the event in Colombo is similar to a wedding without bride and bridegroom, when paraphrased according to Sinhala folklore. Many of the Bollywood super stars have boycotted the awards ceremony although they have used other words to describe their absence. more..