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Tax hike on commercial vehicles sparks confusion in the automobile market

Nov 17 (ST) Sri Lanka’s commercial goods transportation has been hit badly following the budget tax revision on vehicle imports that sent the automobile market into confusion over the past three weeks, according to Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA) officials. While bringing down taxes on petrol cars by 25%, the taxes on trucks were increased to 57% from 43% without any basis, immediate past president of CMTA Thilak Gunasekera told Business Times. more..

NDB Group profits up 50%

Nov 17 (CT) National Development Bank and its group companies posted a strong growth of 49% in Profit attributable to shareholders, recordingRs 3,276 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2014, as compared with the prior period. This impressive performance was due to growth in business volumes, effective management of portfolio quality and concerted cost management efforts carried out across the Group, keeping in line with the Bank's focused business strategy. more..

Foreign inflows to CSE hit all-time high

Nov 17 (Island) The strategy to conduct road shows in overseas locations has been successful in attracting foreign institutional investors to invest in the Lankan capital market. In a year that has proved to be record breaking, Colombo Stock Exchange has reached yet another milestone in 2014 by recording its highest-ever inflow of foreign investment into the equity secondary market. more..

Sampath Bank's 9-month profit up 56%

Nov 17 (Island) Sampath Bank recorded an impressive profit after tax growth of 56% during the nine month period ended 30th September 2014. The post -tax profit of the Bank during the period was Rs 3.71 Bn, as compared to Rs 2.38 Bn, achieved in the corresponding period in 2013. Improvements in all sources of income namely, net interest income (Rs.420 Mn), net fee and commission income (Rs.385 Mn), net trading income (Rs.501 Mn), other operating income (Rs. 979 Mn) and drop in more..

Softlogic reports strong earnings in 2Q

Nov 17 (FT) Softlogic Holdings on Friday reported strong performance in the second quarter of FY15 with healthy growth in top line and bottom line. Consolidated revenue for the quarter increased by 20.7% to Rs. 8.7 b taking the cumulative revenue to near Rs. 17 b (up 17.7%). Retail cluster outperformed with a 25.6% contribution to the Group’s cumulative turnover for 1H of FY15 followed by Healthcare with a 25.1%, Financial Services & ICT each contributing 24.4% and 22.4% more..

Video: Abolition of EP has become a hawkers’ play: Wimal

Nov 17 (DM) The abolition of executive presidency today has become a ploy used by hawkers who are trying to satisfy the needs of the LTTE Diaspora, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. “There are various teams that are concerned with the presidential election. Even some foreign embassies have taken a special interest in the upcoming election to be held in the country. Some of them helped to field Sarath Fonseka as a common more..

TN fishermen resume fast, call it off on officials’ appeal

Nov 17 (Hindu) Worried by the conflicting reports on the release of five fishermen awarded the death sentence by the Colombo High Court on the charge of drug-trafficking, the family members of the fishermen resumed fast on Saturday, demanding an official clarification. However, they called it off in the evening after revenue officials appealed to them not to resort to any agitation till Nov 18. “In deference to the request made by officials, we have called off the fast,” said Skenitha, wife of Prasath, more..

Sri Lanka: Quo vadis?

Nov 17 (CC) To say that the President of Sri Lanka is greedy is no lie. Having scammed billions of rupees out of various deals with arms sellers, investors and govt funds there is no doubt that he and his brothers have earned the nicknames. Now he wants to continue his reign unchallenged. He will never give up his desire for a third term in order to control over 20 million people to fulfill his personal desires. He is spending near to a billion rupees of public funds for his pre-election campaign more..

Vehicle registration & transfers to go online

Nov 17 (ST) Motor Traffic Department (MTD) will soon be extending an online network system for the registration and transfer of vehicles to cover the entire country in a bid to improve services. Online networking has already been introduced for the registration and transfer of motorcycles in Hambantota, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura and it will be expanded to other areas as well. Once the new system is introduced, more..

Serendipity revealed at Brunei Gallery

Nov 17 (DN) Colombo Art Biennale, Hempel Galeries and The Brunei Gallery present ‘Serendipity Revealed,’ an Exhibition of Contemporary Sri Lankan Art until December 20 at Brunei Gallery, London. While the art scenes in many parts of Asia are beginning to or have already gained recognition internationally, Sri Lanka has, in a sense, been alienated by its 30 year war, which finally came to an end in May 2009. In the aftermath of war, 'Serendipity Revealed' will showcase more..

Mathews ends six-year wait

Nov 17 (CI) 100: Number of wins that India has now achieved against Sri Lanka, across formats - 83 in ODIs, 14 in Tests and three in T20Is. Sri Lanka is the first country against whom India has achieved 100 wins in international cricket. 5: Number of times that India have completed a 5-0 whitewash in ODIs, twice against England, and once each against New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are the only two Indian captains to have led the side to two 5-0 whitewashes each. more..

Web Mafia apologizes to govt

Nov 17 (CT) Several members of the 'Web Mafia', which has been severely criticizing the govt and its leaders in the past few years, have met several top ministers last Saturday and apologized. This group, which has also established an organization named, Professional Web Journalists Association (PWJA), met Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath on 15 Nov more..

Bunka Awards for five Lankan artistes

Nov 17 (DN) Five Sri Lankan artistes received the prestigious Bunka (Cultural) Awards at the 21st Bunka (Cultural) Awards ceremony organised by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund. Event was held at Rupavahini Corporation, Colombo 7 with Culture and the Arts Ministry Secretary Wasantha Ekanayake as the Chief Guest. Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo, Japanese Solidarity Association of Sri Lanka President Naoto Honda and SL cultural artistes were also present. more..

'Think constructively and support President'

Nov 17 (DN) Tamil Community should not ignore their future any further without paying attention to their dependents. At least in the future, we must think constructively and work for our future generation extending our fullest support to President Rajapaksa and his govt if we are to prosper, Batticaloa District SLFP Organiser Arun Thambimuthu said. Thambimuthu said so when he addressed a gathering of Tamils at Kolavil in Alayadivembu DS area recently. more..

'National health sector in pathetic state'

Nov 17 (FT) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa shook the House disclosing the ‘pathetic state’ of the national health sector when Committee Stage on health and indigenous medicine was taken for debate. He charged the Govt was not spending enough to meet the growing demand of the public health facilities and especially the drugs and the scarcity of other medications. "In 2006 Govt allocation for healthcare was 1.97% of DGP. more..

Gnanasara thera blasted his leader for sharing stage with Wimal

Nov 17 (CT) BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera blasted his leader, Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thera, for sharing the stage with Minister Wimal Weerawansa, at the recent rally of the Collective of National Organizations. The Gnanasara Thera, whilst lambasting Wimalajothi Thera for not informing the rest of the BBS high command of his intention to attend the pro-govt rally, held on the same day as the one organized by the National Council for more..

Vacancies for second language teachers go a begging

Nov 17 (CT) There are 2,306 teachers who teach the second language in Sinhalese and Tamil schools, while, 6328 vacancies exist for second language teachers, Sunimal Fernando, Chairman, Presidential Task Force for a Trilingual Sri Lanka said. Sri Lanka needs around 23,500 teachers to teach the second language, so that the teachers could ensure a desirable, trilingual Sri Lanka. "There are currently close to 23,500 English teachers in Sri Lanka. There are 9,500 schools and more..

New docs want to stay in Sri Lanka

Nov 17 (Island) A survey carried out by GMOA on pre-interns has revealed that 97.9% of new doctors want to accept govt jobs and around 91% of them wanted to stay here. Only 2.1% doctors want to join the private sector. Around 9% doctors are desirous of leaving the country for greener pastures. GMOA President Dr. Padeniya said that the ‘Good Intern Programme’ for 1032 pre-interns had ended on Sunday successfully. more..

CPC owes State banks Rs 420B

Nov 17 (CT) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) owes State banks Rs 420 billion due to its administration's poor financial management, Secretary of the JSS – CPC Branch, Ananda Palitha alleged. He said institution owed a sum of Rs 420 billion to Bank of Ceylon and People's Bank, adding that CPC had taken a loan of US$ 300 million for emergency oil purchases. "At present, all fuel purchases are done on credit basis and CPC has to pay 6% as interest for those purchases," more..

JHU decides today: To go or to stay

Nov 17 (CT) The JHU said a final decision on whether to remain in the coalition govt or not would be taken today at its Central Working Committee meeting. The decision would be based on the answer, given by the SLFP, to the seven conditions put forward by the JHU to the President, said JHU. General Secretary, Minister Champika Ranawaka. He added that he would inform the media of the decision tomorrow. Party President Ven. Athuruliya Rathana Thera said letter handed over to him more..

UNP monks force Ranil to field Karu

Nov 17 (Island) Eksath Bhikku Peramuna, affiliated to the UNP has warned that it will withdraw support for the party at the upcoming presidential election unless UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya is declared the presidential candidate. Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera has, in a letter to UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, insisted that it is the UNP prerogative to name the presidential candidate in accordance with the campaign more..

An informed choice: The people’s right

Nov 17 (DM) If the events of last week were vital or momentous in charting the course of Sri Lanka’s future and history, then what happens this week and the weeks or months to come may be even more important. Last Monday the Supreme Court’s full ten-member bench gave a unanimous opinion on two vital Constitutional issues. Though the full text of this opinion on an important national issue has still not been made public, House Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva read from a piece of paper more..

Human Rights and Wrongs

Nov 17 (DM) Adam Barborich studied in the Pennsylvania State University, USA. His interests lie in various disciplines including mining engineering, business administration, political studies and Buddhist Philosophy. He travels extensively and has a passion for elephants and conservation. A military veteran and former elected official in his home country, he now resides in Sri Lanka while working as an independent consultant and an assistant boxing coach at Royal College. more..

Tragedy at leadership training?

Nov 16 (SL) Leadership training programme has come under fire due to the unfortunate incident where undergraduate Kaushalya Vijithalal (19) had a fall on Saturday (8) when undergoing leadership training at the Kalattawa Military Camp, Anuradhapura, and sustained spinal injuries. Military has also come under criticism by several parties alleging that the training was too intense for these university students and more..

New fingerprinting system helps identify 21,000 criminals

Nov 16 (Island) SSP Ajith Rohana said that Sri Lanka ranked number one in South Asia and number two in Asia as regards the use of advanced technology in fingerprinting in crime busting operations. "On March 24 this year Sri Lanka introduced the automatic finger printing system and prior to that we had used a manual system," he said. A Japanese company had asked for Rs. 800 million to install the software but more..

Ranatunga brothers won’t back Arjuna, reiterate support for President

Nov 16 (Island) Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and UPFA MP Ruwan Ranatunga reiterated their commitment to ensure President Rajapaksa’s victory at the forthcoming presidential election, though their brother, Arjuna, too, was being mentioned as a possible Opposition candidate. Assurance was given at an SLFP rally held at Udugampola. Duo said that they wouldn’t betray their late father, more..

End of the show for NFC chairman

Nov 16 (ST) National Film Corporation Chairman Ashoka Serasinghe has been removed from his post following a string of complaints to President Rajapaksa by artistes and trade unions who accused him of corruption, misuse of powers and favouritism. Mass Media and Information Ministry secretary Dr. Charitha Herath said that Mr. Serasinghe has been made ‘advisor’ at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs with immediate effect. more..

Temple Trees expenditure: Govt clueless

Nov 16 (CT) Whilst denying that the govt was engaging in political bribery, UPFA General Secretary, Susil Premajayantha said, only the relevant authorities can comment on the daily expenditure at the Temple Trees. He added that the govt had obtained sponsorships for the lavish functions. It is said that the President accommodated over 15 types of public servants and other groups, over 5,000 persons daily, in recent times. more..

World Cup plans not affected, says Mathews

Nov 16 (CI) Angelo Mathews said Sri Lanka's worst-ever ODI whitewash at India's hands had not upset his team's World Cup plans, and suggested the side was closer to locking down a World Cup combination, thanks to the series. The 0-5 defeat is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka's ODI history. They have not been blanked by India since losing 0-3 in 1982, and their previous worst ODI series loss - a 0-4 defeat against Pakistan - more..

Rathana Thera dumps govt post

Nov 16 (CG) JHU group leader and MP, Athuraliye Rathana thera, has resigned as chairman of the Divulapitiya Division Development Committee following a rift with the Govt. The monk has returned his official vehicle and he says he and his party will now consider the next step. The resignation came as the JHU continued to push for constitutional reforms and threatened to defeat President Rajapaksa at the next election more..

MSD cops arrested over club incident

Nov 16 (CG) Two officers attached to the police Ministerial Security Division (MSD) have been arrested over the assault incident involving Malaka Silva. Both MSD officers were part of Malaka’s father, Minister Mervyn Silva’s security unit and had been at the night club where the incident took place recently. Investigations had earlier revealed that the two MSD officers were outside the club at the time Malaka Silva and five others more..

Reply to Rajapaksa’s allegations: Full text

Nov 17 (CT) President Rajapaksa launched a most surprising attack on me in a speech he made in Kurunegala on Nov 15th. will not speculate as to what motivates such an attack, coming as it does at the start of election campaign. Since I have no intention whatsoever of letting myself be dragged into the upcoming elections, I will thus only restate obvious facts well known to everyone – President Rajapaksa included: more..

Govt raises objections with UN

Nov 17 (CG) Minister G L Peiris met the Resident Coordinator of the UN, Subinay Nandy today and conveyed to him, govt’s extreme discontent regarding the unprofessional manner in which the investigation on Sri Lanka is being conducted by the OHCHR. His protest to the Coordinator focused on the unacceptable way in which the deadline for submission of evidence to the investigation, 30 Oct, that had been originally set by the OHCHR more..

Upgrading roads to meet the increased traffic

Nov 17 (CT) The improvement and upgrading of the severely deteriorated roads in the city as well as in the suburbs, will no doubt ease traffic congestion, facilitate ease of movement for the people and also give a boost to economic growth. The current upgrading and improvement to the Galle Road and R.A. de Mel Mawatha, undertaken at massive cost, will provide for a smooth and orderly flow of traffic in the city. The Southern Expressway and the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway, more..

Moves to abolish EP: Muslim groups join nationalist forces

Nov 17 (CT) Numerous Muslim political and civil society groups have joined mainstream national political forces in their campaign to abolish or reform the dictatorial executive presidency, replace it with a presidency accountable to parliament and reintroduce democracy. Growing feeling within the Muslim community, especially during the past three to four years, has been that the SLMC though a constituent member of the govt, has miserably failed to effectively deal with burning issues more..

Ranil to appoint his younger brother as the campaign manager

Nov 17 (AM) While President Rajapaksa has appointed his brother, Minister Basil Rajapaksa as the campaign manager of the UPFA, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is to appoint his younger brother, Niraj Wickremesinghe, as the campaign manager of the party for the upcoming presidential polls. This decision has been taken in a context where the UNP has still not taken a final decision about its presidential candidate. more..

Ranaviru Upahara musical program in London

Nov 17 (MoD) Ranaviru Upahara program was held in London for the seventh consecutive time by the British Sri Lanka Forum (BSLF) in London last week. Dr. Asoka Kobbekaduwa, brother of the late General Denzil Kobbekaduwa was the chief guest. Dr. M.B. Ranatunge, patron of the Forum, delivered the main speech. Patriotic songs were sung by Sri Lankans living in UK and the music was by the band "Fresh Night with Dhammika". In his address, President of the Forum, Janaka Alahapperuma said more..

Sri Lanka rupee forwards weaker on importer dollar demand

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka rupee forwards traded weaker on Monday due to importer dollar demand, while moral suasion by the central bank prevented a further fall in the local currency. Central bank governor said the rupee is on an appreciation trend and the monetary authority would manage any volatility through intervention. However, dealers said the local currency was under downward pressure as imports continue to rise in a stable exchange rate regime and a low interest rate environment. more..

Govt queries: How will Opp. run the country?

Nov 17 (CT) The govt yesterday questioned how the common Opposition that is unable to name a candidate, for the upcoming Presidential election, was going to carry the country forward. Minister Susil Premajayantha opined that forces from the international community, which wished ill upon the country, were the ones forcing the hand of the Opposition's organizations and political parties to create political instability. more..

Softlogic launches King Long range of buses

Nov 17 (LBT) Softlogic Automobiles, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings, launched the all-new King Long range of passenger transport vehicles at a gala ceremony held at Waters Edge Battaramulla. The ceremony was graced by C.B. Ratnayake, Minister of Private Transport Services; Wu Jianghao, Chinese Ambassador for Sri Lanka; Andrew Chen, Regional Manager Asia Pacific Section - Overseas Sales and Marketing Company King Long; Andy Chen, Sales Specialist Asia Section - more..