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'Govt will collect revenue from those who can afford it'

Feb 27 (DM) A budget seminar organized by the CIMA was held yesterday (25). Following are excerpts from the Q&A audience had with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. Q: Will the super gain tax be applicable to BOI companies? A: BOI companies that have exhausted their tax holidays will fall into it. The rest of it won’t because we don’t want to in any way discourage any of them by saying we will collect an ‘x’ amount of figure. more..

While reserves bleed, CBSL controls US$ at Rs 133.40

Feb 27 (CT) The foreign exchange (FX) market was little changed yesterday, with trades being done on one week forwards at Rs 133/40 to the US dollar in interbank trading on thin volumes, while the 'spot' continued to be locked at Rs 132.90 by Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) by moral suasion. Moral suasion is also very much there in forwards trading as well. "Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had told the media on Wednesday that they will continue to defend the rupee at whatever the cost more..

Seylan’s profit surpasses Rs. 3 b mark

Feb 27 (FT) Seylan Bank said it reported a record profit after tax figure of Rs. 3,079 million for the year ended 31 December 2014. This is an impressive 33% growth in PAT compared to the Rs. 2,316 million reported in 2013, an impressive 33% growth in PAT. Net interest income increased from Rs. 9,719 million to Rs. 11,165 million, a 14.9% increase for the 12 months ended 31 December 2014. Fee and commission income increased 6.1% from Rs. 2,127 million to Rs. 2,257 million, more..

Video: Sajin Vass jeered and hooted

Feb 27 (DM) While former monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardene was speaking at the opening of a fuel station in Kosgoda, a group of UNP supporters who arrived at the site began hooting and jeering causing him to interrupt his speech. UNP organiser Kamal De Soysa and Balapitiya PS UNP member Shantha Mendis who had arrived at the function earlier, walked out of the meeting no sooner Sajin arrived at the site. more..

Welcome for Pope: Catholic Bishops' Conference thanks all Lankans

Feb 27 (DN) Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka expressed its gratitude to all Sri Lankans for the welcome accorded to His Holiness Pope Francis during his visit to the island from January 13 to 15. "Our heartfelt gratitude goes to President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, minister in attendance Ravi Karunanayake and heads of the Tri Services, the Police and different govt and semi-govt departments and civic bodies that joined us in facilitating various events of the visit," more..

Docs find MOE indifferent to their children’s needs

Feb 27 (Island) Out of a two-million student population in Sri Lanka around 60% had been admitted to schools on the basis of falsified documents, the Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said yesterday. GMOA Transfer Board Coordinator and General Committee member Dr. Kapila Mallawaarchchi told a media briefing that he had documentary evidence that most leading schools in Sri Lanka had acted in violation of the criteria stipulated by the Education Ministry. more..

13 principals told to submit Grade-5 admission details

Feb 27 (DM) Supreme Court ordered the Principals of 13 national schools including Royal, Ananda and Nalanda to submit details of students admitted to Grades-1 to 6 during the past three years and those admitted to these schools in 2013 on the results of the Grade-5 scholarship exam. Other 10 colleges are: DS, Isipathana, Thurstan, Mahanama, Devi Balika, Sirimavo, Vishaka, Gothami Balika, Richmond, and Rahula. more..

MR offered leadership of Jana Setha Peramuna

Feb 27 (AM) Leader of Janasetha Peramuna Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera offered the leadership of his party to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking at a press conference today he said that Rajapaksa will not have to launch a new party if he wanted to return to politics. Seelarathana Thera said that he was ready to sacrifice the leadership of the party on behalf of the former president. Seelarathana Thera contested presidential elections in 2010 and 2015. more..

Mahinda visits Choka Malli in Prison

Feb 27 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Premalal Jayasekara, also known as Choka Malli, at the Kuruwita Prison. Former Deputy Minister, Jayasekera, is in prison for killing a UNP supporter, who was preparing a stage in Kahawatte, for the then common opposition candidate. Jayasekara and his associates shot at UNP supporters, who were preparing a stage at Kahawatte a few days prior to Presidential Election, and one supporter succumbed to his injuries. more..

Cannot confirm claim on LTTE camp: SA

Feb 27 (ENS) Almost a year after Prabhakaran’s death and the decimation of the LTTE, SL intelligence agency had requested its South African counterpart to probe whether LTTE cadres, had held a military training camp in their country in May 2010 which was suspected to have been attended by individuals from Australia, Canada and UK. Interestingly, SA intelligence had rejected it saying information could not be confirmed more..

Wheeler-Dealers in govt: Rajitha

Feb 27 (CT) While acknowledging that there were members in the current govt involved in underhand deals, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the lawyer, who was sought by the Attorney General to advice on the Avant Garde case, was also representing the owner of Avant Garde. He said, the President's Counsel in question had sought to obtain the release of the passport of the Avant Garde owner. "General Secretary of the JHU, Champika Ranawaka, too had raised the matter at the last NEC meeting" more..

'Parliamentary elections only after reforms'

Feb 27 (ENS) The next Sri Lankan parliamentary elections will be held only after the Maithripala Sirisena govt completes all the constitutional and electoral reforms which it had promised to carry out in the run up to the Presidential election, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said here on Thursday. "People are more interested in reforms than in any mid-term elections to parliament. At any rate, the present parliament has more than a year of life left," he pointed out. Govt had earlier said that more..

Champika riled by Avant Garde chief going abroad despite CID probe

Feb 27 (Island) National Executive Council (NEC) has sought an explanation from the Office of Solicitor General as regards Avant Garde chief Major Nissanka Senadhipathy’s foreign travel in spite of an on-going inquiry into alleged misuse of weapons by his company. Navy headquarters, too, threw its weight behind Avant Garde. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera and his predecessor more..

Task force for reconciliation and transitional justice at foreign ministry

Feb 27 (FT) A special Task Force on Reconciliation and Transitional Justice has been established within Foreign Ministry, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. Task Force will liaise with other ministries and line agencies working on reconciliation and transitional justice issues. “We didn’t ask for a deferral of the UN investigation report as a delaying tactic. We will take a two-pronged approach with a Truth Commission to advance reconciliation and a domestic mechanism to more..

Sri Lanka unhappy with World Cup scheduling

Feb 27 (Island) Sri Lankans are envying the World Cup schedule of some of the powerful cricket nations like India, Australia and England as their own schedule is hectic. Angelo Mathews’ side was in New Zealand on Sunday playing Afghanistan and flew to Australia on Monday. They trained on Tuesday and Wednesday in Melbourne before taking on Bangladesh on Thursday and again will fly back to New Zealand on Friday where England are waiting them to play on Sunday. more..

SLFP-UNP talks over constitutional reforms deadlocked

Feb 27 (Island) Having briefed a parliamentary group chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards the SLFP’s constitutional proposals on Thursday in Parliament, SLFP discussed the same with President Maithripala Sirisena later in the day. President Maithripala Sirisena chaired the Central Committee meeting of the SLFP. SLFP had stressed that the repealing of executive presidential powers should coincide with far reaching more..

Let's measure our Carbon footprints

Feb 27 (DM) I'm Nature. Some people call me Mother Nature. I’ve been here for more than 41/2 billion years, 22,500 times longer than you. I don’t really need people. I have fed species greater than you and I have starved species greater than you. My oceans, my soil, my flowing streams, my forests, they all can take you or leave you. I am ready to evolve. Are you? ” states a clip repeatedly telecast on a worldwide news channel. This clip is from the environmental organisation, more..

Law-making should not exclude citizens

Feb 27 (DM) Good governance is the talk of the town today. Within the framework of the 100-day programme, legislation is being prepared speedily, with attempts to obtain the approval of Parliament to enact laws such as the National Medicinal Drugs Regulatory Policy and the Right to Information Act, aiming at the establishment of good governance. The socio-political discourse brought forward by independent intelligensia and civil activists over a long period of time has injected more..

SLFP strategies behind national govt concept

Feb 27 (DM) It is a wide perception that social media played a role, at least in part, in forming public opinion against former President Rajapaksa who was unseated at the presidential election. At a weekend workshop in Katunayake, the SLFP took stock of things that led to the defeat of Mr. Rajapaksa as its candidate. In this respect, the impact of social media was among the salient matters that drew the attention of SLFP MPs. more..

Bad-boy Dilshan develops good habits

Feb 27 (CI) There is nothing in the world more like Tillakaratne Dilshan than the shot he brought to cricket in 2009. Like the man, the stroke treads the line between daring and embarrassment. If he wears the Dilscoop on the helmet, nothing looks so foolish. If he connects, he sends stadiums into raptures. It's a shot that has the feel of a heist. Modern captains have never put men behind their wicketkeeper. They probably never will. more..

DWC playing wild games?

Feb 27 (SL) Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has come under severe criticism for not taking action against Ajith Gallage who is a strong supporter of the previous regime, for violating Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO). Gallage is accused of keeping wild animals in his possession at the Bird Research Center in Nagarawewa, Hambantota and questions have been raised why DWC is ignoring repeated more..

Twin tussle over trawling: Sri Lanka’s traditional fishermen caught in the net

Feb 27 (ST) The newly elected leaders of India and Sri Lanka renewed their govts’ commitment to resolving the fishing dispute between the two countries when they met in New Delhi last week. Another round of fishermen-to-fishermen talks, as announced by India at the end of the talks, will, however, not lead to a solution. The last round of talks between Sri Lankan and South Indian fishermen held in Colombo in March last year more..

Govt’s pro-western policy counter-productive: LSSP

Feb 27 (Island) LSSP General Secretary and former UPFA Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharane said the LSSP had taken a firm decision that the executive presidency should be abolished though certain powers enjoyed by the President could be retained. He said the excessive powers enjoyed by the executive presidency had been the bane of the country. Vitharane said that the next general election would be a crucial one and if the people more..

Pro-LTTE groups protest in London

Feb 27 (Island) Pro-LTTE groups set ablaze pictures of TNA heavyweights R. Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran opposite the US embassy in London on Wednesday, demanding that Washington pressures UNHRC to submit the war crimes dossier on Sri Lanka at its next sessions scheduled to begin in March. The protesters rejected Sri Lanka’s assurance that a domestic inquiry would be held in keeping with UN standards. more..

Wiggy responds to Ranil's comment

Feb 27 (CT) Exposing the truth cannot be racism, reconciliation maybe achieved only through finding the truth, pointed out Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, responding to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe's comment over the passing of the genocide resolution at NPC. "Releasing the truth to the people cannot be identified as racism, and Prime Minister's comment on our move has saddened the council. more..

Growing Chinese arrivals boost Sri Lanka's tourism numbers to record highs

Feb 27 (Xinhua) Helped by growing Chinese travelers, Sri Lanka's post-war tourism industry hit yet another high ending 2014 with unprecedented 1.5 million arrivals, the Central Bank said. With the significant increase in tourist arrivals in December, the total for 2014 was recorded at 1,527,153. "Surpassing the 1.5 million milestone figure for the first time, the industry has hit a 19.8% annual growth. more..

Kelaniya undergrads cause traffic chaos during noon rush hour

Feb 27 (Island) Traffic on the Colombo-Kandy road came to a standstill at Dalugama yesterday causing much inconvenience to the public due to a demonstration by the undergraduates of the Kelaniya University. Hundreds of undergraduates staged a protest march from the administrative building of the university around noon. Addressing journalists during the demonstration, President of Kelaniya University Students’ more..

Sri Lanka says China to be consulted on any project re-think

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will not make any decision on Chinese projects it is reviewing until it consults China, Sri Lanka's foreign minister said, pledging that his new govt would welcome Chinese investors. President Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that China has invested in, including a $1.5 billion port city project in Colombo. India, which lost out to China in infrastructure development more..

Defend the right of NPC to pass Genocide resolution

Feb 27 (CT) United Socialist Party unequivocally defends the right of the NPC in its attempt to bring the focus of the world on the Brutal war that killed 100’s of thousands of innocent Tamils in the North & the East of this country. Especially this resolution was passed by the NPC in the circumstance where the new Maithri govt is pressurising the human right council in Geneva not to present the report in March and postpone the their sub-committee report till next September. more..

Call the CID

Feb 27 (CT) On Wed, this newspaper carried an article under the heading 'Fuel import contracts continue.' That was in relation to substandard fuel imported by the State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) during the previous regime. Contracts signed by those companies expire this year. Till then those companies will continue to supply fuel to CPC. While testing mechanisms are in place to ensure that no substandard fuel would be imported in the future, the article quoting more..

Inflation hits 11-year low in Jan 2015

Feb 27 (EN) Sri Lanka's consumer prices rose 0.6% in the 12-months to Feb 2015, slowing sharply from 3.2% in January, the lowest since the 0.5% reported in January 2004. Index dropping 2.3% in the month. Colombo Consumer Price Index fell to 178.9 points by end February from 183.2 points in January as the state cut fuel prices and taxes in a number of consumer goods. Foods dropped 2.1% and non-foods dropped 2.6% more..

Chairman CPC among 11 remanded

Feb 27 (Island) Chairman Central Provincial Council and Chief Organiser for Pathahewaheta, Mahinda Abeykoon and ten others accused in an election violence incident on Dec 5, 2001 were remanded until the hearing of the case was over by the High Court Judge of Kandy. The suspects were earlier remanded till Wednesday after the case was called the previous day. The eleven suspects stand charged with being in an unlawful assembly, trespass and several other counts. more..

CB removes lower repo penalty rate

Feb 27 (Reuters) Central bank said on Friday it had scrapped a lower repo penalty rate of 5% from March 2, five months after it adopted the measure to boost credit growth. "The 5% special standing deposit facility rate is withdrawn with effect from March 2," central bank told the country's commercial banks in a directive. The standing deposit facility (repo) rate and the standing lending facility (reverse repo) rate would remain at 6.5%, and 8%, respectively, it added. more..

BMICH ordered to pay Rs. 180m as compensation to Samitha

Feb 27 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate Court today ordered the management of BMICH to pay Rs. 180 million as compensation for Dr. Samitha Samanmali who was paralyzed after a shelter collapsed at the Deyata Kirula exhibition in 2008. Samanmali who was a medical student at the time sustained severe injuries in the accident on Feb 15, 2008 at BMICH when she was organising setting up of stalls for a medical exhibition. more..

Family of murdered Loku Seeya seeks justice from President, PM

Feb 27 (Island) Wife and two sons of M.S.M Niyas, alias Loku Seeya, well known exorcist at Ragama Devalaya who was abducted and murdered in the most inhuman manner in 2011, are seeking justice from President Maithripala Sirisena, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as, they say, the previous govt did not have the crime investigated. They made the appeal to the country’s leaders during media briefing on Wednesday along with WPC member Susil Kindelpitiya of the Democratic Party. more..

PMK alleges 66 fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka from Indian waters

Feb 27 (PTI) Demanding the immediate release of 66 Tamil Nadu and Puducherry fishermen from Sri Lanka, NDA ally PMK today alleged that they were arrested from Indian waters and urged the Centre to warn the neighbouring country that such arrests will affect bilateral ties. "The assault and arrest of our fishermen is regretful. Centre should prevail upon Lanka to release them immediately and warn SL that bilateral ties will be affected if such arrests continue," PMK leader S Ramadoss said. more..

Senior Police officers arrested over Biyagama Village wner's murder

Feb 27 (AM) SSP Ajith Rohana said that SSP Weewasinghe Pathiranalage Wimalasena from Jaffna and IP Ananda Rajakaruna from Alpitiya, arrested by CID over the murder of the owner of Biyagama Village Hotel. Senior Police officers have been arrested for withholding information from the CID with regard to the murder. The owner of Biyagama Village Hotel, Bernard Jayaratne (65) was hacked to death in one of his estates in more..

Norwegian expert offer help

Feb 27 (CT) Two Norwegian environment experts met the NPC Minister of Environment, P. Ainkaranesan to discuss the ground water pollution problem, long prevaling in the Valikamam area of Jaffna Peninsula. Norwegian experts and a team of Lankan experts also discussed how to prevent waste oil from the nearby coal power plant entering the ground water and contaminating the wells, which the people in Valikamam region depend on as their only source of fresh water. more..

WC 2015: South Africa beat West Indies

Feb 27 (CI) West Indies must be sick of AB de Villiers and South Africa by now. As if all those records broken in Johannesburg earlier this year were not enough, South Africa returned to embarrass them with another plethora, this time in a World Cup match. The most significant of those were 261 runs in the last 20 overs, a World Cup record and second only to the Johannesburg loot in all ODIs, de Villiers smashing the fastest 150 in ODIs, & highest team total on Australian soil, more..

Supreme Court stops polls to 2 PS in North

Feb 27 (CG) Supreme Court (SC) today issued an order postponing the elections scheduled to be held tomorrow at two Pradeshiya Sabhas in the north. The elections for the Puthukudiyiruppu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu District were to take place tomorrow. However a fresh petition had been filed against it and the SC issued a stay order till March 27, Department of Elections said. more..