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Sri Lanka state petroleum retailer makes profit in 2014, bank debt up

May 5 (EN) Sri Lanka’s state-owned petroleum refiner Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) made a profit in 2014 as it benefited from the fall in global oil prices without fully reducing local retail prices but its borrowings from banks rose. “CPC’s financial position improved in 2014 recording a turnaround from the loss position in 2013,” Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said. CPC reported a profit of 1.7 billion rupees in 2014 compared to a loss of 7.9 billion rupees in 2013. more..

Samaraweera Speaks on conspiracies in Uva PC

May 5 (AM) Uva Provincial Minister Ravindra Samaraweera stated that although the UNP grabbed power in the Provincial Council, there were conspiracies to remove the party from power. Samaraweera, who is also the UNP Chief Organizer in Welimada, said this at an event on Tuesday (5). He said, the conspiracies might even succeed and the present provincial govt might lose power. However, he added that the UNP is ready to take necessary steps at such an eventuality. more..

Mannar’s wind power potential to be tapped in one go

May 5 (Island) Power and Energy Ministry is planning to tap Mannar’s wind potential of 375MW in one go, while making sure the CEB gets 100MW out of it. Secretary Dr. B M.S. Batagoda said that they would go for competitive bidding. Project was likely to be delayed and they hoped to make a final decision within the next 14 days, he said, noting that they had to come up with a solution to the 132KV line which was not sufficient to more..

Australia Immigration Minister meets Minister Swaminathan

May 5 (NF) Immigration Minister of Australia Peter Dutton and his envoy who arrived in the country on Tuesday met with the Minister of Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs D.M. Swaminathan in Colombo. Discussions were held on various subjects including human trafficking and post-war resettlement in the country. The meeting also saw the participation of the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie. Minister D. M. Swaminathan said that the main issue more..

Bottesford tea parties to raise money for Sri Lankan orphans

May 5 (MT) Tea parties are being held this month to raise money for orphaned and abandoned girls in Sri Lanka. The initiative was started by the Rosie May Foundation, a charity set up by the parents of a murdered 10-year-old girl, Graham and Mary Storrie. The event is sponsored by Tatler’s Ceylon Tea, a Sri Lankan tea company with a plantation close to the Rosie May home, founded by the organisation following the devastating tsunmai in 2004. More than 40 tea parties are being held in Bottesford, more..

Mudslingers still attack me and my family, says former President

May 5 (AD) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the arrest of Corporal Senaka Kumara of the Sri Lanka Army, who allegedly brought a firearm to the SLFP Hambantota District meeting, is the latest episode in the campaign of persecution directed at him and his family members. Issuing a statement he said “Corporal Senaka Kumara of the Sri Lanka Army has been arrested and remanded for allegedly bringing a firearm more..

Move over Rajapaksa, it’s Sirisena now

May 6 (CT) Move over Rajapaksa, it’s Sirisena who calls the shots now. That is the message President Maithripala Sirisena has sent to Sri Lanka people and political constituency by ensuring the 19th Amendment (19A) to the Constitution was passed in Parliament as promised in the run up to the election. Three things stand out in his success. He had to outmanoeuvre strong opposition from Rajapaksa-loyalists who at one stage numbered 110 in the 250-member parliament. more..

The dual national, citizenship & human rights

May 6 (CT) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere. It represents the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, inalienable & equally applicable to everyone, more..

'I am scared to lose my anti-cultural nature'

May 6 (DN) Reading Sannasgala in Colombo a unique book launch by Upul Shantha Sannasgala, will be held today at 2.30 p.m. at Tharangani Hall at National Film Corporation. To coincide with the book launch we interviewed Sannasgala on different aspects of his life as a writer, teacher and a political activist. Q: You, in your career as a teacher, transformed the traditional image of a teacher to a great extent. more..

Editorial: Gender neutrality

May 6 (Island) The Oxford Dictionary has decided to recognise the gender neutral honorific ‘Mx’ to represent transgender people and those who do not want to reveal their sex, according to a report in this newspaper yesterday. Soon, we will have ‘Mx’ listed in OED alongside Mr, Mrs, Ms and Miss! There may be arguments for and against the new gender identifier, but the fact remains that it is already being used by some institutions, both public and private, in the UK. more..

No constitution is best constitution

May 6 (SL) Sududath, alumnus of the Forward School for Backward Boys was expressing his concern about his only son Thakkadiya to his former classmate Nodath at their monthly powwow over Lankan politics. Thakkadiya, the stripling son of Sududath had captained his college 1st X1 at Cricket and scored a century at their Big Match winning the encounter for his school. He was hero to his 10,000 school mates, their fathers, even mothers, his teachers and tens of thousands more..

'Govt cannot educate people'

May 6 (CT) Should govts inform the people about what they do? Or should the people themselves figure out what the govt does with their mandate and tax money? With the passing of the 19th Amendment, significant changes were introduced to the Constitution of the country and yet few know what they are. Deputy Minister of Justice, Sujeewa Senasinghe said it was not the job of the govt to educate people on govt policy, rather more..

19th Amendment , Whose baby is it?

May 6 (NS) Constitution of Sri Lanka which was introduced by former President JR Jayewardene in 1978 was amended again last week for the 19th time. Many are of the opinion that the Constitution was amended to increase the powers of the administrators or politicians and not to offer benefits for the general public. This view however can’t be made on Amendments like 13, 17 and the latest 19th. 19th amendment was passed in parliament after hours-long committee stage debates, more..

A partial, but great victory for democracy

May 6 (NS) Finally, the 19th Amendment is passed with only one UPFA MP opposing. Perhaps he was true to what he was advocating while many others were chickening out, including the law professor. There was an eleventh hour compromise on the Constitutional Council, but the govt rightly did not budge on the appointment of Cabinet of Ministers. If the President kept all the powers to unilaterally appoint the cabinet of ministers, as the opposition wanted through their dubious amendments more..

Colombo Fashion Forecast: Episode 12

War crimes, accountability and manipulation of int’l organizations

May 6 (Island) Prof. Ashwani K. Sharma says powerful countries routinely influence international organizations to secure desired results. In an with The Island, Prof. Sharma said that powerful governments influence the decision-making process to achieve their objectives. Obviously, the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is no exception, Sharma is currently with the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS), at the Colombo University. more..

Let us get ready

May 6 (Island) Let us get ready for elections. The politicians, their parties and their organizations, and even those ignominiously and recently defeated, are getting ready for parliamentary elections expected to be held in a few months. We, the citizens of this country, must realize that this is no more as before our national pastime but something very important that affects the future of our children and our country. We must get ready for this election very seriously & more assiduously than they. more..

A post-war Indian perspective: Part I

May 6 (Island) Prof. Ashwani K. Sharma strongly recommends democratic decentralization in post-war Sri Lanka. Sharma, now with the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS), at the Colombo University, believes that the ground situation in Sri Lanka was more favorable today than it ever was. The Indian - funded CCIS came into being, in 2012, following an agreement between the University of Colombo and more..

The Day in the Life of a lit Festival

May 6 (Island) Annasi and Kadalagotu (A&K) has come and gone. I heard people saying it was good and some even added that at times it was better than good. Others may have had negative comments but I did not hear them. Judging by the crowd that attended, and their expressed opinions during the event, it will not be wrong to say A&K won the day. If you were there you know what I am talking about and if not, let me give you an idea of how this mini Mardi Gras came to life to live more..

A Reflection on Rajani’s Legacy

May 6 (Island) Friends and Rajan, this book is a monumental work with history, politics, law and several other things. I have restricted my discussion to two things. The first is about the outlook of the book. As a person who has lived in Jaffna during most of the period of conflict, the second thing I am concerned about is what went wrong in our struggle. I will start on the first. At the outset I have two questions. The book has Rajani’s name in the title. Palmyra Fallen: From Rajani to War’s End. more..

Six districts identified as being vulnerable to landslides

May 6 (SO) Two landslides within six months in Haldummulla in the Badulla District were warning signals. Six more districts were identified last week as being highly vulnerable to landslides. Disaster Management experts have entertained fear that the central mountainous area of the country is in great danger. Unplanned human activities have been blamed for disturbing the natural ground set up. more..

Boradiya Pokuna: Gender stereotyping and patriarchal connotations

May 6 (GV) Public screening of Satyajit Maitipe’s film Boradiya Pokuna was launched on 14th February 2015 seven years after its production. This was the first time I watched this film. I think it presents some aspects which one can build a discussion towards the contribution to the remaining narratives of reading cinema. A film can certainly be read differently depending on the viewer’s interests and subjectivities. At this point I would like to read this film looking at its connotations to more..

Japan confers Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold & Silver Rays on Indrani Ariyaratne

May 6 (Island) The Govt of Japan on April 29, 2015 conferred one of its distinguished honors The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays, on Mrs. Indrani Ariyaratne, former Secretary to the Medical Department, Embassy of Japan in recognition for her long-term outstanding contributions to the embassy. Mrs. Ariyaratne, who had her entire education at the Presbyterian Girls’ School, Dehiwela, joined the Embassy of Japan in August 1983 and was attached to more..

Milan Expo helps Sri Lanka to bag US$ 1.3m charter from Italy

May 6 (DN) Sri Lanka's presence at the Expo 2015 took a head start with Minister Navin Dissanayake closing on a charter worth US$ 1.3 million for Sri Lanka Tourism with the market leadership tour operator in Italy Alpitours. The deal will attract 8000 travellers in a business partnership with Aitken Spence Limited. "This deal has in fact records the covering of the total costs we incurred on setting up the Sri Lankan pavilion at Expo 2015. more..

Touchwood liquidation faces legal snag

May 6 (DN) The liquidation process of Touchwood Investment Plc faces a major snag due to the absence of pre hold assets of land and assets of the company. It is also difficult to find the legal owners and its assets, Liquidator Sudath Kumar said. The liquidation process has been made more complicated due to the fact that 99 percent of deeds have a condition that says that after the harvest, all prosperities have to be transferred back to company once they pay off profits to investors, more..

2014 Tax revenue dips

May 6 (CT) Govt's tax revenue has dropped to 10.7 % of GDP in 2014, from the 11.6% in 2013, according to the Central Bank Annual Report 2014. Govt should look at ways of increasing tax revenue which is continuously declining over the past few years, Senior Economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. He opined, the total govt revenue needs to be increased up to 18% from the GDP and the tax revenue should increase up to 15% of the GDP. He also suggested that govt implements more..

Bosnia keen to strengthen ties with Sri Lanka

May 6 (FT) Bosnia is keen to strengthen ties with Sri Lanka, with the European nation’s India-based envoy currently in Colombo for official talks to firm up several new initiatives. Ambassador for Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr. Sabit Subasic who arrived on Monday called on PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday and expressed keenness to boost ties with Sri Lanka. As part of his official three-day tour, Dr. Subasic has also more..

Fahim being probed for fraud

May 6 (CT) Bribery Commission has launched an investigation against the UNP Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) member M.S.M Fahim for fraudulently extracting money from persons. Fahim had initially collected a sum of Rs 150,000 and a further Rs 30,000 from a resident of Seevalipura, Colombo 8 in Oct 2014 promising to secure jobs for his two children. However Fahim has not secured jobs as promised, the plaintiff has said. Bribery Commission has launched investigations more..

Three local weightlifters for Youth Commonwealth Games

May 6 (Island) Three weightlifters have qualified to represent Sri Lanka at the forthcoming Youth Commonwealth Games, to be held in Samoa this September. They are Isuru Senadheera of Royal College, Polonnaruwa in the below 85kgs weight class, Bevishan Wijewickrama of Trinity College, Kandy, in the below 77kgs weight class, and Sreemali Samarakoon of Habarana MMV, in the below 48kgs weight class. These athletes are presently preparing for the mega event more..

Sri Lanka deficit exceeds target, tax revenues could fall, IMF warns

May 6 (EN) Sri Lanka’s tax revenues in 2016 are likely to fall as one-off tax hikes in the last budget expire while increased recurrent spending pushes the deficit higher, raising its borrowing risks, the IMF has warned. “Recent macroeconomic performance has generally been strong but risks appear to be on the rise,” the IMF said in a statement following an assessment after talks with the govt by a recent monitoring mission. more..

Sri Lanka's Official Motor Show

May 6 (CT) Ceylon Motor Show 2015, organized by the Ceylon Motor Traders Association and the Classic Car Club of Ceylon is set to take centre stage from 8-10 May 2015 at the BMICH. Taking place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and 11 am to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the motor show is set to enthrall car enthusiasts once again at this year's installation, with an even wider range of classics and cutting edge motor vehicles. "The Ceylon Motor Traders Association is more..

CMC extends Online Tax Payment System

May 6 (FT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has decided to extend the e-Service Online Tax Payment System. Accordingly, five kiosks with facilities for online payment are expected to be set up within the Colombo Municipal Council limits. This will enable even taxpayers who do not possess internet facilities to make their tax remittances to the CMC online. ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) took steps to introduce Online Tax Payment System to Colombo Municipal Council in 2014. more..

Sri Lanka’s development goals fall short on gender equality

May 6 (IPS) When minister of state for child affairs Rosy Senanayake addressed the U.N. Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in New York last month, she articulated both the successes and shortcomings of gender equality in a country which prided itself electing the world’s first female head of govt: Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike in July 1960. After surviving a 26-year-long war, which ended in 2009, more..

NDB adjudged leading partner bank in Sri Lanka under ADB’s Trade Finance program

May 6 (FT) Asian Development Bank (ADB), backed by its AAA credit rating, works with over 200 partner banks to support import and export activities in Asia’s most challenging markets under its Trade Finance Program. With dedicated trade finance specialists and a response time of 24 hours, Trade Finance Program has established itself as a key player in the international trade community, providing fast, reliable, and responsive trade finance support to fill market gaps. more..

Sri Lanka: probe into missing persons

May 6 (Hindu) A few days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Sri Lankan govt to pursue vigorously complaints on missing persons and take the cooperation of the UN and the International Red Cross, the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has announced its move to have four special teams to probe such complaints. “There are a few cases which require thorough investigation by experienced and independent teams,” H.W. Gunadasa, more..

Johnston remanded

May 6 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday ordered the remand of former Minister and MP Johnston Fernando until today. The former minister was arrested by the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) yesterday evening when he visited the Division to make a statement over alleged offences coming under the Public Property Act. more..

Schools should be not divided based on language: President

May 6 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena said he was strongly against schools being divided as Sinhala, Muslim or Tamil. “Schools should not be divided based on the spoken language. Authorities should be mindful of the fact that schools exist not just as a mechanism for learning and training, but as powerful sites of social cohesion and integration” he added. President made these remarks in his speech as Chief Guest at the centenary celebrations of St.Johns College, Nugegoda yesterday. more..

IMF executive board concludes third post program monitoring discussion with SL

May 6 (IMF) On April 29, 2015, Executive Board of the IMF concluded the third Post-Program Monitoring (PPM) discussion with Sri Lanka. Recent macroeconomic performance has generally been strong but risks appear to be on the rise. Real GDP growth registered 7.4% in 2014. Growth was broad-based, with the exception of agriculture which suffered from drought early in the year, heavy rains and flooding in the fourth quarter. Price pressures have been contained, more..

Retired DIGs to return to work?

May 6 (CT) Police Headquarters is considering summoning back to service several retired DIGs of Police as the SSP lack qualifications to fill the vacancies of DIGs. In addition, Police Headquarters has already taken steps to grant service extensions on contract basis to several DIGs who have reached retirement age. Sources disclose that until two more years there will be no qualified officers to fill the vacancies of DIGs, more..

CTC happy to be listed in the CSE

May 6 (DN) Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) opened trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday. This event was yet another in a series of Market Opening Ceremonies, featuring the companies from the S&P SL20 index. “We have a long lasting relationship with CSE, as a listed entity for more than 60 years, since 1952. We consider being a listed company on CSE, a privilege. Being listed adds to our value, mainly in terms of governance, reporting & transparency. more..