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‘Hike in car sales in SL over past 12 months’

May 29 (Island) ‘Our recent study revealed that 70% of car dealers in Sri Lanka reported an increase in car sales over the past twelve months due to the changing economic climate, while 20% of the car dealers surveyed reported a decrease, Managing Director for Carmudi Sri Lanka Firaz Markar said while briefing the media regarding Carmudi’s recent survey on the automotive industry of Sri Lanka. During the presentation, Markar highlighted that with the evolving new life trends, more..

'I am ready to go before FCID'

May 29 (DN) Breaking his silence over the controversy surrounding the Treasury bond issue, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he was ready to go before the Police FCID, or any other law enforcement body, to defend his case. "I have done nothing wrong. Therefore, I am not afraid to go before law enforcement bodies to clear my name. I will cooperate with any investigation. My name has already been cleared by the SC. more..

TATA mulls auto, energy investments

May 29 (EN) India’s TATA group is considering investments in making automobiles for export to Pakistan, and energy and infrastructure in Sri Lanka, according to a visiting official. The Indian conglomerate announced its new Sri Lankan investment push largely aimed at using the island as the primary base to enter the competitive Pakistani market. “We want to use Sri Lanka as our manufacturing base to expand to the Pakistani market,” it quoted Madhu Kannan, member of more..

SriLankan gets new batch of cadet pilots

May 29 (Island) SriLankan Airlines latest batch of cadet pilots were awarded their Wings when they passed out as Junior First Officers at a Wings Ceremony which was held at the Airline Centre recently. A total of two batches graduated at the ceremony having undergone a stringent one-year training programme before qualifying to fly with the national carrier and obtaining a CAASL licence (Civil Aviation Authority) which is a globally recognised certification.   more..

'DG Customs was victim of misuse of power'

May 29 (DM) The Director General of Customs was compelled to resign as a result of undue influence being brought to bear on him by a govt minister who was engaged in the business of importing and exporting dried ericanuts, JVP charged. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said that this minister had used the power given to him by his office to influence the former DG of Customs to help him to import dried ericanuts from Indonesia before more..

Growers taken on visit to Botanicoir factory

May 29 (HW) Horticultural coir supplier Botanicoir's directors Samantha and Kalum Balasuriya recently took key soft-fruit customers to visit the factory in Sri Lanka to see the coir-producing process from start to finish. Among the customers was Eric Drummond, whose Herefordshire farm is switching to tabletop strawberry production using Botanicoir's strawberry growbags. "We're doing 30 acres this year, and 30 acres next, and it's been very effective," he said. "We've definitely noticed the difference and more..

Kotakethana villagers run riot over High Court acquittal of murder accused

May 29 (Island) The Police yesterday evening used tear gas and water cannon to disperse angry villagers of Kotakethana, who obstructed roads over the High Court decision earlier in the day to acquit the three accused in the 2012 double murder there. The protesters obstructed traffic at the Lihiniya Junction on the Ratnapura-Embilipitiya road. Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told the media that the police had used minimum force to disperse the crowd. more..

Sri Lanka accused of waging silent war as Tamil land is appropriated by Army

May 29 (Guardian) Six years after the end of Sri Lanka’s long and bloody civil war, a silent conflict is being waged across the island, with tens of thousands of govt troops continuing to occupy the north and east and the army expanding its property developments on land belonging to displaced Tamils, a new report claims. Although the 26-year-long conflict between the majority Sinhalese govt & Tamil separatists finally ended in 2009 more..

PCB confident Wettimuny will say yes

May 29 (GEO) Pakistan’s calendar is chockablock with international commitments in the coming months but the country’s cricket authorities are confident of finding a window in case a foreign team agrees to visit here. And they are targetting Sri Lanka to be that team. Well-placed sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that hopes are high about the possibility of Zimbabwe’s ongoing tour to be followed by another home series “as soon as possible”. more..

Northern PC Mulls desalination project

May 29 (CT) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is actively examining the prospects of implementing a sizable desalination project aimed at a permanent solution to the recurring crisis of drinking water in the province. A special meeting at which this issue was discussed at length, chaired by CM C.V. Wigneswaran, last Wednesday with participants including TNA MPs Mavai S Senathiraja, S. Sritharan, NPC Ministers, Councilors, Opposition Leader S.Thavarasa and many others more..

Cabinet to make final decision on 20A next week

May 29 (FT) Govt said that female representation at the next general election would be increased from 5% to 10%, as suggested in the 20th Amendment. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that it was proposed to include 5-10% female candidates in polling divisions, while including 1 out of 3 female candidates at the additional district level. He also said that more attention would be given to appointing female MPs from the national list. more..

Customs confiscate Rs. 2 b worth rosewood on transhipment

May 29 (FT) The Customs yesterday confiscated a container with rosewood worth of Rs 2 billion. Customs Department Additional Director General - Thilak Perera said that it was a transhipment container which was shipped from Madagascar to China. “The container was seized by the Customs on a tip off given by World Customs Organisation,” he added. He said the rosewood is used for making luxury furniture items. The Department has conducted investigations on this more..

Colombo reluctant to demilitarise: report

May 29 (Hindu) Notwithstanding the 4-month-old Sirisena govt’s repeated assertions of attaching priority to ethnic reconciliation in the country, the regime has been found to be reluctant in demilitiarising the Northern and Eastern Provinces, where Tamils live in large numbers, according to a study of Oakland Institute, a U.S.-based policy think tank. As part of the study, the organisation has prepared two reports, which were made public on Thursday. more..

MS rules out nomination for MR

May 29 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told the representatives of the UPFA that he could not agree to offer nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the next election under under its betel symbol as the prime ministerial candidate, sources said. President, in his capacity as the UPFA Chairman, met the leaders of the parties aligned with it politically on Wednesday evening. more..

Need for a proper probe

May 29 (DM) Two allegations of a serious nature have rocked the boat of the new govt which came into power this January. One of them was the 30-year bond controversy of which a committee appointed by the PM had submitted a report which is now being further inquired by a sub-committee of the COPE. It is also pertinent to note that the aspirations of post-war Sri Lanka have changed radically. Former President Rajapaksa couldn’t comprehend that, and it is expected that more..

Corruption in sports

May 29 (CT) "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour." Corruption in sports is universal. It's not confined to tiny Sri Lanka alone. But that doesn't mean that such acts of malfeasance should be condoned, nor looked upon with a Nelsonian eye, by accepting those to be the norm and not the exception. An article carried on our issue yesterday said that Swiss Police arrested more..

Four ministers return home creators of Dissent are jealous

May 29 (DM) Four Ministers- Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, State Minister for Public Administration C.B. Ratnayake, State Minister for Housing and Samurdhi, Dilan Perera and State Minister for Environment, Pavithra Wanniarachchi from the UPFA recently resigned from their portfolios and returned to the opposition ranks. In this interview former Minister C.B. Ratnayake explains why. more..

'Maithri won because people did not want Mahinda'

May 29 (DM) Minister Arjuna Ranatunge, spoke about the division in the SLFP and the state of the National Unity Govt among other political issues facing the country at present. Q: Four SLFP ministers in National Unity govt resigned to re-join the Opposition. A: The terms of local govt bodies lapsed warranting the need to place them under the control of special commissioners until elections to these bodies are held. more..

CKD poses serious threat

May 29 (SL) Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) continues to be a major health problem in rural Sri Lanka especially in the North Central and Uva provinces. Experts in the field have observed that since the first reported case of CKD detected in 1992 in Siripura village in Padaviya, the prevalence of Chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) has doubled every 8 years and is estimated to affect nearly 40% of population more..

GK Depositors Association Chief challenges Finance Minister

May 29 (FT) Golden Key Depositors Association President Dushanthi Hapugoda challenged Minister Ravi Karunanayake to prove allegations of her misusing the assets of Golden Key and trying to sabotage the resettlement plan. “Minister has alleged that I am sabotaging and misusing the assets of the company. I would like to humbly inform the Minister that I have no objection in bringing this issue to a settlement, which more..

Uma Oya project cancellation: Worst affected yet to receive compensation

May 29 (ST) Officers involved in paying compensation to families and individuals adversely affected by the Uma Oya project are blaming each other for the discrepancies that arose in beneficiary lists. Last Monday a heated situation arose at the ceremony organised to pay compensation to the first batch of recipients as residents of the area who were present at the function claimed that the list did not include the worst affected. more..

TPCL claims to have answered critics

May 29 (Island) Trincomalee Power Company Limited (TPCL), a joint venture between CEB and NTPC of India that handles the much discussed Sampur Power Plant stressed they had submitted answers to some 300 odd complaints lodged against the proposed coal power plant. TPCL MD Sanjeev Kishore said that most of the complaints were baseless and majority of them were repetitions from members of the same family. more..

MSD protection for LG politicians

May 29 (DM) Several provincial politicians who pledged their support to the candidacy of President Maithripala Sirisena have been provided with security from Ministerial Security Division (MSD). Accordingly, Hirunika Premachandra, Asath Sally, Mano Ganesan, S. M. Marikkar and Prasanna Solangaarachchi received MSD security. The MSD have been designed to provide security to Ministers of both cabinet more..

TULF hails move by President to visit Jaffna

May 29 (CG) TULF said that the country as a whole applauds the good gesture of President Maithiripala Srisena for ignoring the protocol and travelling without any Minister to Jaffna to express his sympathies to the family of the girl who was raped and killed recently. TULF Secretary General V. Anandasangaree said that the incident helped the people to identify President as the much trustworthy person in whom SL can have faith more..

Glyphosate lying at Port to be destroyed

May 29 (DN) The Cabinet on Wednesday decided to destroy all container loads of Glyphosate pesticide imported to the country now lying at the port, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne said. President recently decided to totally ban the import and usage of Glyphosate pesticide which was approved by the Cabinet. He said Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake inquired from the Cabinet as to what measures should more..

Five SLFP ministers appointed

May 29 (AM) SLFP MPs Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Chandrasiri Sooriyaarachchi, Hemal Gunasekara and Pandu Bandaranayake were appointed as ministers by president Maithripala Sirisena a short while ago. Abeywardena has been appointed as a Cabinet Minister while Siyambalapitiya, Gunasekara and Bandaranayake have been named as State Ministers. Chandrasiri Sooriyaarachchi more..

Police pay out Rs. 1,520 mn in rewards

May 29 (Island) The police had granted Rs. 1,520 million as rewards to civilians and officers for the last three years, IGP N.K. Illangakoon said. He was addressing a ceremony where 461 police officers and 16 civilians received awards and appreciation at the Criminal Record Division in Colombo. Illangakoon said that the police had granted Rs. 573 million in 2012, Rs. 411 million in 2013 and Rs. 536 million in 2014 as rewards to police officers who had arrested suspects in more..

Do women have a place in Sri Lanka?

May 29 (CT) “A girl is first under the protection of her father, then under the protection of her husband, then under the protection of her son and then she dies.” At first sight, this seems like a very innocent concept. It encourages familial love, protection of women and is overall the right sentiment to propagate. However, notice that the woman is never given her own agency- instead she is always discussed in a position of relational identity to a male. more..

SL's flip-flop leadership may boost Ranil

May 29 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena going back on his own promise to dissolve parliament in April is widely seen as a blow to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but the delay may actually help his cause. Frustrated by opposition attempts to scuttle the minority govt's legislative program, the ruling UNP has now openly declared that it wants a snap election which President Sirisena appears reluctant to grant. more..

'Sri Lanka needs lot of analysis on future of higher education'

May 29 (FT) Sri Lanka needs a lot of analysis regarding the future of higher education. It is essential to have a useful, proper and relevant data system for the university system to have an international level in higher education, administration and planning, Minister Dr. Amunugama said at the Workshop on International Higher Education statistics at the Auditorium, UGC on 25 May. He further stated, “As the Ministry of Higher Education and the UGC, we must have strong links more..

Use or lose round-the-clock Customs service, Sri Lanka trade warned

May 29 (EN) Sri Lanka’s import trade has been warned they could lose a new online round-the-clock Customs clearance service if they don’t make enough use of it. "Either we use it or we lose it,” said Dinesh De Silva, chairman, Import Section of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. “If the available facility is not used, by July – August it will die a natural death” he said. The service was introduced from 1 March, 2015 with the aim of making cargo clearance easier and faster as more..

Video: 'No-faith motion a ruse to block 20A'

May 29 (DM) JHU said that the main purpose of attempting to force the dissolution of parliament through a no-confidence motion against PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, was to disrupt the enactment of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said the no-confidence motion must be brought against those who were attempting to block the 20A. more..

Stocks down 0.5%; JKH hits 52 week low

May 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s stocks closed down 0.49% with John Keells Holdings closing at a 52 week low price and investors continuing to take profits, brokers said. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed 35.42 points lower at 7,220.29 down 0.49%. The S&P SL20 closed 34.38 points lower at 4,000.01 down 0.85%. Turnover was 1.26 billion rupees down from 1.38 billion rupees on Thursday, with 88 stocks closing positive against 87 negative. more..

'Harin’s circular violates ethical guidelines'

May 29 (DM) NFF MP Weerakumara Dissanayake charged that Uva Chief Minister Harin Fernando has issued a circular violating all administrative regulations, ethical guidelines and norms of good governance to enable his political supporters to engage in sand mining in the Mahiyangana constituency. A circular issued by him on Feb 26, under the seal of the Uva PC instructs various state institutions’ officials to make arrangements to issue permits for sand mining, more..

Rudra’s TGTE wants Fonseka investigated

May 29 (CG) The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) led by V Rudrakumaran says it is pleased to hear of former Army Commander, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka’s interview to The Guardian newspaper that he would welcome a war crimes investigation to prove his innocence for the mass alleged killing of Tamils and rape of Tamil women by the SL Security Forces. “There were no rapes, no torture during more..

'Opposition employing Goebbelsian tactics against Mahendran'

May 29 (Island) A section of the Opposition having failed to legally convict Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran of any wrongdoing in the recent Rs.10 Billion Treasury Bond issue, had resorted to the Goebbelsian tactics to find him guilty, the govt said. Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the Supreme Court had refused to accept three fundamental rights applications filed against Mahendran because the petitioners had failed to prove any illegality or irregularity in violation more..

Alles being targeted because of he is a friend of former President: Counsel

May 29 (Island) The Police on Wednesday gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that they would maintain the status quo by not arresting Tiran Alles till June 11, 2015, the next date of Support of the Fundamental rights violation petition, filed by him. This petition is still being supported to obtain leave to proceed. The Additional Solicitor General, Yasantha Kodagoda PC appeared for the IGP. Counsel Romesh de Silva, PC, who appeared for Alles, said that more..

Sri Lanka raises $1 bn abroad after parliament snub

May 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new govt raised nearly a billion dollars through its first overseas bond issue after parliament shot down plans to increase local borrowings, the country's central bank said Friday. The Central Bank said $650 million was raised Thursday through a 10-year bond at an annual interest rate of 6.125 percent while the rest was through shorter tenure. "A total of $988 million was raised via international sovereign bonds more..

Health Minister introduces ten Ayurveda products to market today

May 29 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne will introduce ten Ayurveda products manufactured by Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Corporation to both local and international markets through Cargills today. Minister said he wanted to popularise health tourism in Sri Lanka as many foreigners from western countries were genuinely interested in seeking Ayurvedic treatment for various ailments. At present Sri Lanka was exporting Ayurvedic products to Australia, the Maldives and Germany, more..

Highway projects under Probe

May 29 (CT) A special unit to probe corruption in projects undertaken by the Ministry of Highways and Investment Promotion is to be established shortly. Minister Kabir Hashim has received Cabinet approval to establish the unit. This unit will probe highways constructed from 1 Jan 2011 to 8 Jan 2015 to determine whether there were any "defects in administration, technical, financial and other procedures that would have caused any major losses to the govt". more..