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'468 companies comply with Super Gain Tax'

Nov 6 (FT) The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) said that 468 companies have complied with the Super Gain Tax (SGT) imposition and Rs. 18 billion paid via the first instalment by end October. The IRD disclosure of the actual figures upon Daily FT inquiry comes after Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Wednesday said only 22 companies were paying the controversial and widely-criticised retrospective SGT. The large number is inclusive of subsidiary companies and banks. more..

Cabinet explodes on Avant Garde anger

Nov 6 (FT) Heated exchanges took place during the weekly cabinet briefing, with senior Govt ministers taking umbrage at Minister Thilak Marapana’s staunch defence of Avant Garde, the controversial maritime security firm embroiled in a Defence Ministry corruption case. Minister Champika Ranawaka kick-started the fracas, by demanding whether the remarks made by Minister Marapana in Parliament was an official Govt more..

Maldivian found dead with stab injuries

Nov 6 (Haveeru) A body of a Maldivian man has been found with stab injuries in Sri Lanka. The victim was Hussain 'Rabarey' Razeen who is a notorious former gangster. Razeen had been a prime suspect in the high profile murder case of Ali Ishaaru. Razeen had turned himself in after Interpol issued a red notice against him. The body of a 28-year-old man with stab injuries on the neck, was recovered from an abandoned paddy field near the Tumbovila Bridge in Piliyandala on Thursday more..

Govt-IMF-WB talks today

Nov 6 (FT) The Govt will hold talks with officials of the IMF and World Bank to discuss the future support program today. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who attended the annual meetings of the IMF-World Bank last month in Lima, Peru, said yesterday that multilateral funding agencies had expressed support to the Govt’s future economic and fiscal program. However he categorically denied that the upcoming Budget would be dictated by the IMF or World Bank. more..

Ranil for real growth, reforms

Nov 6 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday spelled out his economic policy priorities, as he unveiled the Govt’s socio-economic program to make Sri Lanka a vibrant and successful global citizen. The much awaited, comprehensive outline of future direction of the country was made in Parliament by the Premier in his Economic Policy Statement ahead of the unity Govt’s maiden Budget for next year on 20th November. more..

Towards a just and law-abiding society

Nov 6 (DM) As Sri Lanka prepares for a special National Law Week – special because the foundation of the silent people’s revolution this year was the restoration of the Rule of Law – we need to reflect on the vision and the goals symbolised in the Statue of Lady Justice. Lady Justice is an allegorical personification of the moral power in the judicial process. The personification of justice balancing the scales dates back to the great era of ancient Egypt. Later, it was linked to the glorious more..

The Solheim claim: Mahinda planned to offer the North to Prabhakaran

Nov 6 (DM) Former Norwegian Development Minister and peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Erik Solheim dropped this bombshell days ago claiming that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been willing to give self-rule to Tamils without calling for elections in the North. Recalling his engagement in Sri Lanka at the launch of Mark Salter’s book “To End a Civil War – Norway’s Peace Engagement with Sri Lanka” at the University of London on October 28, he had said that Rajapaksa had told him more..

Millions Splurged A La Rajapaksa

Nov 6 (SL) It has now been revealed that Kurunegala District MP, former President Rajapaksa had allegedly used his presidential powers to misuse tax payers’ money running into millions of rupees for advancing the luxurious living style of his family. When the people of this country were facing economic hardships, the Rajapaksas it seems had lived in the lap of luxury. After the fall of the previous regime, it was exposed that the former more..

Will baby jumbos snatched from the wild find justice?

Nov 6 (ST) Wildlife Conservation Director-General H.D. Ratnayake has directed his officials to work speedily with the CID to capture dozens of elephants caught illegally from the wild and kept captive in private hands following a stern order by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Environmentalists say as many as 47 elephants have been caught from the wild illegally, Twenty of them were recently taken into the custody of more..

Govt formulating standards of teaching hospitals

Nov 6 (Island) Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament yesterday that the govt was in the process of formulating a mechanism to regulate and maintain standards of teaching hospitals. Responding to a question from JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the minister said that currently there was no system to distinguish teaching hospitals from other medical institutions. more..

'UNP pledged solidarity with Kumar when MR was in power'

Nov 6 (Island) FSP senior member, Attorney-at-Law Udul Premaratne told the media that the UNP which had sought to enlist FSP leader Kumar Gunaratnam’s support to fight the Mahinda Rajapaksa government a few years back now considered him an enemy. "When Comrade Gunaratnam was abducted and later taken into police custody by the Rajapaksa regime, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was more..

Minister Mustapha to fight corruption in local bodies using decoys

Nov 6 (Island) The Minister Faizer Mustapha, warned he would come down hard on corrupt provincial council and local govt politicians and officials in a bid to facilitate good governance at a grassroots level. Speaking at a meeting with local government commissioners, representatives from the Commission to investigate allegations at Bribery and Corruption (CBC), the Police Financial Crimes division and more..

Money is the root of all evil

Nov 6 (DM) Several top former officials of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) including Presidents Upali and Jayantha Dharmadasa and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga have come under criticism from the three member panel that inquired on the allegations of corruption at SLC from Jan 2012 to April 2015. These officials have been accused of conflict of interest by the committee as they had been holding office in SLC when more..

Wimal to contest LG polls with Somawansa

Nov 6 (FT) The NFF revealed it would contest the upcoming local govt election together with former JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and 10 constituent parties of the UPFA. NFF Leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa said the discussions regarding the formation of a separate front would be conducted within the next few weeks. “We expect to arrange 10,000 pocket meetings by the end of this year to more..

Wijeyadasa to sue SF

Nov 6 (DM) In a response to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s allegation that Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had obtained bribes from Avant Garde Maritime Services, minister said he would sue Field Marshal Fonseka demanding Rs.500 million in damages for making a derogatory statement against him. The minister said that he had asked his lawyers to take necessary steps to sue Field Marshal Fonseka. more..

MP Chatura named a suspect

Nov 6 (DM) Gampaha District UNP MP Chatura Senaratne who is alleged to have threatened with death a group of young men in custody at the Ragama police was yesterday named as a suspect by police that made a further report in connection with the incident before Negombo Chief Magistrate. The group of young men were arrested following a clash on September 14 between two parties over the lease of the Ragama hospital car park. more..

Special cabinet meeting on Avant Garde on Wednesday

Nov 6 (CG) A special cabinet meeting will be held on Avant Garde on Wednesday, President Maithripala Sirisena said today. When cabinet met yesterday the issue had been discussed and a special cabinet meeting will be held next week to discuss the issue in full. Govt was this week accused of deceit in its probe on fraud and corruption, including in several high profile cases. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, more..

Chinese businesses scout for investments in Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (EN) A 77-member business and govt delegation from China’s Zhejiang Province will arrive in the country in mid-November hunting for business opportunities, including cross border mergers and acquisitions. The delegation is looking for co-operation in project investment, technology transfer, research & development, and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. Chinese are also looking for patent licensing and brand cooperation, more..

Tea Board to purchase auction tea until price stabilized

Nov 6 (LBO) SL’s Tea Board will purchase quality tea from the tea auction for the price of 430 rupees per kg until the price reaches the limit of 450 rupees. “We are putting one billion rupees to the tea market,” minister Rajitha Senaratne, said. “Tea prices are controlled by the supply and demand theory. Demand has been reduced. So what we are doing is to up the demand through buying tea from the auction,” he said. “When we do that the prices will go up & tea small holders will be benefited.” more..

Transition and Accountability in Sri Lanka

St. Sebastian’s to felicitate Sampanthan

Nov 6 (Island) The Old Boys Association of St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa, will felicitate their distinguished alumni Honourable R. Sampanthan, Leader of the Opposition on Nov. 08, 2015. The felicitation ceremony will be held at Ramadia Ranmal Holiday Resort, Moratuwa. Sampanthan, who received his preliminary education at St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna, completed his secondary studies at St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa and entered Ceylon Law College. more..

How global is Global Tamil Forum?

Nov 6 (CT) My article, ‘Transparency Needed In Dealings With The GTF’ datelined October 19,2015 received considerable interests from various quarters. Most of the contacts appreciated the effort to open a debate on the issues involving the Global Tamil Forum (GTF). Many cheers to the few hand counts for reflecting their historical personal hate in anonymity towards me. This is something I am prone to since my release from captivity from the LTTE in Vanni in 2005. more..

Minister orders cancellation of shocking SLC permanent carde appointments

Nov 6 (DM) In an unprecedented move, a cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday absorbed all of its office and administrative staff, including the CEO Ashley de Silva, into the permanent cadre, but hours later an angry Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera ordered SLC to cancel all such appointments forthwith. Interim Committee decision came as a huge shock for the cricketing fraternity that has repeatedly called for more..

SC rules JVP member’s rights violated by police

Nov 6 (Island) Supreme Court declared the violation of fundamental rights of JVP member Danister Gunasekera of Aluthgoda, Tangalle by officers of the Tangalle police station in August/Sept 2009. The petitioner had complained that the election office of the JVP in Tangalle was destroyed by a group of UPFA supporters during the Southern Provincial Council polls. The destruction of the election office and the subsequent arrest of the petitioner had adversely affected the JVP campaign. more..

Video: PRECIFAC summons Damitha

Nov 6 (DM) Actress Damitha Abeyratne has arrived at the PRECIFAC to give a statement with regard to the investigations it is carrying out into a complaint about fraud and corruption at SriLankan Airlines. A senior official of the commission said PRECIFAC had received a complaint that funds had been obtained from SriLankan Airlines for former president Rajapaksa’s election campaign at the last presidential election. Statements were earlier recorded from actress and more..

PM under pressure to sack three ministers

Nov 6 (EN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was under intense pressure from his parliamentary group to sack three ministers implicated in a cover up of the Avant Garde arms scandal. At a stormy meeting of govt MPs at Temple Trees, lawmakers called for stern action against Law & Order Minister Tilak Marapana, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Home Minister Vajira Abeywardena. more..

Wimal beats the drums for Sunny Leone

Nov 6 (CT) Our society always finds something new and delightful with every passing week. Be it the woman who wanted Sujee to give the phone to the child or the JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake revealing the names behind the Avant Garde case, we have always found innovative means of occupying our minds with mediocre trivia. After all, the country that doesn't innovate does not develop either. However, if Kumaratunga Munidasa was alive today, we sincerely doubt he would have more..

LRH strike called off

Nov 6 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine said they had temporarily suspended their strike action scheduled for yesterday at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital following discussions with the Health Secretary and Director General Health Services, who had agreed to put on hold the transfer given to a Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) serving at the hospital. Vice President Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM), Ravi Kumudesh said that during a discussion more..

HNDA recognised as alternative to B.Com degree

Nov 6 (CG) The Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) will be recognised as an alternative qualification to the B.Com degree, the Govt announced today. Students who have followed the HNDA course have faced difficulties in applying for public sector vacancies as the P.A. circular no. 46/90 issued in 1990 considering the HNDA course as an alternative qualification to B.Com degree was nullified by P.A. circular no 10/2014 last year. more..

Sri Lanka shares gain; econ policy statement boosts sentiment

Nov 6 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks rose to their highest in more than a week on Friday as the prime minister's medium-term economic policy statement, which focused on raising revenue through reforms and suspending retrospective taxes, helped boost sentiment. The main stock index ended 0.6% higher at 7,059.48, its highest close since Oct 29. The day's turnover stood at 1.75 billion rupees, much higher than this year's daily average of 1.1 billion rupees. "Everybody reacted very positively to more..

Health care professionals protest against unethical advertising

Nov 6 (Island) Recognised associations of health care professionals claimed that some companies had exceeded the limits of ethical advertising when promoting food items, especially children’s food. The statement was jointly issued to the media by the Sri Lanka Medical Association, Diabetic Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, Sri Lanka College of Community Physicians, Nutrition Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists, Family Health Bureau more..

Govt to introduce liquor labels to control illegal liquor

Nov 6 (LBO) The govt plans to introduce liquor labels to control illegal liquor entering the market. As the govt has imposed a larger tax, illegal bottled liquor seem to be entering the market, minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “Under these circumstance many customers tend to drink unhealthy liquor,” he said. The proposal by Finance Minister Ravi karunanayake for a label on each legally manufactured bottle of arrack more..

Fonseka wants laws to prevent crossovers for personal gain

Nov 6 (Island) Democratic Party Leader and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka called for Parliament’s intervention to prevent elected representatives from switching their allegiance to other political parties for their personal benefit. Former MP Fonseka alleged that the deplorable practice of crossovers should be brought to an end through constitutional means as soon as possible. He requested major political parties to take tangible measures as they, too, were affected by crossovers. more..

US navy rescues stranded Sri Lankan fishermen

Nov 6 (CG) The US navy assisted a group of Sri Lankan fishermen stranded at sea in the Indian ocean. The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) rendered assistance and provided aid to the crew of the stranded Sri Lankan-flagged fishing vessel, M/V Lakshan, Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m. local time. Watchstanders spotted six mariners aboard the vessel waving articles of clothing in an attempt to get the attention of the U.S. Navy ship as more..

Sri Lanka unveils deep reforms to boost economic activity, freedom

Nov 6 (EN) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe has unveiled far reaching reforms involving trade liberalization, unshackling land ownership, reforming state enterprises and creating space for agriculture and industry in a bid to boost economic activities. Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka will embark on a third generation reform drive, in the wake of the first by J R Jayewardene in the late 1970s and, then by President R Premadasa more..

Sri Lankan Christian leaders pray for ailing Buddhist monk

Nov 6 (UCAN) Catholic and Protestant leaders are praying for the speedy recovery of a prominent Buddhist monk and civil rights activists who fought against corruption in public life in Sri Lanka. Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, 70, chief prelate at the Naga Vihare Buddhist temple in Colombo, who was ill and in a hospital, was transferred to Singapore Nov. 4 for further treatment, on the direction of President Sirisena, who has also ordered that all expenses incurred for more..

Philippines seeks robust bilateral engagement with Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (CG) Philippines President Benigno Aquino III says there is a need to revitalize the implementation of existing bilateral instruments with Sri Lanka and finalize early the ones being presently negotiated. He also noted the need to strengthen institutional mechanisms to facilitate a more robust bilateral engagement. The newly appointed Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of the Philippines, Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja presented credentials to Benigno S. Aquino III. more..

'Avant Garde: Statement by two ministers not opinion of govt'

Nov 6 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said today the statements made by two ministers in parliament on the Avant-Garde floating Armoury did not in anyway reflect the opinion of the Govt on the matter. Law and Order Minister Thilak Marapana on Wednesday told parliament that the police raid on the Avant-Garde floating armoury was similar to the millennium city affair in 2002. Dr. Senaratne said this was not the opinion of more..

'Govt not maintaining projects'

Nov 6 (CT) It does not seem that the government is making efforts to maintain existing projects, Professor Hemanthi Ranasinghe of Dept of Forestry and Environmental Science of the University of Sri J'pura, said. Highlighting that the govt was attempting to establish new projects, she observed that in certain projects the number of persons necessary to maintain them, the required transportation including vehicles like bicycles and motorcycles and the fuel needed was lacking. more..

PRECIFAC summons Ex-navy chief

Nov 6 (AD) Actress Damitha Abeyratne was summoned by the PRECIFAC this morning. A spokesman for the commission said that she arrived to give a statement with respect to investigations being carried out into a complaint regarding fraud and corruption at SriLankan Airlines. The commission had previously recorded statements from actress and former MP Upeksha Swarnamali as well as veteran actor Bandula Wijeweera regarding the complaint. more..