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Autonomy of Central Bank

Nov 16 (Island) Central Bank functions under Monetary Law Act, which permits a high degree of autonomy from govt in its day to day functioning. Bank is financially independent of govt and that contributes to its autonomy. Secretary to the Ministry of Finance is a member of the Monetary Board which governs the Bank. That link provides a means of regular communication between monetary policy makers and govt. Law provides for the relevant Minister to give written directions more..

Turnover Tax threat for tourism

Nov 16 (FT) If terrorism destroyed higher growth in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry then its post-war rebound is under threat with the Yahapalana Govt toying with the idea of reintroducing Turnover Tax (TT) to replace Value Added Tax. First to formally voice concern over the damaging impact of the return of TT has been the tourism sector while the rest of the private sector has voiced similar dismay. more..

Discover a secluded escape in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (IO) Even the name, which means Yellow Moon Mountain, hints at the magic to come when guests first ascend the simple stone steps leading to this luxurious retreat. Hidden in the lush green hills outside the Dutch colonial town of Galle and with panoramic views over dense jungle and paddy fields to Koggala Lake beyond, Kahanda Kanda is a tiny slice of paradise, underpinned with a highly original sense of style. For this is no homogenous boutique hotel with an emphasis on more..

Hemas Holdings posts solid growth in 1H

Nov 16 (FT) Hemas Holdings has recorded a solid first half performance with consolidated group revenue of Rs. 18.4 billion for the six months ended 30 Sept 2015, reflecting a Year-on-Year (YoY) growth of 19.6%. This led to an operating profit of Rs. 1.6 billion and earnings of Rs. 1.1 billion, a growth of 11.6% and 18.4% respectively. However, last year’s corresponding period includes a one-off capital gain of Rs. 89 million from the sale of the Nimex Brand and excluding the same, more..

Danushka stuns with amazing long jump

Nov 16 (CT) Three jumpers, long jumper Danushka Sandaruwan, triple jumpers Vidusha Lakshani and Chamal Kumarasiri, excelled on the final day in their respective events to claim the best athlete title of their age groups at 27th National Youth Sports Festival concluded at Diyagama yesterday. Sandaruwan (Gampaha District), hailing from Nalanda College and currently an undergraduate at University of Sri J'pura, more..

Sampath Group posts profit of Rs. 7.5bn

Nov 16 (Island) Sampath Group recorded an outstanding financial performance with a pre-tax profit of Rs7.5Bn, for the 9 months ended 30th Sept 2015, achieving a growth of 42% over the previous year's corresponding period's pre-tax profit of Rs5.3Bn. The profit after tax for the first 9 months in 2015 crossed the Rs.5.0Bn mark and stood at Rs5.1 Bn, which reflected an increase of 29.4% over the first nine months in 2014. Bank too recorded a pre-tax profit of Rs7.0Bn during more..

LTTE puts Sri Lanka’s cricket team in danger with low flying plane

Nov 16 (Island) Sri Lankan cricket team was to arrive in Toronto to take part in a Tri Nation cricket tournament with Canada and West Indies. The moment the LTTE supporters got to know that the Sri Lankan team was going to be in Toronto they started their usual pranks to protest against both th teams’ arrival and during the tournament. We reacted immediately and warned the organisers at a briefing on the impending threat to the cricket team from the LTTE terrorists in Canada. more..

Draft application for GSP+ nearing completion

Nov 16 (FT) With a meeting between govt representatives and European Union delegates looming in early December, the Department of Commerce is in the final stages of drafting its application for the restoration of Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus status to Sri Lanka. DOC Director General Sonali Wijeratne, at a meeting organised by the Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association, said that more..

'Budget will boost local industries'

Nov 16 (Island) "The growth of the Sri Lankan economy demands that new industries such as packaging and printing should raise their standards and serve both local and regional manufacturers," said Minister Sarath Amunugama at the opening of the 40th Anniversary celebration of the SL Institute of Packaging held at Kingsbury on Wednesday. Noting that the agriculture & manufacturing component of Sri Lanka’s GDP had not shown a significant increase, he pointed out that more..

Euro Bond issue: Success at a premium?

Nov 16 (ST) As widely reported in the national media, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) recently raised US$1.5 billion on behalf of the govt by issuing 10-year International Sovereign Bonds. According to the CB media release dated 28 October, the annual interst (coupon) rate on these bonds is 6.85%. As bonds were sold at par, the actual interest cost to the govt as well as the potential return to the investors until the maturity of the bonds (yield-to-maturity) is 6.85%. more..

Sri Lanka hosts first ever International Disaster Convention today

Nov 16 (FT) Sri Lanka will host the first International Disaster Convention from 16-18 Nov at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. This event is significant as it positions Sri Lanka as the next regional conference hub on hot global issues such as Disaster Preparedness. This will be a pilot event organised by MDF Asia in close collaboration with UNDP and Disaster Management Centre. The aim is to share understanding & information more..

First step to invigorate democratic institutions and advance nation building

Nov 16 (Island) Govt’s strategy of marketing the UNHRC resolution to the Sinhalese as a victory by placing a spin on its contents is bound to backfire in the long run. While the UNHRC resolution’s recommendation of international participation in the judicial process divides Sinhalese opinion, there is little popular resistance to the idea that human rights abuses need addressing. Given this context, instead of trying to stage-manage the Sinhalese extremists, govt must convince its constituencies of more..

More foreign banks line up to enter Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (FT) Central Bank confirmed that five foreign banks will enter the country’s financial industry in the near future. “We have received five applications seeking approval to commence foreign banking operations in Sri Lanka and as the Central Bank we are keen to allow large, well-established financial institutes to make an entrance into the country’s fiscal system,” CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. With the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (BTMU) formally announcing that it will be opening more..

Errant broker licences hang in the balance

Nov 16 (ST) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will critically re-look at licences of some market intermediaries who have stepped out of line, a top official said. SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne said that the regulator has many issues but only with very few market intermediaries. “We will have to evaluate their licences when they come up for renewal at year end,” he said. more..

Salley blames army for damage caused to cement corp property

Nov 16 (Island) The army was responsible for permitting interested parties to damage beyond repair more than one thousand million rupees worth of Sri Lanka Cement Corporation (SLCC) property including machinery, its Working Director, Reyyaz Salley disclosed. "Prabhakaran safeguarded the factory whereas our own men destroyed it with intentions of making a Presidential palace at that time," Salley said. He said that he had informed President Maithripala Sirisena of more..

Better recreational facilities for youth in Ampara

Nov 16 (CT) Deputy Minister of Sports H.M.M. Harees who visited the grounds in Akkaraipattu, Alayadivembu, Vinayagapuram, Thirukkovil and Karaithivu on Thursday assured that the play grounds in the two areas will be reconstructed for the use of recreational activities of the young ones in the area. Deputy Minister Harees accompanied by Director General of Sports K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, Deputy Director General D.R.A Godamunne, Chief Engineer D.D. Ranasinghe more..

Army assist flood relief & rescue in the North

Nov 16 (SLA) More than 700 Army troops serving Kilinochchi, Mullaittivu and Wanni districts, rising to the occasion in the face of flood threats, are currently busy providing immediate rescue assistance, cooked meals, help for evacuation and relocation, medical assistance, sanitary and technical facilities, support to District Secretariat’s relief work, etc to nearly 5000 flood-affected people in Palliyaru, Vannikulam, Mandagalaru, more..

Malagamuwa aims for world title

Nov 16 (CT) International racing superstar Dilantha Malagamuwa left the country yesterday to participate in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Championship Final which will be held at Sebring International Raceway track in Florida, USA from 19 to 22 Nov. This was officially revealed at the special send off function held at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel on Saturday. World Final, in which Malagamuwa competes for the second time in his career, will be held with the participation of more..

ICC congratulates Ranjan Madugalle for completing triple-century of ODIs

Nov 16 (ICC) ICC has congratulated Ranjan Madugalle for becoming the first match referee to supervise 300 ODIs. The former Sri Lanka captain achieved the feat in Abu Dhabi on Friday when he refereed the second ODI between Pakistan and England. ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, said: “Ranjan is a consummate professional who has contributed enormously to the game of cricket both as a former captain of Sri Lanka and now as a respected member of more..

PRECIFAC orders transfer of 13 State sector employees

Nov 16 (DM) Thirteen state sector employees attached to several ministries, corporations and institutions were ordered to be transferred with immediate effect by the PRECIFAC. PRECIFAC Secretary Lacille De Silva said the transfers were made in order to maintain the credibility and impartiality of some of the probes that were being carried out by them into corruption at these state entities. more..

Vital documents missing: Biggest corrupt deal on record

Nov 16 (CT) Bribery Commission informed the Colombo Magistrates Court that some documents have gone missing regarding the biggest instance of corruption which was recorded in the country, involving the collection Rs 125 million by Customs officers. Bribery Commission have obtained statements from 12 persons. They had taken this bribe to waive off the duty and other payments of a shipment of spare parts. Commission is to arrest a number of others based on statements of more..

20 hospitalized 10 serious: Govt to consider transfer of political prisoners to rehab camp

Nov 16 (CT) The govt said that due to the serious nature of the debilitating health conditions of political prisoners currently on a fast unto death, a political decision regarding the transfer of all political prisoners to a rehabilitation camp programme would have to be taken. Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganeshan said that this political decision was presently the only way out, adding that he would be speaking to President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the matter. more..

APC on Geneva an eyewash: GL

Nov 16 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that the recently established All Party Conference (APC) to discuss the unanimously adopted Geneva resolution wouldn’t serve any useful purpose. He claimed that it was nothing but an attempt to deceive the people. "It is very difficult to understand what purpose is to be served by seeking the views of political parties at this point." more..

Video: Chain snatchers arrested

Nov 16 (DM) Two robbers who had been snatching chains from women were arrested by the Kahathuduwa Police today along with another person who had been purchasing the robbed items, Police said. The suspects are said to be residents of Angulana. One of the three suspects was apprehended and handed over to police by the residents of Singhagama in Polgasowita while he and another had come in a motor bike and tried to snatch a chain from a woman. more..

Audio: Sri Lankan recalls Paris attack

Nov 16 (DM) A group of Sri Lankans who are living in France had escaped unhurt from last Friday’s terrorists attack in Paris that killed about 130 people, in multiple attacks. Janitha Rathnayake had said that they were 600 metres from the terrorists when the shooting started. “One of our friends only received minor injuries due to being hit with some object, thats all.” Recalling the incident Janitha said, “They (terrorists) were dressed in black, but they had not covered their faces. more..

Avant Garde owes SL Navy Rs 653 M

Nov 16 (CT) Avant Garde which ran the floating armoury in the Galle Harbour from 2012 till the agreement was revoked recently on a Presidential Directive still owed SL Navy a total sum of Rs 653 million. "The amount of Rs 653 million is what was outstanding to the SL Navy or the Govt of Sri Lanka from Avant Garde for 2015 and we have been sending letters of indication that this money is what the company owes govt. more..

Healthy living starts at breakfast

Nov 16 (DM) With some four million Sri Lankans including schoolchildren known to be afflicted by the silent killer disease diabetes, we joined the international community on Saturday in marking World Diabetes Day on the theme, Healthy living starts at breakfast – the focus being starting each day right by having a healthy breakfast. We hope these themes will not be restricted to mere words and that those who are reading it now or become aware of it in other ways will more..

Gathering storms: Sri Lanka facing severe climate risks needs to get ready

Nov 16 (DM) As someone who spends time studying environmental problems, I’m particularly sensitive to the increasing frequency of weather events described as the worst in history. So much so, that sometimes I wonder if this is really about poor history than it is about a changing climate. A closer look, however, confirms an alarming trend in both history and climate change. At home and abroad, we are experiencing a historically unprecedented pace of climate change that more..

Drug Control Board’s former chief says unsavoury elements behind his removal

Nov 16 (ST) As the dispute for the post of Chairman in the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) drags on, incumbent chairman said some NGOs and politicians who are alleged to have dealings with the drug traffickers were trying to remove him from his post. NDDCB Chairman Dr. Nilanga Samarasinghe said that as drug trafficking in the country was a well organised crime, drug prevention programmes were more..

Mervyn latches on to Dharmapala’s mission

Nov 16 (Island) Former Minister Mervyn Silva is now in the process of forming a new movement named Dharmapala Path with a view to raising awareness among the public about the benefits that could be achieved through practise of Anagarika Dharmapala precepts. He said that he was planing to establish Dharmapala Path movement’s branches in every district of the country and that he would function as its founding President. more..

Floating Armoury rocks national govt

Nov 16 (SL) Barring the ubiquitous woman/vamp angle, it has all the ingredients of the forgotten Cold War era best-seller or seat-ender. If author Nihal de Silva were around, he might have considered a maritime version of his localised thriller, The Road of Elephant Pass (2003), or Alimankada in Sinhala. If neither has happened already, it’s because post-Cold War, China, despite its other Sri Lanka-linked global suspicions more..

Sri Lanka to standardize power sockets as square pin from next year

Nov 16 (EN) Sri Lanka's power regulator is planning to standardise electrical plugs and sockets in Sri Lanka as the 13 Ampere square pin type and ban the import and manufacture of alternative units from 2016. At the moment a confusing array of plugs and sockets are in use in Sri Lanka requiring different adapters, while the quality of some of the accessories are also in doubt, making them unsafe. Power regulator, Public Utilities Commission more..

Trade Unions irked by Minister's decision to provide railway contracts to India

Nov 16 (CT) Railway Trade Union Alliance (RTUA) strongly criticized Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva for his plans to provide railway contracts to India when the Sri Lanka Railway has the capability to construct and renovate railway lines. Co-Convener of the RTUA, S.P. Withanage noted that awarding contracts to construct railway lines to India, is costlier than constructing in SL and that there is no assurance about quality either. more..

Video: Postmortem reveals Lankan woman killed in Kuwait

Nov 16 (DM) The postmortem conducted on the death of a women who was employed in Kuwait, has revealed that her death was a result of brutal attacks made with blunt and sharp objects on her head, chest and neck. The victim was identified as jayawathi Illangasinghe (50), a mother of two resident in Sathraweliya, Thalawa Road, Kakirawa. On the order of the Negombo Magistrate's Court, the postmortem was more..

ITAK mulls disciplinary action against CM Wigneswaran

Nov 16 (Island) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran says that his party ITAK was deliberating on what disciplinary action to initiate with regard to Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s refusal to go to Canada and raise funds. The 51–year-old MP said that TNA leader R. Sampanthan and he had been to Canada during the Provincial Council elections and attended a fund raiser with the help of the TNA branch in that country. more..

'New Zealand will be a watershed tour'

Nov 16 (DN) Sometime this week the national selectors will sit down to pick the squad for New Zealand and considering all what has gone before in the lead up to the tour it is not going to be an easy task. Sri Lanka are due to tour New Zealand next month. Following the Cricket World Cup in February-March, Sri Lanka hosted Pakistan, India and West Indies at home and after losing to the two Asian teams they finally managed to turn more..

Over 37,000 affected by flash floods

Nov 16 (CG) Incessant rains have resulted in flash floods in many parts of Sri Lanka specially in the northern province affecting over 37,000 people, Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) said. People living in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullativu, Trincomalee, Puttalam, Matale and Mannar districts are the worst affected. From the onset SLRC has been providing relief support to affected families through our branch network in above mentioned districts. more..

PTA to be replaced with fresh legislation

Nov 16 (DM) The govt is planning to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act with fresh legislation modelled on the Patriot Act of the US, it is learnt. PTA was used as a legal tool to deal with LTTE terrorism at that time. However, there were criticisms by some sections over the retaining of the Act even after the war was over. Critics have dubbed it a draconian piece of legislation that undermines individual freedom in the post war context. more..

Requiem for a Jihad

Nov 16 (CT) Paris, the city of love, where songs flutter, hope (according to chanteuse Edith Piaf) blossoms, and in whose autumn sway, tramps and beggars are lulled to sleep, lies bleeding. In a series of coordinated terrorist attacks which included mass shootings, suicide bombings and hostage taking, over 100 have been killed, over 300 have been injured, and about 100 critically so. This is the Paris of the catacombs and the danse macabre. French have responded by declaring a state of more..

Sri Lankan shares fall to over 4-mth closing low amid budget uncertainty

Nov 16 (Reuters) Shares fell for a fifth straight session on Monday and closed at their lowest in more than four months, led by large caps as uncertainty over the upcoming budget dented investor sentiment. Main stock index fell below a key psychological barrier of 7,000 points, closing down 0.51%, or 35.83 points, at 6,965.98, its lowest close since July 9. Trading volume was low as investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting policy direction from the annual budget scheduled later this week. more..