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CEB raids continues, with 3.8 m income per a three month

Nov 28 (GDI) Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy states that through raids had collected nearly Rs. 3.8 million per a three month. 405 cases of people obtaining electricity illegally has been reported during July, August and September. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya further stated that through these illegal methods of obtaining electricity by way of altering the metres and using hooks to obtain electricity illegally, the CEB incurs heavy financial losses. more..

UK steps up reconciliation and human rights support for Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (GovUK) PM of UK held bilateral talks with President Sirisena of Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Summit in Malta yesterday, and announced a significant increase in UK support for reconciliation and human rights, recognising the considerable progress Sri Lanka has made since it hosted the last CHOGM in 2013. UK will provide £6.6 million to SL, spread over 3 years, to support reconciliation, military reform more..

State Minister Wijewardene graces felicitation ceremony

Nov 28 (GDI) State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene was the chief guest at a felicitation ceremony held at Darussalam Primary Vidyalaya in Thihariya on Thursday. Upon arrival at the school the State Minister was accorded a grand welcome by the children, Principal and staff of the school. During the occasion Minister presented medals to students who had excelled at the grade five scholarship exams this year. Newly renovated administrative office of the school was also declared open. more..

BASL concerned over appointment of High Court Commissioner

Nov 28 (AD) Bar Association of Sri Lanka today expressed grave concern over the appointment of a retired High Court Judge as a High Court Commissioner. “The provisions relating to the appointment of High Court Commissioner exists to be used in exceptional circumstances and where the circumstances warrant such an appointment such as where there is a shortage of judges conversant in a particular language,” it said in a statement. The present appointment has been made whilst more..

Jaffna remembers slain LTTE cadre

Nov 28 (ENS) Great Heroes’ Day (Maaveerar Naal), which commemorates the slain Tamil Tigers, passed without incident in the Tamil-speaking parts of Northern and Eastern Provinces on Friday. Even the funeral of 18-year-old Rajeswaran Senthooran who apparently committed suicide demanding an independent Eelam and the rehabilitation and release of detained Tamil Tiger suspects was peaceful. more..

Opening of the A9

Nov 28 (CT) All the investigations I had to engage in, and the rebuttals of so much propaganda against the govt, may have created the impression that much of the work of the Peace Secretariat was negative. That perhaps was why Prof. Uyangoda referred to us as a War Secretariat, and why I became the butt of much criticism. But in fact, all this was a tiny part of our work, which had much more to do with looking at how the war affected Sri Lankans on the ground, and trying to reduce problems more..

President to leave for France to attend UN conference on climate change

Nov 28 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena who participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Malta, will leave for France tomorrow (Nov. 29) to attend the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – 2015. The conference will be held in Le Bourget, France form 30th of November to 11th of December, 2015. This is the 21st Conference of the Parties, i.e. the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate. more..

MR's lucky charm recovered after covert operation

Nov 28 (EN) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s lucky charm ring went missing yesterday during a wedding reception at the Cinnamon Grand where a discreet undercover operation was launched to find it. Hotel staff scanned the carpets at the Oak room for the gem-studded ring while an army of staffers along with Rajapaksa’s own security searched a washroom he had used soon after arriving at the hotel. more..

Seeing, is believing

Nov 29 (SO) Seeing, is believing is an old English adage that argues that it is easier to believe in the factual nature of something once one has seen it in the physical form whether as an image or as an activity. Relevant to a legal action last week is also another adage: that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done, which derived from a 1920s British court ruling. Both these sayings are relevant to us because of a recent court ruling. Both these sayings are relevant to us more..

Towards a vibrant diplomacy

Nov 29 (SL) It is an axiomatic principle that the foreign policy of a country is a projection of its domestic policies. It also happens that at times foreign policies boomerang on domestic policies as was evident during the last regime. Thus it is evident in the study of foreign affairs that the dynamics of domestic policy and foreign policy are in a state of flux and needs constant attention of students of foreign affairs. Sri Lanka underwent a political upheaval on January 8th this year and more..

A Power-ful message: US: Cautious,vigilant but engaged

Nov 29 (SO) Sri Lanka needs to urgently address several outstanding issues in the North - including demilitarization, release of military-held lands to civilians, end impunity and introduce fast-paced development in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation, US Permanent Representative to the UN Samantha Power, said. Power who concluded a three- day visit of Sri Lanka last Monday urged the SL Govt to not be too late thereby missing more..

No Confidence against Ravi K. as Joint Opposition unravels Budget 2016

Nov 29 (ST) Minister Ravi Karunanayaka has got off to a rather inauspicious start with the presentation of his maiden Budget to Parliament. With the vote on the Second Reading of the Budget still a few days away, Minister is faced with the rather unusual situation of having a No Confidence motion against him, in which he is accused of falsifying statistics and information presented to the House in his long, drawn out Budget speech. Not surprisingly, many MPs in Rajapaksa loyalist group and more..

Lost value of no-faith motions

Nov 29 (CT) Late US President Abraham Lincoln once said, If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. Whether this remark is applicable to our country and our society is rather questionable. We say this as we are saddened by the actions that we, as the general public, have observed in certain politicians, when it comes to having confidence in them. Sri Lankans, are known as a nation who, forget easily – a notion that was more..

'Budget has deceived Prez & Parliament'

Nov 29 (SL) SLFP MP Bandula Gunawardena said that although some goods were placed under a maximum retail price tag, implementing it throughout the country is not easy. He said that while the price of gas and fuel can be reduced due to the downward trend in world oil prices, with the rising dollar, it is hard to maintain the prices of imported food such as onions, potatoes, dhal etc, it will take nothing less than a miracle more..

Paris: Preserve or Perish

Nov 29 (ST) Hot air. That’s what many pessimists expect from the Paris Climate Summit next week which over 130 world leaders, including our own President Maithripala Sirisena, will attend. It has been long hyped as the last chance salon for Planet Earth before it self-destructs. With the world getting hotter, freak weather patterns causing droughts, floods and fires, the National Geographic magazine puts it succinctly; “In the past half century we’ve created a world in which more..

Don’t worry, you will keep your job

Nov 29 (ST) My dear Ravi, I thought I must write to you because you seem to be in the news these days, delivering the first yahapaalanaya budget and then getting rewarded with a motion of no-confidence for your efforts. I guess you must be thinking that these days, any publicity is better than no publicity at all! It was only a few days that the Green Man delivered a lecture on economic policy in Parliament and people were wondering why he was doing your job. more..

'There are no concessions for people'

Nov 29 (SL) JVP claims that the govt has misled the public with efforts taken to privatise education and many other sectors, through the budget. JVP said they feel that this Budget is like a reservoir dam that has broken and that the entire economy will be destroyed. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake says that there are no concessions for the people and this is a totally fraudulent, deceptive budget that is favourable not to the ordinary more..

Undoing the budget

Nov 29 (Island) Nobody would have been surprised at yesterday’s news that the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) Association has protested about the car permits for qualified public servants being withdrawn. Nobody likes losing privileges they enjoy and some noises about possible strike action (they’ve called it "severe trade union action") against the budget announcement have already been made. MPs who will also lose the privilege have so far said nothing. more..

Sri Lankans face many challenges in New Zealand series

Nov 29 (Island) National cricket team left the island in the early hours of Saturday for a six weeklong tour of New Zealand during which they will play two Tests, five ODIs and two T-20s. New Zealand is a destination where the Sri Lankans have enjoyed decent success having won their first Test away from home in 1995. However, the present NZ side has done extremely well in all conditions in the last two years. Since 2013, NZ have gone through seven series without tasting defeat. more..

'It is up to the private sector to seize this golden opportunity'

Nov 29 (SL) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says that it was the ideas of the President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that were converted into practice through the budget 2016. He said that the budget is an unprecedented move to change the landscape of the country through increased public investment and the public private partnership in many sectors of the economy. more..

Navigating the Budget tests govt unity

Nov 29 (SO) It is an arduous task for any Finance Minister to present a perfect Budget that makes every segment of society happy. In short, it is a painstaking job to put the economy in proper order while easing the burden on the people. Nevertheless, the expectations of the people were very high when the National Unity government presented its maiden Budget under the banner a revolutionary budget that would stun many across the political spectrum of the country. more..

An expedition into the unknown

Nov 29 (ST) Last morning, captain Angelo Mathews and company embarked on a mission into the unknown. Yes, they are well aware of their mission and destination, but, the question is whether they are equipped enough to challenge the status quo posed by the marauding Kiwis. On the eve of their departure Mathews admitted that they are short of experience. He said “The majority of the touring party for the Test leg are young guys – short of experience, but, skill wise they are good, more..

Viagra and Silagra turn politicos hot

Nov 29 (CT) Ranjan Ramanayake is an outspoken forthright politician. He plays a straight bat all the time amidst obstacles. Last week PM Ranil Wickremesinghe warned him not to talk too much and Ranjan conveyed that message to the media. His weakness is that he loses his temper in no time. None can play the fool with him. If done, consequences would be drastic. It could be either physical or oral in a language that more..

SL Quantity Surveyors go places in Qatar

Nov 29 (SO) Quantity surveying has evolved as a discipline combining with construction technology, economics, law, mathematics and management. Quantity surveyors are specialists involved in early cost advisory functions to final accounting and contract close-out aiming at dispute-free project delivery. SL has become famous for producing some of the world’s best quantity surveyors thorough in measurement, valuation, auditing, contract administration & claim handling. more..

Sri Lanka’s transitional justice: Genuine move or red herring?

Nov 29 (AC) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met with civil society organisations (CSOs) on October 29 to discuss public consultations for setting up a transitional justice project to deal with the mass atrocities committed during the country’s civil war. Despite this seemingly democratic practice, questions remain as to whether in its implementation this project is going to shortchange the worst affected – the war’s victims. Sri Lanka’s civil war between more..

President holds fruitful talks with Premiers of Australia and Canada

Nov 29 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena met PMs of Canada and Australia on the sidelines of CHOGM in Malta. President Sirisena congratulated Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull for their electoral victories in Canada and Australia respectively. During his meeting with PM Trudeau, President Sirisena recalled the excellent bilateral relations that the two countries enjoyed during the tenure of Mr Trudeau’s father, more..

CID probes NWSDB land deal

Nov 29 (SL) The CID is investigating a land deal approved by the former Chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) and current Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi which involved fraudulent deeds. The deal involved the purchase of two properties in Galle for a water treatment plant. The investigation is being conducted based on a complaint filed by Ranjith Balasuriya with regard to the land sold to the NWSDB for Rs. 21,450,000. more..

Banking sector, budget's biggest taxpayer

Nov 29 (CT) Industry that is most affected by the 2016 Budget Proposals is the banking and finance sector. "Their taxes are going up and I don't think that any one has sympathy", said Suresh Perera, Principal, Tax & Regulatory - KPMG Sri Lanka at a forum. Explaining further he quipped, "Bank income tax rate is going up from 28% to 30%; VAT also going up from 11% to 12.5%, which I believe is also applicable to financial VAT", said Perera. Current VAT on financial services is 11%. more..

Cricket polls: In search of a saviour

Nov 29 (ST) There is never a dull a moment at Sri Lanka cricket when management is concerned. On Jan 3, cricket’s stakeholders in this little island will vote to decide as to who should hold the reins of the game for the next two years. Yes, right at this moment, the poor cricket voters are striving with might and pain to get a foothold in the administration. They are working around the clock running the hard-yard trying to woo more..

Lankan still held without trial in the Maldives

Nov 29 (ST) A Sri Lankan arrested in the Maldives over an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen was this week further detained for 15 days. His detention period was extended on Monday pending further questioning on his alleged links with the assassination plot. The 24-year-old Lahiru Madhushanka has not been produced in a court. Lawyer Shabdika Wellappili this week flew to the Maldives to meet the Sri Lankan who is being held in an island off Male. more..

Rajitha’s son given another chance

Nov 29 (SL) UNP MP Chathura Senaratne, son of Minister Rajitha Senaratne, has been given a third opportunity to appear in court on the 10th of Dec, in connection to a case filed against him for threatening the police officers at the Ragama police station, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said. MP had not appeared in court on two prior occasions in connection to an incident on Oct 14 near the Ragama hospital. On both occasions, lawyers appearing on behalf of MP Senaratane had more..

Budget’s indirect taxes worry public

Nov 29 (ST) Critics have hit back at Minister Ravi Karunanayake claimed purse-friendly Budget this week, saying it contained many indirect taxes, the effects of which would gradually come to roost. There is concern that some measures, including proposed controls on commodity prices, were not practical. Defending the Budget, Minister said govt had to take certain measures to increase revenue while giving consideration to greater good. more..

George Soros here for Jan Euromoney meet

Nov 29 (ST) Famous capital market investor George Soros will be in Sri Lanka in January to attend the Euromoney Sri Lanka Global Investment Forum sponsored by business and finance magazine Euromoney, officials said. Mr. Soros, billionaire chief of Soros Fund Management, will be a key speaker at this event which will see Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Central Bank’s involvement, officials said. An international audience of asset managers will attend more..

Three new directors at BOC

Nov 29 (Island) Bank of Ceylon last week announced the appointment of three new non-executive directors, Messrs. Charitha Wijewardene, A.S. Padmaperuma and Ajith Gunawardana. Wijewardene is an engineer with an honors degree in digital electronics and communications, from the University of Hull, UK, who had previously served IBM as a Country General Manager. Padmaperuma, a graduate of Western Carolina University, North Carolina, holds a BSc in business admin more..

Joint opposition pushes for more places in PAC and COPE

Nov 29 (Island) Members of the Joint Opposition would not vote for or support the budget 2016 if they do not get their due representations in the two parliamentary oversight committees – COPE and Public Accounts Committee (PAC), UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. He said that MPs of the joint opposition have been subjected to step-motherly treatment when naming members to COPE and the PAC. more..

Burning Issues: Motion listed to push up CBK’s pension to Rs. 97,500

Nov 29 (Island) A motion by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has been listed in the Order Paper to be presented to Parliament seeking approval to increase pension entitlement of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The resolution placed in the Order Paper of Parliament yesterday sought to revise the monthly pension entitlement of ex-president Kumaratunga from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 97,500. Resolution has been tabled in terms of Article 36 of the Constitution which gives more..

Giants in the tea trade lock horns in court

Nov 29 (ST) Two giants in the tea trade have locked horns and are battling it out in a Sri Lankan court to get a settlement on some issues coming under the Intellectual Property Act. In a case taken up for hearing a few weeks ago, Harry Jayawardena of Stassen Exports (Pvt) Ltd and Stassen International (Pvt) Ltd complained that the parties named as accused in the plaint have stolen information that the complainant claims exclusivity over. However when the case came up before more..

A Cabinet reshuffle!

Nov 29 (CT) The govt will go in for a major Cabinet reshuffle after Budget 2016 is passed in Parliament. The reshuffle will take place soon after the vote is taken on the third reading of Budget 2016, which is billed for 19 December, authoritative political sources said last night. There will be broad changes involving 10 key ministries where not only Ministers, but Deputy Ministers & State Ministers will also be reshuffled in the move, source said. more..

Road accidents hit 6,000 in three months

Nov 29 (SO) The number of road accidents had soared to over 6,000 in the past three months and eighty percent of the victims were women. "Over 80 percent of our admissions comprised females while the rest were men. In all these cases, the accidents were due to human factors and could have been prevented if road rules had been observed properly," National Coordinator for Training, Accident Service, National Hospital, Colombo Pushpa Ramyani Zoyza said. more..

Mobitel denies assumptions on acquisition

Nov 29 (Island) This is with reference to the publicity given in some of the media with regard to an acquisition contemplated by Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. In this regard, Mobitel denies the assumptions and opinions made on the subject that Mobitel is intending a payment which is over and above the value of the target entity. Mobitel has stated that they are considering a strategic acquisition of a local operator to enhance the market position and asset base in line with a strategic investment plan. more..