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Orientation seminar for new MPs

All not sweet-tasting for confectionery manufacturers

Sep 11 (Island) The outgoing chairman of the Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA), Sylvester Perera said, "We have sought reduction of import levy from the Finance Ministry on main raw materials and packing materials to protect and develop our existing export market". "We have also raised our concern on the proposed Free Trade agreement with China. Our confectionery products have earned the confidence of consumers in the int'l market and are only second to Tea, more..

Mano Sekaram new SLASSCOM Chairman

Sep 11 (CT) 99X Technology Co-Founder and CEO Mano Sekaram was appointed as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) for 2015/2016 at its Annual General Meeting held last week. Sekaram counts over 25 years of global experience in IT/Software Management and as an industry thought leader, is a regular representative of Sri Lanka's IT/BPM industry nationally and globally. Upon his appointment as Chairman of SLASSCOM, more..

'Japan keen to boost Lankan infrastructure'

Sep 11 (FT) Japan has expressed interests in stepping up its support for enhancing Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic infrastructure. This assurance has been conveyed to Minister Ravi Karunanayake when the visiting Japanese Vice Minister for Policy Coordination Yasuo Sakamoto called on the former along with Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma yesterday. Karunanayake said that Japan was looking very positively for more..

Swiss sensor technology group Contrinex invests in Sri Lanka

Sep 11 (DN) Sri Lanka needs large industrial parks with ready-made factories and ready-made dormitories for workers. That would make the country more competitive to European investors, said Contrinex AG Ceo, Annette Heimlicher. "Sri Lanka can become a very competitive destination with lower labour cost, easier customs and airport handling, low corporate and personal taxes and an efficient administration for foreign investors." Sri Lanka is an ideal location because more..

LAUGFS to set up largest solar power plant with Rs. 5 b investment

Sep 11 (FT) LAUGFS Holdings Ltd., has further expanded its footprint in the power and energy sector with the acquisition of two solar power projects as part of an ambitious expansion plan to set up the largest generator in the country. LAUGFS Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LAUGFS Gas PLC and engaged in renewable energy solutions, recently announced the acquisition of Anorchi Lanka Ltd. and Irish Eco Power Lanka Ltd., which have the right to develop two solar power projects. more..

Suren Ratwatte new SriLankan Airlines CEO

Sep 11 (NS) SriLankan Airlines announced the appointment of Captain Suren Ratwatte as Airline’s new CEO, with effect from October 2015. Capt. Ratwatte is an Airline Pilot with over 30 years of experience in the field whose first appointment was with SriLankan’s predecessor, Air Lanka in 1984. Thereafter, he joined Emirates in 1989, where he held several positions in the Company. With over 18,000 flying hours in more..

Couple dead in toilet pit

Sep 11 (Island) A man and wife who were cleaning their home garden died when they fell into a toilet pit. While the wife was cleaning the area around the pit it concrete slab gave way causing her fall into it. The husband tried to rescue her with the help of neighbours but he, too, fell into the pit. Both had died due to inhaling toxic gasses, police said. Their bodies were removed to Embilipitiya Base Hospital and the post-mortem was due to be held. Police are conducting investigations. more..

Nimal Perera back in buying mode

Sep 11 (FT) Market mover and investor Nimal Perera got back to buying mode when he acquired a 67% stake in Kalamazoo Systems Plc for Rs. 35 million, triggering his first-ever personal takeover deal. The stake comprises 33,489 shares amounting to 66.98% for Rs. 37.75 million or Rs. 1,067.70 per share. With a previously acquired 1% or 500 shares in 2011, Nimal’s total holding has risen to 33,989 shares or 67.98%. Nimal, who along with Dhammika Perera has been linked to over a dozen of more..

Independent commissions by October: Karu

Sep 11 (EN) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya pledged that all independent commissions in line with the constitution will be established before the end of October while anti-graft panel will be in place this month. Following a meeting of Constitutional Council, apex body that will appoint members to other independent commissions, Jayasuriya said he had sought the cooperation of all members to speed up their work. more..

India Expo begins at BMICH today

Sep 11 (DN) India EXPO Exhibition organized by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is being held today and tomorrow at the BMICH, Colombo. More than 50 Indian companies are showcasing a diverse range of products and services at this exhibition. India EXPO is supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India and High Commission of India, Colombo. INDIA EXPO provides an opportunity to source from nearly 50 Indian companies who are showcasing more..

Sri Lanka falls in global Open Budget Index

Sep 11 (DN) Sri Lanka has fallen in the global Open Budget Index to the lowest levels. Sri Lanka is just ranked above Nepal from the South Asian region, a survey done by Verité Research said. In the Open Budget Survey published in Sept 2015 (OBS), Sri Lanka gets a low score of 39. This is significant decline from the 46 that Sri Lanka scored in 2012 and well below the present global average of 45. The low score resulted in Sri Lanka being ranked 69 among 102 countries. more..

Editorial: Old wine in a new bottle

Sep 11 (Island) Yahapalana govt’s anti-corruption campaign against its political opponents before the polls was like an Apaya show in which frightful scenes of hell are enacted during the Vesak season. In a dimly lit cadjan hut people watch, in horror, sinners being tortured. Soldiers of Yama or King of Hell, bludgeon, cut and chop humans. When the show is over, torturers and their victims get tanked up on rotgut behind the makeshift theatre & share day’s collection among themselves! more..

Lankan jailed for killing disabled friend

Sep 11 (BBC) A man has been jailed for killing his housebound friend by punching him in the head when he was in bed. Arunasalam Arunothayan, 48, from Sri Lanka, died from a bleed to the brain following the attack in his Coventry home, police said. Kirithas Sriskantharajah, 34, admitted manslaughter and was jailed for 32 months at Warwick Crown Court on Tuesday. The victim's wife said: "My husband was everything to me...I lost everything." more..

Grero promises to restore uni. education

Sep 11 (FT) Mohan Lal Grero, new State Minister of University Education affirmed that he has absolutely dedicated himself to elevate the status of university education through the improvement of its existing shortcomings. He gave this assurance at a salutation meeting held at Nugegoda after taking oaths as the State Minister. “I wish to express my gratitude to the people who elected me recognising my talents and sincere interests in the education field enabling me to serve the country more..

'Will not allow anyone to divide the country'

Sep 11 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says he would not allow anybody to divide the country which was united by the valiant war heroes shedding their blood. If our war heroes wouldn’t have given their utmost commitment, knowledge, intelligence and experience for the country, we wouldn’t have secured the unity of the country, he added. He emphasized the current govt never under-estimate that utmost commitment done more..

FR petition filed against excessive cabinet

Sep 11 (DM) A fundamental rights petition was filed in the Supreme Court today challenging President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to increase the number of cabinet ministers from 30 to 48. The petition was filed by Attorney-at-Law Aruna Laksiri and he has cited President Sirisena and the Attorney General as respondents. The petitioner has stated that, according to the 19th Amendment, a National Govt should comprise the party that has obtained the highest number of seats more..

Attack on diplomat: Hunt on for the suspect

Sep 11 (DN) The police top brass, the IGP, DIG Colombo and the Diplomatic security officials have pursued a major hunt for the suspect who attacked a Russian diplomat at a supermarket car park in Colombo. This is on instructions from Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who had taken up the matter immediately with the IGP. The Foreign Ministry is taking steps with regard to the incident on behalf of the Russian Embassy, ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said. more..

Cabinet increases Treasury Bill Limit to Rs. 1,250 billion

Sep 11 (Island) The new Cabinet at their first meeting on Wednesday approved an increase in the Treasury Bill Limit from Rs 850 billion to Rs 1,250 billion. The increase proposed by Minister Ravi Karunanayake would be submitted for Parliamentary approval at its next sittings. The maximum borrowing limit approved by Parliament through debt instruments such as Treasury Bills, Bonds and Administrative Borrowings is Rs 1,780 billion. more..

Over 1,800 premises with mosquito larvae found

Sep 11 (DN) National Mosquito Control Week commenced yesterday with 70,492 premises being inspected by special teams. Team members found 1,845 premises which had mosquito larvae. 808 premises in the Western Province and 553 premises in the Sabaragamuwa Province had mosquito larvae. Northern Province had 223 premises with mosquito larvae. Legal action will be taken against owners of 1,845 premises for having mosquito breeding sites, Northern Province had 268 more..

Time division between Govt & Opposition in Parliament: 70% - 30%

Sep 11 (DN) At the Party Leaders' Meeting yesterday it was decided to allocate 70% of Parliament time to the National Govt. Parliamentary sources revealed that the National Govt which consists of 201 members would get 70% while 30% is allocated to the opposition. Sources revealed that 70% of the govt side would be divided between the UNP and the SLFP as 40% and 30%. He added that out of the total time 30% is allocated to the opposition consisting of 24 members. more..

Accountability issues: Govt mission in Geneva seeks consensus on domestic probe

Sep 11 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt has got an opportunity to brief key stakeholders of the Geneva-based UNHRC well ahead of the presentation of an international report on alleged war time atrocities during the on-going session. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said that he would accompany Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on a special Geneva mission. They are scheduled to leave today. more..

PM tells MPs: Learn or depart

Sep 11 (DM) With the goal of restoring a model Parliament in six months, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is taking a commendable initiative to bring about a commitment by MPs to discipline and hard work, honesty and sincere service to the people. Mr. Wickremesinghe—acting on the lines of his alma mater Royal College’s motto disce auf discede (learn or depart)— made his goal and vision clear when he addressed MPs at a 2-day workshop which began in parliamentary complex yesterday. more..

Sampanthan should thank Mahinda

Sep 11 (DM) Recognising R. Sampanthan as the Opposition Leader of Parliament by Speaker Karu Jayasuriuya on Sept 3 is being viewed by a section of society as one of a series of measures taken by President Sirisena to checkmate former President Rajapaksa. Another school of thought on this matter, though weak is that Sampanthan’s elevation to the top post of the Opposition was just an inevitable upshot of the national govt process initiated by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe. more..

The sad fate of our ocean life

Sep 11 (CT) The recent incident of Indian fishermen being observed using trawl nets in Sri Lankan waters in Kalpitiya has caused concerns among environmentalists who claim that this method causes serious damage to the seabed and the fish species. But despite the serious damage caused by the use of trawl nets for fishing this method is not banned in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan govt also has its restrictions when catching more..

SLAITO past president vouches for statistics; says new Tourism Minister misled

Sep 11 (FT) A member of the SL Tourism Promotion Bureau defended the accuracy of arrival statistics in response to remarks made by newly-appointed Minister John Amaratunga. He alleged that tourism arrival numbers were inaccurate. He opined that even transit passengers who changed flights in Colombo to proceed to the Maldives and Indian destinations were being counted as tourists visiting Sri Lanka. more..

Stakeholders of CSE anomalies nearing bear market

Sep 11 (SL) The Sunday Leader reliably learns that the investigations into the alleged Stock Market anomalies are still under way, slowly but steadily. Sources connected with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) said that the investigations into the alleged irregularities and anomalies at the CSE are handled by the Special Presidential Commission to investigate more..

The season to watch migratory seabirds

Sep 11 (ST) Sri Lanka enjoys many wildlife spectaculars, including the phenomenon of the annual mass migration of hundreds of thousands of seabirds. “Aug-Sept is the best time to observe the great mass migration of seabirds. During the peak in Sept as many as 3,000-4,000 bridled terns (Sterna anaethetus) fly southwards within sight of shore in one hour,” reveals Rex De Silva who has studied this fascinating more..

Wimal warns of Indo-Lanka CEPA dangers

Sep 11 (FT) The NFF claimed that the proposed India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) would have an adverse impact on local jobs and the economy. Criticising the agreement, MP Wimal Weerawansa charged that if the Govt signs the agreement it would affect the country’s economic stability. “We were informed that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had decided to visit India to discuss CEPA. more..

Shasheendra's defence of land frauds

Sep 11 (CT) Former Chief Minister of the Uva Province, Shasheendra Rajapaksa was questioned for four hours by the Special Presidential Commission of inquiry (SPCI) yesterday in connection with a complaint received by the Commission that he had transferred ownership of several million rupees worth of commercial property to his friends and close associates in contravention of Tender Procedure at all. more..

Canada looks forward to working with SL

Sep 11 (CG) Canada says it looks forward to working with the new Sri Lankan Govt and deepen the friendship between both countries. Ahmed A. Jawad presented his Credentials as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Governor General David Johnston of Canada at a ceremony held at the Rideau Hall in Ottawa yesterday. At an audience that followed the presentation, the new High Commissioner among other matters, briefed more..

Mattala Airport to reopen to bring Chinese planes?

Sep 11 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is aiming to become the best tourist hub in South East Asia and will look to attract more than 2.5 million tourists by 2016. New Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that Sri Lanka was looking at expanding its tourist arrivals, especially from China and would make the island nation more tourist oriented. "Firstly, we are trying to open the Mattala Airport and make it more feasible for Chinese planes to land and more..

Kilinochchi-Jaffna walk pressing international war crimes probe

Sep 11 (CT) Members of the TNA commenced a walk from the town of Kilinochchi to Jaffna yesterday requesting that an international investigation be carried out into war crimes. Annual Convention of the UNHRC is due to be held within the next few days and TNA MP Shivagnanam Shridharan said that the walk was held to get the convention to focus its attention on war crimes which occurred in this country. more..

Prelate disappointed at jumbo Cabinet

Sep 11 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya expressed his amazement at the sheer size of the Cabinet of Yahapalana govt when the new minister Mano Ganesan called on him. "Why do you need such a large cabinet?" Most Venerable Galagama Sri Attadassai Mahanayake Thera asked. "I cannot understand the need for such a large Cabinet," the prelate said. "Even Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera has said more..

A global crisis comes to Sri Lanka

Sep 11 (CT) This writer found a photo of a young Sri Lankan Muslim boy protesting in front of the UN on the front page of a leading Sri Lankan newspaper. He asks the questions where is the humanity? with a placard. Are there such protests outside the Embassies of very rich oil producing Potentates and Feudal Kingoms of the Middle East? Not one of those nations have opened their doors to Arab Muslim refugees fleeing Islamic extremism. Why? Europe is dealing with an unprecedented more..

Sakviti given suspended sentence for abducting and raping his wife

Sep 11 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatillake imposed a sentenced of two years rigorous imprisonment, suspended for five years on Chandana Weera Kumara, alias Sakvithi. The accused, pleaded guilty to the charge of abducting from parents’ custody, his ex-wife, and subsequently molesting and raping her. Court convicted him of the charge and imposed a sentence on him. The offence was committed during the period March 1998 to February 1999, at Kaduwela. more..

New Sri Lanka Ambassador presented Credentials to the President of France

Sep 11 (IL) Ambassador of Sri Lanka Mr. Tilak Ranaviraja presented his Letter of Credentials to the President of France H.E. François Hollande on 8th Sept. The ceremonial event was held at the Elysée Presidential Palace in Paris. Ambassador Ranaviraja extended the warmest felicitations of President Maithripala Sirisena to his counterpart. The presentation ceremony was attended by senior French govt officials from the Elysée Palace more..

Hongkongers expect rough and noisy ride on 1,000km Sri Lanka charity tuk-tuk trek

Sep 11 (SCMP) Renowned for being noisy and dirty, Asia’s iconic tuk tuks are usually used for short trips around a city – but what if someone wanted you to ride in one for more than 1,000km? What began as planning for a 50th birthday party at a pub in Singapore has ended up as two dusty treks across India and Sri Lanka in tuk tuks, the small, motorised three-wheeled vehicle popular in South and Southeast Asia. From next week, 41 businessmen from Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan more..

Sri Lanka aims to join the Trans Pacific Partnership: Deputy FM

Sep 11 (EN) Sri Lanka aims to join the Trans Pacific Partnership and also strengthen relations with the West, Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said. "We have already started talking about TPP and let us see what liberalizations we still need to make here to get on the bandwagon," de Silva said. Companies were already building factories ahead of the formal finalization of the TPP, which will link Pacific rim countries in Asia and also South America with the USA. more..

Come to terms with new political realities: Hakeem tells UPFA

Sep 11 (Island) SLMC leader and Minister Rauf Hakeem urged UPFA constituents to come to terms with post-general election realities. He said Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa of 7th parliament had deprived him of recognition as a leader of a political party because SLMC contested the April 2010 general election on the UNP ticket. "Although SLMC parliamentary group comprised 8 members parliament denied me the privileges more..