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Sri Lanka considering removing old vehicles off roads

Sep 27 (ST) Sri Lanka is seriously considering the possibility of removing old 15 years and over unroadworthy vehicles numbering around 1.2 million from the roads to meet more efficient transportation needs of urban areas. Old vehicles have been one of the major causes for road traffic accidents, vehicular congestion and air pollution. Motor Traffic Dept has been directed to devise legislation providing regulations to more..

Raj Obeyesekere booted out of DCSL board

Sep 27 (Island) Mr. Rajpal Obeyesekere, a founder director of the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka PLC who has served on its board from its inception as a nominee of Milford Exports (Ceylon) (Pvt) Ltd, which is DCSL’s largest single shareholder with 41.49% of its equity has ceased to a director of the company with effect from Jan. 26, 2015. Asked why Obeyesekere had ceased to be a board member from January as retirements are normally effective from the end of the financial year on Mar. 31, more..

Growing pains on Sri Lanka’s secret coast

Sep 27 (Telegraph) The thrill should have been undiluted, for when the dolphins came they came in numbers. The outboard had been running full-throttle for an hour before we found them, their arrival announced by a stippling of frothy waves and a grey-blue crescent flashing into my peripheral vision. Then came another, this one corkscrewing wildly, then five more. Within seconds the Indian Ocean was brimming with the creatures I had come here to see; super-pod of spinner dolphins, more..

NITF shortlists eight reinsurers: Damages payable between Rs. 1 and 5 Billion

Sep 27 (CT) Sri Lanka's only reinsurance provider, The National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF), shortlisted eight reinsurance brokers, backed by some of the world's largest reinsurers. These eight have submitted bids for the retrocession programme for 2016 and they will be paying reinsurance claims of between Rs. 1 Billion and Rs. 5 Billion, NITF Chairman Manjula de Silva said. "The objective of this programme is to more..

Kalpitiya: The Sea, Islands and the Lagoon

Sep 27 (Island) A splash of movement. A leaping thud. A flying twist of silver, gleaming in the sun. The sea was full of shapes in shades of grey, skimming through the deep. There were dolphins everywhere, gliding in from every side. In formations of three, four and five, some rode before the boat and, disappearing beneath, they cut across the bows. Like torpedoes streaking through the sea, their fins rose and fell in curving arcs. Shooting through the waves at gathering speed, more..

Nawaloka Group eyes managing a Dubai hospital

Sep 27 (ST) Nawaloka Group, primarily in private healthcare, plans to take its core competencies international in a bid to beat shrinking margins here. The group is in talks with a hospital in Dubai to manage and operate it, a top official said. He said this is a skill/expertise the company wants to capitalise on in terms of going international. He added that in this respect, the group is eyeing similar opportunities in the region. “We want to take this core competency to region mainly because more..

GL rejects Champika’s claim that MR brought in foreign experts

Sep 27 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris rejected as totally false a claim by Minister Champika Ranawake that former president brought in foreign experts (to investigate war related matters) long before Geneva. "Govt never brought foreign judges, prosecutors or investigators," he said. "The mandate of Sir Desmond de Silva, QC, Geoffrey Nice, QC, and Prof. David Crane was to assist Paranagama Commission more..

Today is Binara Full Moon Poya Day

Sep 27 (Island) India is the most unique place on earth. Every Samma Sambuddha makes His benign appearance on the hallowed land. So do both Chief Disciples of His, every Pacceka Buddha, and every Chakrawarthi King (World Ruling Monarch). Ancient India was haven to a plethora of philosophers and thinkers of all hues. In the Republic of Lichchavis were a group of Nigantha siblings Sachcha, Lola, Patachara and Sevanthika, four sisters and their brother Saccaca (Sachchaka) renowned for more..

Today is World Tourism Day

Sep 27 (CT) Hotel Revenue Management is about making the right room available for the right guest at the right price at the right time via the right distribution channel. The fundamental focus of any business is to obtain profits. In this process, Revenue Management concepts have become popular methods in the business world. Revenue Management is combination of market research, competitor benchmarking and customer relationship management that categorizes customers into more..

CB Governor, senior officials in verbal spat over transfers

Sep 27 (ST) Dissatisfaction over a series of controversial transfers of senior officials at the Central Bank (CB) last week led to a verbal spat between Governor Arjuna Mahendran and top officials including Assistant Governors. As about 30 officers of Grade 4 and above including Assistant Governors were having a noon meeting on Tuesday at a 14th floor committee room to discuss concerns about new transfers and plans to hire retired more..

JVP wants Bill streamlining subject allocations

Sep 27 (SO) A Parliamentary Act should be introduced to streamline the process of allocating Cabinet ministries and for the scientific allocation of subjects under the purview of such ministries, Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said. The allocation of subjects should be done in a scientifically accepted manner. The current allocation is done without any scientific method, he said. “We urge the govt to table such a Bill in the House to streamline the process or else, more..

Jehovah’s Witnesses breaching immigration rules

Sep 27 (Island) There is an increase in the use of western tourists to make house visits in Sri Lanka, to spread the teachings of Jehovah’s witnesses, a Christian sect. Their door-to-door evangelizing work have been around since the late 1800s mostly poaching from the turfs of Catholic and Protestant Europe and North America. The defeat of the Sinhala Buddhist hard line Rajapaksa regime and the empowerment of the moderate pro-Western Sirisena – UNP administration seems to have more..

President meets world leaders; pullout meeting with Obama

Sep 27 (ST) President Maithripala Sirisena, who is leading a 22-member delegation to the UN General Assembly sessions, is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with six world leaders during his weeklong stay in New York. At a reception to be hosted by US President Barack Obama for visiting heads of state, President Sirisena is scheduled to have a pullout meeting with the American head of state. more..

Landslide death toll rises; more warnings

Sep 27 (ST) The death toll in Friday’s landslide in a private tea estate at Ramboda in Kotmale increased to seven yesterday as the DMC warned Central Province residents of further natural disasters. DMC said seven bodies were recovered by yesterday afternoon following the landslide at Lily Estate where 44 families were displaced. At least seven houses were destroyed in the landslide while the people in the surrounding areas have been moved to Ramboda Hindu College”. more..

Foreign role in probes is not new to SL

Sep 27 (Hindu) Involvement of foreign jurists and investigators in a judicial mechanism, suggested initially in a report by the UN on alleged violations of human rights in Sri Lanka and later in a draft resolution co-sponsored by the U.S., is nothing new for the South Asian country. In the last 50 years, the services of international judges and investigators were utilised on many occasions. In June 1963, a three-member Commission of Inquiry was set up to go into assassination of former PM S.W.R.D. more..

Sajin to become witness for state against MR

Sep 27 (SL) Former UPFA MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena is to become a witness for the state in the investigations carried into allegations of financial irregularities leveled against UPFA MP, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, govt sources said. It is learnt that Gunawardena has agreed to the CID that he would reveal details of many corrupt and fraudulent transactions that had taken place during the period of the former Rajapaksa regime. more..

CTC demands sanctions against Sri Lanka

Sep 27 (SO) The pro-LTTE Canadian Tamil groups recently held a demonstration and a street event to call for sanctions and an international judicial process against Sri Lanka. The event coincided with the UNHRC sessions in Geneva last week. Organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT), the participants carried flags of LTTE, a banned terrorist outfit in Canada and placards calling for economic sanctions against Sri Lanka. more..

Railway to carry CPC fuel

Sep 27 (ST) Sri Lanka Railway will enter into an agreement with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to transport fuel by train. Transport Ministry and the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry will submit a joint proposal to the Cabinet, seeking approval. Main objective of the deal was to reduce SL Railway’s losses, which are around Rs. 2 billion a year, he said, adding that the CPC would also benefit from the deal as fuel transportation by train was more cost effective. more..

Consensus on US resolution before UNHRC

Sep 27 (ST) Findings that Sri Lankan troops and Tiger guerrillas allegedly committed war crimes spurred the Govt into action in many spheres this week. This is whilst the first US draft resolution on the findings of OISL (OHCHR investigation on SL) went through some significant changes during informal public discussions by members of the UNHRC. That was on the sidelines of on-going 30th sessions last Monday & Tuesday in Geneva. more..

Govt claims to be free of international pressure, but can it ...

Sep 27 (Island) Sri Lanka is now free of international pressure, PM Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying in the headline to a newspaper story about Sri Lanka’s agreement in Geneva to co-sponsor a modified resolution initially drafted by the US. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s understandable claim is that the new govt has been able to remove the objectionable parts of the earlier draft and change it into a friendly resolution. Almost at the same time, if not slightly earlier, the US Secretary of State, more..

Two Recent Photographs of Significance

Sep 27 (Island) If you remember, I wrote in this column last Sunday about iconic photographs both current and of the past which had global impacts, changed minds, even policy and maybe world history. Today I deal with two recent local photographs that have impacted themselves severely on the conscience of the public; that of people who think and are politically neutral but very concerned about the wellbeing of the country. Nearly 49% voted for CHANGE on Jan 8 and got it. more..

In diplomatic Sinhala, German delegate stops media quarrel

Sep 27 (ST) German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on a visit to Sri Lanka this week, did not know that a member of his entourage was going that extra mile to do public relations. For talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart, the German visitor was due to arrive at the Foreign Ministry. The media were asked to come early and be on hand for a statement to be made by the two foreign ministers. more..

FCID questions National Blood Transfusion Service Director

Sep 27 (Island) FCID sleuths questioned the director of National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) last week over alleged irregularities in certain development projects undertaken by this key govt sector health institution. During three hours of interrogation, Dr. Anil Dissanayake was asked about how funds were disbursed, minutes of meetings convened and the individuals responsible for decisions in relation to projects, more..

'SLMC’s accusations against SAITM misplaced'

Sep 27 (Island) The South Asian Institute of Technology & Medicine (SAITM) has come under flak from the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), which insists the controversial private medical faculty’s MBBS degree should not be recognized due to its faulty approval process, but the fee-levying facility’s boss dismissed the accusation as misplaced. "They should come to terms with what is happening on the ground before more..

Ban tells Maithri: Advance dialogue on settlement

Sep 27 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged President Maithripala Sirisena to advance the dialogue on a political settlement. Secretary-General met with President in New York on the sidelines of UN General Assembly yesterday. The Secretary-General discussed recent political developments, congratulated the President on the elections, and commended his message of national unity, reconciliation & good governance. more..

Proposal to sell one third of CPC shares

Sep 27 (CT) Director General of Department of Trade Tariff and Investment Policy, a division of Ministry of Finance, K.D.N. Ranjith Asoka, has sent a letter signed by him to Secretary to Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Gas, Sudharma Karunaratne, requesting to provide observations on the proposal to sell to the private sector one third of shares of the two thirds belonging to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). more..

Australia to co-sponsor resolution on SL

Sep 27 (CG) Australia has decided to co-sponsor the resolution supporting reconciliation, human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka tabled in the UNHRC on 24 Sept. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Australia took note of the serious findings of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights investigation on Sri Lanka, particularly that war crimes and crimes against humanity may more..

BOI suspends Sashi’s project license

Sep 27 (SL) The Board of Investment (BOI) last week suspended the project operation license of Randunu Fabrics (Pvt) Ltd owned by Shashi Weerawansa wife of UPFA MP, Wimal Weerawansa for violating the BOI agreement conditions. Chairman, BOI, Attorney-at-law Upul Jayasuriya, told The Sunday Leader that although the investors had violated the agreement conditions from its inception, action had not been taken more..

7 bills to raise revenue through mega taxes

Sep 27 (ST) Minister Ravi Karunanayaka has reintroduced the Finance Act (Amendment) Bill which seeks to impose the Mansion Tax and Migration Tax and the Super Gains Tax on a company or individual whose profit before tax exceeds Rs. 2,000 million. This and six other bills aimed at raising state revenue were presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister this week amid opposition protests. The bill was earlier presented in parliament more..

Over ten children were killed within 14 days

Sep 27 (CT) Monday, 13 September shocked Sri Lanka with the mutilated dead body of four-year-old Seya Sedewmi a couple of days before her birthday. Seya Sedewmi never turned five. Seya's naked, broken little body was found on the river bank several metres away from her house. She was destroyed in such a way, that her murder was a harsh wake up call to the dormant people of Sri Lanka. more..

Two SC judges may face impeachment

Sep 27 (ST) Govt has decided to impeach a Supreme Court judge for misbehaviour if the court action he is now facing is upheld. This is while another colleague has come under close investigation after allegations that the spouse ran a consultancy firm. The activities of the firm had been allegedly linked to the work of the judge in question. The move, an authoritative source said, was to ensure greater discipline and professional more..

The first 260 days of the current govt

Sep 27 (Island) The ninth day of Jan 2015 ended 10 years of naked ego-boosting, nepotism, corruption, waste, disregard for the Rule of Law, and confrontational govt on a scale not seen before or since in this country. It also terminated five years of near-serfdom of the SL people under the 18th Amendment. These developments are immeasurably huge pluses for the citizens of this country. Maithripala Sirisena played a highly risky & critical role in helping to effect this change more..

Demilitarise the occupied N&E now!

Sep 27 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe it seems is pushing for an expeditious replacement constitution. I suspect he is of the view that if there is moderate devolution to Tamil areas within six or twelve months, international and local demands for punishment of convicted (fat hopes if it’s a 100% domestic process) politicians and military brass can be defused. An accommodating President Sirisena will no doubt be glad to garland culprits with an amnesty. more..

GL Peries on UNHRC report

Sri Lanka’s watershed moment

Sep 27 (Island) In the coming days, a United States-led core group at the UNHRC will put forward its resolution on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, responding in part to the OISL (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation into SL) report released on Sept. 16. The resolution, which is likely to be adopted by the council, will have a considerable bearing on the process of accountability in Sri Lanka. The UN report lays bare patterns of grave violations more..

Power, TNA pow wow on text

Sep 27 (SL) The top-most official of the US at the UN and her deputy had a meeting with the TNA last week in New York as the resolution on Sri Lanka was about to be submitted in Geneva. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran met the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and the United States Deputy Representative to the UN Michele J Sison. Sources said that they discussed the resolution with the US being the main sponsor of the document which also has SL as a cosponsor. more..

'Investing in the most disadvantaged children is imperative to achieve equity'

Sep 27 (Island) UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka, Una McCauley, shares her agency’s commitment towards the welfare of children here and discusses challenges that must be overcome to ensure better lives for our children. Q: What are your perceptions about the strides Sri Lanka had taken in terms of overall child welfare? A: Sri Lanka has made great progress towards the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child more..

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to attend CPA meeting in London

Sep 27 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is scheduled to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Executive Committee Meeting and 61st General Assembly in London this week. Event will be held from Sept 30 to Oct 6. Speaker will be accompanied by W.M.N.P. Iddawela, Deputy Secretary General of Parliament. CPA was established in 1911. Its role is to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy and to identify benchmarks of good governance and more..

Green Cabin deeply concerned

Sep 27 (Island) Board and Management of Cyril Rodrigo Restaurants Limited (owners of Green Cabin) have issued a statement clarifying their position in relation to the alleged rape of an autistic employee published in one newspaper. The recent alleged incident has seen four suspects produced in the Gangodawila courts following a complaint lodged by the young male victim’s family and placed in remand custody. One had since been released by court where proceedings continue. more..

India refloats plan for Kankesanthurai

Sep 27 (ENS) With a friendlier govt now at the helm in Colombo, India has revived its plan to develop a port in Sri Lanka, hoping to catch up with the Chinese. So far, India had been biding its time on putting pressure on Colombo to complete the strategically-located Kankesanthurai (KKS) port in the Jaffna peninsula. With last month’s parliamentary elections reinforcing that the result of the January presidential polls was not a fluke, more..