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Credit squeeze slows car sales, hits prices

Sep 27 (EN) Sri Lankan car prices which spiked with the sharp depreciation of the local currency has seen weak demand following the central bank's move to curtail credit for vehicle purchases, dealers said on Sunday. Car dealers had jacked up prices on vehicles they had imported at an exchange rate before the depreciation triggered by a free float of the currency. The local rupee shed over 11% against the Japanese yen two weeks ago, but sales were hit as getting credit was more difficult. more..

Pakistan PM keen to visit Sri Lanka soon

Sep 27 (CG) Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif has expressed his intention to make an official visit to Sri Lanka soon. He has said this when he met President Maithripala Sirisena in New York on the sidelines of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. During the meeting attention was paid on political matters pertaining to two countries. The two leaders discussed about the ways to strengthen the relationships between the two countries, the President’s office said. more..

Sri Lanka seeks more jobs in Kuwait

Sep 27 (SL) The newly appointed Sri Lankan Envoy for Kuwait, Kaandeepan Balasubramaniam is to seek more job opportunities for Sri Lankans in Kuwait, Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait. Balasubramaniam who presented his credentials to, the Emir of the State of Kuwait, recently said that exploration of new avenues for the promotion of Ceylon Tea, Gem and Jewelry, spices and inbound-Tourism was also be part of his program. more..

Over 300,000 affected, more rain expected

Sep 27 (CG) Over 300,000 people have been affected by the heavy rain which lashed most parts of the country during the past few days. The Disaster Management Center (DMC) said that as of this afternoon 89,686 families consisting of 312,064 people have been affected. Seven people had died and three others were also missing and floods and landslides affected some areas. 840 people had been shifted to temporary displacement camps at 16 locations around the country. more..

PM to visit Japan next month

Sep 27 (AM) Arrangements are being made for Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to hold talks with French, Turkish and Sri Lankan leaders in Japan over three days in early October. A meeting with French PM Manuel Valls is envisioned on Oct. 5, one with Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Oct. 6 and another with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 7, the source said Saturday. It will be Wickremesinghe's first visit to Japan since he came to office in January this year. more..

5-pronged strategy including tax hike to curb rising vehicle imports

Sep 27 (ST) SL authorities, tackling an acute case of depleting foreign exchange reserves and a rising vehicle population, is resorting to a 5-pronged approach to cut imports and make vehicles costly to the population resulting in a likely 20% cut in vehicle imports. While a depreciating rupee in which the US dollar traded in the Rs. 140-142 range this week from Rs. 134 flat a few weeks ago has made car imports costlier and more..

Complex issues in the House

Sep 27 (CT) The credibility of the govt that came to power promising good governance and tough action against corruption and fraud was put to test during the two days of Parliament sittings last week. With the UPFA members in Opposition claiming the govt is acting in an arbitrary manner disregarding Standing Orders and traditions when presenting Bills, JVP came out strong criticizing the govt for the failure and differences it shows when protecting law and order. more..

A deadly mistake

Sep 27 (DM) A woman, her daughter and three grandchildren were admitted to the Homagama Base Hospital with symptoms of poisoning after consuming a mixture of leaves melluma with their lunch, Kahathuduwa Police said. Preliminary investigations had revealed that the grandmother had mistakenly plucked the leaves of the Atthana plant all the while believing she was plucking manioc leaves. The victims are residents of Mattegoda. Hospital Medical Superintendent more..

SLMC welcomes draft UNHRC Resolution

Sep 27 (Island) SLMC has welcomed the draft text of the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka at its 30th session. "SLMC considers this consensus resolution, co-sponsored by the Govt of Sri Lanka, as an important step in addressing the suffering experienced by citizens from all communities over the past decades. It also offers the prospect of breaking away from Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity and an opportunity to genuinely entrench more..

Family of five lives in a jungle home

Sep 27 (CT) A mother can provide a baby with a safe haven inside her womb. But, once a child is born into this world, not every mother can provide them with the care and comfort they deserve. The pathetic story of a family who live in a jungle in Mihinthale, completely exposed to the elements, shows that there are hapless parents in this country who cannot afford to provide a roof for their children, much less a bed for them to sleep in. The parents, who had been living together since more..

Move resolution for probe into Sri Lanka war crimes: PUCL

Sep 27 (Hindu) The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has called upon the Centre, as a member of the UNHRC, to move a resolution calling for a credible, independent, international investigation into the violations of humanitarian and human rights laws committed against Tamils by the Sri Lankan army during the end stages of the war in May 2009 and thereafter. PUCL made the demand during its National Council meeting held in Allahabad on September 19 and 20. more..

Indemnity act to protect Sri Lankan armed forces proposed

Sep 27 (ENS) Udaya Gammanpilla, a UPFA MP proposes to move a bill in Parliament in October, to indemnify the Sri Lankan armed forces against prosecution for bona fide official actions taken during military operations. “I will move a Private Member’s bill on this in the next two weeks,” Gammanpilla said. “An Act of Indemnity will protect military personnel from being prosecuted for their officially assigned or bona fide actions. more..

Indians arrested for theft at Temple festival

Sep 27 (CG) The police have arrested three Indians who were involved in stealing chains and other items from devotees at a festival of a Hindu Temple in Point Pedro. The police said that seven people were arrested and among them were five women. Among the seven arrested are two Indian women and an Indian man, the police media unit said. The police said that they also too into custody a van used by the suspects during the theft at the festival of the Malipuram Sri Alwar Temple. more..

Lalith Kotelawala, three others acquitted

Sep 27 (SO) Lalith Kotelawala and three other Directors of Seylan Bank were discharged and acquitted in respect of three charges preferred against them with regard to 4,800,513 shares of Blue Diamond Jewellery Worldwide Ltd. The case was filed by its one time Managing Director, Daya Senanayake, on a private plaint in MC Colombo Fort, Case No. 53466 in 2000. The four were acquited when the latter offered to withdraw the said case came up for submissions in the more..

'Backing US resolution on Lanka would mean denial of justice'

Sep 27 (SL) DMK chief M Karunanidhi today cautioned India against supporting a watered down resolution by the US on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC over alleged rights violations during the last phase of civil war against LTTE in 2009 in the island nation. New Delhi should not withdraw from the demand for international probe on the matter as the resolution has supported domestic probe by Colombo, he said. more..

CRM says No return to the gallows

Sep 27 (Island) In a strongly worded statement titled No return to the gallows, the Civil Rights Movement said that "The return of executions will diminish and degrade us all". The statement signed by Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Secretary of CRM, making an urgent plea against the resumption of judicial hangings said the state has an obligation to calmly weigh the pros and cons of such an important issue. "The responsibility of political leaders is to lead, to guide." A unanimous 11-judge decision of the more..

Govt sticks to local judicial process

Sep 27 (CG) Govt has decided to stick to a local judicial process to investigate alleged human rights abuses related to the war. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told local media heads today that the Govt had discussed this with the United States which had moved a resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva. The resolution moved last week at the UNHRC has proposed that the Sri Lankan judicial mechanism obtains assistance from the Special Counsel’s office, of the Commonwealth and more..

Anti-terror ops focus of joint India, Sri Lanka army exercise

Sep 27 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka will soon hold a 14-day joint exercise in Pune focussing on anti-terror operations to achieve better military-to-military cooperation and inter-operability. Exercise Mitra Shakti will be conducted after the arrival of the Sri Lankan contingent at Aundh Camp on Sept 29. This will be the third joint training exercise involving the two armies. The aim of the joint training is to share best practices and promote more..

Innovations are a must for delivering economic prosperity

Sep 28 (CT) As pointed out in the previous two parts, Social Market Economy to be set up in Sri Lanka has been qualified by two attributes by its proponents. It is to be knowledge-based and it is to be competitive. Knowledge-based means that the economy will be dependent on ‘the quantity, quality and accessibility of information available instead of traditional means of production’ that are normally used for economic activities. Sri Lanka being a relatively resource-poor country more..

The importance of not setting ourselves up to fail

Sep 28 (ST) This Thursday’s consensus resolution tabled before the UNHRC in relation to Sri Lanka’s war time atrocities has provoked starkly divergent responses in its aftermath. On the one hand, we have the government patting itself on the back for having successfully negotiated the diluting of the earlier call ‘to involve international investigators, prosecutors and judges in Sri Lanka’s justice processes.’ Softer language is now resorted to. Thus the relevant paragraph affirms more..

'Police ruined my son's future'

Sep 28 (CT) The mother of the schoolboy who was arrested over Seya's rape and murder says the police ruined her son's future. Q: What is happening to your son now? A: I can't understand what will happen to him. He has not committed any offence. I wept and said he was innocent. He is still in remand. Q: Did you visit him? A: Yes. I went to see him at the police and remand prison. Q: What did he say when you met him at the police? more..

The pending UN resolution on Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (CT) Since the end of the war in Sri Lanka, there have been four resolutions passed in the UN Human Rights Council – UN HRC. The first of these resolutions was initiated soon after the end of the war on 26 May 2009, by Sri Lanka itself with the help of India. This resolution was described as Machiavellian by diplomats and civil society. Sri Lanka implemented none of its recommendations. At the time when it was passed in the HRC, the US was not a member. more..

India’s new 5-billion-dollar one-way Hanuman Bridge to Lanka

Sep 28 (ST) If the very thought of the ancient mythological Hanuman bridge connecting India with Lanka which enabled Rama to freely walk in and destroy Lanka’s Ravana was not enough to give one the Ramayana creeps, then the new Indian plan to build a 21st century Ram Sethu to Lanka must positively give the island nation the Maha Bharatha shudders. India’s decision to revive the plan to link Lanka to her mainland first received prominence when the Indian Road Transport minister more..

Wijeweera's wife breaks silence after 26 years

Sep 28 (CT) Srimathi Wijeweera says the JVP initially gave them Rs 5,000. "Now they give us Rs 10,000. One of my children has to go to the party office to collect it." Q: Why did you surrender to the govt after your husband Rohana Wijeweera was arrested? A: Team led by Brigadier Janaka Perera who came to our house in Ulapane, to arrest Wijeweera advised me to withdraw. He said to his team not to harm my family more..

Obsessions blur justice

Sep 28 (NS) Each time there’s a gruesome crime, especially if the victim is a child who is both raped and murdered, the natural public outrage is accompanied by shrill calls for the implementation of the death penalty. We saw all of this when a five year old girl was abducted, raped and murdered a few days ago. The horror and outrage came with a barrage of accusations. Parental neglect was mentioned. The moral degradation of society as a whole was talked about. more..

Wrong times for right decisions

Sep 28 (NS) Genuineness, in principles and remedial measures, is vital in establishing proper awareness as that in turn influences the attitudes which affect openly as well as in very subtle ways. The whole process is a balancing act as the realities are the results of such attitudes. Right awareness shall cause right thinking and that in turn will result in right attitudes. It is a walk on a tight rope. A wrong step shall end every effort. It is about Fair Treatment and it is a truth that more..

President Maithripala Sirisena at the UN

Free-wheeling Uncle Veeré, an assassin near Geneva and a deadline for Ranja

Sep 28 (SO) One Lang-sa of a certain coastal city hosted a party for a group of journalists at a hotel on the edge of water. The prime objective of the party was to show the scribes that he is not as bad as some portray him to be! Each journalist who attended the party was gifted a 16 GB pen drive, probably to store in their collective memory that Lang-sa is a good boy who doesn’t deserve a digit of criticism. "I don’t punish my opponents. It is solely up to my god," a slightly tipsy Lang-sa more..

Why do Hybrids oppose the Hybrid Court?

Sep 28 (GV) Sri Lankans as individuals and as members of diverse ethnic groups are cultural, economic, and political hybrids. They are receptive to hybridity in anything and everything they do, without much regard for its long-term consequences. The cherished ideals of national sovereignty, national identity and the political order Sri Lankans want to protect are all transnational hybrids. Why then, do they reject hybridity when it comes to verifying the allegations regarding more..

We did not commit any crime: SF

Sep 28 (SO) Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, former Army Commander who commanded the troops to defeat the LTTE, prefers a domestic mechanism to inquire into the alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law violation mentioned in the UNHRC report. He says transparency is required in any court to clear the name of SL against such allegations. Fonseka says he is ready to go before any court more..

Enforcement checks crime

Sep 28 (CT) A relative increase in crime doesn't necessarily mean that Sri Lanka should bring back the hangman. The hangman has been in hibernation since the island opened up its economy after the regime change in 1977. Applying archaic Mosaic laws such as life for a life, eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth as a form of punishment may not necessarily lead to a diminishment of crime. Crime against children has seemingly seen a jump, with cases of murder and rape of kids more..

Hanuma Bridge

Sep 28 (CT) King of Lanka, Ravana was angry because his sister's nose and ears were cut off by Prince Lakshmana, brother of Indian King Rama. In retaliation, he kidnapped King Rama's wife, Sita. King Rama decided to invade Sri Lanka to rescue his wife. Heroic monkey king, Hanuman (Sinhala name is Hanuma) came forward to help King Rama. Army of Hanuman built a bridge between SL and India in order to reach SL. Bridge is known as Rama Bridge in India & Hanuma Bridge in SL. more..

Lies, loopholes allies and shameful compromise!

Sep 28 (NS) Here we go again! One, two, three and we hear the old familiar sickening refrain. Reminds us old-timers of the popular 60s song belted out by rock singer Johnny Thunder which goes: Here we go loop de loop. Here we go loop de lie. It seems an apt analogy concerning the deceptions of all our recent political administrations, and particularly so when taking in the key words in the lyrics which are loop and lie. more..

Lawyers Committee on banks, CB, Treasury meets on Oct 7

Sep 28 (ST) Just as depositors in failed finance companies questioned that a special committee appointed by the PM to examine finance institutions including the Central Bank had suddenly gone silent, the committee said this week that it would start work on Oct 7. The committee of lawyers appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe comprises Harsha Soza – PC, Vinodh Wickramasooriya and Roshaan Hettiarachchi appointed in June was charged with probing affairs of banks, financial institutions, more..

Suspects in CIFL case bailed out

Sep 28 (ST) Chulaka Gunawardena alias Deepthi Perera, former chairman of the failed Central Investment & Finance (CIFL) and two other suspects in the CIFL fraud case were allowed bail on Friday by the Colombo Chief Magistrate. Other two suspects are J.K. Wickramaratne, former CIFL CEO and S.B. Kondadeniya, a former CIFL director. At Friday’s hearing both the Central Bank and the CIFL Depositors Association (CIFLDA) rejected the revival plan submitted by the first suspect. more..

CB directs banks to be FATCA compliant

Sep 28 (CT) Central Bank (CB) has directed all commercial banks and financial institutions to comply with US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) as soon as possible, Governor Arjuna Mahendra said. "Previous CB regime hasn't done anything about this. So, we have to build strong dialogue with all banks to fully implement this within the next year, he said. Compliance with this Act is vital for smooth more..

Asian 7s, 2nd Leg: SL finish out of top 3

Sep 28 (CT) Sri Lanka once again failed in their mission to secure a place in the top three as they finished fourth, while first leg champions Japan carried away the championship yet again in the second leg of the Asian Sevens Series concluded here at the SCG Stadium Nonthaburi, Thailand yesterday. Japan beat South Korea 45-07 in a lopsided game in the Cup-final. The first Cup semi-final between Japan and defending Asian Sevens Series champions Hong Kong was the more..

Malaysia’s Internet speed lags behind SL

Sep 28 (CG) Malaysia has been ranked behind Sri Lanka and Thailand in average Internet speeds over the second quarter this year, as Asian countries set global benchmarks in the 2015 State of the Internet (Soti) second quarter report. The report, listed Malaysia in 70th place worldwide with an average Internet speed of 5 Mbps. The country registered a 17% year-on-year improvement to broadband speed, but still left it five ranks below SL which registered a 50% year-on-year improvement more..

Harin to inaugurate Cyber Security Summit tomorrow

Sep 28 (FT) Minister Harin Fernando will inaugurate the popular third annual Cyber Security Summit, organised by the Daily FT and CICRA Consultancies, tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo. The main objective of the summit is to create awareness over the importance of cyber security and to provide top officers in the private and public sectors and IT professionals with best practices in acquiring, more..

Timely assets declaration by all candidates must be made compulsory: FF

Sep 28 (CT) The Friday Forum has called for reform of National List mechanism in a future 20th amendment or new constitution. “The Friday Forum notes with concern the public perception that parties have used the National List mechanism in a way that appears contrary to its intent. They have put forward privileged individuals with poor track-records in relation to governance or public conduct, and especially candidates who did not receive sufficient votes from their electorate. more..