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VIP security should not be taken for granted

Apr 12 (DM) So many things have been said and written about the present controversy over security provided to former President Rajapaksa since the first media report last week said the army personnel were to be removed from his security detail. In fact the issue now has become purely a political issue even for the loyalists of the former President rather than a security concern. Minister Lakshman Kiriella denied the reports about the change in the former president’s security detail more..

Red carpet in Beijing, Blue Ridge in Colombo

Apr 12 (DM) The red-carpet welcome accorded to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in Beijing on his just-concluded official visit, and the understandings reached, send a reassuring signal that China continues to be an all-weather friend to Sri Lanka. This is in spite of the uncertainties that characterized the relationship during the 2015 presidential election campaign when the yahapalana camp engaged in anti-China rhetoric and Chinese-funded projects came in for some flak. more..

Getting heavier on top

Apr 12 (DM) Our political history since Independence had been studded with numerous events such as communal riots, two insurgencies, a prolonged ethnic war, emergency rule, and allegations of violations of human rights, massive scale frauds and corruption. Politicians, national, provincial and local, have been openly despising and breaking the rule of law. They use political power to suppress their own more..

Private sector shares optimism despite challenges at Sri Lanka Summit in Singapore

Apr 12 (FT) A group of private sector leaders at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Summit in Singapore expressed optimism about growth and prospects for investments despite many challenges faced from an internal and external perspective. This view was shared during a panel discussion titled CEOs Insights involving Singer Sri Lanka Group CEO Asoka Pieris, Sunshine Holdings Managing Director Vish Govindasamy, more..

Scorching sun bears down on already burnt out consumers

Apr 12 (ST) The Cost of Living issues seem to have been laid to rest for the time being with the approach of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year as shoppers were seen rushing in and out of shopping complexes and haggling with pavement vendors in Colombo as well as in outstations this week. Vendors shouting themselves hoarse advertise their wares and bustling shoppers look for the best bargain. more..

No power cuts despite Noraichcholai shut down: Minister

Apr 12 (DM) Noraichcholai Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant (LCPP) had been shut down for three days since last night, due to a leakage of a steam boiler in the phase three. However the CEB had not announced a power outage, owing to the failure of plant. Meanwhile, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya rejected the claims that one of the boilers had exploded causing the shutdown. “Power plant was shut down because of a leak. more..

'Suspension of Port City caused loss of US$ 125 mn to Sri Lanka'

Apr 12 (Island) Sri Lanka had incurred a loss of USD 125 million due to the 20 month unilateral suspension of the Colombo Port City Project, Communist Party Leader D.E.W. Gunasekera said. He said Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake before the last presidential election had shouted slogans, endorsed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, against Chinese-funded projects including the Port City. more..

'Central Bank probing Panama Papers'

Apr 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka is moving ahead with an investigation on leaks contained in the Panama Papers, although clear information is not yet available, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. “We have got some of those papers, and we are requesting further information from our counterparts,” Mahendran said. The names of Sri Lankans in the papers are not yet clearly established, he added. more..

New Year auspicious times 2016

Apr 12 (GDI) Sri Lanka is to welcome the Sinhala and Hindu New Year 2016 tomorrow (13). Astrologically, the Aluth Avurudda (New Year) symbolizes the transition of the Sun from Pisces to Aries. According to the New Year almanac 2016, the auspicious times for New Year come as follows. Sighting the new moon falls on Friday, 8th April and on Sunday 8th May. Bathing for old year is on Wednesday, 13th April. more..

Nalaka thera castigates govt for keeping war heroes in custody without charges

Apr 12 (Island) President of National Movement for the Protection of War Heroes, Ven Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera said the govt should be ashamed of keeping in prison the officers who had been instrumental in saving the country from the clutches of terrorism. "They have been held on remand without charges for over 300 days." he said. "The LTTE women’s wing leader Thamalini has said that Army was able to defeat Tigers more..

Indian national diagnosed with Malaria leaves country

Apr 12 (DN) The Indian national who was diagnosed with Malaria has left the country confirmed Director of Anti Malaria Campaign Dr. Hemantha Herath. "Indian national was diagnosed and given proper treatment before leaving the country," he added. Further testing has established that the vector has not been reintroduced to the country. Dr. Herath assured that no indigenous (local) cases have reported so far. more..

Yoshitha’s impending house arrest

Apr 12 (SL) Following the money laundering charges filed against Yoshitha Rajapaksa over his alleged involvement in Carlton Sports Network (CSN) investment, the FCID has commenced two fresh probes into the ownership of two palatial houses in Dehiwala worth over several hundreds of millions of rupees and the CSN building in Battaramulla worth around Rs. 200 million. The property at 173/2, Mihindu Mawatha, more..

Sports Ministry needs more damage control

Apr 12 (CT) With the goings on in Parliament these days with sitting concerning sports, Sri Lanka has learnt much about issues with the Ministry pertaining to their indebtedness. The Sooriyawewa Ground was thought of during tenure of Arjuna Ranatunga, who once said that the plans were shown to him and he agreed then, as cricket was to benefit. Little would have Ranatunga known what was on the minds of those who planned this presently faced predicament on Sri Lanka Cricket? more..

Confusion reigns: Roberts on war’s final stages

Apr 12 (CT) From Michael Roberts’ latest essay Attempts To Rescue Pirapâharan Et Al In 2009, I see that I have joined the list of authors whose work has been subjected to his less than forensic critical attentions. In this instance his focus is the final stages of the Sri Lankan conflict. Rarely one for modest enterprise in this context, part of Roberts’ aim here is an attempt to show where – and how – others have got it wrong, and/or wilfully sought to mislead, over events in the final stages more..


Police on round-the-clock watch to catch drunken drivers

Apr 12 (Island) Police had been ordered not to show any leniency towards drunken drivers during the festive season as the consumption of alcohol was the number one cause of road accidents, Acting IGP S. M. Wickremesinghe said yesterday. The acting IGP told The Island that already about 300 drivers found to be under the influence of liquor during the 24 hours ended at 8am yesterday had been produced before courts. Police would be on alert to catch drunken drivers round-the-clock more..

New Constitutional Assembly had better follow Lincoln’s adage

Apr 12 (CT) Parliamentarians, tasked by the people to draft a new Constitution or amend the existing one to rhyme with their aspirations, met for the first time in Parliament last week as the Constitutional Assembly and unanimously appointed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as Chairman of the Steering Committee. When the Constitutional Assembly met last week, with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya presiding, Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka proposed the name of Premier Wickremesinghe for more..

Panama Papers: Amarapala resigns, paving way for inquiry

Apr 12 (DM) Megapolis and Western Development Ministry said though there was a concerted effort by certain interested parties to link Ministry Consultant Vidya Amarapala to the so-called black money scandal Panama Papers he had never been involved in such illegal transactions and added, Mr. Amarapala had decided to resign from his post to facilitate any possible inquiry. more..

Sivajilingam leads protest surrounding Jaffna district secretary office

Apr 12 (AM) A group led by TNA Northern Provincial Council Member M.K. Sivajilingam surrounded Jaffna District Secretary's Office, to protest over the appropriation of lands by the security forces. The protesters said that the security forces have appropriated some lands in several areas recently. Although the govt pledged to release appropriated lands, it is now appropriating more lands, they alleged. The District Secretary was unable to leave his office due to the protest. more..

Senior DIG SM Wickramasinghe appointed acting IGP

Apr 12 (AM) President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Senior DIG SM Wickremesinghe as the acting IGP. Former IGP N.K. Illangakone retired from service yesterday. The names of three senior DIGs have been recommended to the Constitutional Council to be considered for the post of IGP. They include Senior DIGs SM Wickramasinghe, Pujuth Jayasundera and Chandana Wickremaratne. The Constitutional Council is yet to make the final decision on the appointment. more..

DEW Gunasekera cries foul over latest treasury bond issuance

Apr 12 (CT) Amidst allegations of yet another bond scam at the Central Bank, former chairman of the COPE and leader of the Communist Party DEW Gunasekera has demanded as to why the Central Bank did not utilize the EPF Fund, or state banks such as People’s Bank or the National Savings Bank to obtain a short term loan facility instead of selling treasury bonds to private capital owners at a high interest of 14%. more..

Shares gain over 1.2% after IMF statement

Apr 12 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares jumped over 1.2% on Tuesday as local investors bought risky assets, after an International Monetary Fund statement said a three-year loan programme is expected to conclude in two weeks, dealers said. Sri Lanka has requested for an IMF loan to help weather a looming balance of payments crisis. The benchmark stock index rose 1.24% to close at 6,353.20, its highest close since Feb. 10. "The IMF loan is seen as a positive factor," more..

Hooch distillery raided

Apr 12 (Island) Acting on a tip-off received by Commissioner General of Excise, L.K.G. Gunawardena, Galle Excise office on Sunday conducted a series of raids on four illicit distilleries in Kalupe and Nawagannokola along Molapuoya in the Rangalla Forest Reserve, nabbed five suspects and took into custody 31,500 ml kasippu, and 1,077,000 ml goda in 11 barrels. OIC Galle Excise Office Dheera Gunasekera said suspects had been fined Rs.50,000 each and released on bail. more..

Sri Lanka to raise VAT to 15% from May 2

Apr 12 (EN) Finance ministry said value added tax (VAT) would be increased to 15% from 11% with effect from 02 May 2016 while the Nation Building Tax (NBT) would remain unchanged at 2%. Deputy Secretary to the Treasury S R Attygalle said the changes were in accordance with that announced by PM last month in parliament. Finance ministry statement also announced the re-imposition of the 0.3% share transaction levy. more..

Harin summoned to Courts over club brawl

Apr 12 (CT) Kollupitiya Police has filed a case in the Fort Magistrate's Court against Minister Harin Fernando in connection with allegedly assaulting an individual and causing injury. Michael Fernando, a resident of Talangama North, complained that the Minister assaulted him at the Colombo Swimming Club on 22 April 2015. Police have referred this complaint to a Mediation Board. However, as the minister did not turn up for mediation board hearings, the Police filed a case. more..

CTU opposes govt's decision to award appointments against political revenge

Apr 12 (DN) Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) along with eight other administrative unions lodged a complaint at the Human Rights Commission today against the decision by the Education Ministry to award appointments against political revenge. The govt had planned to award about 4,500 appointments in Sri Lanka Teacher's Service, SL Educator's Service and SL Principal's Service. "The govt is planning to offer more than 4,500 appointments naming them as more..

Combined Excise/STF op. nets Rs. 4.2mn worth of smuggled liquor

Apr 12 (Island) In a joint raid conducted by sleuths of Special Operations Unit of the Excise Department and the Special Task Force nabbed a millionaire selling smuggled foreign liquor and seized a stock of 183 bottles of imported brands meant to be sold during the New Year season when the bars and restaurants are closed. The street value of the stock of foreign liquor apprehended was around Rs 4.2 million, more..

MR will attend Joint Opposition May Day rally

Apr 12 (CT) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will definitely participate in the May Day Rally organized by the Joint Opposition at Kirulapone, MP Dinesh Gunawardena said. He made this comment responding to a question raised by journalists. "I have never deviated from any of my statements. Whatever I have said is the absolute truth according to the best of my knowledge. I vouch that Mahinda Rajapaksa is going to attend the Joint Opposition May Day Rally in Kirulapone," he said. more..

Two Japanese naval ships in Colombo

Apr 12 (SLN) Two Japan Maritime Self Defence Force ships, JS Makinami and JS Suzunami, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill visit on 11th April. They were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval customs and traditions on their arrival. The head of the mission, the Commander Escort Division III, Captain Takashi Yoshioka and the Commanding Officers of two ships, Commander Shyuji Ono, Commander Masanori Amemiya and more..

Sri Lanka to facilitate import of vegetables from Pakistan

Apr 12 (BR) Sri Lanka will facilitate the import of vegetables including potato and onion from Pakistan. The issue of exempting imported consignments of vegetables from regularity duties will be taken up in the next cabinet meeting as the duties are imposed to save local production. These views were expressed by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen while addressing a lunch arranged by Pakistan-SL Business Forum in his honour. more..

Unhappy Sri Lanka may not allow Lasith Malinga to play in IPL

Apr 12 (IT) Defending champions Mumbai Indians are set to suffer a major blow after Sri Lanka Cricket has hinted at not giving No Objection Certificate to Lasith Malinga to play in the ninth edition of the IPL. According to reports, SLC is unhappy with Malinga's attitude of picking and choosing tournaments and the two have been at loggerheads since the Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh in February. SLC chief Tilanga Sumathipala said that the current status of Malinga's fitness needs to be assessed more..

Mastermind of the Museum burglary is remanded

Apr 12 (ITN) The main suspect arrested over the robbery of artefacts from the Colombo Museum was further remanded today until the 25th of this month. Priyantha Mendis is the suspect who has been taken into custody with respect to the incident related to the looting of artifacts from the Colombo Museum. He was in remand custody and was again produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate today. She ordered to further remand the suspect until the 25th of this month. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket launches Super Under-19 Provincial Tournament

Apr 12 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has launched a Super Under-19 Provincial Tournament to function as a sturdy link between schools cricket and senior cricket. Tournament will be contested between ten teams over three weeks, starting from April 19. Each side will play four two-day matches in the group stage, before the leaders in each group progress to a three-day final, to be played at Khettarama from 10-12 May. more..

'Inflation to stay at low to mid single digits'

Apr 12 (EN) Sri Lanka’s headline inflation is expected to remain in the low to mid single digit levels during the rest of the year although core inflation shows signs of picking up, the central bank said. Inflation based on the Colombo consumer price index fell to two percent in March 2016 from 2.7% in February. But the central bank is watching the core inflation index which reached 5.7% in February which is high, central bank governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

Kaduwela Sudha arrested again with T56

Apr 12 (CT) Underworld leader, Kaduwela Sudha who was released from prison recently after completing a sentence of 12 years in connection with killing seven underworld members including Kaduwela Wasantha on 26 May 2002, was once again taken into custody by the Special Crime Investigations Unit of the Peliyagoda Division yesterday at dawn with a T-56 weapon in his possession. Kaduwela Sudha had got together with Karate Dhammika and ambushed a van more..

SLC wishes to retain de Silva's services

Apr 12 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to retain outgoing chief selector Aravinda de Silva as an advisor of cricket affairs - a new loosely-defined position, in which he will be expected to work with the new selectors and national team management. De Silva will step down as chief selector at the end of the month to focus on his business interests, but the board has asked that he stay involved in this consulting role. more..

Take extra precautions to avoid accidents

Apr 12 (DN) New Year festival organisers, private bus owners and the public should take extra precaution during the New Year season to prevent fatal accidents, Colombo National Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. According to Dr. Jasinghe the public should buy quality fire crackers which meet required standards. They should buy ordinary fire crackers rather than high powered ones such as triangular fire crackers. Children should be kept away from fire crackers. more..

Red Cross noticed regarding Siriliya Defender

Apr 12 (LT) Colombo Chief Magistrate has ordered to notice the Director of Sri Lanka branch of Red Cross Society should to be present in Court to accept the Defender vehicle given to Siriliya welfare society of former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and was found hidden in Homagama area during investigations into the murder of popular rugby player Wasim Thajudeen. The Defender vehicle had been received from Red Cross Society by former Minister Felix Perera and more..

Sri Lanka revives stock trade levy after opposition to capital gains tax

Apr 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's bourse will reimpose a 0.3% share transaction levy it stopped in January, an exchange official said on Tuesday, after a proposal to tax capital gains met strong opposition amid a foreign outflow from the stock market. PM on March 8 proposed to impose capital gains tax for the first time since 1987 as the country faces a debt trap, partly due to infrastructure borrowing by the previous govt. more..

Refreshingly novel

Apr 13 (DN) Probably these two places catch the season’s attention. Clothe store is one. ATM, the other. This habit continues to flourish despite criticism growing year by year. If September is the month of harvest for booksellers, then April could be the harvest season for clothiers. Most leading clothe stores have already shut gates leaving huge crowds outside. They cannot sustain the crowds inside. “People have gone crazy. It is as if they have never worn before. more..