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No VAT on electricity and medicine

Apr 20 (DN) Value Added Tax (VAT) will not be imposed on electricity and medicine, State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena stated. Earlier this week it was revealed that, VAT was scheduled to be increased to 15 % from 2 May. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the Parliament stated that VAT will be increased to 15%, while the Nation Building Tax (NBT) will stay unchanged. more..

Pillayan continues to remain in remand prison

Apr 20 (ITN) Former Chief Minister of Eastern Province S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan will continue to remain in remand prison. He has been remanded until the 04 of next month. The remand order for Pillayan was given when he was produced before the Judge S. Ganesharaja in the Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court today. Pillayan has been accused in connection with the assassination of Batticaloa district MP Joseph Pararajasingham at a Church in Batticaloa on Dec 25th of 2005. more..

AHRC finds yahapalana govt shirking on introducing genuine reforms

Apr 20 (Island) Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) says that the Yahapalana govt has not yet been able to introduce measures for genuine reforms to alleviate the country from ills of societal crisis prevailing for decades. "Though the new govt that has taken power has created a greater space for freedom, measures for genuine reform are still scant. Particularly in the area of criminal justice reforms, there have virtually been no policy developments to introduce necessary more..

'Action against SLFPers defying party decisions a real possibility'

Apr 20 (DN) All active members of the SLFP have an obligation to give prominence to the May Day rally organised by the party, SLFP Youth Front President and former MP Shantha Bandara said. He said party General Secretary had sent letters to all MPs, PCs and former LG members informing the location and programme of SLFP May Day rally, adding that all the party members are requested to attend it. more..

CID probes alleged corruption charges against Mahindananda

Apr 20 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate ordered five banks to provide details of five accounts belonging to several persons and establishments to the CID, to carry out investigations against former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage for alleged abuse of govt funds. The CID filing a report before the Court submitted that they are conducting investigations on a complaint made by the movement called Voice against Corruption to the CID over the abuse of public funds more..

Leo Burnett acquires majority stake in Sri Lanka-based Solutions Group

Apr 20 (TP) Publicis Groupe company Leo Burnett Worldwide has acquired a majority stake in Sri Lanka-based communications company Solutions Group for an undisclosed sum. Accordingly, Leo Burnett Sri Lanka and Arc Worldwide Sri Lanka will now be fully integrated into Publicis Communications, one of Publicis Groupe’s four solutions hubs regrouping all creative communications activities. “Given the tremendous growth and creative opportunities in SL, more..

Video: Govt to pay for surrender of illegal fire arms

Apr 20 (DN) The govt will pay for those who hand over illegal fire-arms during the amnesty period, Defence Ministry Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said today. Ministry declared a general amnesty period from April 25- May 5 and said those who possess illegal firearms can hand them over to the nearest Police Station, DS or PS. “Legal action will not be taken against anyone who comes forward with illegal firearms. more..

YuppTV launches 18 Sri Lankan channels on its platform

Apr 20 (TT) YuppTV, the world’s largest Over-The-Top (OTT) provider for South Asian content, expands its offering with the launch of 18 Sri Lankan TV channels across a variety of genres such as general entertainment, news, music, spiritual etc. As a part of the association, prominent Sinhala, Tamil and English channels such as Siyatha TV, Derana TV, Dan TV, Channel C, Nethra TV and Prime TV will be made available on YuppTV platform, worldwide. more..

Ranjan wants his colleagues and officials to be accountable

Apr 20 (Island) Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake has warned against misappropriation and misuse of public funds allocated for various development projects implemented in the Divulapitiya electorate. Gampaha District MP said that people’s representatives as well as state officials should be accountable for public funds dispensed by them. The Deputy Minister was addressing a coordinating committee meeting of the Divulapitiya electorate on April 18. more..

Cabinet approves inclusion of 10,000 rupee allowance to the basic salary

Apr 20 (ITN) The Cabinet has granted the nod to release circular instructions drafted on the recommendations of the National Salaries and Cadres Commission for restructure of salaries of State Corporations, Statutory Boards and state owned companies. In addition to information on this news report there is information on more other Cabinet decisions. Circular dated 25th Feb was issued as per a decision taken by more..

Sri Lanka’s ageing population poses socio-economic challenges

Apr 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s rapidly ageing population poses serious challenges on several fronts. Selected socio-economic challenges of this demographic transition are highlighted here calling attention of policy makers to implement fruitful interventions to preserve the rights of the elderly and to ensure their financial stability, social security and easy access to healthcare. Statistics show that the population above the age of 60 years was 2.5 million in 2012 which is 12.5% of the total population whereas more..

'Pakistan has helped SL in fighting terrorism'

Apr 20 (PO) A high level delegation from Sri Lanka comprising senior Buddhist priests, politicians, academicians and officials paid a visit to Punjab University. An interactive meeting was arranged at Al Raazi Hall of Undergraduate Block in which PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, senior most Buddhist priest Dr Ittapahans Dhammalankara Maba Nayake, delegation’s leader and speaker of Sri Lankan parliament Karu Jayasuria, Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka's new IGP hits the ground running

Apr 20 (EN) Police arrested one of their own men for allegedly suppressing evidence in the high profile Thajudeen murder within hours of new IGP Pujith Jayasundara assuming duties on Wednesday. Former Crime OIC of the Narahenpita police station, Inspector Sumith Champika Perera, was arrested by the CID, police said. "He was arrested on a charge of suppressing evidence in Thajudeen murder case," more..

World’s oldest barbershop set to start business in Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (FT) Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Beau Brummell, Lord Byron and Frank Sinatra’s favourite barbershop, Truefitt & Hill, is now poised to enter the Sri Lankan market and open luxurious men’s grooming barbershops across these countries. The company was brought to India by Lloyds Luxuries Ltd., which has acquired the Master Franchise License for not just India but also Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Vietnam. Established in 1805, more..

Madam Bandaranaike’s charm but firm diplomacy

Apr 21 (CT) Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s place in the world international arena is engraved in gold as the first women Prime Minister and the longest serving PM living in the minds of Sri Lankans as the Mother of the Nation won for our motherland many unthinkable achievements with her inherent Charm but Firm Diplomacy and diplomatic skills in managing foreign policy and organizing the non-alignment summit during the height of the cold war while maintaining more..

The illegal send-off

Apr 21 (SO) Incidents of human smuggling in Sri Lanka took a new dimension, with the detection of three women who attempted to leave the country disguised as members of the Salvation Army. The culprit behind the scam is allegedly an unscrupulous labour recruitment sub agent, who is still at large. Three women, from Nuwara Eliya and its suburbs, have identified the sub agent, during preliminary investigations more..

Neutral umpires vs. home umpires

Apr 21 (FT) Soon after the end of war in May 2009, the Secretary General of the UN visited Sri Lanka and at the end of the visit there was a joint declaration by the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon. The following was stated in the last paragraph of the Joint Statement: “Sri Lanka reiterated its strongest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, in keeping with international human rights standards and more..

Why on earth are we not learning?

Apr 21 (FT) The problem of solid waste in Colombo and the suburbs has been a burning issue for many decades. The number of meetings, court proceedings, workshops and symposia and internal and external reports on managing this problem should total out to a sizeable number without any argument. Many an international donor program has had extensive long-term projects running in the country to solve this issue and Colombo has benefitted from those too. more..

Today is Bak Full Moon Poya Day

Apr 21 (DM) Gautama Buddha visited Lanka for the second occasion five years after the Enlightenment and four years and three months after His first visit to Lanka to settle a dispute between Yakkhas and Nagas. Buddha’s second visit to Lanka on a Bak Full Moon Poya Day was to quell a rebellion among Nagas themselves. Nagas of Nagadeepa were divided as rivals. One group led by Naga king Mahodara and more..

Purification of mind

Apr 21 (Island) An ancient maxim found in the Dhammapada sums up the practice of the Buddha's teaching in three simple guidelines to training: to abstain from all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one's mind. These three principles form a graded sequence of steps progressing from the outward and preparatory to the inward and essential. Each step leads naturally into the one that follows it, and the culmination of the three in purification of mind makes it plain that the heart of Buddhist practice more..

Editorial: Unnerving warnings

Apr 21 (Island) President Sirisena has recently said something that media rights activists should take notice of. He is reported to have stressed, at a meeting with the TRC top brass and media heads that some of the electronic media outfits breach the terms of their licences. This is not the first time a govt leader has referred to the licences of electronic media by way of a warning. There is little that the govt can do to prevent such statements being seen as an attempt to use its authority more..

Julian & Camilla's world odyssey: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Tourism creates a unique Tea Garden in Nuwara Eliya for tourists

Apr 21 (SLT) Sri Lanka Tourism has identified the NuwaraEliya season to extend their current initiatives of city promotions through events tourism under the theme of Celebrate NuwaraEliya and to make a difference in providing a value added experience to the tourists. The Tea Garden organized by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau in association with Sri Lanka Tea Board, Hotel Hill Club- NuwaraEliya will be held parallel to NuwaraEliya season, from 20th to 25th April more..

What's past is prologue

Apr 21 (DN) For many months now, the focus has been on the SLFP, struggling as it is with internal divisions between the two factions aligned with President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Two weeks ago though, the UNP saw a series of changes being made to its hierarchy and many saw this reshuffle as a sign of things to come. Party leader and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had wanted to bring about changes to the party for some time now. more..

Young Journalists support SL’s healing

Apr 21 (MO) Sri Lankan journalist Tharindu Jayawardhana completed his formal education in the same year that the 26-year-long civil war in his country ended. Five years later, Tharindu reports for the most widely-circulated Sinhala paper in Sri Lanka, Lankadeepa. Tharindu’s rapid rise in the underdeveloped profession of journalism in Sri Lanka is a testament to his skill and commitment. It also provides an unique view into more..

Truth beyond commissions: A reflection

Apr 21 (CT) On the 31st of March a small gathering at the Bar Association Auditorium, heard a wise and timely presentation on restorative justice and constitutionalism by a visiting lawyer from South Africa. On that occasion Mr Howard Varney, a guest of the CPA, solemnly offered several helpful insights from his own country as well as Kenya and Tunisia, on how a violated and wounded society could best ensure that the ghosts of the past would never again return to haunt its people. more..

MJM Lafir's 35th death anniversary

Apr 21 (DN) Sri Lanka's first world title winner M.J.M. Lafir will be remembered on his 35th death anniversary, which falls on Tuesday (26). Lafir brought the first world title to the country by winning the world billiards crown in 1973. Lafir won the World Amateur Billiards Championship in Bombay, in Nov-Dec 1973, being victorious against all his opponents and also scoring the highest break of 859. It is an achievement without parallel in the annals of sports in Sri Lanka. more..

Video: No new recruitments to CEB: Minister

Apr 21 (DM) There would be no new recruitment of employees to the CEB through recruitment agencies in the future, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. Currently jobs like meter reading are out sourced by the CEB. “There are very efficient employees attached to the outsourced agencies and they would be absorbed into the CEB cadre. Relevant procedures have been taken to make them permanent through more..

Trinco port eyes big prospects

Apr 21 (ST) The govt is planning to get on track one of its key ports, Trincomalee as part of a larger development plan for the city. In this regard, Trincomalee port’s short term plans are currently in progress where the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is expanding its operations to handle coal starting from end April, the organisation’s Managing Director S. Premachandra said. Coal would be transported via the rail track that is also currently being reconstructed by more..

Tea exporters want taxes in 2016 budget reduced

Apr 21 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Tea Exporters Association (TEA) has called for a reduction of taxes imposed in the revised budget proposals and the annual license fee for all companies as part of the previous announcements. The TEA has stated that exporters were facing a grave situation in the wake of the low demand, low prices, recent oil price drops, political and economic issues in Russia and West Asia that has been further burdened by the these taxes which they want the state to reduce. more..

Yahapalana Deal: Cabinet rejects Rs 960 M rental Bid

Apr 21 (CT) The Cabinet has rejected a proposal to rent a private building at a sum of Rs 960 million per annum by the Ministry of Agriculture that comes under Minister Duminda Dissanayake. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne announcing Cabinet decisions at a news conference yesterday stressed that a separate inquiry was also being conducted into this matter, based on an audit report pertaining to this rejected proposal. more..

Sri Lanka gives new southern expressway deals to Chinese firm

Apr 21 (EN) Sri Lanka has given contracts to China National Technical Import and Export Corporation under the Southern Expressway project to rectify slope failure and repair local roads using savings of 1.93 billion rupees. Three projects proposed by Minister Lakshman Kiriella were approved by the cabinet this week. These are for rehabilitation of 11 local roads, buying four police cars to be deployed on the expressway and to rectify the slope failure at the 114 km post of the expressway. more..

Rakna Lanka to reduce maritime security charges to meet competition

Apr 21 (DN) A special committee has been appointed to revise the charges levied by Rakna Lanka Ltd. for the provision of maritime security services to shipping lines, Rakna Lanka Chairman Victor Samaraweera said. He said India, Singapore and China levied much lower rates than Sri Lanka for the provision of maritime security and that SL was likely to lose business unless they lowered their charges to meet the competition. Any loss in this business will lead to sizable reduction more..

Delay in conducting Junior Nationals

Apr 21 (Island) The delay in conducting Junior National Athletics Championships has made country’s participation in the forthcoming Asian Junior Championship somewhat doubtful as the local event now commences on the closing date for entries for the major Asian Championship. The Junior National Championship will be a selection ground to pick country’s team for the forthcoming Asian Junior Athletics Championships which more..

Celebrating serene Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (GT) Little girls dressed in Sri Lankan finery swayed to the persuading rhythms of traditional music. With each step and move, their musical anklets chimed and jingled in sweet unison as if to aurally emphasise the visual grace of their sparkling performance. The occasion couldn’t have asked for a more adorable sight to bring in the celebrations at the Al Jazi Gardens Clubhouse in West Bay, last morning. It was the 12th anniversary of the International Ladies’ Potluck Group (ILPG), more..

Adi vasi in fatal fall from Buddha statue

Apr 21 (Island) A veddah who attempted to remove a giant honey bee hive from a Buddha statue scheduled to be unveiled today by President Sirisena had a fatal fall in the wee-hours of yesterday. The 135-foot tall statue is described as the tallest standing Buddha statue in South Asia. The dead man has been identified as Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Kiribanda (52), a resident of Dambana. The hive had been built behind the right arm of the statue and the PSD officials more..

Video: Taxes result of failed projects: Ranjan

Apr 21 (DM) Govt had to increase the taxes as a result of the unprofitable projects launched by the former Govt, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said. After the discussion held at the Temple Trees with the PM regarding the May Day rally, Mr. Ramanayake said the Rajapaksa family had placed the country in heavy debt of nearly of Rs. 10 trillion, by implementing several unsuccessful projects, such as Noraichcholai Coal Power Plant, more..

Magical Murali mesmerises biz leaders at SLID Power Evening

Apr 21 (FT) Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) in its 15th year, having a membership of over 700 directors is focused on the importance of boardroom stewardship providing guidance and training to inculcate and encourage ethical behaviour and good corporate governance practices in their respective companies. SLID presented an exciting evening with Mutthiah Muralitharan, the world record holder for the highest number of test wickets in the history of test cricket in the world! more..

SLT mitigates large foreign exchange loss, additional taxes

Apr 21 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has been able to mitigate the effects of a large foreign exchange loss arising from the steep depreciation of the rupee and the additional taxes imposed on mobile operators as SLT Group revenue in 2015 rose by a modest 4.6%, while operating profit increased by18.9% over the previous year, the Annual Report 2015 issued by SLT stated. Report has been made on concepts, principles and guidance given in Global Reporting Initiative more..

Video: 'NPC intends to form a Tamil State'

Apr 21 (DM) The true intention of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) was to pave the way for a Tamil State under the guise of a Federal State, JHU charged. National Organiser of JHU, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said measures taken by the NPC would lead to a conflict between the people representing different ethnic groups. The conduct of Northern Province CM C.V. Vigneswaran affected reconciliation process more..