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To the incoming Head of Intelligence...

Dec 9 (CT) The usual saying goes as Better the devil we know, than the angel we don't, which might not be applicable for the Head of State Intelligence in Sri Lanka. Undoubtedly, a job and a position that only a devil of a man could handle, the position of the Head of State Intelligence recently became a controversial debate topic at Parliament, when the matter of the country's defence budget was discussed. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing Parliament, noted more..

Exporters express concern over withdrawal of SVAT system

Dec 9 (EN) Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) has urged the govt to retain an existing paperless value added tax refund scheme until a proposed electronic tax administration is fully operational. In a statement, the EASL asked the finance ministry and the Department of Inland Revenue to ensure the electronic Revenue Administration Management Information System, known as RAMIS, will be operational by January 2017. more..

හොරුන්ට බැණ බැණ හොරුන්ටම ඡන්දය දෙනවා

Sri Lankan Lobby & Foreign Policy

Dec 9 (CT) Sri Lanka was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement with the first women PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike depicting her courageous leadership to the entire world not being a spectator but playing an active role in global arena. Her foreign policy outcomes can be explained only when interests, values and power are combined, a rich understanding of her beliefs. It was a period when small nations had to commit allegiance between US or Soviet power blocs. more..

Healthcare services VAT exempt

Dec 9 (CT) The Gazette notification to exclude the cost of healthcare services from Value Added Tax (VAT), with effect from 1 Nov 2016, was presented in Parliament yesterday. However, other charges such as fees paid to medical practitioners, medical consultation fees, channelling fees and hospital room charges will not be exempted from the VAT. The Gazette notification, issued under the hand of Minister Ravi Karunanayake, was presented to Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka. more..

'Some SLFP ministers conspiring against govt'

Dec 9 (DM) UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman said there was suspicion whether some SLFP ministers with the connivance of former president Rajapaksa were conspiring against the Govt. He said some of the SLFP Ministers were attempting stir up trouble between UNP and President Sirisena by making controversial statements. “We have reasonable doubts whether some SLFP Ministers are conspiring against more..

Amidst allegations of corruption, TI’s Sri Lanka chapter under review

Dec 9 (CT) Transparency International’s Sri Lanka chapter will undergo an independent review, in the wake of serious allegations of corruption and malpractices leveled against the local chapter and members of its hierarchy. A senior official attached to the Berlin based anti-corruption body said that the four week institutional audit which will be carried out by an independent reputed body will determine any malpractices as alleged by some staff members of the local chapter. more..

Sri Lankan shares hit over one-week closing low; blue chips fall

Dec 9 (Reuters) Shares closed at their lowest in more than a week on Friday as investors sold large-cap shares such as Ceylon Tobacco Company and John Keells Holdings amid subdued sentiment. Colombo stock index ended down 0.2% at 6,324.10, its lowest close since Dec. 1. The index was largely flat for the week after recording a 1.2% gain last week, its first weekly gain in four. Turnover was 622.1 million rupees, compared with this year's daily average of 748.3 million rupees. more..

How did govt earn US$1.1 Bn from white elephant? Namal

Dec 9 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa today asked how the Hambantota Port, which was branded as a white elephant by the UNP when in the Opposition, had now become a paying concern good enough to be sold to a private company. He condemned Govt’s decision to handover some 80% of the Port to China Merchants Port Holdings Company and said the govt was to receive US$1.1 billion by doing so. more..

CA issues notice on Fisheries Minister for permitting bad practices

Dec 9 (Island) The Court of Appeal issued notice returnable on Jan. 22, 2017 on the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Secretary to the Ministry and six others. Minister is the first respondent in the writ application filed by a group of fishermen of Indikale, who have complained that permits were issued by the respondents to fish, using Laila and Surukku nets which wreaked ecological destruction on shallow seas. Trawlers were permitted to fish only 10 km from more..

Thawheed Jamath secretary granted bail under strict conditions

Dec 9 (AD) Secretary of the SL Thawheed Jamath (SLTJ) organization, Abdul Razik, who was arrested on charges of inciting religious disharmony, has been released on bail under strict conditions. He was ordered released on a cash bail of Rs 10,000 and two personal bails of Rs 1 million by Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Magistrate also warned SLTJ Secretary that he would be remanded for the continuation of court case if he makes any statement that would incite religious disharmony. more..

'Fibre optic cables cover 2/3 of the country'

Dec 9 (NR) Minister Harin Fernando said govt has initiated large scale projects in order to digitize the country adding that fibre optic cables have connected two thirds of the country. Speaking during the Committee Stage Debate of the Budget, he said the govt was required to initiate infrastructure prior to developing telecom projects. He said before initiating projects the new govt worked on establishing a solid infrastructure. more..

'TRC looking into blocking of news website'

Dec 9 (DN) Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said he had inquired from the Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (TRC) over allegations that a news website had been blocked. He said that he would make a statement in Parliament on the alleged blocking of the site:, no sooner than the Commission provided him the report. He made these observations in response to MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, who demanded to know why the said website being blocking. more..

Tissa Attanayake Likely To Join Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna

Dec 9 (AM) Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake is likely to join the Sri Lanka Podujana Party formed by supporters of the Joint Opposition. However, Attanayake has not made a comment on this. He is known to be exploring possibilities of returning to politics, following his abrupt fall from grace after the 2015 Presidential Election defeat of former president Rajapaksa. Attanayake left the UNP in Dec 2014 and offered his support to the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Ministerial Sub-Committee appointed to achieve sustainable development goals

Dec 9 (PMD) Cabinet has decided to appoint a Ministerial Sub-Committee to define and to achieve the success in the vision of sustainable development goals of Sri Lanka for 2030.  The Cabinet has taken this decision according to a memorandum submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena to the Cabinet.  This Ministerial Sub-Committee will comprise five Cabinet Ministers and a Chief Minister of a Province and the Cabinet also granted their approval to appoint more..

17 FRs against Lanka E news editor

Dec 9 (NR) 17 Fundamental Rights petitions have been filed at the Supreme Court calling to issue an international arrest warrant to the Chief Editor of the Lanka E news web page Sandaruwan Senadhira. The petitions charge Sandaruwan Senadhira for the publication of the police sketch of the suspect who allegedly assaulted Veteran Journalist Upali Tennakoon before it was produced in court, which court deemed as contempt of court. An international arrest warrant was issued by more..

LSSP demands LG poll in Jan or Feb

Dec 9 (DN) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) demands the government to hold the Local Govt polls in January or February next year according to the new electoral system, LSSP Secretary Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. He said that the new electoral system is the law of the land now and it is ready for use with the consent of all political parties. Therefore, there is no need to give into the demands of the JVP and the UNP which demand the old preferential system. more..

Cocaine haul worth Rs 12 billion; South Asia’s largest: Police

Dec 9 (DM) About 800 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated value of Rs.12 billion was detected on board an Indian-bound vessel docked in Colombo Harbour today following a tip off received by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB). DIG Ajith Rohana said that the cocaine which was concealed inside a container loaded with teak logs was reportedly the largest quantity of cocaine detected so far in SL and the South Asia. more..

Burqa in exam hall: 16 students refuse to remove veil, leading to tense situation

Dec 9 (AM) A heated debate erupted at the St Mary Exam Centre in Nawalapitiya as 16 students were not permitted to enter the exam hall by Chief Officer in Charge as they had refused to remove their veils. The parents of the students claim that their children were not able to sit to the exam properly as they were ordered to remove the veil, which caused them mental distress. This incident took place on Dec 7. The parents had even complained to the Minister of Education. more..

Prez urged to take decision regarding IGP?

Dec 9 (AD) Constitutional Council (CC) has decided to launch an inquiry with regard to the behavior of the country’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) and take suitable action afterwards, political sources said.  The Constitutional Council, a 10-member constitutional authority tasked with maintaining independent commissions in Sri Lanka  and monitoring it affairs, convened today and had reportedly discussed IGP Pujitha Jayasundara’s questionable behavior and actions.  more..

'Hambantota Harbour has only been leased'

Dec 9 (NR) The govt today said the present administration has made a strategic decision to convert the Hambantota Harbour into an income generating enterprise by entering into an agreement with a private entity. Minister Malik Samarawickrama issuing a communiqué said Sri Lanka will retain the ownership of the Harbour adding an agreement has been reached on a 99-year lease with a Chinese company. more..

CPC makes Rs75bn in profits up to Dec 2016

Dec 9 (EN) Sri Lanka's state-run CEB has made a profit of 75 billion rupees up to December 2016, helped by lower petroleum prices, Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. Weerakkody told parliament that the utility had made a profit of 69.5 billion rupees up to September 2016, despite cutting prices. The CPC had also cut loans to state banks from 373 billion rupees at the end of 2015, to 282 billion rupees by end August 2016. Lower outstanding loans also reduces interest costs. more..

Indian garment N Fabric Expo in Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (FF) Indian Garment N Fabric Expo (IGFE) 2017 will kick off from January 7 in Colombo. 3-day exhibition will witness participation of exhibitors from India doing business in readymade garments, fabrics, ladies wear and gents wear among others. It is an opportunity for B2B firms to connect with the consumers of Sri Lanka. IGFE 2017 will also host live fashion show on all three days of the programme. The B2B exhibition that is open to the public will be organised by more..

Fooling people with empty words: Good Governance is no joke: President

Dec 9 (PSL) President Sirisena says the most important decision in the process of preventing and eliminating the bribery, corruption and malpractices, is to avert circumstances which provide an environment for corrupt practices, rather than punishing the offenders.  He made these remarks addressing National Anti-Corruption Conference today, in parallel to International Anti-Corruption Day. more..

Grade Five Scholarship: Cut-off marks released

Dec 9 (DN) Ministry of Education released the cut-off marks for the Grade 5 Scholarship examination. (See below for full list) Sinhala Medium – Boys’ Schools Royal College, Colombo – 184 Dharmaraja College, Kandy – 181 Ananda College, Colombo – 180 Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala – 180 Richmond College, Galle – 179 Nalanda College, Colombo – 178 Kingswood College, Kandy – 178 D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo – 176 Isipathana College, Colombo – 173 more..

Minister Dayasiri asks Can journalists join shady media institutions?

Dec 9 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said that he knows for a fact that no journalist is prepared to have blood on his hands and he wondered how any media personnel could take up employment in media institutions which have been established with money stolen from the people of the country. He said the best name for the media that is about to be launched is Bendhumkaraya, adding "before long we will reveal the names of these media institutions. We will tell the people who they are, more..

Half Sri Lanka’s public procurement contracts are corrupt: President

Dec 9 (AFP) Half of Sri Lanka’s public procurement contracts are tainted by bribery and corruption, President Maithripala Sirisena said, nearly two years after he came to power promising to tackle govt graft. President, who has ordered investigations into alleged widespread corruption under his predecessor, said he could not name names because those exposed would go on strike from tomorrow. more..

Requesting a permit to carry out crimes 

Dec 10 (CT) A lead thought by the USA on democracy and human rights is summed up by the quote, the right to swing my walking stick ends, where the other man’s nose begins. What can be assumed is that Americans are of the opinion that even concepts of freedom and democratic rights have limitations. To explain this further, freedom is not completely free. Under the guise of Union concerns, the GMOA maintains a massive mafia with the doctors and medical professionals. more..

Anti-Muslim campaign again – Why?

Dec 10 (CT) I began the first part of this article by focusing on the point that the ongoing anti-Muslim campaign should be seen in the context of the global spread of what has come to be known as identity politics. Identity politics have such virulence and such spread today that the recrudescence of the anti-Muslim campaign, after a lull of a couple of years, is not at all surprising. These facts suggest that identity politics are not the sort of problem that can be expected to go away if it is ignored. more..

They faced it all and they want others fighting cancer to do so too

Dec 10 (ST) We are the survivors! This is the message of hope and strength that they are shouting from the rooftops, so that each and everyone who is living with cancer or who has beaten what many believe, under a dreadful misconception, is a killer disease, can join them. Welcome to the recently-formed CAN-SUR-VIVE Trust, obviously punning on the word cancer. There is laughter and joking and not an inkling of more..

Governance: On the bus! Or has it missed the bus?

Dec 10 (FT) By the time you read this, the long-suffering Sri Lankan commuters’ private bus strike would have been resolved – for want of a better concept to describe the shambles which such a resolution entailed. There’s been a host of compromising, the parties concerned – especially the chief executive – might say, on the road to my horizon. How Good Governance – for want of a better concept to describe the shambles which the republic encapsulates these days more..

What a difference a phone call can make

Dec 10 (NS) Last week, there was a furore about a telephone call taken by IGP Pujith Jayasundera while he was at a public function. He was captured on camera assuring a caller he addressed as sir that nilame will not be arrested. IGP Jayasundera has so far taken a lot of flak for what happened. His conduct was questioned in Parliament. Unfortunately for him, President Sirisena happened to be in Parliament at that time. President took it upon himself to state that what the did was wrong and more..

'We respect Buddhism & Monks'

Dec 10 (CT) TNA MP Sathasivam Viyalendran said that the hate speech occurring in the Eastern Province against the minority communities is a pre-planned agenda by the representatives of the former regime. "We respect Buddhism and we respect Buddhist monks but a small number of them are trying to tarnish the reputation of the whole. We know that the majority are quite clear and aware of the planned agenda. more..

Constitution and death threats

Dec 10 (NS) The need for a new constitution has already been accepted by almost all political parties in the country. Following the end of thirty years long bitter war the general expectation among the people has been to set aside the old differences and concentrate on developing the country. In this background, a new govt was voted into power with the idea of changing the political culture of the country. Adopting a new constitution is an important step in these developments. more..

Editorial: NATO summit in Colombo

Dec 10 (Island) A NATO (No Action Talk Only) summit on corruption was held in Colombo. Fiery speeches and solemn pledges were made by politicians, who vowed to rid the country of bribery and corruption. Been there, done that! The road to hell is said to be paved with good intentions! Leaders of the incumbent govt have talked the talk for long enough and now it is time for them to walk the walk, but they are talking the talk once again. Many a pair of shoes is said to be worn out more..


Sri Lanka’s quest for strategic prominence in the Indian ocean

Dec 10 (TD) Last week, Sri Lanka hosted the eighth iteration of the Galle Dialogue – a meeting of regional navies held every year at the eponymous southern coastal city. Over the past few years, the conference has emerged as an important fixture on the Asian maritime calendar, and a key venue for consultation and dialogue among senior naval officers from regional littoral states and beyond. Traditionally, conference has focused on common security themes in Indian Ocean littorals, more..

300 families in Walawe reservation under threat

Dec 10 (NS) The Ambalantota Divisional Secretariat informed that the removal of 300 families, who according to them are illegal dwellers in the Walawe river reservation area, from the area was the solution to the preservation of the river and its water resource. The reservation is near the Ridiyagama boundary. Ambalantota Divisional Secretary, H. Thialakawardhana added that the majority of the families possess no deeds to the lands they occupy, he further added. more..

From Kolam to Group songs, Baila to Bailatronics

Dec 10 (ST) Commercialisation’ of Sinhala music with the advent of ring-tone music and some new FM radio channels selling air time packages to play songs of present and past musical creations of singers have become an obstacle for the emergence of quality musical creations, an eminent panel of musicians claimed at a discussion in Colombo this week. Today the country’s music nurtured by dedicated and erudite musicians more..

Jayalalithaa’s death a relief to Sri Lanka: JHU

Dec 10 (DM) JHU said that while they had expressed their condolences over the death of former TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa her death was a great relief to Sri Lanka. JHU national organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe pointed out that the late chief minister was an anti-Sri Lankan leader who harassed Sri Lankans in India and always acted contrary to the interests of our country. “She harassed our Buddhists monks, players, businessmen, those who went on pilgrimage more..