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Sri Lanka watching for results from previous tightening measures: CB Governor

July 5 (EN) Sri Lanka is watching for the effects of monetary policy measure to play out, and a recent spike in inflation could be due to sales taxes, CB Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy said as inflation continued to climb up. "We still haven't seen the full effects of what had been done," he told reporters at his first press conference being made CB Governor. He said the effect of tightening took between 9 to 12 months according to what Deputy Governor Weerasinghe said. more..

High powered Ratwatte committee meet to discuss Brexit, ETCA etc.

June 5 (Island) A 12-member prime ministerial sub committee to find ways and means of countering possible ill-effects of Britain’s exit from the European Union and to expedite the signing of the ETCA with India and a bilateral trade pact with China, met for the first time yesterday. Former Treasury Secretary Charitha Ratwatte acts as the Convenor of the committee appointed by PM. Its other members are Governor of CB Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran, more..

Video: Gammanpila questions new CB Governor's integrity

June 5 (DM) PHU General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila today said they had no doubt about new CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy’s capabilities since he was an experienced and a qualified person, but they had questions about his integrity. “He was charged in an insider trading case. Founder of the Galleon Group, an American-based investment fund management firm Raj Rajaratnam was jailed for 11-years in that case. more..

Ramazan brings message of peaceful co-existence: PM

June 5 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe releasing his official Ramazan message said Ramazan brings a message of peaceful co-existence, sharing and harmony to all. Full text of the PM’s message: Throughout the world, Muslims observe Ramazan with fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Held every year, this sacred religious observation is recognized as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is dutifully followed by the faithful. more..

Ex-AG wants National Audit Bill passed sans amendments

June 5 (Island) Former Auditor General Sarath Mayadunne said that it was imperative to have the National Audit Bill passed by parliament, without amendments as it was long overdue. Mayadunne, addressing a news conference warned that if the bill was not passed billions of rupees that should come to the govt coffers would be stashed away by rogues. The independence of the Auditor General would also be circumscribed. Asked whether the proposed Act would see the light of day more..

Only provided professional services to Rajaratnam: CB Governor

June 5 (DM) Newly appointed CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said he was delivering certain professional services as an economist to the SL-born jailed hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. “My job was to provide him with research reports,” Dr. Coomaraswamy said. Criticism has already been levelled at him by joint opposition MPs about his connection to Galleon Fund of the disgraced Mr. Rajaratnam, who more..

Speaker to consult Attorney General, CB Governor over bond report

June 5 (LBO) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has decided to consult Attorney General and new CB Governor over the course of action to take on the Auditor General’s report on Treasury bond auctions. “I’ll look forward to discuss the future course of action over the bond report with them while also protecting the confidentiality of the report of the Auditor General,” he told Parliament. “I already talked about it with the COPE Chairman and will take steps that will not affect the current COPE proceedings.” more..

SL Navy arrests 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen

June 5 (PTI) 17 Tamil Nadu fishermen were on Tuesday arrested by Sri Lankan naval personnel, for allegedly fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters, in the third such incident in as many days. The fishermen from Nagapattinam, who set out for fishing in two mechanised boats, were arrested by the SL Navy off Neduntheevu, Nagapattinam Fisheries Joint Director Subburaj said. The fishermen, along with their two mechanised boats, have been taken to Kangesanthurai. more..

Australia favourites to win in SL: Murali

June 5 (CB) At the start of this month's three-match Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia, the visiting Australian side will be awarded with ICC Test Championship mace as well as a cash prize of $1 million, acknowledging the Steven Smith-led team's climb to the summit of the rankings. However, whether the No.1 Test side acclimatises quickly to the unfamiliar climes of Sri Lanka remains to be seen. more..

HK grants HK$2.3m to Save the Children for Sri Lanka relief work

July 5 (TS) Hong Kong has approved a grant of HK$2.263 million to Save the Children Hong Kong for providing relief to flood victims in Sri Lanka. (Pictured, water was scarce following floods in Colombo in May). It was approved following the advice of the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee. The grant, together with the one approved earlier, will take the accumulative value of grants for cyclone victims in Sri Lanka to HK$3.451 million. "To ensure that the money would be more..

Bond scam: Socialist Alliance holds Ranil responsible for loss suffered

July 5 (Island) Welcoming Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy’s appointment as the new Governor of the Central Bank the Socialist Alliance yesterday urged the Governor to sever his links to the UNP to ensure the independence of the bank. Leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF), MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara told the media in Colombo that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe should take the responsibility for the losses that CBSL had incurred due to the Treasury Bond (TB) scams. more..

Batticaloa Airport now under the CAA

July 5 (DM) The operations and maintenance of the Batticaloa Airport has been vested with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from May 31, 2016, the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said. It was earlier under the purview of the Air Force The ministry said the move was prompted by the increase in civil flying operations. RDA with the assistance of SL Air Force is renovating the Batticaloa Airport at a cost of Rs.1,400 million more..

No bail for Sajin Vass Gunawardena

June 5 (AD) Former UPFA MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena who was arrested by the CID has been further remanded until July 08. The former MP was arrested in connection with an investigation on a financial fraud case. The investigation was initiated following a complaint lodged by a Director of a private company with the CID accusing Gunawardena of defrauding him over Rs.600 million, it was reported. He will be produced before Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya again on July 8. more..

End of Ramadan announced

July 5 (AD) Muslims in SL will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, festival ending Ramadan, tomorrow as the new moon has been sighted today, the Colombo Grand Mosque said. Eid al-Fitr bids goodbye to Ramadan -- a month of dawn-to-dusk abstinence from food, drinks and other sensual pleasures. The Eid is one of two major holidays in Islam, alongside another called Eid al-Adha. During Ramadan Muslims endeavour to adhere to 3 types of worship: Sawm (fasting), Zakat (charity) & Salat (praying). more..

India to upgrade railway network in Lanka

July 5 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka today discussed here various issues concerning development of railway network in the island country. Upgradation of signalling and telecom system and strengthening of existing railway line in Sri Lanka are some of the issues discussed between Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Lankan Minister Malik Samarawickrama here amid the presence of senior railway and MEA officials. more..

Another Sinhala-Muslim conflict brewing: Govt caught napping!

July 6 (CT) Astrologers are no strangers to SL politics. Sumanadasa predicted a MR victory in 2015 and later gave some interesting reasons when it misfired. There was another type of astrological prediction recently in a newspaper which was both comical and uncanny. An astrologist named Sameera Chandrasiri from Helabima newspaper in his column, in a crafty way predicted an impending Sinhala-Muslims conflict soon and attributed cattle slaughter during Ramazan time more..

Which country intervened in Maithri-Ranil standoff?

July 6 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena after revealing the appointment of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Central Bank Governor went to attend the birthday party of Minister Faiszer Musthapha. The Indian High Commissioner (HC) too, was present at the party. When the theme of the conversation centred on Dr. Coomaraswamy, the Indian HC began speaking highly of him. The new Governor had the opportunity to work with India closely during discussions on draft of ETCA. more..

Jumbo shortage hits kandy perahera

July 6 (SO) The scarcity of domesticated elephants needed for upcoming peraheras and other religious events has become a contentious issue in recent weeks. The ongoing tussle reached a boiling point when earlier this week, Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera dramatically announced that elephants which are not released by owners for religious purposes when requested by the govt, will be confiscated more..

Taxes: Proposals & The way forward

July 6 (CT) It was proposed to raise the individual tax free allowance to Rs.2.4 million from Rs 500,000, almost a 500% increase. If implemented this would have left very few individuals paying income tax in this country. This proposal was withdrawn. Share transaction levy is a proper way of taxing share transactions in the Colombo Stock Exchange. Whether there is a profit or not the levy is charged on each share transaction. This levy was removed and reintroduced later. more..

Fisheries Corporation in troubled waters

July 6 (SL) The Ceylon Fisheries Corporation is facing the threat of closure due to the alleged mismanagement of the Corporation’s funds. Some of the reasons for this is recruiting employees outside the recruitment procedure, selling fish without following the rules and regulation of the Corporation and the misappropriations of funds. Amidst all these allegations, it was reported recently that the Corporation had leased out 30-perches of land to a Russian firm, Union Fish, more..

Eid al-Fitr a day of joy and goodwill

July 6 (CT) The sighting of the crescent moon announces the dawn of Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan, a day of joy and goodwill celebrated by Muslims across the world. Eid al-Fitr is the manifestation of what one learns and establishes throughout the month of Ramadan, celebrating God's favour upon oneself and basking on his blessings. It is time of gratitude and humility in the face of God which allows one to shed more..

(Re)conceptualising Reconciliation

July 6 (GV) Transitional justice is a popular term in present day Sri Lanka. It is the means by which the various parties to the conflict have decided to bring about justice and reconciliation. The reason behind this move to employ transitional justice is two-fold. First, the international community, especially the UN, failed to intervene during the final stages of the conflict in 2008 and 2009. In fact, the UN specialised agencies did the exact opposite and pulled out of the North and East of SL during this time, more..

Editorial: Leaders as entertainers

July 6 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe have, of late, performed some entertaining publicity stunts which may have gone down well with their supporters. However, it is doubtful whether the resentful ordinary public, struggling to keep the wolf from the door and cursing all those responsible for the recent VAT increase are in a mood to be entertained. PM Wickremesinghe took a tuk-tuk ride in Badulla during a recent UNP membership drive. more..

Sunil Handunnetti

TNA’s revelation in Washington as regards foreign judges stuns govt

July 6 (Island) TNA Friday welcomed a hard-hitting statement, issued by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Al-Hussein, in respect of war time and post-war accountability issues in Sri Lanka. UNHRC reiterated the call for international participation in the proposed war crimes probe, on the basis of Resolution 30/1, adopted on Oct 1, 2015. The TNA comprises the ITAK and three former terrorist groups namely TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF formed by govt of India in the ‘80s. more..

Two good debuts and the non-appeal

July 6 (CI) Danushka Gunathilaka had faced just three deliveries of Sri Lanka's innings when a direct hit at the non-striker's end might well have sent him on his way, had England bothered to appeal more vociferously. Backing up a mistimed drive into the covers from his partner, Kusal Perera, Gunathilaka dabbed his bat into the crease as Eoin Morgan pinged off his bails but the verdict would surely have been out had the decision been sent upstairs. England weren't too badly short-changed in more..

A gentleman sportsman as head of CB

July 6 (DN) So after much deliberation we finally have a Governor appointed for the Central Bank in Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, a Sri Lankan economist who is also a gentleman sportsman to the very letter. Dr Coomaraswamy is not new to the CB because he had served there in the Economic Research, Statistics and Bank Supervision divisions since 1973 and as a staff officer till 1989. From 1981 to 1989 he was more..

Buttler's career-best, Dawson's England record on T20I debut

July 6 (CI) 0: Number of matches won by Sri Lanka on this tour of England. They lost the three-match Test series by 2-0, lost the five-match ODI series 3-0 before losing the one-off T20I. The last instance of a visiting side not winning any match against England in a season, containing series of at least two formats, was West Indies in 2012. Incidentally, Sri Lanka had won all the three series against England on their last tour, in 2014. 73* Jos Buttler's score in this match - his highest in T20Is more..

SLGJA signs partnership with Guangdong Gems and Jade Exchange

July 6 (DN) Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) signed an MOC (Memorandum of Cooperation) with Guangdong Gems and Jade Exchange (GDGJE) in Colombo yesterday. Agreement signifies a new phase of development between the trades of SL and China to explore further mutual-beneficial cooperation opportunities, SLGJA Chairman A.H.M. Imtizam said. Trade activities between SL and China have been on the rise as two countries are close to reaching more..

Tough ask for top notch athletes as final Olympic qualifying opportunity looms

July 6 (Island) President of SLAA, Sugath Thilakaratne admitted that deteriorating condition of the synthetic track at MRIS, Diyagama was a hindrance when top athletes make their final bid to qualify for the up coming Rio Olympic Games at the venue later this week. While only three track and field athletes have qualified for the quadrennial Games so far, there are at least half a dozen others who are on the border of the qualifying mark. more..

SC rules on Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act amendment

July 6 (FT) Supreme Court in its determination held the petition challenging the proposed Bill which envisages to amend the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 3 of 2003 is inconsistent with the Constitution. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya reading the Supreme Court determination in the Parliament said: “I wish to announce to the House that I have received the determination of the Supreme Court in respect of the Bill Fiscal Management (Responsibility) (Amendment), more..

Grade 8 boy had booze in school bag

July 6 (CT) A bottle of liquor has been discovered in the school bag of a Grade 8 student of a school in the Kandy District. Two bottles of liquor had fallen out of his bag when he had been trying to zip it up in class. He had been asked by a teacher-monk why he had brought two bottles of water to school when the monk noticed that one of the bottles contained water, while the other had liquor. Upon further questioning the student had told the monk that he had brought half of the liquor kept in a bottle more..

T20: Sri Lanka end England tour winless

July 6 (CI) The sun duly set on Sri Lanka's tour of England, but the literal setting on a sunkissed day in Hampshire proved infinitely more impressive than the figurative version. As a packed house at the Ageas Bowl revelled in another show of force from an increasingly impressive England white-ball team, the visitors prepared to exit stage left - trampled underfoot at the end of a long and arduous tour from which more..

‘Macro economic variables militating against Sri Lanka’s stock market growth’

July 6 (Island) SL's macro economic variables are not favorable to the country's stock market development. Current high interest rates and balance of payment issues, for instance, are getting in the way, CSE chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said. "At present the CSE is not performing well owing to world market conditions, interest rate fluctuations and the balance of payment crisis, where exports/imports are concerned. Present market conditions are not conducive to a better more..

Brexit fallout on Sri Lanka not major; can make bonds pricey: CB Governor

July 6 (EN) The fallout of Brexit from the trade and tourism channels may not be "major", but Sri Lanka could end up paying higher rates for foreign borrowings, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "The one line answer is that I don't think it will be very significant," Governor Coomaraswamy said. About 10% of Sri Lanka's total exports went to the UK and Sri Lanka could lose some of it. "Tourism there may be a negative hit. But none of these are major," he said. more..

Current tax burden will be removed soon with Govt. financial discipline: Ravi K

July 6 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake claimed that the current tax burden on the people could be removed in a short period of time as a result of the Govt’s commitment to practice financial disciplines. “Govt had taken every possible measures to eliminate waste and corruption in improving financial discipline,” said Karunanayake after handing over dry rations among low income group families more..

Eid al-Fitr : Celebrating a month of purification: President

July 6 (Island) President in a message to mark Eid al-Fitr which is celebrated today said "With a deep understanding about the good living standards endowed to the human society by Muslim devotees who are disciplined by the practices of their noble religion, I extend my best wishes to them as they celebrate the Eid al-Fitr at the conclusion of a month long Ramazan fast. Ramazan fast comes with sighting of the moon, which is a gentle inheritance of nature and ends with dawn of a new moon. more..

More weapons, ammo surface in VVT

July 6 (CT) Velvettithurai Police and STF men have once more discovered a cache of explosives and weapons used by the LTTE when they were involved in land-clearing operation for onion cultivation in Uduppiddy in Velvettithurai in Jaffna which was the hometown of late LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. A Police spokesman said the cache, dropped into an unused well, had been discovered by farmers also engaged in the land clearing who had alerted Police to this effect. more..

Motor car registrations up in May

July 6 (DN) Motor car registrations recorded 3,657 units in May up from 3,664 units a month ago but significantly down from 6,018 units 12 months ago. The month of May also recorded a rebound recording strong growth over April in 3 wheelers, 2 wheelers and mini trucks. In addition brand new segment registrations recorded 1,766 units in May marginally up from 1,754 units the previous month but significantly down from more..

RDA announces Highway Tree Planting Week

July 6 (Island) The RDA in their efforts to reinforce sustainable development has identified an opportunity to plant trees on the wayside of the Southern expressway. At the invitation of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division of the RDA, Sadaharitha Plantations jointly launches a Highway Tree Planting Week and have offered 100 Aquilaria plants. Tree planting activities will take place in selected locations of Southern Hiway from July 4–8. more..