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Luxury yachts to attract tourists to Sri Lanka

July 6 (DN) Sri Lanka recently embarked on a novel project to manufacture and market luxury yachts as a new initiative under the country’s tourism drive. The foundation stone for the yacht factory was laid at a ceremony presided by Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. The proposed luxury yacht manufacturing facility located at the Beruwala Fisheries Harbour is a joint-venture between the Building a Future Foundation (BAFF) and Solar Impulse (Pvt) Ltd. BAFF was founded by more..

Hussein earns GTF praise for pushing for full implementation of Geneva Resolution

July 6 (Island) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has issued a statement appreciating UN human rights chief Prince Al Hussein’s call for meaningful international participation in the proposed judicial mechanism to probe war crimes. GTF statement: "The GTF welcomes the oral update provided by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein to the UNHRC on 29 June in Geneva. We commend High Commissioner more..

New concept by Orion City in partnership with BC and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

July 6 (Island) A tri-party collaboration laid the foundation for a new concept at the Orion City IT Park to bring energy, ideas and people together. Orion Development, in partnership with the British Council and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, launched an inspiring new space on 1st July for occupants of the park as well as visitors. The new venue, ceremonially opened by Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne, is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Libraries have been the silent mammoth of more..

October is to be declared a Bribery and Corruption Prevention month

July 6 (ITN) October this year will be declared the month of preventing bribery and corruption. This was revealed by Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. He said that measures would be taken to include matters in this respect in the school curricula with the intention of moulding a student generation filled with qualities of eradicating of bribery and corruption. Minister said that bribery and corruption are rife in this country and the new Govt took over power against such vices. more..

Video: EC Chairman must have been influenced to postpone LG polls: Basil

July 6 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the Elections Commission (EC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya must have been influenced to postpone local govt election. He said the EC Chairman had no legal obstruction to hold the election and requested him to hold the lection without being recorded in history as the person who did not hold an election for 1.5 years. “President had issued a gazette notification more..

New scanner for Customs to curb corruption

July 6 (Island) Parliament was yesterday informed of a government decision to provide Customs with five state-of-the-art scanning machines. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that new equipment would help enhance the efficiency of the department and minimise corruption. Responding to a question by UNP Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana, the Minister said that the government was losing revenue due to corruption and shortcomings on the part of Customs. more..

Motorists to get 30 days to pay traffic fines

July 6 (DN) The Govt had taken a decision to extend the time given to motorists to pay fines for traffic violations from 14 days to thirty to facilitate the delays when paying traffic fines, Police Traffic Chief (DIG) Amarasiri Senaratne said. According to the Motor Traffic Act 224, if a court date was specified for a traffic violation that does not end in an accident, damage caused to public property or injury, the amount of the fine should be mentioned and summons sent to the offender. more..

Another Thewarapperuma drama

July 6 (DN) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma reportedly walked out from a private hospital in Colombo yesterday despite objections by doctors after hearing the arrest of the mothers of nine students who were denied admission to Grade 1 of the Meegastenna Primary School. When contacted, the deputy minister said he was heading for the Matugama Magsitrate’s Court in support of the arrested parents. more..

JO member lambastes Al Hussein

July 6 (DN) What moral right has the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein to interfere in the country’s internal affairs by suggesting a hybrid special court led by international judges to be incorporated into the proposed new Constitution, asked UPFA MP Niroshan Premarathna. The MP said the Human Rights Chief has expressed this proposal presenting an oral update on Sri Lanka to the ongoing 32nd sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva last month. more..

VAT revision: Meeting ends inconclusively

July 6 (DM) Monday's meeting chaired by President Maitripala Sirisena on the revision of the VAT is reported to have ended inconclusively in the absence of any decision being taken. The President summoned this meeting amid mounting public protests against the recent increase in the Value Added Tax applicable to various goods and services. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said there were several proposals and counter proposals and it was decided to move forward. more..

Coomaraswamy charts way forward for CB

July 6 (FT) A confident CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy promised to give his absolute best shot to restore the institution’s credibility, increase transparency in the bond market and stabilise macro-economic fundamentals to achieve growth in SL. Giving his evaluation on SL’s post-independence economic fortunes, Dr. Coomaraswamy noted that for the first time in 50 odd years SL did not have a drag in terms of more..

Lab tests: Hippocrates turning in his grave

July 6 (DM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne last week said that his ministry would ban patients undergoing treatment at State hospitals from obtaining blood test reports from private labs from December and the Govt would provide blood testing equipment which cost Rs. 15 million each with lab services. He had said this at a discussion held at his Ministry. In a point of view of the patients seeking treatment at State hospitals and generally that of the free health care, which Sri Lanka boasts of, more..

Round and round the bush

July 6 (DM) The then President R. Premadasa on Oct 19, 1989, using the powers vested in him appointed Professor Lakshman Jayatilleke, Chairman, Professor G.L. Peiris, Member, Dr. (Mrs.) Radhika Coomaraswamy and four others to serve on a Presidential Commission on Youth with a mandate to examine the causes of youth discontent, disquiet, unrest and social discontent among the youth and the factors which had contributed to the growth of such discontent and to recommend more..

'SLFP supporters fall victims to cunning politicians'

July 6 (DM) Dailymirror sat with Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to discuss the power crisis and political upheavals in the country. Q: Is the power crisis over now? A: Not really. For the moment we are in good shape, providing uninterrupted power to the entire country mainly due to the low cost hydro power generation of 40% and coal power of another 40% of the total demand. Thermal power generation from CEB more..

Shame of 100,000 children labouring in farms, homes and factories

July 6 (ST) There are almost 100,000 child workers in Sri Lanka, with girls working mostly as domestic help in towns and boys doing agricultural work in the villages. Schooling is a distant dream for many children, survey shows, with 13.9% of the child labour population being aged five to 14 years – the period when school attendance is compulsory. Child labourers in rural sector (58.7%) showed a preference to attend school more..

Video: Cabinet sets up Special Committee on price hikes

July 6 (DM) A Special Committee had been appointed by the President to look into price increases of essential goods in recent times, minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. “Special attention was drawn to artificial and unusual price increases of essential items by the President, PM and other Cabinet Ministers,” he said. “Later the decision was taken to appoint immediately a committee to look into such artificial & unusual price increases more..

Roy Dias keen to take SL U-19 to next level

July 6 (CI) Sri Lanka Under-19 coach Roy Dias believes that experience will be vital heading into the 2018 Under-19 World Cup in NZ, and this has played a hand in the selection of the current U-19 squad that is playing a home series against South Africa U-19. Four players in the squad for the South Africa Youth Test series - Avishka Fernando, Shammu Ashan, Vishad Randika and Damitha Silva - participated in the 2016 U-19 World Cup but more..

MPs should pass psychiatric test: Keheliya

July 6 (CT) UPFA MP Keheliya Rambukwella has proposed to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya that all 225 MPs must be subjected to a psychiatric examination to determine factors which might impact on their eligibility for membership in Parliament or in public office. He added that "all MPs must be duly qualified with a basic GCE O/L qualification or something on par with it. All MPs must be given an all clear certification by a psychiatrist more..

New look police force soon: IGP

July 6 (DN) Sri Lanka Police Service is to be presented with a new face to serve the public in a more effective and efficient manner. All measures are in place to introduce a new plan for the next five year period for the Police Service, IGP Pujith Jayasundara said. He said this special plan will address all fields in the police service including recruitment, training, international relations, promotions, infrastructure development, more..

Fresh tenders for coal supply

July 6 (SL) The Supreme Court last week delivered judgment on an application involving the largest tender ever awarded by the govt to supply coal to the first coal-fired power plant complex, Lakvijaya Power Plant, in Norochcholai. Delivering judgement on an application that Noble Resources Ltd. of Singapore filed, Court directed Lanka Coal Company to terminate the contract entered into with Swiss Singapore Overseas more..

Sri Lanka aims to demilitarize island by 2018

July 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka intends to become completely demilitarized by 2018, the govt said Wednesday, a significant announcement that will end the army’s involvement in civilian life after decades of ethnic war. Heavy deployments from the SL army have remained in former war zones in the island’s north and east since a 37-year conflict with Tamil separatists ended in May 2009. The military is also deeply involved in private enterprise, more..

Video: ICC agrees to compensate Kusal

July 6 (AFP) The ICC have agreed to compensate Kusal Janith Perera over the doping charges made against him that were proved false, Sri Lanka Cricket said today. The ICC withdrew a doping case against cricketer Kusal Janith Perera last month after his lawyers proved scientifically and beyond reasonable doubt that the testing process of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accredited lab report in Qatar was flawed. more..

Speaker remains indecisive in releasing report on bond scam

July 6 (Island) A final decision on Auditor General (AG)’s report on the alleged Treasury bond scam would be taken after a meeting with Attorney General, AG and incumbent Governor of the Central Bank, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament. Speaker Jayasuriya said that he had already discussed the matter with COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti. Speaker said that he had received a complete report of the AG’s investigation into more..

Sri Lanka says meets IMF program targets for June, amid inflation spike

July 6 (EN) Sri Lanka has likely met key targets for June 30, in an IMF stabilization program, with final data is to come Deputy Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said. Sri Lanka has met key targets of net international reserves, budget deficit (deficit before interest costs) and inflation, based on preliminary data, he told reporters in Colombo. Central bank however generated 6% inflation in the year to June 2015, soaring over a middle band of 4.8% by wide margin, but more..

Australian voting, hung parliament, & lessons for democracy

July 6 (CT) As we move deeper into the 21st century, considerable changes in attitudes and preferences, or what we could simply call voting behaviour, seem to take place among the voters and citizens of major representative democratic systems. This was evident two weeks ago at the Brexit referendum and now confirmed by the Australian parliamentary elections at the weekend. People are moving away from the traditional political parties, and the leaders, and more..

වාරියපොළ සමනළ උද්යානයේ සිට

Public Administration Ministry Secretary Dadallage plans to appeal against transfer

July 6 (AM) Secretary to the Public Administration and Management Ministry J. Dadallage said that he will not assume duties at the Ministry of Posts, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs and is planning to appeal against the transfer. Speaking to Asian Mirror, he said that he has been informed of the transfer as Secretary of the Ministry of Posts, Postal Services and Muslim Religious Affairs. It was said that he was transferred on service requirements. more..

Russia equips Sri Lanka with modern military hardware

July 6 (Island) Increasing defence cooperation has resulted in Russia equipping Sri Lanka’s armed forces with some models of its state-of-the –art military hardware. The Russian Ambassador Alexander Karchava, addressing a reception to celebrate his country’s National Day in Colombo recently, said that over the last four years his country had signed a range of important bilateral agreements with Sri Lanka. "It includes providing some models of Russia’s state-of-the-art more..

'Use of cluster ammo not banned during war'

July 6 (Island) The presidential commission to investigate complaints regarding missing persons and other alleged wartime atrocities has strongly challenged Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights call for a fresh inquiry in respect of the use of cluster ammunition during eelam war IV. Chairman of the Commission retired High Court judge Maxwell Paranagama stresses that there is no basis more..


July 6 (CT) The Israel Medical Association is right now under assault from some sections of the media, after it ruled that a more seriously wounded terrorist must be given priority of treatment over a less wounded Israeli victim of that terrorist. The Jerusalem Post argued that those hurt by the terrorist did not choose to have a sharp instrument plunged into their bodies. The pain inflicted upon them was against their will, whereas the terrorist intentionally chose to cause injury, more..

COPE in quandary, as UNP MPs attempt to protect ex-CB chief Arjuna Mahendran

July 6 (CT) The independence of the COPE maybe in jeopardy due to clandestine moves by the UNP to thwart any attempts to take action against ex-CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. During a crucial meeting on Tuesday to discuss the AG’s Report on the controversial Treasury Bond transactions, UNP MPs who are members of COPE had said that they could not accept the AG’s report, and it needed to be referred to an independent expert for an independent opinion. more..

JVP farmers’ union claims sharp drop in paddy cultivation

July 6 (Island) All Ceylon Peasants Association (ACPA) warned of an acute shortage of rice due to a steep reduction in the extent of paddy land cultivated during Yala season. Namal Karunaratne, president of ACPA affiliated to the JVP said that even the cultivated paddy fields had been badly affected by lack of fertiliser and natural causes. JVPer alleged that the much publicized govt project to replace the fertilizer subsidy with cash had more..

Water cut continues well over 12 hours

July 6 (CG) A water cut which was in effect in several areas since last evening continued today, going beyond the initial 12 hours it was scheduled to be in force. The NWSDB earlier announced a 12 hour water cut from 6 pm yesterday to 6 am today. The water cut was in affect in the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council areas, Wellawata, Kirulapana, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Pamankada, Havelock Town, Jayanthipura, Pelawatta, Mulleriyawa, Ambatale and Kohilawatta. more..

SAITM case fixed for argument

July 6 (DN) Court of Appeal yesterday fixed for argument on October 12 the writ petition filed by a MBBS graduate of the SAITM seeking an order quashing the decision of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to refuse registration as a medical practitioner of the petitioner. Meanwhile, Court of Appeal Justices Vijith Malalgoda (President) and Justice Preethi Surasena fixed for support on Aug 2, the applications made by five parties including the SLMC to intervene in the petition. more..

Cabinet gives nod to amend law to allow witnesses to testify from overseas

July 6 (CG) Cabinet has given the approval to amend the existing laws to allow witnesses to testify from overseas, the Govt said. The existing witness and victims protection law was brought into operation in May this year. However Govt says there have been requests to allow witnesses from overseas to testify under this act. Accordingly it Govt has decided to amend the existing law enabling victims and witnesses more..

Colombo to host Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference

July 6 (TDM) Sri Lanka is to host the first Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), a top-level gathering of international investors, business leaders, govt ministers and officials. President Maithripala Sirisena, speaking at the presidential residence, said: “Sri Lanka has everything you need to be a fantastic destination, from awe-inspiring ancient cities, beautiful beaches and colorful coral reefs to mist-shrouded mountains, spectacular sights and wonderful wildlife. more..

Govt taking steps to recover money from Avant-Garde: Ruwan

July 6 (Island) State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardana told Parliament yesterday that the Defence Ministry was taking steps to recover the money due from the Avant Garde to both the Sri Lankan Navy and Rakna Lanka. In answer to a question raised by JVP MP Nalinda Jayatissa, Wijewardana said that Avant Garde had raked in Rs. 11,329 million from April 2011 to March 2014 and a profit of Rs, 1,260 million had been made for the same period. more..

Velukumar resigns, Senasinghe appointed to COPE

July 6 (DM) Amidst the investigations into the Central Bank bond scam, UNP MP M. Velukumar resigned from the COPE today making way for the appointment of Deputy Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. However, Mr. Velukumara said he resigned because he had to attend to other parliamentary work. Mr. Senasinghe said that PM nominated him to represent the UNP in the COPE. “I had been informed by the PM that more..

Mangala accuses Paranagama of trying to be too smart

July 6 (CG) Minister Mangala Samaraweera accused chairman of the Missing Persons Commission, Maxwell Paranagama of trying to be too smart by making a public statement on the alleged use of cluster bombs during the war. He said he was disappointed that a person in the calibre of Maxwell Paranagama made such a statement and added that such a statement will not help the reconciliation process. Paranagama had said in a statement that if the army used cluster bombs more..

Laws to be amended to probe offshore accounts

July 6 (Island) Minister Niroshan Perera told Parliament yesterday that the Financial Transactions Reporting Act No 6 of 2006 (FTRA) would be amended within this year to probe Sri Lankans who maintained offshore accounts and to take legal action against them. Responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara Minister said that the decision to introduce amendments had been taken at a meeting of the Advisory Board to Financial Intelligence Unit. more..