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Bathiudeen regrets attacks on Muslims

July 7 (CT) "At a time when peace and prosperity is in the offing under the good governance govt, headed by President Sirisena, some irresponsible activities and statements by some narrow minded communal groups, especially those of the Bodu Bala Sena's Chief, Ven. Gnanasara Thera, are highly regrettable and heart-burning. He still condemns the acts of Muslims, the Holy Quran and Prophet Mohamed's (Sal) sayings," Leader of ACMC and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. more..

Video: 'VAT to be revised not repealed'

July 7 (DM) The VAT, which had been increased up to 15% from 11% would not be repealed but alterations would be done to justify the increment, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He said it was impractical to abolish VAT and the Govt was on its way to proceed with the alterations in the tax in order to offer relief to the people. “At present, the increment of VAT has been interpreted as an unusual concept of Good Governance by more..

An open letter to Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy

July 8 (CT) Dear Sir, Finally we have a new governor appointed to the central bank. It’s you. After assuming duties you declared that you fear no one in discharging your duties. We, the readers and contributors to CT eagerly waited for such a person to be appointed as the new governor for the central bank. We urged from the President, “to appoint a Governor who can win greater independence for the central bank by proving his professional wisdom in managing the nonphysical system more..

Why Keheliya says our Honourables in Diyawanna must undergo psychiatric exam

July 8 (CT) Keheliya Rambukwella, MP, has proposed to the Speaker that all MPs should go through a psychiatric test. One can speculate that the proposal came from self-realisation. This gentleman came to Australia while he was Minister under Mahinda Rajapaksa. His son, in the cricket team, was undergoing surgery and fatherly love brought him Down Under at taxpayer expense. He stayed in a Five Star for some days and one fine such day he was reported as having fallen off more..

SAITM: Student aspirations confront qualifying standards

July 8 (SO) With two court hearings pending in the coming week, the first batch of graduates from the SAITM are fighting back to be recognized by SL Medical Council (SLMC) and allowed to work in SL. The latter however, states SAITM doesn't meet the prescribed standards. Following graduation from SAITM, the issue arose when a student attempted provisional registration at the SLMC, for internship appointments. more..

Geneva and coming colours: A lesson for Colombo

July 8 (GV) The recent activity in Geneva around High Commissioner Zeid’s oral update on Sri Lanka illuminated an interesting dynamic with respect to accountability in SL. The noticeable pull back from the terms of HRC Resolution 30/1 by a section of the SL establishment was met with an equally noticeable push back from sections of the international community. As I argue in this piece, this dynamic could—if allowed to fester—grow into a more far reaching diplomatic challenge for more..

Poking Sri Lankan nose into British politics

July 8 (NS) On Tuesday the 23rd of June people of UK made a historic decision by voting to leave the European Union. The referendum turnout was 71.8%with more than 30 million people voting for Leave campaign which won by 52% to 48%. On the aftermaths of the referendum the PM of the UK David Cameron has pledged to resign in October and the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has now stated that a second Independence Referendum for Scotland is now very likely more..

Are protestors being used as a cat’s paw?

July 8 (SL) Protests have become an ever-increasing method of choice of the SL public in showing their displeasure over any particular issue. Most of these protests are targeted at the govt. Recently many businesses closed during the day to protest the new VAT regulations. Protests have become a common occurrence in the fields of health, eduction and human rights as well. Surprisingly, many civil society organisations more..

Next up: Local Govt Elections

July 8 (DM) The controversy over the appointment of the CB Governor was almost like an exercise to obtain the answer to the question who’s the boss? The then incumbent, whose tenure was marked by matters which discredited the office and dented investor confidence, was defended. The President himself expressed displeasure and even stated that he wanted the man removed. Possible replacements were named. In the end, bruises suffered by main protagonists notwithstanding, more..

Editorial: Chilcot Report: No revelations

July 8 (Island) Chilcot Report, which was released on Wednesday at long last, has left those who expected more light to be shed on the illegal invasion of Iraq none the wiser. It has only recorded what was known to the entire world about one and a half decades ago—the US and the UK waged an illegal war against Iraq. The gist of what the war inquiry panel headed by Sir John Chilcot has said is that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before all peaceful options had been exhausted. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Photos of animal torturers go viral on social media

July 8 (DM) Animal cruelty, be it torture, slaughter or even caging for that matter has become a growing concern from around the world. At a time when animal rights activists have started voicing their concerns about allowing animals to coexist with humans, it wasn’t before long that social media revealed footage of a group of people staring at a tortured sea-eagle. This was followed by a man holding a dead peacock with an air rifle in his hand whose wife was giving out numerous excuses more..

2 senior journalists take high positions in ITN

July 8 (ITN) Two senior journalists who had made a special contribution to the development in the media sphere assumed duties in two high positions in the ITN today. Joining at this function, Acting ITN Chairman Saman Athaudahetti said that he had effected an amendment to the single position of Chairman and CEO. Chandana Tilakaratne who assumed duties at the CEO of ITN said that the administration of the establishment has again been transformed into a more precise position. more..

Bond Issue: Do you know this?

July 8 (DM) The former Chairman of the CCC and civil rights activist Chandra Jayaratne has written to Chairman of COPE Sunil Handunnetti, drawing his attention to the General Principles of Accountability of an Oversight Committee of Parliament and issues related to the infamous Bond issue. COPE - address the challenging task of developing and presenting, an independent, professional, unbiased and more..

Paradigm shift proposed to local university education

July 8 (Island) Thilak Karunaratne, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka delivering the Keynote Address at the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Alumni Association of the university of Colombo held at the Senate Hall at College House proposed three new approaches for university education in Sri Lanka which would be a paradigm shift in policy, rules and regulations and in effect a complete change in approach for University education. more..

Ceylon Hotels Corp. to reduce stated capital to write off Rs. 1 b loss

July 8 (FT) Ceylon Hotels Corporation’s Board has decided to reduce the stated capital of company to write off Rs. 1.02 billion of carried forward losses. In a filing to the CSE, Hotels Corp. said as at 31 March 2016, the carried forward loss was Rs. 1.022 billion which has adversely affected the company’s ability to pay dividend to shareholders. Furthermore in terms of the Company’s Act, the solvency test requirements have to be satisfied prior to any dividend distribution in the future. more..

'Onus for avoiding injuries also on players'

July 8 (CI) Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has placed the onus for avoiding injuries partially on the cricketers, upon the team's return from a difficult tour of the UK and Ireland. Sri Lanka's attack was significantly depleted by injury on their travels. Lasith Malinga and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay were ruled out before the squad was named, then Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera were forced to return more..

Suspects in poaching released on bail

July 8 (DM) The six suspects remanded earlier after being taken into custody on charges of poaching of wild animals in the Panwila Forest Reserve in the Knuckles region were released on Rs. 25,000 cash bail and surety bail of Rs.100,000 for each by the Teldeniya District Judge Farique Deen. The suspects released are Mohamed Siraj, Nalinda Weerathunga, Raveendra Weerathunga, Chadrasekera Vijayakanth, Ruwan Sanjeewa Samaranayaka and Maradan Nandakumar. more..

New Sri Lanka regime can still stop rising corruption, nepotism, mal-governance: FF

July 8 (EN) Sri Lanka's new regime elected on a wave demanding good governance still has a chance to stop its rising corruption, nepotism and mal-governance and live up to its promises, an influential citizen's group has said. "The level of corruption which prevailed under the earlier regime may have reduced, but it does not appear to have diminished in the manner that the public has a right to expect," Friday Forum, a group of citizens said. "Despite disappointment on slow progress more..

Sri Lanka to make bond auctions transparent, block manipulation

July 8 (EN) Sri Lanka is studying the bond auctioning processes to increase transparency and reduce room for manipulation benchmarking on international practices, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "The idea is to make it as transparent as possible, to reduce the capacity for manipulation as much as possible," he said. "These are all thing that we would do." "Clearly the reputation of the bank depends on us more..

No urgency for SL’s ETCA response to Brexit

July 8 (IDN) The PM, Ranil Wickremasingha, has declared that Sri Lanka will sign the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India urgently as a means of cushioning the possible negative effects of Brexit on the country. As to whether the proposed ETCA will be effective in realising this goal has not been properly discussed. Nor have the deeply felt reservations of the SL business and professional communities about the ETCA been adequately addressed. more..

'Strategies needed to reverse brain drain'

July 8 (Island) Ranjith Pandithage – chairman of DIMO said that he was pleased to see the blossoming technological talent of young Sri Lankans, but expressed his deep concern that such talent would leave the shores of Sri Lanka for want of a better quality of life elsewhere. Hence, he suggested that the time was ripe for policymakers to focus on creating an economic climate conducive to meeting with the living standards aspired to by the country's young professionals, more..

Northern scribes express gratitude to President, PM

July 8 (DN) The visiting group of journalists from the Northern Province met President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday. They expressed their gratitude to the President and the PM for their commitment to establish peace and reconciliation in the country. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake and Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranavithana were also present. more..

Price control demanded for rice, big onions and potatoes

July 8 (FT) National Movement for Consumer Rights’ Protection (NMCRP) called on the Govt to issue price controls for rice, big onions and potatoes, in line with fresh measures to enforce price controls on essential items. Writing to Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka, the organisation has demanded the inclusion of the three essential goods in the Cabinet paper which is expected to be tabled in the coming days to impose price controls for 10 essential items. Karunathilaka stated at the Cabinet briefing more..

212 Billion rupees spent to mete out treatment to drug addicts

July 8 (ITN) A sum of 212 Billion Rupees had been spent to mete out treatment to drug addicts last year. This is an unfortunate situation. This was stated by Dr. Samantha Kumara, Director of the Presidential Task Force For Drug Prevention. He revealed this information joining in a media conference held to enlighten the Puttalam District programme of the National Programme on a Drug Free Country. Following a survey carried out in 2015, Govt had to spend Rs. 212 billion on more..

'Mahendran ignored Public Debt Dept warnings, went ahead with bond sales'

July 8 (Island) A group of Central Bank (CB) officials informed the COPE that CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran had claimed he acted on the instructions of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as regards the controversial bond issue, according to a senior COPE. The COPE met at 2.30 pm at the Parliamentary Complex and over 20 top CB officials including the incumbent Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy were present. more..

National Athletics focus on Rio qualifications

July 8 (DN) Three athletes will eye the Rio Olympics qualifying mark during the 94th National Athletics Championship scheduled to be worked off at MR Stadium in Diyagama, Homagama from today. High Jumper Manjula Kumara, Javelin Thrower Nadeeka Lakmali and middle distance runner Nimali Liyanarachchi are the leading contenders for an Olympic berth in their respective events during 3-day national meet which will serve as the final trial for them to qualify as Rio Olympic qualification more..

JO plays its last trump

July 8 (DN) Last week the so-called Joint Opposition (JO) launched what it called a new political force. It comprised those elements of the SLFP that are being led by the former President Rajapaksa and the smaller political groupings led by Dinesh Gunawardena, Tissa Vitarana, Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila. Obviously the new force was in existence incognito for some time with an organisation of its own as was evidenced by its own spokesmen at certain times. more..

Chilcot report: GR, RB call for action

July 8 (Island) Wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that UN, particularly the UNHRC couldn’t turn a blind eye to Iraq Inquiry report. They pointed out that a major Western power had never been implicated in such horrendous violations since the setting up of UNHRC. Gotabhaya said Chilcot report on UK culpability in Iraq war couldn’t have come at a worse time more..

Sri Lanka blame fitness for England loss

July 8 (Island) Skipper Angelo Mathews Thursday blamed fitness issues for the team’s disastrous England tour, but said he hoped to use the advantage of home conditions against a tough Australian side. Mathews returned home after losing the Test series 2-0, the five-match ODI series 3-0 (with one tie and one no result) and also conceding the only T20 in chilly English conditions. "Fitness was a big issue, as the captain I am disappointed with our battling, bowling and fielding," more..

'COPE can take Mahendran to court'

July 8 (FT) The COPE will take legal action against former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran if evidence is found implicating him in the controversial Treasury bonds issue, State Minister and COPE Member Lakshman Seneviratne said. He said the SLFP was still maintaining the stance Mahendran was involved in alleged insider trading. “COPE has already commenced investigations into the issue and all members have fully studied the AG’s 1251-page report on Treasury bond transactions. more..

ETCA to be signed on Oct 30?

July 8 (Island) Sri Lanka and India have decided to finalise the text of the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) so that it can be signed by Diwali (30), the great Hindu festival of colours now being celebrated the world over, including Sri Lanka. "A decision to this effect was taken by Sri Lankan Minister Malik Samarawickrama and India’s Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman more..

Vithanage handed one-year suspension

July 8 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has suspended Kithuruwan Vithanage from all forms of cricket for one year for his part in a public brawl in Colombo. In a hearing conducted on June 16, SLC's disciplinary committee found Vithanage guilty of misconduct and in breach of the ICC code of conduct. The suspension not only makes Vithanage ineligible for international and A team cricket, he is also unable to represent his club - Tamil Union - in the Premier tournaments, and is barred from more..

'Tourist arrivals to exceed 2.2 million target'

July 8 (EN) SL could get as much as 2.5 million tourist arrivals in 2016, higher than the official target of 2.2 million, Minister John Amaratunga said as growth slumped to a record low in June. "We hope we could come up to about 2.5 million tourists by the end of the year," he said. "The indications are very good. Bookings are encouraging. Travel agents are confident, tour agents are confident, hoteliers are confident that they will have very good occupancy from September onwards. more..

PM alleges judicial coup against Parliament

July 8 (Island) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is expected to give a ruling on the ratification of the first Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Sri Lanka. The govt and Opposition after arguing on the question of ensuring people their rights through constitutional means agreed to refer the matter to the Speaker. Deputy Speaker promised that he would bring the matter to more..

Public officials fear repercussions: Bandula

July 8 (DN) Public officials hesitate to perform their duties as they fear being questioned by the FCID, MP Bandula Gunawardena said. He said the public service is not functioning properly due to this reason. Quoting a report in a Newspaper, the MP also said the transfer of Public Administration Ministry Secretary J. Dadallage was due to his criticism of anti-good governance policies of the govt. “Dadallage has said that he was transferred as he spoke the truth,” he said. more..

CaFFE slams Public Admin. Secretary

July 8 (CT) Around 150 officers of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service are tarnishing the image of the entire administrative service, CaFFE Executive Director, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon said commenting on the transfer of J. Dadallage, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration. "The public servants, despite the enormous political pressure exerted on them during the previous regime, went to great lengths to combat the misuse of public property. more..

COPE interrogates CB Deputy Governors

July 8 (DN) COPE yesterday interrogated Deputy Central Bank Governors Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe and P. Samarasiri and other high ranking officials over the procedure taken at the controversial Treasury bond sales on Feb 27, 2015 and March 29, 2016. COPE sources said most details given in the Auditor General’s report were compatible with the answers provided by CB high ranking officials. more..

Unasked questions on the Chilcot Report

July 8 (DM) Following the release of the long-awaited and much-delayed Chilcot Report into Britain’s involvement in the invasion of Iraq, the then PM and the man responsible for committing Britain to war, Tony Blair, has expressed more regret, sorrow and apology than you can ever know or can believe. Strangely though Blair in the same breath says that he stood by his actions and would make the same decision again. If apology is all that it takes to close the case, then those who more..

Thewarapperuma saga: A manifestation of a bigger problem

July 8 (DM) The agitation by Deputy Minister Palith Thewarapperuma on behalf of ten children who had been denied admission to the Meegahatenne Primary School in Kalutara District for the past seven months was seen by many with amusement, despite the seriousness of the problem underneath the stunt the Deputy Minister had engaged in. The pathetic situation of the students was turned into an amusing drama by Thewarapperuma by his ludicrous stunt to commit suicide by hanging more..