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Kiriella says govt not besieging judiciary unlike professionals

July 9 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella said in Parliament that the judiciary had come under threat not from politicians but from professionals. Minister Kiriella, participating in the debate on Order under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act and the Mediation Board (Amendment) Bill, said: "You may have seen in the newspapers during last couple of weeks, doctors staging demonstrations near the SC. more..

Justice de Abrew sexual offence case referred to Mediation Board

July 9 (DN) The magisterial inquiry against former Supreme Court Judge Sarath de Abrew for allegedly causing voluntarily hurt to a domestic aide in 2015 was referred to the Mediation Board by Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammed Sahabdeen, today. The Magistrate made the order taking into consideration the facts presented by both the Defence and Complainant that they were ready to settle the case since charges filed against more..

Yahapalanaya: Billion rupee pothole on road to good governance?

July 9 (SL) Good governance administration is now embroiled in a controversy after being exposed that a minister had allegedly secured Cabinet approval to get a govt contract to a company owned by his offspring. Minister Daya Gamage is accused of obtaining a govt contract for rural road rehabilitation and renovation in the Kalutara District at a cost of staggering Rs.3.639 billion without mentioning that more..

Sri Lanka to recruit jobless graduates to police new price controls

July 9 (EN) Sri Lanka is planning to hire dozens unemployed graduates to police price controls that are expected to be imposed next week, a senior minister had told parliament while the administration plans to turn the country into a Singapore style services hub. Traders were pushing up prices after value added tax was imposed, to levels higher than required by the tax hike, rulers have claimed. more..

Inside story about Indrajit Coomaraswamy becoming Central Bank Governor

July 9 (DBS) All changed, changed utterly – The memorable lines from Irish poet Yeats came true on the morning of July 2nd for Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy after he received a telephone call at 6.30 am. The early caller was none other than minister Malik Samarawickrama. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was functioning as a senior adviser to the ministry. However it was not a ministry related matter that the minister was calling about. more..

PRECIFAC concludes probe into SriLankan catering service

July 9 (DM) PRECIFAC over irregularities at the Srilankan airlines catering service concluded its inquiry yesterday. A spokesman said the final report compiled by PRECIFAC would be submitted to the President shortly. A petition received by PRECIFAC had alleged that six employees of the Srilankan airlines including former Minister Priyankara Jayaratne and former Srilankan Airlines’ chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe had misused millions of rupees belonging to the Srilankan airlines more..

UK’s Sir John Chilcot Report and Mangala Samaraweera’s Media meet

July 9 (CT) Minister Mangala Samaraweera held a special media conference on 6 Wednesday at his ministry on the outcome of the 32nd UNHRC sessions in Geneva last week and on the govt's response to the UNHRC Chief Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein's oral submission on the UNHRC resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, last year. Minister Mangala Samaraweera's comments at the press conference had clearly outlined the govt's response to UNHRC Chief's oral submission more..

වෛද්ය ප්žරදීප් කාරියවසම්

Thewarapperuma undergoes bypass surgery

July 9 (DM) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma has undergone a bypass surgery at a private hospital in Colombo yesterday. He attempted to commit suicide on June 3 after he staged a hunger-strike outside the Meegahathenna Primary school in protest against the non-admission of 10 students to the school after which he was admitted to Nagoda Hospital and later transferred to a private hospital in Colombo. Mr. Thewarapperuma, who was arrested on charges of more..

The more fearful terror game

July 9 (CT) The story goes that during the internal conflict in Sri Lanka, when the national team was playing any foreign team at home or away, Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE ordered a unilateral ceasefire. Even the feared terrorist respected the sport. Today a much more feared set of disrespectful one track minded authorities have emerged in the Panadura MC who either do not know the value of maintaining a cricket ground or just do not care. more..

Forex reserves drop to US$ 5.3bn in June

July 9 (EN) Sri Lanka's forex reserves dropped to US$ 5.3 billion in June 2016 down US$ 348 million from US$ 5.62 billion in May with a US$ 700 million repayment of a swap to India. Forex reserves without Indian swaps rose to US$ 4,852 million from US$ 4,520.7 million. Sri Lanka still owes the RBI another US$ 400 million from another swap. June reserves were also boosted by a US$ 168 million disbursement from a loan from IMF. more..

The shrine of god Skanda Kumar

July 9 (CT) So the Kataragama festival and perahera have begun and will go on till the Esala Poya day. We have seen on TV glimpses of the early perahera with girls dressed to depict Goddess Paththini and in a peacock dance. We suppose the double arch with peacock feathers, the kavadi, will be much in evidence. Commerce will proceed unabated and poojas made to the god with accompanying requests. The Menik Ganga will be full of bathers. more..

Attorney General says MP Car Permit abuse is not a matter of national importance

July 9 (CT) Attorney General has informed the Supreme Court that car permit abuse is not a matter of National Importance and therefore there is no need for a fuller bench to be nominated to consider the case filed by a right’s activist over the abuse of car permits given to MPs. However, despite the Attorney General’s stand, the Supreme Court decided to refer the matter to the Chief Justice to consider nomination of a special bench and afforded an early date on 18th July 2016 more..

SLFP group pledges to capture power in Kandy District

July 9 (Island) A group of SLFP stalwarts in Kandy on Thursday pledged to capture the local bodies at the forthcoming LG elections by defeating the UNP. Chief Minister Central Province Sarath Ekanayake told a media conference that the UNP would be defeated at the next local govt elections. "We are confident that we can defeat the UNP at the polls when we are backed by the leadership of President Sirisena, CM said. more..

Video: VAT will be reduced by next year: Ravi

July 9 (AD) Minister Ravi Karunanayake today issued a challenge to former President Rajapaksa to debate any issue with the government in the Parliament instead of limiting his speeches to Buddhist temples. Responding a question from reporters regarding the tax revision, during an event at Thotalaga, he said that the govt has to impose either Value Added Tax (VAT) or the Nation Building Tax (NBT) and that they chose the former due to the fewer burden placed on the masses. more..

JVP against giving it to India

July 9 (CT) Chief Opposition Whip and Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake insisted in Parliament that the Govt desists from handing over the Trincomalee oil tank farm to the Indian Oil Company (IOC). The Chief Opposition Whip opined that the oil storage facility should be operated by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation adding that the oil tank farm was located close to the geo-strategic Trincomalee port and railway station and hence held special significance. more..

Ex LTTE negotiator rejects assurances given by Sri Lanka

July 9 (CG) A former LTTE peace negotiator, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, has rejected the assurances given by the Govt to address the accountability issue related to the war. Rudrakumaran says based on the statements made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Geneva recently, Sri Lanka’s rationale for transitional justice is preposterous and the international community should insist that the Govt changes it. more..

Filling of Moragahakanda reservoir to begin in December

July 9 (Island) Process of filling the Moragahakanda reservoir with water would commence in December following the completion of the construction of the main bund and the power plant, Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary Udaya Seneviratne said. The reservoir comes under the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Multipurpose Development Project. 1,870 families affected by the project would be compensated soon and relocated in a new towns under construction more..

Declare party criterion for candidate selection: PAFFREL

July 9 (NS) Elections monitoring bodies called on leaders of all political parties to publicly declare their criterion adopted for selecting candidates to grant nominations to contest at the upcoming Local Govt polls. Polls monitor, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) and the March 12 Movement informed that their eight-fold criterion could also be adopted by political parties as the leaders of the political parties had already signed the March 12 Declaration. more..

'China-Sri Lanka ties back to healthy, stable development'

July 9 (Xinhua) Relationship between China & SL has returned to healthy and stable development after the change of SL govt, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. He said that his visit is aimed at expeditiously implementing the consensus reached by top leaders and fully reviewing cooperation between the two countries. Both sides have agreed to inherit traditional friendship, consolidate political trust more..

Shadow Cabinet will help speed up formation of new govt: Dullas

July 9 (DN) The formation of a Shadow Cabinet is a successful measure taken by the Joint Opposition to speed up the aspiration of forming a new govt, UPFA MP Dullas Alahapperuma said. He made this observation addressing a media conference at the Parliament premises yesterday. MP Alahapperuma also said that he doesn’t want to divide the SLFP but wants to divide the govt. “There are various discussions currently going on with regard to the appointment of Monitoring MPs. more..

Identity card for street artistes within two weeks: Mustapha

July 9 (DM) Provincial Council and Local Govt Ministry has decided to issue an identity card to the street artists who were self employed near the Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo within two weeks. Minister Faiszer Mustapha instructed CMC Commissioner, V. K. Anura to take necessary steps to issue the identity cards within two weeks. The decision was taken at a meeting with the street artists in Colombo this morning. Representatives of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, more..

Military boffins now into R&D to meet peacetime situations

July 9 (ST) In the mid 2000s, the LTTE started using claymore mines against the Sri Lanka military in earnest. They hid them everywhere, on roadsides, in trees, under vehicles. And they started detonating them via wireless remote control. The war had started in earnest and the troops found their movements greatly hampered by the use of these mines. Military convoys were particularly vulnerable. more..

VAT increase: Bill in Parliament to give legal effect

July 9 (DM) In the backdrop of a legal challenge against recent increase in the VAT, Govt yesterday sought to give legal effect to the VAT increase by enacting fresh legislation through the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill which was presented in the House. Minister Ravi Karunanayake sought an immediate date to take up the bill for debate. House Leader Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that the Bill would be debated on July 20 unless it were challenged in a court of law. more..

Gunadasa Amarasekara files FR

July 9 (DN) PNM president Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court invoking Court jurisdiction in order to gain access to information concerning certain negotiations which purportedly took place between the Govt of SL, US and TNA with respect to the contents of a resolution that was tabled at the UNHRC in Sept 2015. In his petition, Dr. Amarasekara cited the Secretary to the President P.B.Abeykoon and AG as respondents. more..

SAITM parents to demonstrate

July 9 (CT) The SAITM Parents' Association will stage a demonstration within the next fortnight, to protest against various groups that have come up with arguments which are impeding the education of students at the SAITM in Malabe. Chairman of the Malabe Medical College Parents' Association Gemunu Wijeratne said that in order to obtain the rights of their children they will be protesting in front of Ministry of Higher more..

Married to a Dilli waali: Top Sri Lankan diplomat’s India link

July 9 (HT) When Krishanti Weerakoon heard her husband, SL high commissioner to India Esala Weerakoon, had been appointed as the island country’s new foreign secretary, she was overwhelmed. But there was also a strong sense of deja vu, for her father made the same journey - from the high commission in New Delhi to becoming the country’s top diplomat in 1989. Difference - her father, Bernard Tilakaratna, was SL’s longest-serving envoy to India during turbulent years, more..

Economists list out priorities for CBSL Governor

July 9 (NS) Economists informed that new CB Governor Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy could take certain decisions to bring about stability in the performance of the economy. Whilst highlighting that there were fundamental problems and weaknesses in the economy which were beyond the Governor’s control, Head of Dept of Economics of Uni of Colombo, Prof. Wimalaratana Thera remarked that Dr. Coomaraswamy’s decisions could cushion the impact of them on macroeconomic stability. more..

Int'l element needed in accountability mechanism: Britain

July 9 (DM) During a debate on Sri Lanka in the British Parliament, State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Hugo Swire said there needed to be an international element in the accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka to reassure the communities that the process was credible. He expressed these views in response to a question by one of the British MPs on Sri Lankan President and PM’s refusal to involve international judges more..

PSD vehicles involved in 6 deaths between Jan 2015 and Mar 2016

July 9 (DM) Six persons died and another 11 were injured in accidents involving the vehicles belonging to the Presidential Security Division (PSD) during the period January 9, 2015 to March 31, 2016, Parliament was informed. A minister tabled these facts in the House in response to a question listed in the Order Paper by joint opposition MP Udaya Gammanpila. State Minister Niroshan Perera had tabled his answer instead of reading it out as MP Gammanpila was absent at the time. more..

Doctor’s body found in hotel room

July 9 (DN) Gampaha Police found the body of a doctor inside a hotel room in Kirindivita, Gampaha yesterday. Police said the doctor had arrived at the hotel on Thursday evening and spent the night there. The hotel staff who checked the room as the doctor had not come out, found his body. The hotel staff informed Gampaha Police who launched investigations into the incident yesterday afternoon. The deceased was identified as M.M. Gunathilake, 29. He served at Gampaha General Hospital. more..

Probe on weapon purchase

July 9 (NS) The proposed judicial mechanism to try alleged war crimes is also likely to probe into the weapons and munitions that were used during the terminal phase of the war. When queried as to whether a Presidential Commission of Inquiry, as in the past, would be appointed to look into the procurement of weapons and munitions during the final phase of the conflict, Minister Seneratne said that proposed judicial mechanism would more..

Shadowy Opposition

July 10 (SO) If the Govt, in appointing a new Governor for the Central Bank, finally got itself out of an embarrassing tangle the previous week, the Opposition now finds itself in a bind. Well, if not the official parliamentary Opposition, at least the group of UPFA dissident MPs who call themselves the Joint Opposition. This newspaper yet awaits a kind clarification of joint, a word which has many connotations none of which could apply to the dissident group. more..

ETCA: Make it public to deflate Goni Billas

July 10 (SL) It is in the natural order of international relations that dealings between small countries and neighbouring giants are fraught with suspicion, animosity and historical prejudices. Cuba’s relations with the United States, Japan’s relations with China and even Britain’s relations with countries of the neighbouring European continent are examples of relations that have gone through such strained relations during particular periods – to say the least. This is the era of globalization where more..

Suicide, as a last resort?

July 10 (SO) The scramble to admit children to the best schools available annually features scandals of bribery, political pressures and favouritism but the recent suicide stunt by a junior minister has taken this yearly heartbreak to a new height in melodrama and child trauma. Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma's one-man crusade to ensure the right of nine students to schooling, finally ended up with the politician more..

A lot to be learnt

July 10 (ST) My Dear Mervyn, I never thought I would be writing to you in this manner but now I think I must. That is to tell you that you now have a competitor who seems to have beaten you hands down, just as much as Angelo Matthews and his team were well and truly beaten on their recent tour of England. Mervyn, I am not sure whether you have heard of him because a few years ago no one had. His name is Palitha and he goes around trying to admit children to schools in the area that more..

A Culture of Legitimacy...Dignity

July 10 (CT) The entire nation applauds President's strongly worded reiteration last Friday that for as long as he remains the Executive President of this country he will not under any condition permit the evisceration of the sovereignty of SL, the dignity, independence and honour to which the Judiciary, until 2015 kept and controlled by the Executive, has an inalienable right to, nor will he permit inroads into the total independence of the govt of the country being made by foreign elements. more..

'The entire world assist us now'

July 10 (SL) UNP MP Mujibur Rahman claims that the National Govt is progressing smoothly and there are no issues between its two coalition parties. He said the opposition is trying to derail smooth running of the govt. He assured that despite the slow progress made so far, the economy will improve benefitting the people once the measures taken by the govt take effect. He said country enjoys complete democracy today, more..

War crimes probe: Double standards exposed

July 10 (ST) Muslims around the world observed Eid-ul-Fitr this week, the end of the month-long annual fast in rather sombre mood. Blood-letting sectarian strife has torn them apart in no less a place than West Asia, their citadel. In Saudi Arabia, the holiest of holy places was not spared; nor were other Islamic nations – Iraq, Turkey and Bangladesh apart from the ongoing civil war in Syria. What crimes are so often committed in the name of religion? more..

Sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander

July 10 (Island) While readers of our stablemate, The Island, would no doubt have been happy at senior colleague Shamindra Ferdinando’s enterprise in asking Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon whether Ban was likely to appoint a Panel of Experts like the Darusman body to study issues arising from the recently published Chilcot report on Iraq, nobody here would or should expect anything of the kind to ever happen. more..