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UN offers Sri Lanka unhelpful criticism

July 11 (GN) While the Commissioner for Human Rights is entitled to have his own views, it is necessary that such an important functionary should exercise a high level of caution and give due consideration to the views of the SL govt, as well as people from various walks of life while presenting his views. Human Rights Commissioner said that he has found a heavy military presence in Northern and Eastern provinces, but there is no need for him to be critical of their military presence when more..

ADB support for capital market development

July 11 (FT) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will support the development of capital markets in Sri Lanka and even consider support for an International Financial Centre (IFC) in Colombo as the Govt moves ahead on fiscal reforms, top officials have said. ADB Vice President (Operations 1) Wencai Zhang told reporters during a 3-day tour to Sri Lanka, that assistance would be extended to develop capital markets. more..

On that Judicial Coup and other aberrations

July 11 (ST) One must confess to being somewhat tickled this week by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s use of the Singarasa precedent in making such a sparklingly scandalous allegation as a judicial coup against Parliament. Speaker is now expected to rule on the relevance of Singarasa on the people’s (and the Parliament’s) sovereignty in respect of the validity and applicability of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Sri Lanka. more..

Judge’s transfer cancelled

July 11 (Island) High Court Judge Ratnapura, Anura Kumara, who received transfer orders from Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to Moneragala, consequent to an alleged incident involving a stenographer has been deferred. It was widely claimed that as a result of an assault carried out by the judge the collarbone of the stenographer had been injured, but that charge could not be proved. Ratnapura Bar Association was of the view that it would support Judge Anura Kumara as more..

No response to appeal: Dadallage

July 11 (DN) Former Public Administration Ministry Secretary J. Dadallage, who was transferred to Postal Services & Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry, said he had sought a meeting with President to discuss the matters connected to his transfer. He however said there had been no response so far to his appeal against the transfer or the meeting he had sought with President. He intends to take up his matter with President more..

Joint Opposition dysfunctional: Sajith

July 11 (CT) Joint Opposition is dysfunctional as it cannot sustain its own Shadow Cabinet which was appointed last week, said Minister Sajith Premadasa. Addressing a gathering, at a foundation laying ceremony, he noted that Shadow Cabinet crumbled within 24 hours of being appointed, despite JO leader Dinesh Gunawardene’s claim that the decision to create a Shadow Cabinet was mulled for nearly six months. He said, “When the people of this country faced two elections more..

SL Cricket team’s midsummer nightmare

July 11 (ST) Dilani Gunawardena (Senior Executive): “I think the Captaincy should change after the debacle. Matthews should be replaced with Dinesh Chandimal. I did not watch most of the matches. The youngsters were not prepared at all to play the English bowlers on seaming wickets. It was a disastrous tour.” W. Prasanna (Boutique Owner): “We were really not prepared for the tour. Our batsmen and bowlers failed on this tour. Only Angelo and Danushka made an impact. more..

Sandaruwan creates history; Disappointment for Olympic hopefuls

July 11 (Island) Pole vaulter Ishara Sandaruwan created history by becoming the first Sri Lankan to clear the five metre barrier in his pet event on the final day of the 94th National Athletic Championships as the 3-day event concluded with none of the top contenders reaching qualifying standards for the Rio Olympics at Diyagama on Sunday. SL Athletics Association was expecting at least four athletes, who were closer to more..

Petronet aims to setup terminal in Sri Lanka, eyes Narendra Modi govt push

July 11 (FE) Petronet LNG, India’s biggest player in liquefied natural gas, is planning to set up a re-gassification terminal in Sri Lanka as part of a strategy to expand its footprint outside the country. Earlier, it has started negotiations to set up a similar project in Bangladesh. “We have proposed the setting up of a 1million-tonne terminal in Sri Lanka,” Prabhat Singh, CEO, Petronet LNG, said. Currently, a 5 million-tonne-per-annum (mtpa) terminal costs around Rs 4,500-5,000 crore. more..

Manjula misses Olympic qualifying mark again

July 11 (Island) SL national high jump record holder Manjula Kumara made a valiant effort to reach Olympic qualifying standards at the special high jump trail held alongside the 94th National Athletics Championship but missed the mark after reaching a seasonal best at Diyagama on Sunday. The Athens Olympic participant cleared a height of 2.25 metres to record his best of the season but missed the qualifying mark of 2.29 metres by a small margin when his lower body touched the cross bar more..

First phase of Northern Coconut Triangle launched

July 11 (DN) The first phase of the Coconut Triangle planned to be established in the North and East was launched by Minister Navin Dissanayake in Chavakachcheri. Under the special coconut cultivation programme in collaboration with the Northern Provincial Council over 18,500 acres of coconut land in the North will be rehabilitated and 25,400 acres will come under new coconut plantation. more..

Probe into IS ties extends to Sri Lanka

July 11 (Hindu) Most mainstream Muslim organisations in Kerala have denounced the Islamic State (IS) even as the investigation into the suspected defection of at least 12 Keralites to the proscribed organisation unfolded across the State and beyond the country’s borders on Sunday. Syed Buhari, general secretary, Kerala Muslim Jamaat, the apex body of Sunni Muslims in the State, said that the organisation was poised to undertake a sweeping social campaign to insulate more..

Stalin blasts Thewarapperuma

July 11 (CT) It is a game of political power play for Deputy Minister Thewarapperuma and Provincial Minister of Education Somawansha, as they are not operating with any real concern for the students who were denied access to the Meegahatenna Primary School, General Secretary of the All Ceylon Teachers' Union, Joseph Stalin said. Stalin was referring to the incident where the Deputy Minister attempted to forcibly admit 10 children to the aforementioned school. more..

Forceful presentation by Wigneswaran’s representative on federalism

July 11 (Hindu) In an attempt by the Northern Province to present a picture of unity on constitutional reforms in SL, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has fielded Leader of Opposition in the NPC S. Thavarajah to place his case on the importance of adopting federal system before the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. Though the Province’s Education Minister, T. Gurukularajah, also took part in deliberations more..

Prowlers at girls hostel arrested: Suspects include four teachers

July 11 (DN) Five men who trespassed into the Nilawala College of Education Girls Hostel in the night by cutting the barbed wire fence and behaved in an indecent manner by tapping at the doors of the rooms occupied by student girls were arrested by Akuressa Police in the wee hours of Saturday on information provided by the College Dean. The Dean had summoned the police after being alerted by some female teacher trainees who got frightened at the behaviour of the intruders. more..

Italy supporting Sri Lanka's bid to regain GSP Plus facility

July 11 (Island) "Italy is keen on promoting bilateral trade and investment with Sri Lanka; the reason being SL is a main emerging market in the Asian region. Therefore, Italy is supporting Sri Lanka in its efforts to regain the European Union's GSP Plus trade facility, Charge D' Affairs at the Italian embassy Dr Giandomenico Milano said. "At present both countries' total value of trade is around US $ 600 million and the balance of trade is overwhelmingly in Sri Lanka's favour. more..

GMOA wants Prez to appoint commission to formulate national policy on int'l pacts

July 11 (Island) GMOA will meet President Sirisena today to urge him to appoint a special commission to formulate a National Policy on International Trading Agreements prior to signing the ETCA with India. Representatives from the GMOA met Minister Malik Samarawickrema and Adviser to PM Charitha Ratwatte last week for that purpose. GMOA President Dr Anuruddha Padeniya said they would meet Prez with a model gazette notification more..

Business confidence at a 28-month low

July 11 (FT) “The barometer of biz confidence plummets, as recent tax hikes and policy uncertainty have members of the corporate community scratching their heads over what the future holds,” says business magazine LMD. The June LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) suffered another sharp fall, continuing its southbound trajectory – unique barometer of corporate sentiment dropped sharply to 126, which is well below its 12-month and all-time averages, more..

No-Faith motion against Mangala

July 11 (CT) UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila said that a No-confidence motion against the Foreign Minister will be imminent if the President does not take necessary steps. Reports indicate that the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is still of the view that foreign Judges must be employed for war crimes tribunal, despite the President's statement last week assuring the public that only local Judges would be employed for this purpose. “The President should remove him or he should resign. more..

People suffocating under CoL as Ministers continue to party

July 11 (SL) Unbearable cost of living has become one of the commonest complaints among the general public. With the prices of goods and services showing a drastic increase during the past few months, cost of living has become the topic of discussion on the streets, on the bus and at any public gathering. Unfortunately however, in contrast to raging prices, salaries and other sources of income have not increased more..

Judge declines to take Bench over LG polls FR petition

July 11 (DN) SC Judge Priyantha Jayawardena declined to sit on the Bench citing personal reasons regarding Fundamental Rights petition filed by 18 former Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen representing Galle and Matara Districts’ local govt authorities which sought an order directing the Elections Commission to take steps to hold elections for 18 local govt authorities as required by law. The petition was taken up before a two-Judge-bench comprising Justice Jayawardena & Justice Nalin Perera. more..

Re-structuring of Piriven education: PM calls for report

July 11 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he has called for a report for the immediate re-structuring of Piriven education in the country, as there is an alarming deterioration in the system. The Prime Minister was speaking while participating at the 10th anniversary commemoration of Sri Bodhirajaramaya temple in Lunawa, Moratuwa, yesterday. He added that elaborate plans are being made for the celebration of International Day of Vesak in Sri Lanka next year. more..

Yahapalana solution to debt crisis: Special Duty Free permit vehicles for 225 MPs

July 11 (DM) The vehicles of all 225 MPs purchased using the special duty free permit provided to them is to arrive in the country within three to four months, Ministers Nimal Lansa and Thalatha Athukorale said. Speaking of the controversy in social media with pictures, Deputy Minister Nimal Lansa said he had purchased his vehicle, Toyota V8, at a cost of Rs. 8.5 million. “I did not purchase it through ministry but through a private dealer. more..

Media rights and Resposibilities

July 11 (DM) Like all good people or professionals, the media also need to be ready to turn the searchlight inward. One such area is President Maithripala Sirisena’s complaint that though the new national govt restored media freedom to a larger extent after its election victory on Jan 8 last year, most media groups today are attacking the government in a manner that does not befit the hallowed principles of free, fair, accurate and balanced reporting and feature writing. more..

Round and Round the Bush

July 11 (DM) Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne, speaking at a seminar on Financial impact of the COPE Report held at the OPA auditorium, organised by Women for Good Governance, had stated that the loss from inefficiency and waste exceeds far beyond the losses in corruption in the state sector and that there is institutional failure due to politicization. Minister had rightly diagnosed the issues hampering the progress of the public sector and had said that more..

Three bidders shortlisted for Holcim deal

July 11 (DN) Out of all the bidders in the fray to purchase LarfargeHolcim’s SL Operations, three parties have been asked to come to London next week for negotiations. Three bidders chosen include prominent businessman Harry Jayawardena, Nandana Lokuwithana, a Dubai based Sri Lankan businessman who purchased Ceylon Steel Corporation and alleged front man of former President Rajapaksa, and more..

Incumbent govt no better than Rajapaksa regime, say leftists

July 11 (Island) Within one -and --half years the incumbent govt had proved that it was not different from its predecessor as regards the suppression of the people’s democratic rights, Propaganda Secretary of the FSP Pubudu Jayagoda said on Saturday. Addressing a media briefing organised by the leftist parties and unions under the banner Campaign for Democracy against the arrest of IUSF’s convener Lahiru Weerasekera, more..

Navy gets access to monitor our fishing vessels in int’l waters

July 11 (ST) SL Navy will have access to the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) coming under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from next week under a new MoU. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that under the terms of the MoU, a team of Navy personnel will be granted access to the VMS in order to monitor fishing boats for any signs of illegal activity. He pointed out that a string of illegal activities, more..

President slams Western interventions in Iraq, Libya

July 11 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has faulted the Western powers for their intervention in Iraq and Libya leading to many deaths and widespread destruction. President also pointed out the culpability on the part of the then British PM Tony Blair, who joined the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Western powers intervened and helped rebels to overthrow Libyan leader Gadhafi during 2011 through overt and covert operations more..

GL, GR woo professionals, business community

July 11 (Island) Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Saturday urged professionals and the business community to make themselves aware of the post-January, 2015 presidential polls situation. They stressed the pivotal importance of professionals and the business community play an active role in influencing the decision making process. more..

Brexit could worsen Sri Lanka BoP pressure: Moody’s

July 11 (EN) The UK’s vote to leave the EU will not have a significant credit impact on Asia Pacific countries but could worsen balance of payments pressure on countries like Sri Lanka which depend on foreign funds, Moody's Investors Service said. Although lower GDP growth in the UK could dampen demand for products from the rest of the world, Asia Pacific's direct trade linkages with the country are generally limited, more..

US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski will visit Sri Lanka

July 11 (DN) The Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski will visit Sri Lanka between July 12 and 20. He is expected to engage with govt officials and local civil society representatives. Assistant Secretary Malinowski will focus on Sri Lanka’s continued progress in meeting the commitments made during last September’s UN Human Rights Council session, the State Department said. more..

A need to scrutinise SLC transactions

July 11 (SL) The govt’s failure to appoint a high-powered financial governing body to scrutinise all large-scale financial transactions at the Cricket Board is expected to bring further losses to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), it is learnt. Had the govt, as promised earlier, appointed such a financial governing body, all large-scale tender evaluations as well as other expenses approved by the executive committee in guise of cricket development more..

Video: Namal Rajapaksa arrested by FCID

July 11 (AD) Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa has been arrested by the FCID a short while ago on Monday, an official said. Namal Rajapaksa was arrested as he arrived at the FICD to give a statement on a financial irregularity, the official added. He will be produced before the Fort Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. The FICD and PRECIFAC had recorded statements from the MP in previous occasions as well. more..

Video: SC suspends VAT, NBT

July 11 (DM) The Supreme Court today issued an interim order to suspend the VAT increase. SC issued the order after considering a petition filed seeking an order to revoke the decision to increase VAT. The petition was filed by an attorney representing three persons including NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa. The petition has sought an interim order preventing the relevant authorities from ordering the public to pay the VAT. more..

13th Amendment not meant only for N&E

July 11 (CT) The Chief Ministers of all nine provinces have emphasized the need of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and they also pointed out that when the new Constitution is drafted the 13th Amendment should also be given due consideration. The Chief Ministers and the representatives of some of them met the Advisory Committee to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on the proposed new Constitution at the Parliament building on Friday (8). more..

Doctors leave Giriulla hospital following attacks on official quarters

July 11 (Island) GMOA has withdrawn doctors from Giriulla District hospital in the Kurunegala District following attacks on official quarters of two doctors on Friday. GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said that the doctors would not return to hospital until the police arrested the culprits. Dr. Zoysa alleged that attacks had been carried out at the behest of a minister of North Western Province. GMOA Secretary claimed that the politician who had lambasted hospital staff on more..

නීතිඥ හේමන්ත වර්ණකුලසූරිය

US$ 259mn apartment investments in June

July 11 (EN) BoI has signed 11 agreements to set up new apartment complexes with total investments of around US$ 259 million in June alone. New deals come after the BOI said it had drawn investments worth $230 million to set up apartment complexes in April and May 2016. “As Colombo develops very fast the demand for apartments will correspondingly increase,” statement said. 11 agreements signed to set up new apartment complexes will generate 900 direct job opportunities. more..

Nalanda Principal not arrested, says Police

July 11 (AM) Police has said that the Principal of Nalanda College, Colombo, Ranjith Jayasundara, was not arrested as reported earlier. He was summoned to Borella Police on allegedly orchestrating the assault of Susantha Herath, a teacher at Nalanda College. Principal has allegedly used a group of students in the assault which had taken place within school premises. Teacher and principal were at odds since the teacher has leveled allegations of corruption against Principal. more..