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Nigeria wants to elevate relations with Sri Lanka to a higher level

July 11 (CG) High Commissioner of SL in Nigeria Thambirajah Raveenthiran paid a courtesy call on Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria Geoffery Onyeama. During the brief courtesy call the Minster and the High Commissioner exchanged views on the matters of common interests to both Countries. High Commissioner briefed the Minister on all the positive developments that have taken place in SL since new Govt more..

Archaeologists unearth ancient coin minting mould in Polonnaruwa

July 11 (Island) Archaeologists carrying out excavations near Siva Devale (No 2) of the ancient Polonnaruwa monument complex have unearthed a terra-cotta mould believed to have been used for minting coins, Prof. Priyashantha Gunawardena said. The mould might have been used to produce coins from various metals, he said. It had receptacles into which molten metals were poured to produce coins. "We cannot yet conclude that mould belongs to Polonnaruwa Period. more..

International pressure must not be seen as overbearing

July 11 (CT) The EU has downsized its list of conditions for Sri Lanka to regain the GSP Plus benefits that it lost in 2011. At that time the EU set out a list of 15 conditions that the govt had to meet if it was to retain the GSP Plus benefits. The previous govt flatly refused to move on them citing national security and national sovereignty as the reasons. Ironically when the new govt made public its intentions to reapply for the GSP Plus benefits, the EU set out 58 conditions. more..

PM’s statement regarding SC decision on VAT, NBT

July 11 (DM) Today SC has issued an interim order preventing the implementation of the recent revisions made to VAT and NBT until the relevant legislation is passed by the Parliament. This interim order is not expected to have any adverse impact on the govt’s revenue collection. VAT (Amendment) Bill has already been presented to the Parliament for the first reading on 08 July, and the second reading is expected on 23 July. more..

Minister promises to tighten laws to protect archaeological heritage sites & artefacts

July 11 (Island) Laws would be strengthened to protect the archaeological heritage sites and artefacts in the country as they had to be preserved for posterity, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. After opening the annual exhibition to coincide with the National Archaeological Dialogue at Department of Archaeology, he said, as the subject minister he would not hesitate to take necessary action to protect and conserve places of archaeology in keeping with international standards. more..

Video: Case on Gammanpila’s arrest fixed for Dec.14

July 11 (DM) The SC today set dates to proceed with the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Udaya Gammanpila challenging the decision to arrest and detain him on the alleged charges of fraud and forgery of documents to a foreigner. Accordingly the case will be taken up on Dec 14, 2016. Petitioner in his petition seeking the Court to grant leave to proceed for the alleged violation of his fundamental rights to the freedom from torture, right to equality and equal protection of the law, more..

Around 14000 deserters obtain legal discharge during General Amnesty

July 11 (MoD) The General Amnesty extended by the Ministry of Defence to tri forces deserters is to end on 13th July 2016. So far closer to 14000 deserters have sought legal clearance during the general amnesty period. According to Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera, as of today (11) 12347 Army, 756 Navy and 544 Air Force deserters have produced themselves to their respective service offices and obtained more..

Concern expressed over bid conditions for East Container Terminal

July 11 (EN) An influential shipping industry body has warned that conditions set for investors to build and operate a container terminal in Sri Lanka's Colombo may discourage larger operators and reduce overall interest. The expression for interest (EOI) for Colombo's East Container Terminal (ECT) by SL Ports Authority requires one of the top 20 container shipping lines to be a member of the bidding consortium, who will also have to guarantee one million containers a year. more..

Sri Lankan shares post over 2-wk closing high on foreign buying

July 11 (Reuters) Shares rose for a fourth straight session on Monday and posted their highest close in more than two weeks, as foreign investors continued to buy into battered banking and diversified stocks after recent losses. Overseas investors, who have offloaded shares worth a net Rs. 5.29 billion so far this year, bought equities worth a net Rs. 344.5 million on Monday. Foreign investors have bought a net Rs. 1 billion worth shares in the four straight sessions through Monday. more..

Video: Call for referendum for ETCA approval: Gammanpila

July 11 (DM) PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila today challenged the Govt to call for a referendum in order to seek public approval for the ECTA. MP said they would not agree on the ECTA if the Govt is unable to seek public approval for the ECTA through a referendum. He also said signing such agreements would completely devastate the country’s independence. more..

Sri Lanka edge SA U19s

July 11 (SACM) Sri Lanka U19s have drawn level in their ODI series against South Africa U19s, after beating them by 12 runs (D/L method) in Colombo. After the young South Africans won the first tie by 16 runs, the second encounter was a similarly low-scoring and close affair, but it now leaves a deciding match in the third and final ODI in Colombo on Wednesday. Rain prevented what would have been an interesting finish. After Sri Lanka were bowled out for 209, South Africa were on 184-8, more..

Govt orders three-bench HC to sit in Jaffna

July 11 (CT) Govt has decided to hear the Sivaloganathan Vithiya rape and murder case, via a 3-member Bench of High Court Judges at Jaffna High Court. 18-year-old Vithiya was gang-raped and murdered by a group of men last year and the case created a stir across the country. CID has managed to complete the investigation within a year of the murder and handed over the documents to AG, so that legal action could be proceeded with. 12 persons had been arrested in connection with more..

Govt will do everything possible to free young generation from drug menace: Prez

July 11 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says the National Program on Drug Prevention will be carried out with a new outlook next year. “The attention of everybody should be paid to free the young generation from drug menace. The govt will fulfill any duty in this regard”, he said. The President was speaking at the 7th phase of the National Program on Drug Prevention, held today at the Ananda National School in Puttalam. more..

Call for Sri Lankan Army to release record of war surrendees

July 11 (EAR) For the first time SL army has confirmed that a record of individuals moving across the front-line at the end of the war was kept and – whilst the number of individuals accounted for by the record remains unclear – could potentially be a major development in helping to establish the last known whereabouts of many of the disappeared. By SL Campaign for Peace and Justice. It has been 7 years since the conclusion of war and there are still many questions that remain unanswered. more..

Video: Gammanpila admires President’s views on foreign judges

July 11 (AD) PHU leader MP Udaya Gammanpila has admired the President over his view not to allow any foreign court, judge or organization to interfere into the internal administration and judiciary in the country in future too. “We should appreciate this fact,” Gammanpila added. However, he accused Minister Mangala Samaraweera of attempting to go beyond the powers of President Maithripala Sirisena by calming that foreign court, judge or organization would be interfered. more..

Sri Lanka ready to allow 250 TN trawlers on specified days

July 11 (ENS) Sri Lanka is ready to allow TN bottom trawlers to fish in Lankan waters on predetermined days as an ad hoc measure to mitigate the problem of poaching by TN bottom trawlers in North Lankan waters, an official source. Source said that this will be advantageous to Lanka because, at present, nearly 3,000 TN trawlers invade Lankan waters every other day and systematically deplete and destroy marine more..

Out of circulation notes: Rs. 2.4Mn stolen from CB

July 11 (DM) Currency notes worth Rs. 2.4 million, of Rs.5,000 denomination, that had been earmarked for incineration at the Central Bank, had been lost. An office assistant (Karyala Karya Sahayake) had been arrested in connection with the loss. He was remanded till July 22 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. Central Bank authorities had declared these notes unfit for circulation due to their being soiled and discoloured. The suspect, N.G.N. Kumara of Ja-Ela, more..

Sri Lanka’s sovereign bond orders top USD4.5 bln: source

July 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s first dual-tranche sovereign bond orders exceeded $4.5 billion while the final guidance for both tranches fell at least 25 basis points from the initial guidance, a source close to the deal said. The source said the final guidance for the 5.5-year tranche was about 5.8% (+/-5BPS) lower than initial guidance which was in the area of 6.125%. For the 10-year bond final guidance was around 6.875% (+/-5BPS) lower than the initial guidance of around 7.125%. more..

Sri Lanka struggles with tax confusion after court shock

July 11 (EN) Sri Lankan businesses can only charge value added tax (VAT) and nation building tax at rates that prevailed before May 2, until an amendment is passed in parliament, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, after courts suspended a tax hike today. VAT was raised from May 2 to 15% from 11% without approval from parliament. Supreme Court in a landmark decision suspended the taxes in giving interim relief to an opposition legislator. more..

Sabaragamuwa University to get two more faculties

July 11 (ITN) Minister Thalatha Athukorala says that measures will be taken to provide medical and technological faculties under the Sabaragamuwa University Development Project. While attending a function at Balangoda Vidyaloka Vidyalaya, she said that it would be done within the next year. Minister Thalatha Athukorala said that the students in Sabaragamuwa will be benefitted by the medical and technological faculties at the Sabaragamuwa University. more..

President visits Batticaloa prison cell where he was detained in 1971

July 11 (ITN) President Maithripala Sirisen paid a visit to the cell in the Batticaloa Prisons where he was detained. A group of Parliamentarians also accompanied the President. He visited the prison cell where he was detained as a political prisoner in the year 1971. The President was imprisoned although he was not involved in the1971 insurrection. It was mainly because of his involvement in active politics as a student and for possessing leftist political ideas. more..

Video: Namal arrest: MR asks if the govt happy now?

July 11 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said he had to ask the govt whether it was now happy after arresting his son MP Namal Rajapaksa, Mr. Rajapaksa who was arrested by the FCID today over an inquiry of allegedly misappropriating Rs. 70 million worth of funds belonging to Krish Company, was later remanded by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne till July 18. After visiting Namal Rajapaksa at more..

Tony Blair, Chilcot Report & UNP led govt

July 12 (CT) After losing more than two dozen elections the UNP, was voted to power last year. The entire Muslim community voted for UNP to free themselves from the post-war persecution of Muslims by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. However dismissing Muslim sentiments the UNP led coalition aligned itself, virtually unconditionally with the US led British, French and Israeli neo con war mongers who have unleashed, world-wide a barbaric war against Islam and Muslims, more..

Blueprint for NEW Constitution

July 12 (DM) The 24 member Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms headed by veteran legal expert Lal Wijenayake appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, went around the country and gathered public opinion. The committee chaired by Wijenayake included Winston Pathiraja (Secretary), Prof. Gamini Samaranayake, Prof. Navaratne Bandara, Prof. M.L.A Cader, Mr. N. Selvakumaran, S. Thavarasa, Kushan de Alwis PC, more..

Salaawa residents not satisfied with govt valuation, lament

July 12 (SO) The bicycle repair shop right in-front of Saalawa Armory was reduced to a pile of rubble during the fire in the armory that had mortars flying in all directions. Its owner, G.V. Siripala barely managed to save his life during the fire. Siripala and his wife lived in a house behind the shop, which was brought to the ground by the fire. His savings, and possessions collected over 70 years of his life, went up in smoke in one night. more..

Improving macroeconomic fundamentals vital to cope with global uncertainties

July 12 (ST) The adverse impact of Brexit on the economy may be overstated and will take time to manifest. Of more concern are the fundamental weaknesses of the economy highlighted by Moody’s and Fitch. The downgrading of the country rating by these international rating agencies just prior to Brexit compounded the economic anxieties of the country. Improving the fiscal and trade balances and managing the foreign debt are absolutely important to stabilise the economy. more..

Battered & bruised Blair remains unrepentant

July 12 (ST) Last week was the anniversary of the 7/7 terror attacks in London 11 years ago that left death and destruction in its wake. The anniversary fell at a time when the country’s politics is on a roller-coaster after the referendum vote to leave the European Union, the PM announcing his resignation and the main political parties in the throes of internal strife. Into this political witches’ broth was added the long-awaited report by the John Chilcot committee that inquired into UK’s role in the lead up to more..

'Country’s economy on the right path'

July 12 (SL) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says that the country’s economy is on the right path and that it is only a matter of time before the govt’s plans begin to bear fruit. He said that this govt will not favour anyone and that the measures taken by the govt were for the benefit of the country. He said that as the minister of fisheries there is a lot of pressure from India with regard to the fishermen’s issue, but he as the minister more..

Governing banks and banking on governors

June 12 (SL) If someone in the Govt thought that there would be peace on the CB front if Governor Arjuna Mahendran was replaced, it’s not to be. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy seems to be coming in with the kind of controversies that had plagued his predecessor’s term even before the latter (too) had taken over. It’s not (just) about the Governors or their previous lives. It’s not even about their present – and future. It’s more about the criteria set out for the choice on both occasions. more..

Editorial: When luck smiles on MPs

June 12 (Island) The media informs us people are resentful that they can hardly make ends meet. Life for them is a process of paying bills, which continue to get bloated due to tax increases, the latest being the VAT hike. Traders have been taking to the streets against the unconscionable tax increases. The govt has been struggling to stop the VAT protests which are likely to snowball into a popular uprising unless nipped in the bud. It has apparently taken a leaf out of the Rajapaksas’ book; more..

JVP press conference

Bond scam and The story of selling govt securities directly

July 12 (CT) Central Bank has been telling the public again and again since March 2015 that the sale of govt securities directly to primary dealers is faulty. According to CB, system helps only a select crowd of primary dealers. Since the sales are made through telephone conversations and not through public auctions, the Bank further charges that the system lacks transparency. If it is not transparent, it further argues, that it is fraught with room for abuse, malpractices and corruption. more..

Major reforms needed to rebuild public trust in Sri Lanka’s media

July 12 (SO) SL’s govt and its media industry need to embark on wide-ranging media sector reforms, says a major study released recently. Such reforms are needed at different levels, in govt policies, laws and regulations, as well as within the media industry and profession. Media educators and trainers also have a key role to play in enhancing professional standards in our media, the study says. Recent political changes have opened a window of opportunity which needs to be seized more..

Eran’s insights to corporate and boardroom governance issues in financial services

June 12 (FT) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne, who was previously a senior and professional banker, shares some key insights into corporate and boardroom governance issues in the financial services sector. Q: Why is regulation and corporate governance important in the banking sector? A: John Exter in 1949 wrote in his Report on Monetary Law Act of CB the following: “Banking is an economic activity more..

TISL welcomes enactment of RTI in Sri Lanka

June 12 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said yesterday as a longstanding advocate for the Right to Information (RTI), it is encouraged by the enactment of the RTI Act on 7 July after a movement spanning two decades. The RTI Act empowers citizens to obtain information in the possession of public authorities, without having to provide reasons, thereby acknowledging the fundamental premise that the State holds information in trust for their citizens. more..

Rural Carrom hubs formed

June 12 (ST) After the game of carrom was introduced as an event of the National Sports Festival, several provincial level matches held at Eastern Province Rural Industries Dept premises, Trincomalee in Eastern Province in collaboration with Carrom Federation of SL recently. Tournament was organised under the directions of M Madivannan Director Sports (Eastern Province) and A.H. Wimalasena senior sports officer. Over 100 players from Ampara, Batticaloa & Trinco more..

SAITM parents hope for favourable decision from court

June 12 (FT) At a heated press conference held last week, a newly-formed Private Medical College Parents’ Society (PMCPS) defended the controversial SAITM, claiming that their children’s futures had been put in jeopardy due to what the association called the personal vendettas of a misguided few. A court case that is expected to decide the career prospects of the first batch of students to pass out from more..

Chris Nonis claims no new appointments at EGM; says he is still Mackwoods boss

June 12 (FT) Dr. Chris Nonis in a statement claimed that no new appointments had been made at Extraordinary General Meeting of Mackwoods Securities Ltd. on Friday and he remained its Chairman. He said that there were several attempts made by some shareholders and other interested parties of Mackwoods Securities to force three outsiders into the Board of Mackwoods Securities in a hostile move. At a controversial EGM convened on 7 July 2016 for the purpose of appointing more..

Reverse swing key to SL Tests: Donald

June 12 (CA) The new fast-bowling coach believes Mitch Starc will be vital to Australia's chances of defeating Sri Lanka on their home soil. Mitchell Starc’s ability to conjure reverse swing on the dry, flat pitches of Sri Lanka looms as the key to overcoming Australia’s recent Test match woes in sub-continental conditions according to the team’s new bowling coach, Allan Donald. Donald, the former South African pace ace, joined the Australian squad for the first time in Colombo today more..

Special petition requesting bail submitted

June 12 (CT) A special petition requesting bail was submitted yesterday to the Colombo High Court by former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake, who is in remand custody, since there was no evidence that he had either committed or was involved in the murder of Rugby Player Wasim Thajudeen. Although Colombo Additional Magistrate had stated that bail was not being granted since the incident was connected to an incident of murder, more..