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Hotel Show Colombo: 250 foreign, local exhibitors expected

June 12 (Island) Hotel Show Colombo 2016, scheduled to be held later this month has assumed greater significance with it being timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebrations of SL Tourism, organisers of the event said. The 11th edition of exhibition which would run from July 22 to 24 at the BMICH has been themed Hospitality Industry Vision 20–20. It is being organized by the Ceylon Hotel Schools Graduates Assoc, which is alumni of Institute of Tourism & Hotel Mgmt. more..

VAT announcement leads to mass scale fag hording

June 12 (DN) The VAT increase in consumer goods is having an impact in the sale of cigarettes and there is an artificial scarcity being created by unsrupulous traders. The govt announced that they will introduce a 15% VAT on the sale of cigarettes.This will result in the price of a cigarette going up by around Rs.6. An official from CAA said they have been made aware that some traders anticipating this VAT increase have gone to the extent of selling or pawning their vehicles and more..

Nunperil mountain range fire rages on

June 12 (CT) Approximately 2,000 acres of forest had been destroyed by a fire that broke out at the summit of the Bolwilagala Mountain and the Balangoda Nanperiyal Mountain Range in Iahalagalagama, near the Mahamewuna Asapuwa, Ella, Bandarawela on Saturday. The fire had spread from the top to the bottom. Due to the fire, the habitats of wild animals have been completely destroyed and several water sources more..

Are Dharmaraja, Trinity really banned?

June 12 (CT) Ministry of Education issued a press release a couple of weeks ago informing that Trinity College and Dharmaraja College have been banned for nine and six months respectively. However, Ceylon Today learns that both schools are shocked and confused at not being informed about the ban formally by the Ministry. Sources close to Trinity said they handed over an official letter to the Education Ministry last Thursday with their Principal questioning as to why the Ministry failed to more..

Edible oil imports and the Tariff structure: Current status, issues and possible impacts

June 12 (ST) The consumer survey of Department of Census and Statistics has revealed that per-capita edible oil consumption in SL is around 4.31 kg per year. This indicates that the total national edible oil requirement for consumption is 90,440 metric tonnes (MT). Half of this demand is met by locally produced coconut oil and the balance requirement is supplemented with imported edible oils. When considering the total demand from other industries, demand for oil is around 80,000-90,000 MT more..

Undergrads to stage overnight protest in Colombo tomorrow

June 12 (Island) Undergraduates from all universities will launch an overnight protest in Colombo Fort tomorrow demanding the release of Convener of IUSF Lahiru Weerasekera, who is currently held on remand. Acting IUSF Convener said that more than 2500 university students would gather near the Fort railway station at 10am tomorrow and protest there until 10 am following day. "This govt’s methods of suppressing students’ struggles more..

Probe on Aluthgamage’s car ordered

June 12 (CT) Nugegoda Chief Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne yesterday ordered the Mirihana Police to probe whether a car bearing license number WPGE 2034, which was used by former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, when he was residing at the Madiwela MP Quarters, had been used for acts of violence. A complaint was lodged with the Mirihana Police by an office assistant of Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, alleging that the said vehicle had been used for acts of violence, more..

SL’s hostile attitude towards Dalai Lama

June 12 (TS) The govt of SL has refused to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama to visit SL on several occasions in the past. While the earlier Rajapaksa govt took such a negative stand towards the Dalai Lama, the present Sirisena govt is also adopting the same policy and approach. Such a stand has resulted in the denial to millions of Buddhists living in Sri Lanka an opportunity to receive the Dalai Lama and honour him as a respected Buddhist leader and listen to his learned counsel. more..

Valour over VAT

June 12 (FT) A SC order suspending VAT increases delivered yesterday created confusion among the private sector and left the Govt rushing to provide explanations ahead of ensuring that the relevant legislation is passed in Parliament next week. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe released a statement just hours after the verdict assuring that the legislation, which has already been tabled in Parliament, would be passed on 20 July. more..

Harsha to address Brexit briefing forum

June 12 (DM) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva will be the keynote speaker at a Brexit briefing forum on Friday (15). The luncheon forum will be joined by High Commissioner to Britain with other industry personalities to discuss the probable consequences when Britain leaves the EU. The event is organised by Shippers’ Academy Colombo with strategic support by Council for Business with Britain. The global economic uncertainty is likely to continue for a relatively long period due to more..

'Corporates can finance universities for endowments to train industry graduates'

June 12 (DN) Govt action from 2005 to 2014 to absorb graduates without any specific duties has spelt disaster for the new govt and the people, SEC Chairman Tilak Karunaratne said. This action he said only bloated the public service which doubled during this period, adding to the pension burden of the govt which eventually will be passed on to the citizens of this country. Delivering the keynote address at the 34th AGM of the Alumni Association of the Colombo University more..

Ranil to discuss Sri Lanka’s investment priorities during Singapore visit

June 12 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to undertake a three-day official visit to Singapore commencing later this week. Saman Athaudahetti Additional Secretary (Media) at the PM office said that Wickremesinghe, during his visit, would also be delivering the key note speech at the 3rd South Asian Diaspora Convention (SADC) to be held at the Raffles City Convention Center on July 18. more..

Over 4,000 TN fishermen stay away from sea

June 12 (Hindu) Dismayed over the repeated arrests by the SL Navy and alleged exploitation by exporters who procure their catch, the 4,000-odd local fishermen struck work on Monday, seeking the intervention of the Centre and State govt. “This is only a token strike to register our protest against the arrest and exporters who fix low price for prawns after forming a cartel,” fishermen leader P. Sesu Raja said. They would resume fishing after a couple of days, but would launch an indefinite strike more..

Bus fare revision report before Cabinet

June 12 (DN) A report prepared by an expert committee on bus fare revisions will be presented to the Cabinet today, by Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. The committee in preparing their report, has taken into account views expressed by all stakeholders including bus association representatives, Transport Ministry said. The expert committee according to the ministry, has prepared policies and criteria on bus fare revision taking into consideration the present day needs. more..

ETCA, SAITM Issues: GMOA happy with outcome of talks with Prez

June 12 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday had said the proposal for formulating a national policy on international trading agreements was reasonable when he met the Executive Committee of the GMOA, GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said. He said the President had also agreed not to go ahead with international trade pacts without ensuring transparency. more..

Welgama questioned by FCID over SLTB transaction

June 12 (DN) UPFA MP, former Transport Minister Kumara Welgama was summoned to the FCID yesterday. A senior police officer attached to the FCID said that Welgama has been summoned for questioning regarding an illicit transaction carried out in connection with the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). Welgama was questioned in connection with the import of spare parts for the SLTB allegedly without duty, following tender procedures under the rule of the previous govt. more..

New administration Supreme Court in Sri Lanka independent: Eran

June 12 (EN) SL's new administration has made the Supreme Court independent and court created an era where anyone can get a hearing, Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne said following a court ruling that suspended a tax hike. "UNP has ushered in an era when the SC rulings are respected, and even people who suppressed the judiciary are being given impartial hearings, which was impossible earlier," he said. "This independence of the judiciary was a great victory for the people. more..

Debt for people; Money for corrupt ministers to spend: SL sells US$1.5bn sovereign bonds

June 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka priced its first dual-tranche sovereign bond after orders hit around $6.6 billion, more than four times the $1.5 billion offered, allowing it to issue the debt at a lower yield than initially offered. SL priced a 5.5-year bond and 10-year bond after strong risk appetite for emerging market debt drew investors to its issue. "It was luck. Had we gone last week, it (the yield) would have been much higher than this. more..

An ill-conceived good move

July 12 (DM) good move by the so-called Joint Opposition has turned out to be something that had been done without proper understanding about the subject as well as without the consent of many members of the group. 50 member Shadow Cabinet they had announced last Thursday had flopped within a day, with the PM and Religious Affairs, Buddha Sasana and Defence Minister of that cabinet, former President Rajapaksa distancing himself from it and several other ministers more..

Shadow Cabinet flops before ink dries up in the appointment letters

July 12 (DM) Joint Opposition last week appointed a 50-member shadow cabinet. Alas, even before the ink dried in appointment letters, its members thought it was a big joke. Many wanted out, and Shadow Urban Planning and Water Supply Minister Lohan Ratwatte resigned. Thus the grand plan flopped before it was launched. It was not clear why some distanced themselves from this latest political maneuver, least because no one was sure who made the appointments in the first place. more..

A testing time for State Hospitals

July 12 (SL) The Ministry of Health has announced that blood investigation reports ordered by state doctors to be conducted at private hospitals will be done in-house from December this year. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a meeting held at the Ministry of Health that patients who enter government hospitals will not be allowed to get blood tests from private entities. He said all equipment will be provided to hospitals that more..

UNWTO conference 2016 kicks off in SL

July 12 (Xinhua) The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), an international travel and tourism body, opened the 2016 conference on Tuesday in Passikudha, eastern coast of Sri Lanka under the theme of Tourism: a Catalyst for Development, Peace and Reconciliation. Hundreds of guests including Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, Mr. John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development, a number of tourism experts more..

Kerala's Salafis now look for real Islam in SL

July 12 (TOI) Sri Lanka has emerged as the favourite destination of a section of Malayalee Salafis who are on the pursuit of real Islam and believe that scholars in Kerala lack correct understanding of the religion. At least three youths, who are suspected to have joined the Islamic State (IS), had told their relatives that they were going to a Hadees centre in Sri Lanka for religious studies. The trio has been identified as Abdul Abdualla more..

Catching poachers on Facebook has rewards – and also dangers

July 12 (ST) There are pitfalls in using social media to expose animal cruelty and poaching, authorities warned although they expressed satisfaction with the arrests of six suspected poachers in the Knuckles Range last Sunday following posts on their activities on Facebook. The poaching incident had occurred three and a half years ago but had only come to light when images of the suspects, posing with dead animals, more..

35 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Tamil Nadu, arriving today

July 12 (AT) 35 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Tamil Nadu, arriving today35 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka today under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. They are two voluntary repatriation movements on Tuesday July 12, 2016 consisting 17 persons (8 families) scheduled to arrive through Mihin Lanka Airlines at 09.15 a.m from Madurai and 18 persons (8 families) more..

Video: Dual citizenship certificates given to 14,000 people: Minister

July 12 (DM) Dual citizenship certificates have been given to 14,000 people who left the country due to various reasons, Minister S.B. Navinna said. He said they had previously granted 12,000 certificates apart from the 1,700 certificates which were given yesterday. The ceremony to hand over certificates which was held at the BMICH yesterday. The concept of issuing dual citizenship certificates was introduced in 1987 more..

China ready to help Sri Lanka realize development vision

July 12 (CG) China is willing to help Sri Lanka to realize its national development vision and become the future shipping, logistics and financial center in the Indian Ocean. The Chinese Foreign Ministry quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying that during his recent visit to Sri Lanka he looked at accelerating the implementation of the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries. more..

Rapid Expansion Forces (REF) to combat dengue: Health Ministry

July 12 (DN) The Health Ministry has set up 10 Rapid Expansion Forces (REFs) to address the issue of dengue in the country, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. He said a three-day intensive dengue control programme is to be launched tomorrow, following the successful completion of the first one between June 30 and July 2. Dr. Mahipala said that six of the ten REF teams would be based in Colombo more..

Northern fishermen to stage protest today against Indian poaching

July 12 (Island) Thousands of fishermen in the Northern Province are scheduled to hold a protest today in front of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) demanding a permanent solution to poaching by their Indian counterparts. President of the Fishermen’s Cooperatives in Mannar Mohommed Alam said fishermen in Mulaitivu, Mannar, Jaffna & Kilinochchi would urge NPC to find a solution by discussing the matter with govt. more..

'Govt delaying to confirm national audit act'

July 12 (DN) The JVP alleged that the govt only presents castrated acts to the public while delaying to confirm the national audit act in the parliament. The JVP allege that they are trying to present the national audit act after subjecting it to castration. JVP MP Sunil Handuneththi said that the UNP govt in 2003 attempted to change the laws and regulations of the country, in order to match them with their Liberal economy. more..

Sri Lankan shares hit near 3-wk closing high

June 12 (Reuters) Shares closed at their highest in nearly three weeks on Tuesday, the fifth straight session of gains, as confidence in a new sovereign bond issued by the island nation helped boost investor sentiment. Sri Lanka raised $1.5 billion in its first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds on Monday, at a lower borrowing cost than initially expected, as yield-hungry global investors put in over $5.5 billion in offers. Colombo stock index ended 0.5% higher at 6,401.31, its highest close since June 22. more..

Dilemma between VAT & CAA tax on price controlled items

July 12 (CT) It is learnt that the Cabinet will be deciding next Tuesday that VAT will not be added to essential consumer items, and further items will be declared essential so that the Consumer Affairs Authority will be directing traders a maximum price for the identified items. Currently there are 15 such items declared as essential and the decision will be taken by the Cabinet/Minister to increase or decrease the items based on the needs and challenges of the Consumer which gives more..

Face The Nation

Forty differently abled undergrads get schols from grieving father

June 12 (Island) Nearly 40 differently-abled undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya recently received scholarships from a father who lost his differently abled young son a year ago. The grieving father is Attorney-at-Law and planter Ganesh Velautham. Ganesh Velautham, who has formed an organisation titled Shivan Foundation in memory of his son is helping the disabled sons and daughters of others. The undergraduates who received the first instalment of more..

Chilcot report, Blair’s apology and our predicament

July 12 (CT) The Iraq Inquiry conducted by the Chairman, Sir John Chilcot, in public, released its report to the public last week. Surprisingly enough it prompted the former British PM Tony Blair to take full responsibility for his decisions to start the onslaught against Iraq and its former President Saddam Hussein, with, the then US President, George W. Bush. Blair made a better-late-than-never confession after he had previously, on several occasions, proclaimed never to apologize more..

SL Tamil fishermen against allowing TN fishermen to fish in Lankan waters

June 12 (ENS) Over a thousand SL Tamil fishermen from the four coastal districts of Northern Province demonstrated in front of the NPC at Kaithady in Jaffna on Tuesday protesting against a reported proposal to allow 250 Tamil Nadu trawlers to fish in North Lankan waters on specified days. K. Rajachandran, President of Ambal Fishermen’s Cooperative of Karainagar in Jaffna, said fishermen presented a memorandum more..

BOV Capital sets up Rs 100 cr fund for Sri Lankan startups

June 12 (ENS) BOV Capital has set up a Rs 100 crore fund to focus on Sri Lankan startups with participation from investors like Google VP South East Asia and India Rajan Anandan and Prajeeth Balasubramniam. Ambit, a leading investment bank in India, will be the fund partner for BOV Capital. The fund, which will focus on early stage startups, plans to invest in 7-10 companies with an investment in the range of Rs 5-10 crore each. While the target is to raise Rs 100 crore, more..

Half of Gotabaya’s military security detail replaced by STF

June 12 (AD) Almost half of the military security detail of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been replaced with the STF. Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that 25 out of 50 military detail provided for his security was replaced with the STF personnel as of this morning. However, he earlier had urged the Defence Secretary not to replace his military security with police personnel due to life threats against him. The former Defence Secretary also pointed out former President more..

Video: Rohitha says brother’s arrest a Govt witch-hunt

June 12 (DM) Former president Rajapaksa’s son Rohitha said the arrest of his brother Namal was a part of the government’s witch-hunt of its opponents and that it was the ministers who decide when to arrest and when to release opposition politicians. He said it had become a normal routine to visit his brothers in prison and that it had become his second home. Mr. Rajapaksa said his brothers had done a great service for more..

'Take urgent steps to help Salawa victims'

June 12 (AD) Archbishop His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has appealed the relevant authorities to urgently help the people affected by the explosion in Salawa to get back to their normal way of life. “I appeal to President, PM, relevant Ministers and officials to waive off the procedural snags and to urgently help the people to get back to their normal way of life. If for that purpose a top level discussion can be held with the representatives of affected people, it would be most consoling,” more..