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Tourism authorities to regulate beach boys

June 12 (DM) Sri Lanka Tourism authorities will be moving towards the regulation of beach boys, who are a common sight along the Wellawatta-Galle tourist zone. “We will again be bringing police regulation for beach boys,” Minister John Amaratunga said at a media conference recently. He noted that police officers would be stationed at various centre points along the beach stretch from Wellawatta to Galle in order to ensure that tourists are not being harassed by beach boys. more..

Namal teaching yoga to fellow inmates at remand prison

June 12 (CG) PM Namal Rajapaksa, who was arrested yesterday, is teaching yoga to his fellow inmates at the Welikada remand prison. MP Dullas Alahapperuma said that Namal Rajapaksa was in good spirits. He told reporters, after meeting the MP at the remand prison, that he was also giving physical fitness training to his fellow inmates. Meanwhile MP Dinesh Gunawardena claimed that the prison was more..

Figure too low for all the six coastal districts, says fishermen association

June 12 (ENS) Welcoming the move of the SL govt allowing 250 Tamil Nadu fishermen to trawl in theirs waters on predetermined days, P Jesuraj, Ramanathapuram district secretary of TN Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association, said that though Lanka claims that 3,000 Tamil Nadu fishermen enter their waters and destroy the marine resources, only 200-300 boats from the State cross the IMBL in a day. Meanwhile, fishermen representatives from Tiruchy said that more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority says compliant with container weight rule

June 12 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) terminals have become compliant with a new international rule that requires mandatory verification of the weight of containers before being loaded on ships. “Cargo information regarding a mandatory container gross mass verification has been implemented in Sri Lankan ports from 01st July 2016,” the SLPA said. Merchant Shipping Secretariat recently conducted several meetings with related stakeholders in order to finalize more..

Over-staffed Fisheries Corp. offers Voluntary Retirement Scheme

June 12 (Island) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has told Ceylon Fisheries Cooperation (CFC) that it is a loss making state institution and cannot continue unless 400 workers are retrenched. During a meeting held with the CFC worker’s union, Minister said the approved cadre at CFC was 745 but currently it had 1,113 workers and therefore it couldn’t continue to function. During previous govt, the CFC had been overstaffed more..

President off to UK

June 12 (CT) President Sirisena will be leaving for the UK to attend the graduation ceremony of his younger daughter Dharani Sirisena on 12 July 2016. Dharani, is the second and the youngest daughter of the Sirisena family. She has successfully completed a Bachelor in Law (LLB) degree at the University of Staffordshire with flying colours. The President et al will be attending this ceremony in a private capacity. After which the President will be returning to Sri Lanka on 16 July 2016. more..

Company earnings growth seen slowing

June 12 (EN) Earnings growth of Sri Lankan companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange are likely to slowdown in the second and third quarter of 2016, stockbrokers First Capital Equities said. They attributed the slowdown to the likely slowdown in consumer demand resulting from the tighter monetary policy, higher interest rates and price increases in imports because of the depreciation of the rupee. “However, we believe banking sector is likely to provide stability more..

Cabinet approves 6% bus fare hike

June 12 (DM) The Cabinet this morning gave approval to increase bus fares by 6%, with effect from with effect from next month. Accordingly, the minimum bus fare will be increased to Rs. 9 from Rs. 8. The Cabinet took the decision following a report submitted by Transport Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva based on new formula, created by a panel of eminent scholars appointed by him. Fare hike will take effect from August 1. more..

DEW hails President and condemns Mangala

June 12 (Island) Leader of the CP D.E.W. Gunasekera hailed President Maithripala Sirisena for his firm stand on alleged war crimes and telling the west that Sri Lanka could sort out its internal issues and other countries need not interfere. He said former British PM Tony Blair after 13-years had expressed regret for his country’s involvement in the invasion of Iraq where hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed, following the release of Sir John Chilcot report more..

Price of 15 essential commodities will be sold at concessionary prices: PM

June 12 (N24) PM Ranil Wickramasinghe says that the price of fifteen essential commodities will be sold to consumers at concessionary prices. Accordingly, these items will primarily consist of, sugar, dhal, chillies, green gram, white onions, chick peas & sprats. The premier made this pronouncement while taking part in party propaganda meetings which were held in Central Colombo, and Borella. Premier also said that the govt’s attention was focused on providing tax concessions to more..

Govt should reimburse money if VAT remains at 11%: GL

June 12 (AD) If the Value Added Tax (VAT) remains at 11%, the public should be reimbursed for the additional amount they actually spent on the tax since May 2, said former Minister G.L. Peiris. The observation was made while speaking at a press conference held in Colombo today.“If the VAT remains at 11%, until the relevant legislation is passed by the Parliament, the additionally obtained tax money should be reimbursed,” he urged. more..

Lots to be learnt from the thrashing

June 12 (CT) The Sri Lankan cricketers returning home from their miserable tour of England were expecting a nasty welcome brush off from the fans; but sighed with relief on touching down. Although we can see only the tip of the iceberg there sure is plenty happening down there. Nobody wants to hang their necks out to be chopped off. The captain has already owned up saying (including him) the entire team did not play convincingly. The Englishmen were waiting for their turn, more..

Video: Nisha Biswal arrives in Sri Lanka

June 12 (AD) The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal arrived in Sri Lanka a short while ago on Tuesday. She was accompanied by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia Manpreet Singh Anand. Biswal will meet with the senior govt officials and political leaders to discuss bilateral economic cooperation as well as democratic governance and reconciliation, Spokesperson’s Office of the U.S. Department of State said. more..

Rs. 3123 million on coal tender fraud

June 12 (AD) The mafia of the State officers who were taking shelter under the corrupt Rajapakse reign during its nefarious decade and robbing the country wholesale had been so powerful that even after the Govt of good governance came into power, the robbery of a staggering Rs. 3123 million approximately by these cuprits from coal supply came to light only after the verdict of Supreme court (SC) was delivered more..

'JVP will take up arms again if banned'

June 12 (AM) If prescribed, the JVP will definitely take up arms again, Southern Provincial Councilor Nalin Hewage said. This was stated during a heated debate between Hewage and several councilors of the UPFA. Hewage claimed that the former govt obtained loans which have not been properly recorded, which led to the heated debate. Provincial Minister Weerasumana Weerasinghe blamed the JVP for destroying public property during the 1987-89 insurrection and claimed that more..

Community Party leader accuses PM of trying to bypass COPE

June 12 (Island) Communist Party leader D.E.W. Gunasekera said there were attempts by some UNPers including the PM to overlook the COPE in a bid to clear former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran of wrongdoing in the alleged bond scams. Gunasekera was addressing a press conference organised by the Socialist Alliance. "Since 1947 there has been no political interference and these elements are attempting to work outside the parliamentary select committee." more..

'President’s decision on foreign judges in war probe will be final'

June 12 (CG) President’s decision on the involvement of foreign judges in the investigation on incidents related to the war will be the final decision, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. President has made clear foreign judges will not be invited to be part of the domestic accountability process. He said that when the President takes a stand and PM also expresses a similar view that is the final decision and the matter is closed. more..

Humiliating an Officer and a Gentleman

July 13 (DM) Although 65% of our population was not born when the country’s second alleged military conspiracy was staged to overthrow a democratically elected administration, exactly 50 years ago, its legacy lingers on. The uniqueness of the event is that during the trial the prosecution case against Army Commander General Udugama open itself only to expose not only the total lack of evidence on any of the charges in the indictment but pointed overwhelmingly to a situation more..

Opportunity costs: What Rs. 1 billion can buy

July 13 (GV) On June 7, a supplementary estimate was submitted to Parliament for the import of luxury vehicles for Ministers and their deputies. Rs. 1.17 billion was sought, with several, including Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana defending the estimate. Minister Senaratne said Ministers and Deputy Ministers needed super luxury vehicles to travel to their electorate, various functions and ceremonies round the country. more..

Do we really care about the air we breathe?

July 13 (CT) Air pollution is currently acknowledged as a threat to public health in most developed and developing countries in the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) air pollution is identified as one of the largest global health risks, causing approximately seven million deaths every year. This threat has been recognized due to evaluations conducted to measure the air quality levels as well as extent of pollution. more..

Sri Lanka from the Third World to the First

July 13 (CT) Alfred Duraiappah is the leader who was moulded by the SLFP in the North. When Madame Bandaranaike who was PM in 1976 was invited by Duraiappah to tour the North, she accepted with pleasure. When she arrived in the North, Duraiappah put up pandals and welcomed her. She was garlanded with necklaces made out of potatoes, onions and chillies of Jaffna. When the PM alighted from her vehicle to climb up to the stage where the main meeting was being held, more..

Black lives matter – And so do Tamil lives

July 13 (CT) My son Yovahn, a Junior at Rice University, is a Student Counsellor to Freshmen coming in for orientation. Unlike in SL, their own racism was something White racists felt compelled by law and custom to hide. However, with the Donald Trump phenomenon, American racists no longer feel that need. Police in several cities have been killing Blacks, unabashed that bystanders were filming them. So the university has asked student counsellors to push slogan Black lives matter. more..

'Govt knows nothing better than borrowing'

July 13 (SL) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti claims that the country’s economy is in a critical state and that the govt has no tangible solutions to resolve this situation. He says the govt is on a borrowing spree, and they have not analysed how they are going to repay these debts since the country’s production is almost nil. He said that unless people can afford to spend, no point in having goods at the market. He pointed out that piling taxes more..

Tapping full Potential of the Diaspora

July 13 (DM) The exodus of Sri Lankans of all walks of life over the last several decades has led to the formation of many Sri Lankan diaspora communities across the world. While some of these people left the country looking for greener pastures elsewhere, others migrated due to direct and indirect impacts on them of various social and political conflicts in the country. Many of the Sri Lankan migrants overseas, particularly in western countries are organized into many closely knit socio-cultural or more..

Editorial: VAT test for MS

July 13 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena finds himself in an unenviable position. Having lost the backing of a sizeable section of the SLFP, he is now at the mercy of the UNP, which undermines his authority. He cannot assert himself and act according to the dictates of his conscience lest he should jeopardise the UNP-led govt’s interests and run the risk of paving the way for a comeback of his arch rivals––the Rajapaksas. VAT dilemma has worsened his predicament. more..

Mangala Samaraweera

Catalyst for peace & development or militarization and dispossession?

July 13 (GV) This week, there is a major international conference on tourism, in Pasikudah, in the Batticaloa district, Eastern province of Sri Lanka. The theme is Tourism: a Catalyst for Development, Peace and Reconciliation. It’s organized by the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), “the UN agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism”, along with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and more..

Citi Global Head of Public Sector Group in SL

July 13 (FT) Julie Monaco, Global Head of Citi’s Public Sector Group in the Corporate and Investment Banking division of Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, will be in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit. While in Colombo, she will meet with Govt officials, regulators and Public Sector clients. Citi has had a presence in Sri Lanka since 1979 and has led local market innovation in terms of capital raising, cash management solutions, risk management, trade financing and corporate finance. more..

Beware of two-tier doosra

July 13 (ST) Cricket definitely is a gentleman’s game. At least, that is what we have been taught to believe from our childhood, since the very game of Cricket had evolved from a system with two distinct divisions – gentlemen and players. This system was in existence from the late 1800s to 1962, before it was done away with. When our colonial masters laughed, calling cricketing fraternity the flannelled fools, we joined in the laughter. more..

Will ETCA negotiations checkmate the opponents?

July 13 (Island) According to a news item published in The Island, govt seems to have plotted the road map to finalize Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), by 30th Oct this year. That was based on the consensus reached between the ministers of both countries in India. Just before that, govt of Sri Lanka appointed a high powered committee of 12 experts to justify ECTA in the context of threatened economic opportunities in Europe following Brexit. more..

Are ‘A’ tours, Development Squads serving the purpose?

July 13 (DN) Sri Lanka today finds itself short of quality players who are match-winners to serve in the national cricket team and that is not because there is dearth of talent in the country but due to a whole lot of things that are wrong with the present system and needs to be overhauled. Currently Sri Lanka does not have a procedure to fast-track exceptional talent that is oozing out of the schools and put them under special and high quality training at the highest level so that more..

Firm steps to stabilise prices

July 13 (DN) The govt will work to stabilise prices of consumer goods by integrating the informal economy into the supply chain of the formal. “We will solve the problems in our supply chain,” Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He also observed that prices of goods were increasing even with price controls and VAT exemptions due to a prolific black market which operated beyond the control of the formal economy. more..

Patana favourites in President’s Trophy final

July 13 (Island) Isipatana College, will be slight favourites when they encounter Royal College in the President’s Trophy knockout rugby tournament final which will be held at the Race Course Rugby Stadium today. Royal were certainly not given a chance by many, but they have played remarkably well to reach the finals after beating Wesley College 29-21 in the quarter-final and S. Thomas’ 24-15 in the semi-final. They will look to seal President’s Trophy with a win over fancied Isipatana. more..

Dialog announces new Group CEO

July 13 (DN) Dialog Axiata (Dialog)has commenced preparation for the succession of its Group CEO at year end 2016. The announcement of succession follows Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, the Group Chief Executive of Dialog, taking on additional regional responsibilities in the capacity of Regional CEO for South Asia of the Axiata Group, earlier this year. The Board of Directors have named Supun Weerasinghe as the successor to Dr Hans Wijayasuriya from January 1, 2017. more..

'Govt providing safeguard for fraudsters'

July 13 (DM) While remanding Namal Rajapaksa on allegations of misappropriating Rs. 70 million worth of funds belonging to a property developer, Govt on the other hand was providing necessary environment for the construction work to proceed, the Anti-Corruption Front said. Spokesman for the CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon said now it was clear that the Govt was not doing what it preached. “Until the Govt changes its attitude on more..

Engineers warn electricity costs to increase up to 50%, blackouts by 2018 IESL

July 13 (Island) Sampur coal power projects should proceed without delay, competitive bidding essential for wind and solar, and development of LNG, including the terminal requires careful study. Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) is the premier engineering institution involved in promoting and advancing the science and practice of engineering. IESL recently organized a seminar on Generation Options - Sri Lanka for a Reliable and an Economical Power Supply more..

Uni non-academic staff on strike today, tomorrow over broken promises

July 13 (Island) University non-academic staff would strike today and tomorrow against govt’s delay in fulfilling promises made by Minister Lakshman Kiriella a few months ago. Co-Convener of Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee Dammika Priyantha said they would conduct a protest march upto UGC and stage a demonstration. He said their main demands were an increase in their allowances, implementation of the state sector new salary structure in respect of university employees more..

NFC Boss, Director resist Court Order

July 13 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate refused a request by National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA) that an Interim Order be issued to ban the screening of the Sinhala film Adaraneeya Kathawak (A Melody of Love) alleging that the film violates provisions of NATA Act. In its complaint NATA said that Adaraneeya Kathawak, film directed by Priyantha Colombage, currently screening more..

Norway invites SL for Fisheries Exhibition

July 13 (DN) Sri Lanka has received a formal invitation to attend the Fisheries Exhibition held in Trondime, Norway in August this year and attend a discussion on fish exports held concurrently. Norway is a powerful member country of the European Union. The invitation was extended by the Ambassador for Norway Thorbojorn Gaustadsaether, when he called on Minister Mahinda Amaraweera at his ministry and held discussions with him on July 8. more..

President assures tech-startup friendly climate in six months

July 13 (Island) President had recently told a group of active investors and entrepreneurs involved in technology startup companies that necessary policy decisions would be made to create a tech startup- friendly climate in the country before the Year 2016 is out, to encourage more funding for SL tech startups. He had given this assurance when SL investors and entrepreneurs of BOV Capital met him to discuss a venture capital fund focused on helping early-stage tech startups in the country. more..