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SLFTUs raise voice in protest

July 13 (CT) The govt's move to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 15% and the Nation Building Tax to 2% has left the consumers reeling This statement was made at a media briefing held yesterday at the CSR (12) by S. Wikramasinghearachchi who is the administrative officer of Sri Lanka Federation of the Trade Union. He went on to say that trade union leaders were raising their voice on several concerns over alleged 'burden' added on wholesalers and retailers. more..

Prez hasn’t endorsed Trump’s opinions!

July 13 (CT) President Sirisena has not endorsed opinions of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump or has agreed to establish a hybrid court to investigate war crimes accusations, as reported by a Sunday Paper on 10 July, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He said that, "President was only referring to a statement made by the Republican Presidential Candidate, and was not stating his own opinion. He did not endorse the declaration made by Trump that, more..

Video: Ministers making a mockery of the law: MR

July 13 (DM) Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa claimed that it was a mockery of the law for the ministers to have predicted Namal Rajapaksa's arrest by the FCID 24 hours before the arrest. Mr. Rajapaksa told journalist that his son Namal had been arrested by the FCID even without a proper complaint and an aggrieved party. “This is an era in which my son has been labelled as a suspect and made an accused despite more..

Video: Vehicle transfer registration concessionary period extended

July 13 (DM) A concessionary period of three months had been given for vehicle owners to apply for vehicle ownership transferring, minister Gayantha Karunathilake said. The govt has lost a large amount of revenue and also it has caused several difficulties for the law enforcement authority as ownership-transferred vehicles are being used by the new owners for a longer period without being registered. “A late fee was introduced by the Motor Traffic Regulations published in more..

Country from a working land, now a graveyard: Basil

July 13 (DM) While claiming the Govts’ priorities have changed after coming into power, former minister Basil Rajapaksa said the country which was once a working land had now become a graveyard. Addressing the All-Island Samurdhi Development Assistant Officers’ Council, he said the Govts’ priority was to amend the Constitution by abolishing Executive Presidency and to introduce a new electoral system. “Now, the Govt has thrown away their promise of amending the Constitution more..

Cop who cracked down on protests picked to clean-up Sathosa

July 13 (CG) A former SSP who was best known for cracking down on protests by students and civil society in the past, has been appointed as a management expert to crackdown on corruption at state owned Sathosa. Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that former SSP Premalal Ranagala has been brought in to commence the clean-up of Sathosa in order to make the institution a viable entity again. more..

Sri Lanka to get US$300mn in Korean loans

July 13 (EN) South Korea will provide SL up to US$300 million in soft loans till 2018 under an agreement signed between the two govts focusing on industrial development and economic stability. Under the arrangement, the two govts expect to work closely to develop a diverse range of projects in such sectors as transportation, education, water treatment, & rural development. These projects have been identified as priority areas under the Country Partnership Strategy between Korea & SL. more..

A Mora caught as people wished: Halmassa

July 13 (DM) UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna said he did not personally welcome the arrest of UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa but was happy to note that justice prevailed. Mr. Rajakaruna said that one should be happy that the Judiciary had become independent at last. “One should be happy that the Judiciary had become independent at last and rule of law prevails,” he said. “Govt was blamed for not taking action against those who are charged with corruption, but the arrest of Namal Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lanka likely to be let off the hook on alleged use of cluster bombs

July 13 (ENS) The chances of Sri Lanka’s being investigated for the alleged use of cluster bombs in the last phase of Eelam War IV appear to be dim, though the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has called for a probe. The US, whose backing is critical for any probe, is no longer hostile to SL, as Tuesday’s statements by visiting Assistants Secretaries of State, Nisha Biswal and Tom Malinowski, clearly indicated. more..

Welikada remand prison to be shifted to land near Supreme Court

July 13 (CG) Welikada remand prison is to be shifted to land located near the near Supreme Court complex in Colombo. Welikada prison complex comprises four sections, and a proposal made by Minister Champika Ranawaka, to acquire the land belonging to B.C.C Lanka Company near SC complex to construct the remand prison was approved by cabinet. Suspects who are to be produced before court after being arrested in Colombo are detained at Welikada prison. more..

TNA raises political prisoners and land issue with Nisha Biswal

July 13 (CG) The TNA led by opposition leader R Sampanthan today discussed the political prisoners and Northern land issue with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that the implementation of the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC in Geneva last year was also discussed at the meeting. He said that the delay in implementing some clauses in the resolution was raised at the meeting and more..

Sri Lanka insists no licence for Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters

July 13 (Xinhua) Fisheries Ministry has denied claims that Indian fishermen are to be given a licence to catch fish in Sri Lankan waters on certain days. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that India has put forward a proposal to allow Indian fishermen to catch fish 75 days of the year. However he says a final decision on any proposal will be taken only after having talks with Sri Lankan fishermen's associations. more..

Rajapaksa proxy eyeing Holcim?

July 14 (DN) Nandana Lokuwithana, a Sri Lankan businessman in Dubai, is a man who made his fortune in the most mysterious way. An owner of a mid-scale business entity formed in 1998, Lokuwithana became the owner of the Nilona Tower – the premises of the new Mariott hotel in Dubai. It was earlier rumoured that Lokuwithana was a front man of the Rajapaksa family and bought the Marriot hotel on their behalf. Former President, however, categorically denied this rumour, more..

Journey to Tibet - Part 1

July 14 (Island) Before I boarded the flight to Chengdu in China, I met two Chinese nationals working at a fabric plant in Puttalam. They gave me their English names as Adam and Jack. Most Chinese have English names which makes it easy for others to address them, though I wouldn't agree with it. May be that is how they managed to conquer the world. They both were going home on vacation and spoke well of Sri Lanka. Adam had a good word for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Dengue fever rising to its zenith

July 14 (SO) As the numbers of dengue patients sky rocket, authorities are blaming the public for not taking an active part in mitigating the dengue menace. Appeals to clear their surroundings have been ignored, authorities complain, as they struggle to get a grip of the situation. At nearly 22,000 estimated Dengue cases islandwide, by June end, Dengue Fever is clearly running wild, since its escalation since December end last year. more..

Transitional justice: Where are champions?

July 14 (GV) There is no getting away from the issue of international participation in the accountability mechanism, specifically that of foreign judges. The 2015 Geneva resolution co-sponsored by the Sri Lankan govt explicitly allows for this in terms of the active participation of internationals but does not spell out their precise role. The issue keeps surfacing with the highest in the land opining that there will not be any foreign judges on any special court. more..

Text of the speech on the release of the book, Grandfather’s Letters

July 14 (GV) This delightful little book is a selection of letters written by Mr. C. Suntharalingam to his grandchildren. C. Anjalendran, a grandson, has put them together, with a brief Introduction. Perera and Hussein Publishing House has published it with a highly professional layout and design. Grandfather’s Letters running into a little over 200 pages, is simply a fascinating collection of a host autobiographical letters written by a Sri Lankan politicians who lived through most of the last century. more..

Foreign judges should be involved with investigations

July 14 (SL) TNA MP Selvam Addaikalanathan says county’s economic policies are in a mess. He said he is not at all happy with it. It was a mess, especially the recent VAT system. People had lost faith in the govt after they enforced VAT. He further states, “This is an additional burden to the majority. If good governance needs to prevail, govt should do away with their latest brainchild when it comes to taxing people.” more..

Brexit: A comparison with Sri Lankan issues

July 14 (FT) Soon after the release of the results of the British General Election 2015 and in the light of the possible Scottish separatism threats, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to lead a Govt for one nation and make Great Britain greater. He made these comments to neutralise the effect of Scottish National Party (SNP) securing 56 seats out of 59 seats in Scotland in the first time of the British Parliament’s history. SNP managed to secure just five or six seats in four previous elections. more..

'Colombo Port City should never commence'

July 14 (FT) Q: People believe natural disasters are becoming more frequent and worse. How far do you agree with this? A: When we consider the constant media reports of natural disasters not only in Sri Lanka but around the world, one can make such statement. But what we need to understand it that it is due to human activities that Mother Nature has changed. In Sri Lanka we have different types of natural disasters. Floods and landslides are the most common disasters. more..


Dressing up Perahera elephants : No small feat for jumbo fashion designer

July 14 (DN) Majestic elephants adorned with sparkling tapestry, parading along the streets are among the highlights at the Kelaniya Perahera every year. A large number of local and foreign tourists turn up for the Perehara, to watch the elephants decked in their best for the year. These tapestries in their enormity and intricacy take everyone’s breath away, but little do they know that these are a year-long culmination of one woman’s work to make these elephants star attraction of Perahera. more..

Editorial: Of that piscatorial issue

July 14 (Island) Finding a solution to the problem of illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters has become a Sisyphean task owing to the wrong remedies being applied. It looks as if the process of solving the piscatorial issue would drag on till hell freezes over. Northern fishers took to the streets on Tuesday and held a demonstration opposite the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), calling for action to prevent their Indian counterparts from poaching in Sri Lankan waters. more..

Video: Murali plotting Sri Lanka's downfall

July 14 (CC) It's the flexibility provided by short-term consultant coaching opportunities that explains why Sri Lanka's most successful Test cricketer – and the nation's most recognisable sportsman – Muthiah Muralidaran is working in rival colours to hep plot the downfall of his former team. Muralidaran, who claimed an unsurpassed 800 Test wickets in his celebrated career for SL, has spent the past two days more..

Chinese checkers in Sri Lankan waters

July 14 (TI) China may have no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea but the undaunted juggernaut leaves footprints far and wide. Closer home, India too needs to keep a hawk-eye on the other side of the Palk Straits because the Chinese have also strategically re-entered the Sri Lankan waters. The recent ruling of the international tribunal in Hague called off the Chinese bluff of claiming historical legality over the bulk of the South China Sea waters. more..

BOI and Surbana Jurong team up for FDI

July 14 (FT) Ahead of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tour to Singapore, Cabinet has given approval for the BOI to establish a consultancy company with Surbana Jurong, which is also drawing up the master plan for the Megapolis project. A MoU is to be signed between the BOI and Surbana Jurong with the aim of eventually establishing a joint venture company. “The business and shareholding structure, composition of the board and scope of business will be decided in due course,” more..

Rugby: Pathana Champions

July 14 (CT) Isipathana College wrapped-up a fine season as they completed the League/Knock-out double clinching the Milo President's Trophy Rugby Championship courtesy of a fine hat-trick from fly half Randy Silva defeating Royal College 47 (7-tries, 6-conversions) to 12 (2-tries, 1-conversion) in the final encounter worked off at the Race Course Grounds in Reid Avenue yesterday. This was the sixth occasion that Isipathana more..

Damitha, Ashan guide Sri Lanka to series win

July 14 (DN) Damitha Silva and Sammu Ashan guided Sri Lanka to a six wickets win over South Africa in the third and final under 19 ODI match played at the SSC grounds yesterday and with it the three-match series 2-1 played for the Gamini Dissanayake trophy. Sri Lanka became the first holder’s of the trophy in this bilateral series. Left arm spinner Silva, who ripped through the Proteas batting order, took 4 for 48 in his 10 overs as South Africa was restricted to 195-9 more..

Vaas, Chandana for coaching roles?

July 14 (CT) Speculation is rife in local cricketing circles that the Cricket Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is looking to replace the current Fast Bowling Coach of the National Team Champaka Ramanayake with former left-arm speedster Chaminda Vaas, while former all-rounder Upul Chandana has been tipped to be appointed as the Fielding Coach. Sources close to SLC said that having analyzed the overall performance of the bowlers and fielders during the team's recent more..

Injury worries for SL ahead of Aussie series

July 14 (DN) It seems that Sri Lanka's woes will continue as almost all of their pace bowlers are hit by injuries sparing Rangana Herath the sole recognised spinner, while Australian skipper Steve Smith gave the indication that his top opening batsman David Warner will be fully fit in time for the first Test which begins in Pallekelle, Kandy on July 26. Australia is down play three Test matches in Pallekelle, Galle and the SSC and more..

TMC seeks release of 7 fishermen from SL

July 14 (Hindu) TMC leader G.K. Vasan has appealed to the Centre to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government and secure the release of 73 fishermen arrested on charges of poaching and 101 boats that have been impounded. Talking to reporters after receiving representation from Mechanised Fishermen Association leaders N.J. Bose and P. Devadoss, Mr. Vasan said fishermen from Rameswaram to Nagapattinam faced serious threat to their livelihood as Sri Lankan Navy more..

Pakistan A race against time for thrilling win

July 14 (CI) Pakistan A swept to a remarkable eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka A in Worcester, riding on the back of belligerent half-centuries from captain Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel to mow down a target of 148 in 19.1 overs, with time running out on the final day. With a maximum of 23 overs to chase down the target, Pakistan went for the win right from the outset. They were reduced to 37 for 2 in the fifth over as Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Nawaz both fell to new-ball bowler Vishwa Fernando more..

CPC to be slapped with a Rs. 6 additional tax on diesel, but no change in selling prices

July 14 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) would suffer a drop in profit of an estimated Rs. 216 million per month govt imposing an additional six rupee tax on a litre of diesel, its only profit earning product with effect from July 1. Currently, CPC earned a profit of Rs. 31.5 per a litre of auto diesel. From this year January to May, it had earned a total of Rs. 6727 million profit from 216.67 million litres of diesel, according to Ministry. more..

Biz community says no quid pro quo with govt

July 14 (FT) Policy inconsistencies by the Govt are costing the private sector dearly, stakeholders said, pointing out that it outweighed services received from the Govt but applauded efforts to liberalise the economy. “A lack of consistency at the local level affects the private sector more than the cost of services we get from the Govt. We need to get not just similar facilities but the same level of policy consistency that our competitive entities overseas enjoy in their countries,” more..

IASL conducts residential skill development workshop for undergraduates

July 14 (Island) The Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) organized a residential Skill Development workshop for banking and insurance degree undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka recently. The aim of the workshop was to help the undergraduates to identify and develop soft skills that are essential to get into the corporate environment and establish a career. The programme was designed in such a way that the participants gained insights into more..

Writ petition filed to suspend export of baby elephant Nandi to New Zealand

July 14 (DN) Civil society activists, in a writ petition before the Court of Appeal have sought an interim order to suspend the export of baby elephant Nandi to New Zealand. When the petition came up before Justice Deepali Wijesundara and Justice Lalith Jajasuriya, the Attorney General assured the Court that the baby elephant Nandi would remain at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage until the next court hearing on August 2. more..

Namal’s Law firm finalized the paper work

July 14 (CT) FCID has discovered the fact that the agreement connected with the controversial Krrish Financial Transaction had been prepared by the law firm styled Namal Rajapaksa Associates which belongs to MP Namal Rajapaksa who is now in remand custody. FCID has also revealed that all documentation in connection with the agreement had been filled out and completed by Attorney-at-law Sujani Bogollagama, who serves on Board of Directors of a firm also owned by Namal more..

Sri Lankan man wins right to stay in UK

July 14 (DP) A Sri Lankan man whose fight to stay in the UK was backed by hundreds of members of a community in Flintshire has finally been granted his visa. Rakuvaran Parameswaran faced deportation after being asked to prove his parents died just after he fled the war-torn country with his uncle in 2005. According to the 25-year-old, of Northop Hall, his original solicitor didn’t inform him of the correct process to renew his visa, meaning he had only had temporary permission to be in the country more..

Rights petition challenges PM's request to Speaker

July 14 (DM) A public interest litigant today filed a fundamental rights petition against the request made by the Prime Minister for a ruling from the Speaker on the implication and/or constitutionality of the Singarasa Case. Petitioner Dharshana Weraduwage cited PM Wickremesinghe and Attorney General naming him on the capacity as Attorney General as well as for President Sirisena. Supreme Court, in the Singarasa Case, more..

Taxes from fuel soars with more cars in Sri Lanka, higher demand

July 14 (EN) Taxes from fuel has risen six fold in the first four months of 2016 to 17.2 billion rupees with more cars on the road and demand rising after pump prices were cut. A finance ministry report said demand was up with the vehicle fleet expanding 11.6% and lower pump prices encouraging use. Excise duty revenues from petroleum products rose 614% to 17.2 billion rupees in up to April 2016, from 2.4 billion rupees in 2015. In early 2015 fuel retail prices were cut sharply cut. more..