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Sri Lanka urged to ratify cluster convention

July 15 (Hindu) Even as the public discourse continues on the alleged use of cluster bombs in the final stages of the civil war in Sri Lanka, a peace activist has pitched strongly for an early ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). Pointing out that the allegation against Sri Lanka pertains to the use of such bombs against the country’s citizens in an internal armed conflict, Vidya Abhayagunawardena, coordinator, Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines, argues more..

Writ action against Mahendran withdrawn

July 15 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday allowed petitioner, Keerthi Tennekoon, to withdraw the petition he had filed, requesting the court to issue a Writ, declaring that Arjuna Mahendran is not entitled to hold the office of the Governor of the Central Bank. President's Counsel, Shavindra Fernando, told the Court that the respondent Mahendran, had ceased to hold that post. The petition has alleged that the activities of the primary dealer, Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., more..

Income generation increases in Q1

July 15 (DN) The govt’s income generation has increased by 19.5% in the first three months of 2016, in comparison to the same period in 2015, the Finance Ministry said. During the corresponding period, Gross National Income reported as Rs 2,903,036 million or a growth of 9.6%. It is against Rs 2,649,323 million during the first quarter of 2015. This is a growth of Rs 253,713 million this year. more..

World Youth Skills Day: Hellholes of narcotics in schools

July 15 (DM) Today is World Youth Skills Day -- vitally important because it concerns the next generation -- and the UN, with Sri Lanka playing a key role, is observing the day with a special event on the theme of Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment. Understanding what works to support young people in today’s and tomorrow’s labour market through training and skills development will be key to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and will be at the centre of this high-level event. more..

Price control: Bargain before you buy

July 15 (DM) Apparently left with no option, the govt on Tuesday decided to impose price control or a maximum retail price for 15 essential items in a bid to curb the soaring living cost, which has caused widespread public disappointment or dissent. In the orthodox forms of capitalism and socialism practised till recently, imposing price controls was not part of the now globalised capitalist market economic policies. But with the digital technology revolution and worldwide structural changes, more..

Making sense of Treasury Bonds

July 15 (CT) Treasury Bonds (T-Bonds), which hardly attracted public attention not so long ago, made sensational news headlines in recent times. Most of the newspaper articles and media discussions on the so-called bond scam are based on illusive numbers and value judgments. Amidst the floods of such opinions, this is opportune time to re-examine T-Bonds from an objective viewpoint focusing on monetary policy and more..

Civil society castigates yahapalana policies

July 15 (Island) President’s Counsel Srinath Perera accused the parliament of having turned a blind eye to the growing suffering of the vast majority of people struggling to make ends meet. UNPer Perera alleged that the country was in turmoil due to waste, corruption, irregularities, mismanagement and irresponsible conduct of members of all political parties. Perera was addressing the media on behalf of more..

Scores dying from bus frenzy to pick up passengers

July 15 (ST) There have been thousands of bus accidents since January, with 186 fatalities, with increasing incidents of bus drivers racing each other to collect more passengers or reach their destinations faster. Transport authorities agree, and say transport licence rules will be altered to prevent private fleets from employing drivers with no passenger transport skills. Private buses have been involved in 2104 accidents more..

Forty years without execution, Sri Lanka still debates death penalty

July 15 (GPJ) Prisoners on death row in Sri Lanka now have hope: Their death sentences may be commuted to life in prison, following a review by a state-sanctioned committee. The death sentences of 34 prisoners were commuted in December by President Maithripala Sirisena, after the committee, which began meeting in 2014, interviewed those prisoners and reviewed reports about them, says Thushara Upuldeniya, more..

JVP demands punishment

July 15 (CT) The JVP held Minister Champika Ranawaka directly responsible for the controversial coal purchasing tender scam which has presumably resulted in the State incurring a loss of Rs 1,803 million. JVP North Central Provincial Councillor Wasantha Samarasinghe who is also the Convenor of the Voice Against Corruption (VAC) who made a complaint to the Anti- Corruption Secretariat yesterday afternoon, that more..

'Govt will not be allowed to take over SAITM'

July 15 (SL) Nawa Sama Samaja Party leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne said they would not give any opportunity to the government to take over SAITM. He said SAITM should be abolished and the administration of SAITM should take steps to award compensation to the students. “If the law of this country permits, a private degree institution like SAITM that does not follow the proper procedure, should be closed down. more..

Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion to visit Sri Lanka

July 15 (LR) Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion will make a historic three-day visit to Sri Lanka later this month. It will be the first visit by a Canadian foreign affairs minister in 13 years. Dion is expected to meet his SL counterpart Mangala Samaraweera, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremasinghe in Colombo. Dion will travel to Jaffna and meet the Chief Minister of Northern Province more..

PM to meet Singapore’s leadership at South Asia Convention

July 15 (LBO) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to have bilateral discussions with Singapore’s president and premier during his three-day official visit to Singapore. Wickremesinghe will leave the country on Sunday principally to deliver the keynote address at the third South Asian Diaspora Convention which will be held in Singapore starting Monday. Among other distinguished speakers for the convention are Singapore’s more..

Bastille Day truck attack similar to Tamil terrorist tactics in Sri Lanka

July 15 (TS) The use of a truck in Nice, France, is not an unusual mode of attack, although it seems to have caught France by surprise. The now-vanquished Tamil Tiger terrorist group in SL, have used truck bombs in terrorist attacks. Tamil terrorist group, banned in Europe and the US, used a truck packed with explosives to bomb the 10-story Central Bank in Colombo in 1996, killing innocents and destroying a part of the building. more..

U.S. acknowledges complications in Sri Lanka war crimes investigation

July 15 (Reuters) Implementing a U.N. resolution calling for the investigation of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during a war with separatist rebels is complicated and needs more consultations to build confidence, a senior U.S. official said. United States along with other Western countries have long demanded an international investigation into the killing of thousands of ethnic minority Tamils in the final weeks of the war, in 2009, more..

The likes of LPBOA mustn't be allowed to dicate terms to the govt

July 15 (CT) Some of these days, it just does not seem normal, if the price of an essential item or service is not increased as per the decisions of this govt. It was only last May, when the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the Nation Building Tax (NBT) were increased by 4 per cent and sent up the charges of several services that were deemed not essential for the public, by the govt. These non-essential services included telecommunication, if anyone doesn't remember. more..

The Central Bank should be relisted under the ministry of finance now!

July 15 (CT) Arjuna Mahendran has gone now. So, it is the time now to relist the Central Bank under the purview of the Ministry of Finance. I submit two important reasons for it. Both reasons are equally important. One reason is about the line of authority and the other is about the macroeconomic management of the economic system. Let me begin as follows. Recently, top officials of the central bank were summoned to testify before the COPE (Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises). more..

පැතිකඩ වැඩසටහන

Pilots Guild accuses SriLankan Airlines chairman and directors of being selfish and incompetent

July 15 (CT) SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajit Dias is contemplating resigning from his post after the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka accused him and the airline’s Board of Directors of being selfish, incompetent and not setting a better example towards uplifting the cash strapped airline. In a harshly worded email sent by Capt. Renuke Senanayake the President of the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka, Chairman Ajit Dias and the Board of Directors of the airline were reminded that more..

Sri Lankan shares end at over 3-week closing high in thin trade

July 15 (Reuters) Shares ended higher on Friday at a more than three-week closing high, with heavyweights such as Ceylon Tobacco Company and John Keells Holdings helping the index gain. Sentiment was also boosted after SL raised $1.5 billion in its first sale of dual-tranche eurobonds earlier this week, as over $5.5 billion in offers for the issue showed global investors were bullish about the prospects of the $82 billion economy. After the bond deal, yields in local T-bill auction more..

Basil, three others indicted

July 15 (AM) Indictment was served on former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three others on charges of financial misconduct amounting to Rs 33 million of the Divi Neguma Department funds. The other accused are former Secretary to Economic Development Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilake, Divi Neguma Department Director Kithsiri Ranawaka and Assistant Director Bandula Thilakasiri. They are accused on five counts. It is alleged that they have misused more..

AG objects bail for Sakvithi

July 15 (DM) Attorney General today objected to the Colombo High Court releasing financial fraudster Sakvithi Ranasinghe on bail. The case in Sakvithi Ranasinghe and ten others are accused of having committed a criminal breach of trust amounting to more than Rs. 1,628 million by defrauding those who had deposited cash in the Sakvithi Housing and Construction at Nugegoda. The case was taken up for hearing by Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyaratne when the defence counsel appearing more..

Share options Private hospitals to refund VAT

July 15 (CT) Those who were made to pay the 15% VAT by private hospitals will be able to claim a refund of the excess charge, said State Minister and SLFP MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene. He said a circular had been issued to enable those who had been overcharged, on the pretext of the extra charge being VAT, to claim a refund. Till the Parliament comes to a decision on VAT, subsequent to that of the Supreme Court, the 15% VAT cannot be charged on any goods or service, more..

Rehabilitation of 34 minor tanks to be completed by year end in NWP

July 15 (Island) Rehabilitation work on 34 minor irrigation tanks in Mahananneriya cascade in the Mee Oya river basin in North Western Province is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year by providing quality water to over 18,000 people in the area for agriculture and domestic purposes. Part of the rehabilitation work had already been completed under the project Strengthening the Resilience of Development to Climate Change Risks in Sri Lanka more..

Debt service of Sri Lanka's Water Board to be borne by tax payers

July 15 (EN) The bulk of the debt service relating to projects implemented by National Water Supply and Drainage Board will be given to the Treasury to be paid by general taxes on the population and not directly by its customers. Water Board has been given the go ahead to borrow 67.81 billion rupees domestically, US$ 678.55 million and 43.48 million Euros for foreign funded projects. By a cabinet in 2016, 50% of the debt service of urban water supply and 75% of the debt service or more..

Forgetfulness costs her Rs. 533,000 worth of valuables

July 15 (Island) A housewife from Lady Gorden’s Drive, Kandy was in the habit of wrapping in a piece of cloth all her gold and diamonds and taking them with her wherever she went. When she drove her jeep she had the gold and diamonds under a carpet of the vehicle. On July 5, she took her pet dog in the jeep to Veterinary Hospital, Peradeniya and returned home leaving the dog in the hospital. On July 8, she checked for safety of her valuable before going to the veterinary hospital more..

FCID seeks int'l warrant on Udayanga Weeratunga

July 15 (DM) FCID today requested Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne to issue an arrest warrant, through Interpol, for the arrest of one-time SL ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga and produce him in court on charges of causing a huge financial loss to the Govt in the purchase of four Ukraine-built MIG-27 aircraft in 2006. According to FCID Inspector Nihal Francis the deal amounted to US$14 million. Mr. Weeratunga had been noticed to appear in court more..

Docs claim harassment at police hospital and threaten to pull out

July 15 (Island) GMOA is poised to take stern action against the alleged harassment of its members serving at the Police Hospital, Narahenpita for a long time. The executive committee of the GMOA has decided to meet Minister Sagala Ratnayake to discuss the matter. GMOA has warned that its members will be compelled to withdraw from the hospital if the police officers over ASP rank and retired senior police officers continued to harass their members and exert undue pressure more..

4 TN fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

July 15 (PTI) Four TN fishermen have been arrested by SL Navy for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters off Katchatheevu islet. Fisheries department Assistant Director K D Gopinath said the naval personnel of Sri Lanka arrested the four, all hailing from Pamban, while they were fishing off Katchatheevu last night. Their boats were also seized. The fishermen and their boats were later taken to Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka for further proceedings, he added. more..

Chambers and professional bodies to be in Lankan trade negotiation teams

July 15 (ENS) The Sri Lankan Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade has said that it will reserve one seat for a common candidate of Lanka’s chambers of commerce and professional bodies in its teams negotiating trade and investment agreements with other countries. The Ministry described this as a demonstration of the govt’s willingness to be transparent while it negotiates trade and investment agreements with other countries. more..

Sri Lanka manufacturing PMI recovers in June

July 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's purchasing managers index (PMI) for manufacturing recovered in June 2016 after contracting in the two previous months partly owing to floods caused by heavy rains. “The expectations for activities also indicated an improvement for the next three months,” a statement said. PMI in June 2016 was 55.1 index points, an increase of 7.2 index points from May 2016. But on a year-on-year basis, the PMI index saw a marginal drop of 2.4 index points compared to June 2015. more..

Power Minister legalizes PUCSL regulations on safety of power supply

July 15 (LBO) Power Minister has taken steps to legalize the regulations made by the Public Utilities Commission on the safety of power supply through a gazette notification. Electricity safety, quality and continuity regulations, transmission performance standards regulations, distribution performance standards regulations and utility-driven demand side management regulations are areas covered under this gazette. These regulations will seeks to enhance the safety and quality of power supply, more..

China says it will assist Sri Lanka’s development in any way possible

July 15 (CG) Chinese Govt has said it will assist SL in any way possible, the Ministry of National Policy and Economics Affairs said. Ministry quoted Wang Yingqi, commercial counselor of the Chinese embassy as saying that China is ready to assist Sri Lanka in every way possible. He said that SL is a close friend of China and China is fully involved in the development of the country. Wang Yingqi said that the Chinese Embassy in Colombo will work with SL more..

Tamil diaspora struggles to maintain identity

July 15 (DC) Despite contributing heavily to the making of modern world, Tamil diaspora is struggling hard to retain its identity and existence across the world especially in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar and Fiji. This was stated by Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family, professor of South Asian Studies and professor of History at Harvard University, and joint director of the Harvard Center for History and Economics. The expert on diaspora studies was delivering a lecture more..

Sri Lanka aims for trade deal with UK before Brexit happens: Harsha

July 15 (EN) Sri Lanka hopes to have a separate trade agreement with Britain by the time it leaves the European Union, giving the same kind of market access, Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said. Sri Lanka also aims to have trade deals with several other countries by then, he told a forum on the impact of Brexit on business. Ratification of Britain’s exit from the EU will take about two years, during which market access under existing preferential trade agreements will remain. more..

Govt to call tenders to modernize Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery

July 15 (CT) Govt intends to call for tenders to modernize the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. This was revealed by Minister Chandima Weerakkody. He added that an attempt will be made to modernize the Oil Refinery using only about US$ 1.7 billion from the originally estimated US$ 2.2 billion which was considered an investment in the project. Minister expects to present a Cabinet Paper soon and a report on this had been submitted to the Economic Council. more..

President appalled by cowardly nature of Nice attack

July 15 (AD) President Maithripala Sirisena today extended condolences to the grief-stricken French nation in the wake of the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice. At least 84 died, according to French media, when a truck plowed into a crowd just after a fireworks show in celebration of Bastille Day - a national holiday and France’s equivalent to July 4. “Appalled by the cowardly nature of #Nice attack. My condolences are with the grief-stricken French nation,” more..

Cops identify Lankan centre where missing youths stayed

July 15 (TOI) Intelligence agencies have identified the religious centre in Sri Lanka where a few among the missing persons from Padne here had stayed for about a month before they disappeared. “It is a centre run by one Nawaz ul-Hind who has connections with Kerala. He had studied at Darul Hadees at Dammaj in Yemen for 12 years before starting the centre at Nigombo,“ an intelligence officer said. Nawaz studied under Yasin Hajoori, the head of Darul Hadees in Dammaj, more..

Court stops sale of property belonging to Yoshitha’s grandmother

July 15 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Augusta Atapattu ordered the Nugegoda Land Registrar to stop the sale or the transfer of ownership of a property in Ratmalana purchased in the name of Yoshitha Rajapaksa's grandmother Daysi Forest. FCID today filed a motion requesting a court order to stop the possible sale or transfer of the property 31.5 perches in extent located at No: 64 Sirimal Uyana, Kekatiya, Ratmalana in connection with a Money Laundering case. more..

12-hour water cut in Colombo

July 15 (DM) A 12-hour water cut would be imposed in several areas of Colombo from 12 noon to 12 midnight tomorrow due to maintenance work at the Kalatuwawa Water Treatment Plant. Accordingly, the water supply will be suspended in Maharagama, Boralesgamauwa, Kottawa, Pannipitiya, Homagama, Rukmalgama, Pelenwatta, Mattegoda, Godagama, Meepe, Hanwella, Kaluaggala and Padukka areas. The water board said water supply in the Kaduwela area would be provided under low pressure. more..