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Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy appointed new Central Bank Governor

July 2 (EN) President has made Indrajit Coomaraswamy, a respected economist, as Central Bank Governor, responding to intense public pressure not to re-appoint its controversial previous incumbent. CB watchers say Coomaraswamy faces tough job in not just conducting monetary policy with domestic inflation rising, the balance of payments fragile due to recent loose policy but also in re-building an institution diminished by more..

North and East contribute heavily to taxes through high liquor consumption

July 2 (Island) The Excise officers’ of the North and Eastern provinces said that toddy sales had seen an increase within the last two years. Assistant Excise Commissioner Northern Province (01) N. Sothinadan said that last year the volume of sales had been 5.6 million litres while in 2014 it had been 4.6 million litres. Sothinadan said last year the 70 licensed liquor shops in Jaffna had received 1.2 million litres of arrack, more..

Health hazard in Palm Oil

July 2 (CT) Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal requesting Court to issue a Writ of Mandamus compelling Sena Mills Refineries to desist from importing adulterated palm oil. Director General of Customs (DGC) Superintendent of Customs, Sena Mills Refineries (Pvt) Ltd., and R.P.D.T. Seneviratna of the Consumer Affairs Authority have been cited as respondents in the petition. more..

Saving for the wrong purpose

July 2 (CT) Athletic Association SL has failed miserably once again to make use of local talent in a proper way to find ways to get athletes to participate in the Rio Olympics. A recent article in Ceylon Today by its Athletics Correspondent explains how the Indian authorities work towards aiming their athletes for the international stage. Though all competitors cannot gain medals at the Olympics, the idea is to qualify and compete. And in this SL is ahead of India in the track and field discipline. more..

Appoint a pro bono advisory council to the monetary board!

July 2 (CT) A new Governor to central bank would be appointed soon. I am not sure who he or she is going to be. But what I am sure is that if the new governor thinks that this is a job he can do fairly easily with currently serving members of the Monetary Board and top bureaucrats of the institution and with the help of IMF economists then he/she is mistaken. Many economists and interested intellectuals including many lay readers on the subject have awakened to this truth now. more..

Ada Cartoon

Dealing with Geneva: 9 crucial months ahead

July 2 (CT) A whole jingbang of Northern Tamil politicians have gathered now in Geneva to observe the proceedings of the 32nd UNHRC session and they also listened to the much anticipated oral submission by UN Human Rights Commissioner Prince Zeid Al-Hussein on Wednesday. Northern Provincial Councillors Ananthy Sasitharan and M.K. Sivajilingam were also there in Geneva to see the proceedings. They also spoke to the press circles of the Lankan Tamil activists and participated more..

The Case Against Devolution – II

July 2 (CT) The most cogent case for arguing that India bears the major responsibility for helping us to get out of the ethnic imbroglio consists of the developments that took place in 1987. I dealt with this case some time ago in a detailed article, so that I will do no more here than set out the essentials. According to the authoritative historian K.M. de Silva’s Sri Lanka and the defeat of the LTTE (2012) our troops led by Major General Cyril Ranatunge were well on the way to defeating more..

Video: ‘SL must seek more economic agreements to avoid after-effects of Brexit’

July 2 (DM) Sri Lanka should seek more bilateral agreements to open its economy with other economies like those of India, China, South Korea and Japan to avoid the after-effects of Brexit, Joint Apparel Association Forum General Secretary M.P.T. Cooray said yesterday. He told reporters that even though more than 40% of garments made in Sri Lanka were sent to Britain, there would be no major effect on the Sri Lankan economy with more..

Other trade unions extend support to docs’ strike

July 2 (Island) The GMOA said several trade unions in the government health service had pledged their support to the countrywide token strike scheduled for Monday over six issues including an attempt to amend the doctors’ Service Minute without consulting the relevant stakeholders. GMOA Secretary Dr Naveen de Zoysa said the SL Dental Association (GDSA) and the SL Ayurweda Association along with the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) were among them. more..

Key suspect arrested in India over ferrying of SL refugees to Australia

July 2 (Hindu) The middleman who is suspected to be the brain behind the recently thwarted illegal ferrying of Sri Lankan refugees from Kanniyakumari to Australia has been arrested by police. On getting information about the possible illegal ferrying of Sri Lankan expatriates via Muttam in Kanniyakumari district to Australia, Q Branch police stepped up vigil in the area and thwarted an attempt by arresting nine persons. With the information they could extract from the arrested during interrogation, more..

Mano Ganesan threatens to quit over language disparity

July 2 (CT) Minister of National Dialogue Mano Ganesan has threatened to resign from his ministerial portfolio if the govt fails to give due recognition for language parity. “If there is no language parity, how on earth can there be genuine power sharing, national coexistence and parity between ethnicities and provinces? National question is not only the language issue. But it sure holds the large part of the national question. more..

Two Sri Lanka nationals among hostages rescued from Dhaka restaurant

July 2 (BN) 12-hours hostage standoff, which began Friday night, ended in the morning after army commandos stormed in and rescued 13 hostages alive. “2 SriLankan nationals among rescued hostages. SL High Commission official has met them and they are unharmed and safe,” reads the twitter post by SL foreign ministry. Seven men, one of them armed with a sword and the others carrying small firearms barged into at the Holey Artisan Bakery and O Kitchen at Dhaka’s diplomatic more..

New Customs Act drafted by lawyers appearing for racketeers: JO

July 2 (Island) The proposed new Customs Act had been drafted by some lawyers who appeared for Custom racketeers, Joint Opposition alleged. MP Bandula Gunawardena said the govt was attempting to replace the Customs Ordinance with a new one to facilitate those racketeers. He said the present Customs Ordinance was 100 years old and the govt used its age as an the excuse to introduce a new act. Then UNF govt in 2002 attempted to form an Authority merging Customs, Excise and more..

Tamil Nadu rejects Navy claims

July 2 (CT) Tamil Nadu's time-worn allegation persists about the SL Navy, claiming it only arrests Indian fishermen who cross the International Maritime Border into Lankan waters, being false. It is contended here that Indian fishermen do not intentionally or otherwise cross the maritime border between the two countries. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services insists they alert fishermen well ahead if more..

'Crooks aplenty in State sector'

July 2 (CT) COPE Chairman, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti called into question the "logic in the govet's exclusive and inordinate concern with the issue relating to the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran when it had paid scant regard to recommendation made by COPE relating to very many other heads of State institutions long before the issue relating to the Governor surfaced." He pointed out that recommendations given by COPE concerning Chairman of Lanka Puthra Bank more..

15 human trafficking complaints being probed

July 2 (Island) Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) had recorded 15 complaints within two months since it commenced work in April, Minister Thalatha Athukorala said. SThe complaints had been directed to relevant authorities. Legal action would be taken against the suspects by Attorney General’s Department after thorough investigations, she said. The post analysis of the complaints would be conducted by the SLBFE, more..

Sri Lanka's dual leadership avoids showdown, but both bruised

July 2 (EN) The appointment of a respected economist to the post of governor to replace controversial Arjuna Mahendran has avoided a showdown between President and PM, but both men have emerged badly bruised. President Sirisena who on Wednesday announced he would appoint a new governor within hours named Indrajit Coomaraswamy more than 70 hours later after consulting all parties concerned. more..

Permanent houses for ex-LTTEers integrated with society

July 2 (DN) A special programme has been launched to provide permanent houses to former LTTE members integrated with society after rehabilitation if they do not have houses of their own, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Janaka Ratnayake said. He was addressing a meeting held at the Puntottam Rehabilitation Camp in Vavuniya when five more rehabilitated LTTE members were reintegrated with society. Programme to permanent housing to more..

Sri Lankan community lost in generation unites during Ramadan

July 2 (KT) Ramadan this year in UAE turned out to be special for a group of expatriates from Sri Lanka. A couple of them from Akurna, a village in the island nation, got together in Dubai and decided to set up a whatsapp group, United Akurna, in search of their compatriots and got an overwhelming response. "The group was set up in the first week of Ramadan. With each passing day, the numbers of members joining the group is on the rise. Over 150 members have joined so far," more..

Island-wide private bus strike from Monday

July 2 (DN) An island-wide private bus strike would be launched from Sunday midnight since talks with Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva failed yesterday. All Ceylon Private Bus Owners Association (ACPBA) Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said although the private bus fare revision was due from July 1 each year according to the national policy on bus fare, govt has not given it’s consent to a bus fare revision this year. more..

Dried serpent in nutritional food pack

July 2 (DM) Manageress of a cooperative outlet who had pleaded guilty for providing a nutritional food bag for an expectant mother containing a dried serpent with sprats was strictly warned and imposed a fine of Rs.10, 000 by Attanagalla Magistrate. The fine was imposed on Sumana Pathirana, the manageress at the packing section of the Mirigama Multi Purpose Cooperative Society. Mirigama PHI and his team field a case after the raid mentioning that there was a dried serpent more..

Video: Ananda eiterates Mahindananda used Defender found at Madiwela

July 2 (AM) UNP MP Ananda Aluthgamage reiterated that defender found at the Madiwela MPs' quarters recently was once used by former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Ananda Aluthgamage said that vehicle was used in election campaign of a relative of Mahindananda Aluthgamage. The defender was also used for various crimes, he added. Two people, who claim to have been victims of Mahindananda's intimidation and who could recognize the vehicle, also spoke more..

Minister says nothing done which will adversely affect Tamils

July 2 (CG) Minister D M Swaminathan says the present Govt has not done anything that would adversely affect the Tamils. He says the Govt is committed to ensure the well being of the Tamil Community. Minister this week presented land ownership certificates to over 190 families living in the Sidhambarapuram village in Vavuniya. The Sidhambarapuram village was a camp that housed families who were in temporary settlements more..

Telangana govt wants to improve ties with SL

July 2 (Siasat) Telangana govt was keen on building relationships with the neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and to strengthen cooperation in the fields of tourism, health and social sectors. This was stated by Chief Secretary Dr Rajiv Sharma to the visiting SL journalists, who called on him on Friday. A 15-member journalists’ delegation from Sri Lanka consisting of Editors and senior journalists from the island nation is on a three-day familiarization visit to the State. more..

Jumbo transit location hit by shortage of vets

July 2 (ST) The lack of veterinary surgeons is hampering the operations at the Ath Athuru Sevana, elephant transit location, in Uda Walawe, a key trade union representing veterinary surgeons said. Dr Suhada Jayawardena, Secretary of SL Veterinary Surgeons’ Association said that currently there were 59 baby elephants including 14 who had been transferred there following court orders, but there was only one veterinary surgeon. “There are only 9 veterinary surgeons for Wildlife Department. more..

'Number of Ministers has increased to 92'

July 2 (DN) The govt which asked the people to tighten their belts has increased the number of ministers to 92 and allocated Rs 1,180 million to purchase a fleet of new vehicles for ministers and MPs, JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa said. Addressing a meeting, he said sums in the region of Rs 5 to Rs 20 million have also been allocated to repair official residences of ministers and purchase buildings for new Ministries. more..

Attack on Indian fishermen by SL navy flayed

July 2 (Hindu) Members of the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) staged a protest demonstration here on Friday, against the attack on Indian fishermen by the SL navy, demanding the release of all arrested fishermen with their trawlers. Party founder leader T. Velmurugan, who led the agitation, condemned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA govt at the Centre for failing to protect the livelihood of fishermen and their traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay. more..

Special Ceylon Tea promotion in New York and Washington

July 2 (SLE) Recognizing the importance of ever increasing tea market in the United States, SL Embassy in Washington in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tea Board organized roadshows in New York and Washington to promote Ceylon Tea with special focus on Brand Promotions and distinguishing the difference in flavour, strength and aroma of the different agro climatic regional teas of SL. A Ceylon Tea Pavilion at Sumer Fancy Food Show, North America’s largest food and beverage fair more..

Coomaraswamy is compromise choice for Central Bank Governorship

July 2 (ENS) Dr.Indrajit Coomaraswamy, an economist who had previously been Director of Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, has emerged as the compromise choice for the Governorship of Central Bank after a politically embarrassing tussle between President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe over the appointment of a successor to the controversial Governor Arjuna Mahendran more..

Filling a vacancy

July 3 (SO) Never has there been such debate, political division and, above all, business uncertainty over a single job vacancy - other than that of the state Presidency itself. After all, the post of Governor of a country's central bank has direct legal and policy implications especially in relation to the economy as a whole and, to the markets, currency values, and business planning in particular. The country's business community, among many other influential sectors of society, more..

A kind of patriotism

July 3 (SL) The Sirisena – Wickremesinghe govt is confronted with two challenges when dealing with the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC calling for investigations on alleged war crimes by its armed forces. Firstly it has to prevent inroads being made into the sovereignty of Sri Lanka through proposed investigations into the allegations made. Secondly it has to prevent arousal of communal tensions and outbreaks of violence by a minority faction of the section of the Opposition and their supporters more..

Runaway Dengue menace stirs controversial reactions

July 3 (SO) Western Province which has the dubious distinction of heading the list of dengue-hit regions, last month showed a slight decline in the accumulated cases (46.74%). Nonetheless, numbers of suspected cases in June are worrying, officials said. For example, Colombo Municipality area this June recorded a spike of 379 compared to 154 suspected cases in May. With a parallel increase in other areas in Colombo, more..

SLFP’s internal rift as National Unity Govt unites over CB Governor

July 3 (SO) The SLFP bigwigs have already made it clear that they will back the Executive Presidency - the system they kept demonising for 17 years when the party was in opposition. Its former leader Chandrika Bandaranaike ran for presidency in 1994, with the promise of abolishing Executive Presidency but she failed to deliver on the pledge. Her successor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, also renewed the promise when he became the SLFP’s presidential candidate in 2005. more..

The question of representation

July 3 (Island) The uncertainty regarding the appointment of CB Governor has finally come to an end with the appointment of Indrajit Coomaraswamy. He has impeccable academic credentials and counts enough years in the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Planning as well as the Commonwealth Secretariat. Ideally, however, there should be a system of succession within the CB, especially since appointments outside such a system leaves room for criticism over appointing party favorites, more..

'Debt burden 97% of govt revenue'

July 3 (SL) Minister Champika Ranawaka says that if Maithripala Sirisena was not elected, the international problems would be kind of serious economic repercussions for us like there is in Venezuela and Brazil. “Our country would have been in a kind of economic turmoil because the western powers were trying to bring in sanctions and isolate us because of our foreign policies and other things. So that catastrophic thing has been more..

Lessons from Brexit

July 3 (ST) An opinion poll conducted in the United States after Britons voted to leave the European Union (EU) has thrown up results that Sri Lankans can well relate to. The USA TODAY and Suffolk University survey finds Americans agreeing by an overwhelming margin that the outcome of the referendum was a sign of anger and dissatisfaction that can be seen in other countries, including the United States — “an indication of a broader feeling among people around the world, more..

Re-engineering the Govt

July 3 (Island) The govt and the public sector account for the major proportion of employment in the country’s organized sector. It also consumes a large proportion of the resources of the country. But is it contributing adequately to the well-being of the people? We have added an extra level of govt through the establishment of the Provincial Councils which has added to the costs of governing. This was done to accommodate the request of the politicians of North and East to manage their finances more..

'Current regime engaged in same corrupt practices'

July 3 (SL) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the current good governance regime is engaging in the same corrupt practices as the previous regime did. He said that while the people expected a lot from this govt, they have proved to the people that all promises made during their election campaign was nothing but empty promises. He said that under this regime development has come to a standstill and more..

Coomaraswamy replaces Mahendran but other headaches remain

July 3 (Island) As we go to press, the multiple crises in the country were threatening to spill out onto the streets with the private bus services due to launch a countrywide strike tomorrow (Monday) demanding a hike in bus fares and several health sector unions led by the GMOA going on strike the same day protesting against ETCA and the private medical college in Malabe. This is coming on top of the hartals that we have been seeing in towns all over the country. more..