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Points system for motorists to improve road discipline

July 24 (ST) A driver improvement points system where motorists would have their driving licences cancelled on points accumulated for traffic offences, will be in place before year end, officials said. The proposal initially made more than two years back, has obtained the approval of a committee of the Justice Ministry and the Attorney General’s Dept, and is due be placed before Cabinet within two months. Transport Ministry Secretary, Nihal Somaweera said that, under the scheme, more..

Sri Lanka starts talks with Chinese investors on Hambantota project

July 24 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has started talks with Chinese investors on the $10 billion Hambantota Economic Project to be implemented in the southern region. Project would encompass the establishment of oil refineries, a power generation plant and industrial zones, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Four projects — Kandy Mega Development, Wayamba (North-Western) Industrial & Tourist Development Project, more..

This barking and biting system of injustice

July 25 (ST) Seasoned observers who grimace at the Govt-led frantic activity that is manifested now on constitutional reforms to transitional justice cannot be blamed beyond a point. For those familiar with the country’s travails, these are predicable patterns of behaviour. Cycles of devastating violence are interlaced with periods of almost frenetic absorption in whatever dharmishta or yahapalanaya fancy that happens to catch the public imagination. more..

Next SG of UN: Who is the greatest?

July 25 (SL) Unofficial Council for Constitutional and Unconstitutional Affairs was in session for the selection of SL’s nominee for the post of Secretary General of the UN. The incumbent Ban Ki Moon is expected to retire by the end of the year. This unofficial council is a top secret body set up by Yahapalanaya govt to make vital decisions where national consensus should prevail over political partisanship and it comprises members of all political colourations and NGO affiliations. more..

'Champika responsible for Coal fraud'

July 25 (CT) Q: Do you have sufficient evidence to complain to the Anti-Corruption Secretariat with regard to the coal tender? A: We, as an anti-corruption organization, decided to complain based on the landmark judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on the report submitted by the Auditor General. With the evidence, it is very clear that this amounts to misuse of public property. Certain incidents roused conscience of SC. more..

Mahendran in Singapore & A new dirty word

July 25 (SO) I was lamenting (to myself) the fact that there never is any good done by the govt that is highlighted in the press or on TV news. We have such short memories and minds that grab the negative, never or seldom the positive. Then I saw that the President had similarly lamented at a meeting somewhere. He had asked why the media reports negatives all the time about the present govt and never gives footage, let alone a mention, of the good done, the projects undertaken. more..

Will next US prez be the devil in disguise?

July 25 (ST) The world is in serious trouble for superpower America has just fallen down a manhole and is in deep sewage. For today this nation that boasts freedom of choice as her testament of faith and offers her people a thousand different branded potato chips to choose from plus another two thousand different tomato sauces to dip it in as evidence of the miracles her creed has wrought, has nothing to offer her electorate as her next president but a woeful choice between something more..

Why Sathosa stocks are going to the dogs

July 25 (SL) Court recently ordered Lanka Sathosa to sell 70,000 metric tons of rice stock declared unsuitable for human consumption to major companies as animal feed. The rice stock was imported by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce during the former Rajapaksa regime contrary to an approved cabinet paper. Rice stock was ordered to be sold to major companies as animal feed in belief that smaller companies more..

On Rajapaksa’s statement against the office of the missing persons

July 25 (CT) Statement made by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa the former head of state in SL, that establishing the office of the Missing Persons is a betrayal of the armed forces is a statement unbecoming of a former head of the state and a prominent political leader in Sri Lanka. What it directly says is that enforced disappearances which is an internationally recognised heinous crime should not be investigated in SL because the culprits may involve some members of armed forces. more..

Vehicle mania of politicians: Further Reflections

July 25 (Island) In the public interest it is worth continuing to keep the spotlight on the vexed issue of brand new vehicles for politicians. One recalls the furor that erupted some weeks ago following the govt’s audacity in seeking a supplementary estimate of around Rs 1175 million to purchase magnificent luxury vehicles for various Ministers. It was some consolation that in response to public pressure PM suspended the release of funds for this pending restoration work in Aranayaka and Kosgama. more..

Cocaine haul: Probe into origin of consignment

July 25 (SO) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) achieved a massive victory in its war against illegal drugs on Thursday when it detected 274 kg of cocaine in two containers at a private container yard in Peliyagoda. The consignment of cocaine is the biggest ever we have detected in SL, with a street value of over Rs. 4,000 million. This is believed to be the biggest drugs haul recorded in recent years from the entire South Asian region. more..

Amana Bank partners with Al Zaman Exchange in Qatar

July 25 (TP) Amana Bank, Sri Lanka’s premier licensed commercial bank operating based on Islamic banking principles, in collaboration with Al Zaman Exchange, recently launched an instant money remittance service to Sri Lanka. The tie-up provides Sri Lankans in Qatar a fast, reliable and convenient mode of money transfer to their own account or their loved ones account at Amana Bank or account of any other Bank in Sri Lanka, in rupees or US dollar. more..

National Audit Bill: Should they hold it up?

July 25 (Island) Why are some powerful ministers and secretaries to ministries mounting pressure on the President and the PM to dilute the National Audit Bill? It has been sent through all appropriate channels, namely the Auditor General, Legal Draftsman and Attorney-General since 2003. The previous regime endorsed the bill in its entirety but prevented it from becoming law. Sub-Committee consisting of Ministers Sarath Amunugama (Chairman), Rauff Hakeem, Anura Yapa more..

Herath versus the mighty Australians?

July 25 (CI) The series has not even begun, and, oh dear, Darren Lehmann has called Muttiah Muralitharan a f******** c****. This was in no sense a slur - the likes of which a now-contrite Lehmann used once to refer to SL cricketers. But, in a way, Lehmann's appraisal of Murali as a fantastic coach has been received in the vein of a dirty phrase by some. With the island's greatest cricketing weapon now trained on its own team, more..

Kuwait eyes SL’s fishery sector potential

July 25 (DM) Kuwait, the Persian Gulf economy with a longstanding aquaculture tradition, revealed its keenness for Lankan seafood and also expressed its interest to partner with the Lankan fishery industry. “We import fish from other South Asian countries but not from Sri Lanka,” revealed the Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce Yousuf M Abdullah Al-Ali in Kenya recently. He met Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and discussed bilateral trade on the side-lines of 14th Session of UNCTAD 14 in Nairobi, Kenya. more..

Sri Lanka beat Singapore to win plate title

July 25 (DN) Sri Lanka had to settle for the Plate crown in the second Asian Schools under-18 Rugby Sevens Championship in Kings Park, Hong Kong when they thrashed Singapore by 33 points to 7 in the final yesterday. Gallant SL led by speedy wing three quarter Hena Kankanamge Naveen were really unlucky to be deprived the Cup championship by a whisker when they went down fighting to Hong Kong 12-19 in the semi-finals. Hong Kong went onto win the Cup final by beating Thailand 14-7 more..

Govt to introduce appliance control strategy

July 25 (FT) Govt will soon implement an accelerated appliance control strategy with a view of introducing mandatory energy labelling for most common household appliances within the next two years. “We have already got the approval to implement minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for LED lights and within the next couple of weeks the products will come into the market with the MEPS labelling. more..

Tourist taken into custody for begging

July 25 (DM) A tourist who was playing the violin on the road side to earn money was taken into custody by the Ella Police. Tourist (24) is a resident of Summer Town, Oxford, England. She had arrived on July 8, for a month’s stay. Ella OIC IP L. D. N. Karunaratne took the young lady into custody near the Ravana Ella, when she was playing her violin while seated on the road side. She said she was compelled to beg as she had run short of funds and was in need of money for her daily expenses. more..

Commercial Bank ranked among World’s Top 1000 Banks for 6th successive year

July 25 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has become the only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 Banks of the World for the sixth year running, setting yet another benchmark for consistency. This prestigious ranking is published annually by The Banker magazine of the UK, and the 2016 list is based on the Bank’s key performance indicators for FY 2015. The Top 1000 Banks of the World are ranked on the basis of Tier I capital, assets, capital assets ratio, more..

Ritz Carlton enters Sri Lanka with Krrish partnership

July 25 (DN) Ritz Carlton will be entering the Sri Lanka leisure market. The US based company will partner the Krrish group for the Krrish Tower project which has started piling. Minister Suejeeva Senasinghe confirmed to Daily News that the Krrish tower construction has begun. “They will partner with Ritz Carlton and will build a 70 storied tower. Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, is the parent company to the luxury hotel chain, more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan plan new trade pact

July 25 (Reuters) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said that Pakistan has proposed for a new, turnaround level trade between the two countries. Pakistani Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan suggested widening the trade with Sri Lanka during a bilateral meeting with Minister Bathiudeen on the sidelines of 14th Session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development in Nairobi, Kenya. "Our analysis is that our two economies do not compete with each other and therefore more..

Sri Lanka Youth side departs for England

July 25 (DN) A 15-member Sri Lanka U19 team led by Charith Asalanka with Avishka Fernando who led SL youths successfully in their recent home series against South Africa U19 as his deputy left the island in the early hours on Sunday for a month long tour of England. Sri Lanka youths are due to play two four-day Youth Tests and three Youth ODIs during their tour. Charith who led SL U19s in the ICC U19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year and currently is on Sri Lanka A teams duty more..

Loading of crude oil from Singaporean ship temporarily halted

July 25 (DN) The loading of crude oil from a Singaporean ship has been temporarily halted due to damage in a hose of a buoy in the Muthurajawela oil storage facility. Repairs to replace a new hose commenced yesterday and were expected to be completed within the same day. The unloading of crude oil in the ship would commence today. The delay would not cause any shut down of Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery as it has enough more..

Namal charges UNP double standards over Port City

July 25 (FT) “PM Wickremesinghe who was very critical of the Colombo Port City project before assuming office, is contemplating giving it recognition as a separate state” said MP Namal Rajapaksa. He made this remark when he visited the Hakmana Poson zone, in reply to a question asked by a journalist. “The present govt does not have any development plans of their own and are marketing to the world the development planned and achieved by Rajapaksa administration. more..

France-Sri Lanka trade balance set to stabilize this year

July 25 (Island) "The balance of trade between Sri Lanka and France will become stable in 2016 as against 2015. In 2015,Sri Lanka had purchased three 380 Airbus flights for SriLankan Airlines from France, which took the total value of trade to US $ 1.2 billion, French ambassador to Sri Lanka Jean Marin Schuh said. "Sri Lanka and France bilateral trade and investment are now on a better footing and the balance of trade will become stable for both countries this year. more..

Govt urged to review its reconciliation strategies inimical to national interest

July 25 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) has urged the govt to review its strategies as regards post-war national reconciliation process. JO warns of dire consequences unless the ongoing process is reversed and remedial action taken to rectify major flaws in the strategy. Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has sent the following statement in his capacity as the Chairman of a Special Committee tasked with formulating their response. more..

HR guru Prof. Ulrich to address Sri Lanka Human Capital Summit

July 25 (FT) Key policymakers and business leaders in Sri Lanka will have the opportunity to listen to the undisputed global guru of HR, Dave Ulrich at the SL Human Capital Summit on 12 August, said Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman of the National Human Resources Council of Sri Lanka, via video link from the US. Recent research not only by Prof. Ulrich’s firm RBL but also Mc Kinsey has found that high growth countries and companies, particularly in India and other South Asian countries, more..

Video: Explosives supplier for fireworks defied MOD rules nabbed

July 25 (DM) A supplier of explosives for manufacturing fireworks, who was illegally possessing over 800 kilos of Potassium Perchlorate which had been imported defying regulations of the Ministry of Defence was nabbed by Negombo Police this evening. The police on information raided a warehouse in Negombo Town and found over 800 kilos of the powerful chemical which is being used as a material included in explosives. Upon inquiry, police learnt that the owner of contraband more..

Editorial: Of those political marriages

July 25 (Island) Marriages are said to be made in heaven. For, one cannot foretell who will marry whom. This may be true of political marriages as well to some extent, one may argue, but, we love to think, they have nothing to do with heaven; they are made in Abaddon or the underworld region of lost souls. UNP & SLFP, other day, made a big show of extending their political marriage of compulsion for 3 more years. more..

Minuwangoda Chief Magistrate suspended

July 25 (CT) Minuwangoda Chief Magistrate and District Judge, Dhammika Elangasinghe has been suspended, by the Judicial Services Commission, with effect from 23 July. Investigating Officers of the Commission had gone to Minuwangoda Court, on 22 July, following several complaints received by the Judicial Services Commission. They held an investigation subsequent to which they had taken away some Case Books and suspended the Magistrate. more..

Trudeau’s Black July message: Promote unity over division, inclusion over prejudice

July 25 (LR) Canadian PM Justin Trudeau released a message on the anniversary of the 1983 riots in Sri Lanka. “Let us pause to remember the victims of the anti-Tamil pogroms and all the lives that were lost throughout the entirety of the SL Civil War. We offer our deepest condolences to those who lost family and friends,” PM said. “The war and the devastation it wrought reminds us to heal the wounds of those who have suffered, and to promote unity over division & inclusion over prejudice.” more..

Ranil blasts Daily FT: PM should come clean on Bond Scam before accusing others!

July 25 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a speech in Kandy, launched a scathing attack on media organisations he claimed were trying to destabilise the country, saying they needed to be taught a lesson. Speaking at a UNP membership drive, an irate PM charged that for one month the Daily FT the country's only national business daily newspaper, had published articles in an attempt to sabotage the economy. more..

Video: Businessman arrested for kidnapping

July 25 (DM) A businessman of Dehiwala who was alleged to have links with underworld figures, was arrested by the police today on charges of kidnapping another businessman and taking Rs 3 million as ransom in June 28. The victim, who is from Kalutara, has been identified as Chandana Wijemanna, the brother of MP Lakshman Wijemanna. The suspect, along with seven underworld figures, had taken the ransom from Chandana Wijemanna. more..

Sinhala students’ attendance weak

July 25 (CT) There were an inadequate number of Sinhala students attending the University at present, therefore they were unable to commence studies at the University, said VC of Jaffna University, Vasanthi Arasaratnam. She added that although requests were made to the Sinhala students to return, so that studies and examinations at the Jaffna University could begin, since an adequate number of Sinhala students had not turned up, it was not possible to commence teaching or exams. more..

President calls for national policy on integration, reconciliation

July 25 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena has directed the Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation to prepare a draft national policy on national integration and reconciliation as soon as possible. The President has also urged the Ministry to launch a programme to educate the general public on the constitutional reform proposals relating to integration and reconciliation. more..

Empty lands in Colombo city limits to be developed

July 25 (DM) Colombo Municipal Commissioner has been directed to develop empty lands within the city limits as soon as possible. Minister Faizer Mustapha directed the Commissioner when he was inspecting the market places in Deans Road, Kollupitiya and Dematagoda recently. The minister also stated that the assistance of the BoI should be obtained for the purpose. After speaking to the vendors and the customers at the market places, Minister directed the Commissioner to develop the facilities more..

Sri Lankan mission in London fails to pay congestion charge

July 25 (DM) Foreign embassies in London including Sri Lankan High Commission have failed to pay £95,811,650 in congestion charges since 2003, UK Parliament was informed. “The value of unpaid Congestion Charge debt incurred by diplomatic missions and int'l organisations in London since its introduction in Feb 2003 until 31 Dec 2015 as advised by Transport for London was £95,811,650,” Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has informed the UK Parliament. more..

Office of Missing Persons: Controversial bill now needs simple majority due to JO’s lapse

July 25 (Island) Due to a serious lapse on the part of the Joint Opposition (JO), govt in now in a position to pass the controversial Office of Missing Persons (OMP) Bill with a simple majority, according to legal sources. The JO comprises nearly 50 members out of 95 UPFA parliamentary group, including a dozen National List nominees. Sources said that UNP and TNA had the required numbers to adopt the Bill. more..

Turkish coup and impermanence of friends in politics

July 25 (DM) wo weeks ago on 23 June, a surprising sequence of events which started with the UK vote to exit the European Union, the fall of David Cameron as Prime Minister of Britain, to the terrorist attack in the French town of Nice, culminated with an attempted coup in Turkey. Here is a President being overthrown by a part of the military who say he is too autocratic, imposing his will through the people. What brought on the coup and what are the lessons of the attempted putsch? more..

Recurrence; Highly improbable: 33rd anniversary of July 1983 riots

July 25 (DM) Instigated by a chauvinistic minister, hooligans set the city on fire and President JR Jayewardene played Nero for four days, fearing a military reprisal. His inaction worsened the situation. “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people now…we can’t think of them. Not about their lives or their opinions of us... The more you put pressure on the North, the happier the Sinhalese people will be here…” JRJ. President Jayewardene who used the votes of Tamils, more..