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Daily Mirror Cartoon

Vehicle tax revenues down in 2016 after hike

July 3 (EN) Excise tax revenues from vehicles fell 10.6% to 59.433 billion rupees in the first four months of 2016 from a year earlier, data from the finance ministry showed. During the period motor vehicle imports had fallen 23%, with cars falling 43%, buses 52.7% and trishaws by 62.6%. Sri Lanka raised taxes of vehicles saying people do not deserve cars were buying them while other said it was to fix a balance of payments problem. SL has a strong Mercantilist false doctrine more..

Undressing the SriLankan Bride

July 3 (Island) According to a circular received by all staff of SriLankan Airlines, based on a recommendation of the Sub-committee on Economic Affairs, govt has decided to handover ground handling activities at BIA to Airport & Aviation Services, operators of Colombo and Mattala International Airports. Ground Handling Services, hitherto handled by SriLankan Airlines includes handling of Passenger and Cargo related services at the airport for all carriers operating into BIA. more..

Move by Customs to release harmful adulterated palm oil challenged

July 3 (Island) A public interest litigation activist has challenged in the Court of Appeal the move by an Additional Director General of Customs to allegedly permit a leading businessman to import adulterated palm oil with a false trade description. As a result, the big-time businessman had imported and released thousands of tons of palm oil, which is absolutely prohibited by the Food Act under false classification, defrauding over more..

'Coomaraswamy has to build back Central Bank's lost credibility'

July 3 (AM) Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said new CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy has to build back the Central Bank's lost credibility. "Indrajit has to urgently build back lost credibility at CBSL. He is a time tested professional and I am certain he will succeed," de Silva said, in a Twitter post, today. His remark can also be construed as a veiled attack on former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran who found himself in hot water in connection with multiple controversies. more..

Court stenographer injured by file HC Judge allegedly flung at her

July 3 (ST) Police is to record the statement of a High Court Judge (HCJ) for allegedly throwing a heavy court file at a female stenographer, and injuring her. DIG (Sabaragamuwa Province) Rohan Dias said a complaint lodged by the stenographer at the Eheliyagoda police had been forwarded to the Ratnapura police for investigations. The stenographer, in her complaint, claimed the HCJ had spoken to her harshly and flung the file containing the judgement of a murder case at her, more..

Spotlight on Adaraneeya Kathawak over violation of Tobacco, Alcohol Act

July 3 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court gave an order over the inquiry conducted against the film, Adaraneeya Kathawak which is now being screened, for allegedly violating the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act by displaying Tobacco or Alcohol trade marks in the film. Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris ordered the film's Director Priyantha Colombage, to provide a full length version CD of the movie more..

The rise of Rashid and Mendis

July 3 (CI) It has been a tricky summer so far for Steven Finn. He was told by Trevor Bayliss to channel his frustrations on being withdrawn from the World T20 through injury - when Finn himself felt he was fit to play - into taking wickets. It hasn't quite worked out that way. After an inconsistent Test series against Sri Lanka, he was talking up being the attack leader in the one-day side. It was a position he assumed last summer, but since last September against Australia he hasn't played more..

Dengue reaches epidemic proportions

July 3 (CT) The dengue fever has reached epidemic proportions with the number of patients diagnosed going up steadily. 35 people have been reported dead so far during the year. There has been a staggering 20,639 people reported among those who contacted the virus from January up to now. The numbers include 6,528 cases from Colombo, 1,983 from Gampaha, 1,265 from Kalutara and 1,357 from Kandy. Among the affected, 5,800 have contacted the virus during the past month. more..

China remains Sri Lanka’s biggest funder in Jan-April 2016

July 3 (EN) Foreign lenders committed US$ 855.4 million to fund development projects in Sri Lanka during the first four months in 2016, with China remaining the biggest source, accounting for over half the funding. This was through 8 loan agreements for US$ 727.5 million (Rs. 103,966 million) and 9 grant agreements for US$ 127.9 (Rs. 18,399 million) from foreign govts and lending agencies, it said in its mid-year fiscal report. more..

Kandy Diocese demands justice for torture victims

July 3 (UCAN) The Human Rights Office of Kandy Diocese in Sri Lanka has organized a petition calling on the government to prosecute cases under the 1994 Torture Act. Father Nandana Manatunga, director of the Human Rights Office, has begun a signature campaign urging the Attorney General to file cases from the last ten years under the Torture Act. "When the Attorney General's Office became accountable to the President's Office, cases were no longer filed under the act. more..

Ceylon Cold Stores opens trading for July

July 3 (SO) Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS) rang the opening bell to commence trading at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) on Friday, first day of the month. Directors Ajit Gunewardene and Ronnie Peiris, President of Consumer Foods Sector of JKH and Director Jit Gunaratne, CFO, Sanjeewa Jayaweera, Head of Beverages, Daminda Gamlath and Head of Supply Chain Management Sanjeewa Jayasundara represented CCS. CSE was represented by Chairman, Vajira Kulatilaka, more..

Mahendran performed unprofessionally: AG

July 3 (CT) Auditor General (AG) Gamini Wijesinghe has emphasized in his report that Governor of CB Arjuna Mahendran has not acted with professional due care with regard to the issue of Treasury Bonds on 27 Feb 2015 and 29 March 2016. He has also pointed out that CB Governor engaged directly in the Treasury bond scam. AG also stated that the due decision-making had not taken place in terms of the Treasury Bonds. more..

Code of Ethics for photographers launched

July 3 (GDI) Code of Ethics for Sri Lankan photographers prepared by the SL National Photographic Arts Society will be launched today (2) at the Public Library auditorium, Colombo under the patronage of Minister Gayantha Karunatilaka. The Code of Ethics was prepared by the society under the supervision of an expert committee comprising Palliyaguru, Prof. Mapa and Dr. D.M. Karunaratne. National Photographic Arts Society and a Camera and Photographic accessory fair more..

German funded Clinic for our furry friends

July 3 (Island) Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Chandima Weerakkody and German Ambassador, Juergen Morhard, visited the Dog Care Clinic at Talpe, Galle recently. Clinic, opened in July 2007 by a German woman, Marina Moebius, is well known for its stellar care of puppies and sick dogs left in front of its gate. The facility aims to re-home the dogs within Sri Lanka and provide a safe environment within its premises for disabled and sick dogs for whom a home cannot be found. more..

Customs TU allegation quashed

July 3 (CT) Ministry of Finance quashed a trade union claim that a new Customs Ordinance has been secretly drafted. Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said, "No new Customs Ordinance has been drafted secretly. The SL Customs trade unions have made the allegation, that a new Customs Ordinance had been drafted, on a wrong perception." He added "We have received several proposals to draft a new Customs more..

Share options GMOA will complain to IMC

July 3 (CT) The GMOA has decided to officially complain to the International Medical Council (IMC) if the govt were to force the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to acknowledge the registration of the SAITM campus at Malabe, which is being operated illegally without having obtained approval from the SLMC. Dr. Nalinda Herath, of the GMOA, said, if a complaint is lodged with the IMC a probe will be held and in such situation, the govt will be required to file answers. more..

Photo focus: The crypts at Maggona

July 3 (ST) During the period of lent thousands of Christians flock to the local Calvary at Maggona. Here the faithful follow the Way of the Cross -Christ’s journey to Mount Calvary where he was crucified and died. What is lesser-known is the existence of crypts which contain the mortal remains of priests like Fr. Lapini, a French priest who served the institution and died in 1945. His remains and those of a number of his brother priests are buried in these crypts. more..

Sri Lanka to send strong 57 member team

July 3 (CT) A strong Sri Lanka contingent of 57 representing six sports disciplines will take wing on Monday to Russia for the 6th Children of Asia International Sports Games to be held in Sakha, Republic of Russia from 5 to 17 July. The said Games is held every four years since 1996 under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, and embraces the entire Asian continent. more..

Over 11500 military deserters get legally discharged during General Amnesty

July 3 (MoD) General Amnesty extended to tri forces deserters has seen more than eleven thousand five hundred deserters seek legal discharge since the period commenced on 13th June. As of yesterday, 10519 Army, 602 Navy and 416 Air Force deserters have produced themselves to their respective service offices and obtained clearance and legal discharge. Service personnel who had been away without official leave (AWOL) can obtain their legal discharge by producing themselves more..

Proposal to seek NBRO approval for any building islandwide in cabinet soon

July 3 (ST) A proposal that would make it compulsory to obtain approval from the National Building Research (NBRO) for any kind of construction islandwide would be submitted to cabinet shortly, an official said. Currently approval is required only in 10 districts that are considered disaster-prone. An official of the Disaster Management Ministry said they were holding discussions on how to implement the service islandwide. more..

CEB engineers’ union unhappy over power policy switch

July 3 (ST) CEB Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) has expressed its displeasure over what it sees as ad hoc govt policies on power generation and power projects. CEBEU President Athula Wanniarachchi said that as a mark of protest, its members would withdraw from the Technical Evaluation Committees (TECs) which evaluate the suitability of companies that bid for power generation projects. Of particular concern to the union, more..

Mackwoods employees level Rs. 1.1 billion Tea scam charges against Dr. Chris Nonis

July 3 (AM) Aggrieved Employees Of Agalawatte Plantations (known as APL) of Mackwoods Group are charging Chris Nonis and his lawyer sister Shelendra Nonis Ranaweera for siphoning out Rs 1.134 Billion rupees (US$ 7.7 Million) from the listed company Agalawatte Plantations reportedly to UK. Aggrieved Employees allege that the Nonis-Ranaweera duo has hoodwinked not only the poor estate workers, who presently have Rs. 400 million owed to them on statutory (EPF/ETF) and more..

Sri Lanka calls offers to operate Mattala international airport

July 3 (EN) Sri Lanka has called for expressions of interest from domestic and international companies to invest and operate Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, country's second airport. The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said in an advertisement in state-run The Sunday Observer newspaper that long term lease options were available for investors. The airport had been designated as a bonded area and free trade zone. The airport will have a fully open skies policy more..

Govt to meet traders tomorrow following anti-VAT protests

July 3 (ST) A series of protests aimed at pressurising the Govt to withdraw the VAT increase on retail and wholesale trade appear to have jolted the Govt with President Sirisena publicly stating there will be more revisions to the VAT soon. Retail and wholesale traders taking part at countrywide demonstrations denounced the increase of VAT to 15% and the decision to lower the threshold for taxable revenue under VAT to Rs.3 million more..

A series of raps over Yahapalanaya knuckles

July 4 (ST) There is a singularly wretched problem confronting the Sri Lankan people. Stripped down to its essentials, this means that the country’s politicians must not be allowed to dilute democratic gains of January 2015 by replacing abject Rajapaksa non-governance during the last decade with appealing labels on institutions which make us all feel a bit more comfortable about ourselves but with the underlying failure of democratic systems still continuing. more..

Moolai Hospital II – The Challenge

July 4 (CT) Him I call a Mahatma whose heart bleeds for the poor – Swami Vivekananda. Those flushed with wealth, let them give heaps of gold, others can opt for cash grants, those who are not so endowed may shower words of blessing – Bharathy. Swami’s words have inspired humanity for generations. Bharathy spares nobody in his invocation to munificence. Our thoughts may be high and aspirations noble. Yet harsh realities bring us down to earth. more..

'Joint Opposition not speaking for people, only for Mahinda'

July 4 (SO) The People’s Intellectual Assembly has been formed by professionals, academics and activists from a wide cross section of society with the primary objective of offering an educated and rational response to national issues. Joint Secretary of PIA, Chrishmal Warnasuriya said, their immediate intention is to act as a pressure group and make sure that the Govt they helped to form, is on the right track. more..

Critical evaluation and democratisation of Article 9

July 4 (CT) Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform (PRCCR) appointed by the Cabinet on the 22nd of Dec 2015, has released its Report with regard to the proposed Constitutional reform. The more than 300-page Report goes on to state that a study of the representations made by the public reflects a desire in the people throughout SL towards democratisation of the State, establishment of the Rule of Law, broadening Fundamental Human Rights, Peace and Reconciliation and more..

London, sans one, We have come!

July 4 (SL) While the unprecedented thrashing that Sri Lanka took at the hands of England in a recent 50-50 game may not have been of earth-shaking significance in a world where the Farages, Le Pens, Boris Johnsons and Donald Trumps are exulting at Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, it is symptomatic of where our current government is taking us in the matter of sliding down the slippery slope of equivocation and unprincipled behaviour in dear old Silly Lanka. more..

'Fearful fifteen: Govt planning deadly laws'

July 4 (CT) Recently the Leader of NFF MP Wimal Weerawansa made the startling revelation of the govt's attempts to pass over 15 new Acts that, according to him, would have colossal negative repercussions on the country. Ceylon Today contacted Weerawansa in order to gain an insight into his revelation. Q: Who's proposing what? A: Most of the proposed Acts are not drafted at the instance of Attorney General's Department. more..

Have Sri Lanka’s decision-makers taken leave of their senses?

July 4 (SL) While the unprecedented thrashing that Sri Lanka took at the hands of England in a recent 50-50 game may not have been of earth-shaking significance in a world where the Farages, Le Pens, Boris Johnsons and Donald Trumps are exulting at Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, it is symptomatic of where our current government is taking us in the matter of sliding down the slippery slope of equivocation and unprincipled behaviour in dear old Silly Lanka. more..

Eat your heart out, Mervyn! There’s a new Avatar in town

July 4 (ST) Holy mackerel! There’s a new Mervyn in the making. And just when you thought it was safe to get into the water again now that the septic jetsam had drifted over the reef and vanished beyond the sunset, the waves seem to have thrown a mutated green version onto Lanka’s sandy shores south of the border, down Kalutara way. And by the look of things, he’s making quite a splash to get himself noticed and to slide into the slimy slippers of the man from Beliatte, even more..

S.M. Marikkar

Editorial: One problem solved; many others remain

July 4 (Island) President Sirisena took one step back and two steps forward on the question of the appointment of a new Governor to the Central Bank; PM Wickremesinghe took one step back and another forward. Wickremesinghe managed to prevent Sirisena’s first choice being appointed Governor and Sirisena succeeded in scuttling PM’s plan to grant another term to Arjuna Mahendran under a cloud! Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy got the coveted job thanks to their prestige battle. more..

Commercial Bank adds cross currency transactions to online banking

July 4 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon has added a new dimension to its Online Banking platform by enabling foreign currency account holders to carry out fund transfers between accounts maintained in different currencies other than Sri Lankan rupees. These transactions can be carried out between accounts maintained under a customers own name in eight major currencies including US Dollar, British Pound, Euro, Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen. more..

I want to make my first Olympics a memorable one: Matthew

July 4 (DN) South Asian Games multiple gold medallist Matthew Abeysinghe said he is delighted to gain Olympic qualifying standards and will make every effort to better his new mark at next month’s summer Games in Brazil. Abeysinghe, who became the first-ever Sri Lankan swimmer to reach qualifying standards in the history of Olympic Games, said his next aim is to improve further on his new personal best and more..

US$ 100 million loan for foreign consultants

July 4 (Island) The Govt should be complimented for negotiating and signing a $ 125 million IDA Credit on concessional terms from the World Bank Group for an Agriculture Sector Modernization Project, to help create jobs, help producers access markets and increase their productivity in the four northern and eastern provinces, which are dependent on agricultural production and are fully deserving of external financial and technical assistance. But a local newspaper announced on 23rd June more..

He is back at square one

July 4 (DM) A leading member of the JO group, this politico from the central hills is currently entangled in a web of litigation. He had been looking for a way out of his plight when a colleague from the hills suggested that he meet the Big Boss to pledge his support and loyalty to him. The politico in hot water agreed to this suggestion. By the way, the colleague who suggested the remedy for all ills bothering politico is one who got a seat in the council through the gratis list. more..

More teeth for animal protection legislation

July 4 (FT) While seeking legal advice to control the use of air guns which are used in sports, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife is to amend the existing Fauna and Flora Protection Act, which is outdated, to give more powers to deal with those slaughtering wild animals. With the recent incident which went on viral on social media, of a number of youth killing wild animals mercilessly in the forest, more..