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Monsoon in active

July 4 (DM) De-activation of the Southwest Monsoon had made the rains to dry up, Department of Meteorology said. A spokesman said the rains which are usually experienced during the Southwest Monsoon had become a non event during the past few days. “Monsoon is not active always as some days it becomes inactive and become reactivated on other days,” the sources from the Department said. Almost all parts of the country were dry today while the temperature in many areas was high. more..

Public-private partnerships seen as a basis for Sri Lanka's growth

July 4 (Island) "SL should look forward to building infrastructure projects with govt and private sector participation to bolster future economic growth. This is the model that is being adopted by many of the world's leading economies, US ambassador Atul Keshap said. "Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) help overcome the lack of public funds needed to build infrastructure, by mobilizing private sector finance and by helping improve project preparation, execution and management. more..

Sri Lanka on the path to reconciliation?

CEB posts Rs. 5.8 bln operating loss in first four months of 2016

July 4 (LBO) CEB has recorded an operating loss of Rs. 5,781 million in the first four months of 2016 compared to the profit of Rs. 1,837 million recorded in the same period last year. As per the mid-year fiscal position report, cost per unit without Tax has been increased to Rs. 17.54 per kWh in the first quarter of 2016 over Rs. 15.07 per kWh recorded in 2015. Finance Ministry said CEB was able to reduce its outstanding dues to banks by Rs. 2,887 million in the first quarter resulting in more..

SLFP electoral organisers who divide party will lose their posts: Amaraweera

July 4 (DN) SLFP electoral organisers who attempt to create divisions in the party will loose their posts in the future, UPFA General Secretary and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. He said that the party has already received over 5,000 applications for new organiser posts for a number of electoral districts and action will be taken to appoint new district party organisers those who highly qualified and loyal to the party. Interviews to select new district party organisers will be conducted more..

PM pledges to provide sound source of income to youth

July 4 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said his party came to power to build a better future for the people and pledged to provide a sound source of income to the youth. Speaking during the UNP membership drive in Badulla on Sunday at the Uva PC auditorium, PM said the present govt works to “fill the pockets of the public, to provide a house and a land to the people” and not to work for henchmen. more..

First IAS officer emerges from Sri Lankan Tamil repatriates

July 4 (DC) For the first time in the history of more than half a million Tamil repatriates from Sri Lanka who continue to struggle hard to survive in the plantation regions of the state because of the plummeting prices of tea, coffee, rubber and pepper, a youngster from the segment, who battled poverty and fought against heavy odds, has become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. It was history of sorts last week when Inbasekar Kalimuthu, who hails from a Tamil repatriate more..

New CB Governor meets PM

July 4 (DM) The newly appointed Central Bank Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy met PM Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday. Sources close to the Prime Minister’s office said Dr Coomaraswamy met the Prime Minister at Temple Trees and discussed the future of the Central Bank -- after first meeting President Maithripala Sirisena. Dr Coomaraswamy was the advisor to Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama up to the time of his new appointment. more..

Cracks evidenced in JO over new Governor

July 4 (CT) Cracks have already begun to appear in the Joint Opposition camp over the appointment of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the new Governor of the Central Bank. Calling the new Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy a Tamil separatist, UPFA MP, Udaya Gammanpila questioned the wisdom of allowing such a person to handle the country's economy. more..

ICC asked to take more control of DRS

July 4 (CI) ICC's cricket committee and its chief executives' committee want the global body to take more control of the decision review system (DRS), the ICC CEO David Richardson has said. "Moving forward we probably need to take heed of what the cricket committee is saying, take heed of what the chief executives' committee is saying, which is ICC should take more control over DRS," Richardson said at the end of the six-day annual conference in Edinburgh on Saturday. more..

Independent Commission to uplift journalism

July 4 (GDI) Setting up an independent commission for media sector it is expected to set minimum salary standards and code of ethics, which will be used to issue accreditation cards in the future. Director General of Govt Information Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya said, Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms & Mass Media has taken a policy decision to improve the standards of media and look after welfare of media personel. "We expect to discuss this matter with all the media org before it is implemented", more..

Sri Lanka fulfilled only 11% of pledges to UNHRC and 20% of pledges to LLRC: Study

July 4 (ENS) Sri Lanka has fulfilled only 11% of the pledges it had made to the UNHRC in Sept 2015, and only 20% of the commitments it had made to the LLRC in 2011, according to a study by Colombo-based think tank Verite Research. Of the commitments made to UNHRC, report says: “Overall, the implementation is slow. Of the 36 commitments made in regard to Resolution 30/1, only four have been fully implemented. more..

Cultural Affairs Department explains State Drama Award fiasco

July 4 (Island) Director of Department of Cultural Affairs, Anusha Gokula said that State Drama Festival which had been held on a grand scale every year had been disrupted this year owing to a tug-of-war between ministries and officials. Contacted for comment on artistes’ protest on stage while the award ceremony of the State Drama Festival was in progress at Western Province Cultural Centre in Colombo last Friday, Director Gokula said that she had predicted the possible disruptions more..

'Sri Lanka cannot be a China or Vietnam'

July 4 (AD) Sri Lanka is currently stuck in a position while being unable to compete against countries with lower labor costs or labor productivity. If to emerge from this trap, SL has to go for reforms immediately, warns an economic academic. Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy points out that SL is unable to compete with countries like Bangladesh with lower labour costs since the island’s labour costs are higher. Furthermore, since SL is trapped by being unable to compete with countries like more..

Docs to strike today against ETCA etc.

July 4 (Island) GMOA, backed by Govt Dentists Association and Govt Ayurvedic Practitioners Association will hold a countrywide token strike today in all govt hospitals. Strike had been organised in protest against signing of ETCA without formulating a national policy on int'l trade agreements and several other issues including privatizing medical education and Health Ministry acting against objectives of National Drug Policy, more..

COPE to meet new CB Governor Thursday

July 4 (DN) COPE will meet new Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy and Monetary Board officials on Thursday, COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said. The purpose of the meeting was to proceed on the investigations on CB Treasury Bonds allegations based on the Auditor General’s report that was handed over last Wednesday. He said former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran would also be summoned before the Committee if necessary for the investigations in the future. more..

Minister disappointed with turn of events

July 4 (Island) State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that he was disappointed at the conduct of some of the ministers in the govt. He said that the aspirations of the people had not been fulfilled. "People are misled with lies. Voters have been misled by the politicians telling lies to solicit their votes and come to power. In the meantime, there are some others who jump here and there. I am disappointed at the present govt because of the conduct of some ministers," he said. more..

After heavy fight for CB Chief MS-RW find peace in Coomaraswamy

July 4 (FT) After much controversy and lobbying by different stakeholders, President on Saturday announced the appointment of ex-Central Bank economist and former Commonwealth official Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the new Governor of the Central Bank. “The decision was taken after a discussion held between the President and the PM Ranil Wickremesinghe,” announcement by the President’s Office said. more..

CCC welcomes appointment of Dr. Coomaraswamy as Governor

July 4 (DN) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) warmly welcomes the appointment of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and extends to him its best wishes as he commences a 6 year term. Dr. Coomaraswamy, a much respected economist with a stellar track record both in SL and overseas, is eminently qualified for this position. He brings to this position a unique mix of skills and perspectives given his previous positions in the CB, more..

J’pura Uni students protest as thief enters girls’ hostel

July 4 (DM) IUSF and University Students' Union of J'pura University launched a massive protest today over an incident that had taken place on Saturday night where a thief had allegedly entered a girls’ hostel. Sources said this most unpleasant incident took place at a girls’ hostel of the J'pura University Arts Faculty, which was occupied by sophomores. Meanwhile, University Students’ Union President Prabath Chaturanga said a thief had entered the girls’ hostel, a four storey building more..

Prez talks tough: Calls for urgent meet to revise VAT structure

July 4 (Island) Revealing his intention to replace Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran with renowned economist Indrajith Coomaraswamy, President Sirisena stressed that he cherished democracy and unity and was obedient only to the people. President was responding to a claim by an Opposition politician that he was subservient to PM. President said he had taken the decision in respect of new CB Governor at a discussion with PM. more..

New CB Governor for a fresh start

July 4 (DM) n what most analysts see as a just and fair middle path solution to an administrative crisis that had gripped the National Unity govt since Feb last year, President on Saturday made a dramatic announcement that he had decided to appoint the eminent economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the new Governor of the CB. Dr. Coomaraswamy, son of the widely-respected diplomat Rajendra Coomaraswamy who was also admired as Roving Raju, was educated at world famous Harrow, more..

A ministerial ego flutter and the bombshell of a billion-plus rupee OK for luxury limos

July 4 (DM) In the recent past it appeared that the country and its people were paying dearly for past sins. While the cost of living kept soaring, nature too was most unkind; a long drought was followed by torrential rains and massive floods that drove many luckless people out of their homes to live painfully some even as refugees. Some say personal problems do not come in singles; but, this pattern seems to apply to natural disasters and man-made ones as well. more..

Yahapalanaya and CB governor

July 4 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena finally brought a stalemate between him and the PM to an end, appointing respected economist Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor of Central Bank. His decision would have averted potential uncertainty in the financial market as it opens today. Making the appointment, the President has called the shots, and sent strong signals that he is in control. But his choice of the appointee, more..

Seven areas at high risk of dengue epidemics

July 4 (ST) Seven districts in the country are at high risk of dengue epidemics – Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy, Kalutara, Jaffna, Ratnapura, Kurunegala – with more than 20,400 people ill of the virus in these areas. The incidence of dengue fever has increased by 20% in June this year compared with the figure last year. Hospital chiefs around the country are concerned that public negligence is pushing up the casualties. more..

SPC storage facility fracas

July 4 (CT) The recent incident involving the COPE investigation of the Rs 307 million worth of medicines, which was found in the Maguruwela storage facility at Kelaniya, owned by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) has come under diverse speculations. There were assumptions that these stacks of medicine were not in fact going to be dumped and were to be sent to State Hospitals, and that they were stocked more..

PM flays Rajapaksas for leaving country bankrupt

July 4 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday complained that what the incumbent govt had taken over from the Rajapaksas was not a country like Switzerland or Singapore, but a bankrupt state with depleted coffers. PM, addressing a meeting of UNPers at the Public Library, Badulla, said, "We didn’t come to power to line our pockets or build palaces for us, but to improve the people’s lot." more..

US- SL relations at a historic high: US embassy

July 4 (USE) The United States Embassy in Sri Lanka in a release commemorating the Independence Day of the country, said that the relations between Sri Lanka and the US are at a historic high. Ambassador AtulKeshap in his statement observed that he was “constantly reminded of the common principles our two countries share that make us natural allies and partners.” In his statement he states that more..

President asked to rescind tripartite understanding on foreign judges

July 4 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, has requested President Sirisena to probe the recent TNA claim that the inclusion of foreign judges in the proposed war crimes court had been agreed in tripartite talks involving the govt of SL, US and TNA ahead of Geneva session last Sept/Oct. Participating in congressional hearing on June 14, MP Sumanthiran claimed that Resolution 30/1 had been unanimously agreed more..

Yahapalana Crook: Ministry rental scam costs millions to state coffers

July 4 (SL) Startling revelations have now emerged of how the Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) of Ministry of Agriculture deliberately disregarded the directives of Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) and proceeded with an allegedly scandalous deal resulting in a colossal loss to the country. COPA, at its session on April 7 this year, informed CAO, Ministry of Agriculture B. Wijayaratne that approval would not be given more..

No more OBA/OGA panelists for Grade 1 state school admissions

June 4 (CT) A newly issued circular by the Ministry of Education for year one admissions for year 2017, prohibits members of the Past Pupils Associations of govt schools from sitting as panelists’ for the interviews and intake of new students. With barely weeks away from scheduled interviews being held, Education Ministry published a circular bearing number 17/2016 and dated 16.05.2016, pertaining to year 01 more..

Will join up with TNA or JVP for betterment of country: PM

July 4 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the desire of the present govt is to ally with any political party including the TNA or JVP for the betterment of the country. He said others will go against the govt if one party tries to implement development work on its own. “We have formed a national govt to ally with everyone to prevent anyone from going against us. All partners in a national govt have the ability to share both good and bad,” more..

Import duty revenue up 74% in Jan-April 2016

July 4 (EN) SL govt tax increases have begun to yield results in the first four months of 2016, with revenue from import duties alone up by 73.9% to Rs. 48.4 billion from a year ago mainly from higher duty rates. Tax hikes had further strengthened govt’s fiscal consolidation process as reflected in the increased revenue. Revenue increased by 19.6% to Rs. 473 billion in the period of 2016, compared to Rs. 395 billion in the same period of 2015, more..

Coomaraswamy issue: Matter of decency

July 4 (CT) The issue of the appointment of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the Governor of the Central Bank is a defining one. It is an issue on which one has to stand up and be counted. It is a moral issue; one which concerns the kind of SL one wishes to have. It is also a larger issue of values; of what values one holds higher than others. It is an issue of ethics, of how one should or should not conduct oneself; of whether or not fair-play counts. Finally it is an issue of common decency. more..

Sri Lanka shippers to be charged US$25 for box weight notification

June 4 (EN) Shipping lines are considering charging SL shippers US$25 for submitting details of container they ship, a move the Global Shippers’ Forum has opposed and will be taken up at its annual meeting to be held in Colombo this month. GSF said it is opposing the new charges imposed by carriers globally, saying they were not justified. The new container weighing regulations which took effect globally on 1 July 2016, were introduced to enhance maritime safety and reduce the dangers to more..


Excise sergeants, guards oppose new raids unit

June 4 (Island) General Secretary of Excise Sergeants and Guards Association W.M.R. Najithsin said that the association would complain to the President against the establishment by the govt of a special raids unit in addition to the already existing outfits. "This illegal unit has severely inconvenienced the officers of the Excise Department," Najithsin said, adding that though two officers from the department had been seconded to the particular unit which had been established by more..

Chandrika, Mahinda also followed UNP policies: Kabir

June 4 (Island) Former Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa also followed UNP policies while criticising them, says Minister Kabir Hashim. He was addressing a ceremony held at Sirikotha last week, to register the former leader of the Democratic Party, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as a member of the UNP. "Both Chandrika and Mahinda when in govt actually implemented the policies that we introduced though they were very critical of it when in the Opposition," more..

Playing with fire in SL's fireworks village

June 4 (AJ) The heavy, metallic apparatus standing in R Lorrence's garage seems out of place. Its design is simple: a pneumatic pump to help pack a mix of explosive chemicals into a slender plastic tube, exerting a powerful pressure. It is the only machine in this little cottage firework factory - everything else here is made by hand. "My son designed this," Lorrence says, explaining with pride that the boy studied science in school. more..

High time to be on high alert

July 4 (CT) The cold blooded massacre at Holey Artisan Bakery, a café in a highly residential area in Bangladesh capital Dhaka killing 28 people on Friday has sent shock waves throughout the South Asian region. The preliminary investigations have indicated the attackers were having links to terrorist organizations such as Islamic State and Taliban. Among those who were killed at the Dhaka café attack were foreigners and the venue of the attack is popular with foreign tourists. more..