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War of words between Lankaputhra CEO and Chairman over termination

July 5 (FT) Controversies at the State-owned Lankaputhra Development Bank continueto take centre-stage with the dismissal of its CEO and General Manager Lasantha Amarasekera from his post from 28 June. The saga has triggered a war of words between the axed CEO and the Chairman Lasantha Goonewardena. “I don’t accept this as termination because when the Chairman has been challenged as disqualified by more..

Sri Lanka woos Indian pharma companies to set up operations in the country

July 5 (ET) Sri Lanka has invited Indian pharmaceutical companies to set up operations in the country by offering them space in its special economic zones, a prospect that has raised concern for domestic manufacturers. The Sri Lankan govt could also offer sops to Indian firms which invest to expand the production of formulations and bulk drugs there. Indian govt officials said this will lead to expansion of the industry footprint in Sri Lanka. "The SL govt wants to encourage more..

Sri Lanka’s Pita-Pita bond game

July 5 (ST) More than the uncertainty and guessing games over whether former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran is guilty or not in tainted Treasury bond issues is the very existence of the present administration. Both President and PM have publicly given contradictory views on Mahendran exposing a major political leadership crisis in the govt. This came to the fore on Thursday evening when the PM – despite the President announcing in a tweet on Wednesday that more..

Dr. Indrajit excellent fit for the job

July 5 (CT) Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was appointed as Governor of the CB. A number of my friends, who campaigned for the removal of former Governor Arjuna Mahendran, have convinced themselves, and are now trying to convince others, that the new appointment was a victory of President Sirisena. According to their narrative, President realizing that Central Bank staff had divided themselves into two camps, one supporting more..

Ex-DIG Vaas Gunawardene et al indicted

July 5 (CT) The Attorney General (AG) served indictment on former DIG Vaas Gunawardene, his wife, son, former officers of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) and eight others. They were charged with the abduction and brutal assault of Nipuna Ramanayake, a student of the SLIIT Malabe, seven years ago. The case had initially been heard in the Kaduwela Magistrate's Court. The accused are: former DIG Vaas Gunawardene, his wife Shayamali Perera, his son Ravindu Gunawardene and more..

Allocation for education equally divided

July 5 (CT) Finances had been equally allocated islandwide for infrastructure development and according to the urgency of the need. Therefore, no one should bother about influence, favouritism and other malpractices as everything is done in a genuine manner. This was stated by State Minister V. Radhakrishnan, who was the Chief Guest at the foundation stone laying ceremony for a building at primary school of Batticaloa Vincent Girls' High School. more..

India, Sri Lanka agree to start talks for ETCA

July 5 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka today agreed to start negotiations on fast-track basis for the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) and conclude the talks before end of the year. The issue among others was came up for discussion during the meeting between the visiting Sri Lankan Minister Malik Samarawickrama, and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here. more..

Two Gold Medals for Sri Lanka

July 5 (CT) Two middle distance runners Gayanthika Abeyrathne and Sanjeewa Lakmal secured a Gold Medal each in the 1,500m while long jumper Amila Jayasiri and Rumeshika Rathnayake won Bronze Medals on the opening day of the Thailand Open Athletics Championship which began at the Thammasat University Stadium, yesterday. Abeyrathne who won the Silver Medal at the South Asian Games (SAG) was competing at her first international championship since then more..

The Desert Cubs are back for another tour

July 5 (Island) Desert Cubs Cricket Academy is once again gearing up for yet another stint in Sri Lanka from the July 5 to 15 as part of its annual summer tour and on this occasion will also face up to the new challenge of playing two day games against top quality school teams. Desert Cubs is known for its innovative coaching methods and different types of match situations that it provides to its students and these longer version games are another step towards developing more..

Paranagama refutes cluster munition claims

July 5 (DN) Chairman of Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons, Maxwell Paranagama said that there was no credible evidence to suggest that the Sri Lankan Army used cluster munitions during the war. UN High Commissioner had called for an independent and impartial investigation to be carried out, in light of recent reports on new evidence that has emerged on the use of more..

Japan pledges Rs.305 m grant for scholarships

July 5 (FT) Govt of Japan has selected the 3rd batch of 15 prospective scholars under its Second Phase of Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship (JDS) Program – 2016 which commenced in Sept 2014, based on the official agreement with the Govt of SL. This year Japan pledges a grant amounting to Yen 231 million (Rs. 305 million) to cover the cost of the study programs of the 3rd batch of 15 officials in Japan. Since its inception in 2010, 90 public sector more..

Sri Lankan Navy arrests six country boat fishermen from Pamban

July 5 (Hindu) A day after arresting five Rameswaram fishermen, Sri Lankan Navy has arrested six country boat fishermen from Pamban on charges of poaching in the island nation’s waters. The fishermen, who had set out for fishing on July 2 on multi-day fishing along with 500 odd fishermen, were fishing northwest of Kudiramalai point in the west coast of Sri Lanka when the Lankan Navy arrested them around 4 p.m. on Monday, according to reports received here. more..

JO endorses new Governor

July 5 (DN) Several leading lights of the Joint Opposition expressed their deep appreciation and approval on the appointment of a renowned economist in the calibre of Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy as the new Governor of the CB. Among them were former Ministers D.E.W. Gunasekera, Prof. Tissa Vitharana and MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara. Gunasekera said they have won the first struggle launched by them to more..

Prove your innocence: JHU to Gammanpila

July 5 (DM) The JHU reiterated that none of its members were behind the arrest of its former member and MP Udaya Gammanpila and urged him to prove if he was innocent without blaming the JHU and its members for no reason. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said Mr. Gammanpila was making hate-filled statements directed at JHU members especially at Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka. “Gammanpila is trying to cover up his wrongdoings more..

SriLankan Airlines launches Arabic site

July 5 (AN) SriLankan Airlines, national carrier of Sri Lanka, launches its Arabic website, providing its Middle Eastern travelers an enhanced and personalized browsing experience. The new site is equipped with advanced features to provide a hassle-free and comprehensive web experience, allowing the users the convenience of fulfilling travel preliminaries at their fingertips, offering them the opportunity to independently control their own bookings. more..

President promises fair solution to VAT issue

July 5 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday promised that an uncomplicated decision will be taken on the VAT system following further talks with all stakeholders. He made this observation during discussions with representatives of traders’ associations at the Presidential Secretariat on the VAT. PM and other ministers participated in the discussion. President further said the main focus should be the consumer when more..

Curbs on fizzy drinks; consider natural alternatives

July 5 (DM) ealth and nutrition are vital for Sri Lanka’s sustainable growth and the Health Ministry is taking one important step from August 1 though attention today is focused on a showdown point on issues relating to the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA). Minister Rajitha Senaratne announced last week a gazette notification would be issued regarding the sugar content of fizzy drinks. more..

Judiciary: Quis custodies custodat?

July 5 (DM) We of the unofficial Bar take great pride and satisfaction at your appointment as a judge of the apex court of our land. This is more so, as we have steadfastly adhered to the conviction that the jurisprudence emanating from your Lordships court can only be strengthened and enriched by a healthy mix of persons from members of the career judiciary and those of the official and unofficial Bars. We are conscious of the fact that whilst the independence and integrity of the Judiciary more..

'President, PM act in great understanding'

July 5 (DM) Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella in an interview with Daily Mirror said the govt is stable. He said President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe were acting with great understanding. Therefore, he said the govt would serve its full term without any hindrance. Also, he said SAITM should be recognized to promote further private sector investments in the higher education sector. more..

To be a nation in the pink of health

July 5 (SL) The Ministry of Health last week announced that beginning in August, the displaying of colour codes according to sugar content percentage will be mandatory for all sugary soft drink products. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that gazette N0. 86 of 1980 to introduce a colour chart indicating sugar levels in bottles of soft drink would be implemented from August 1. Based on the colour chart, more..

The closing of doors

July 5 (CT) It was towards the end of 2012 that I began to feel that my shelf life was in a sense over. After 20 years of working for one or other govt organization, there was no more that I would be able to do in terms of public service. It seemed then that Rajapaksa Govt would go on for the foreseeable future, but after what I felt was effective service, ever since he had unexpectedly asked me to head Peace Secretariat, in 2007, more..

Leading Tamil diaspora group backs Zeid’s oral update on Sri Lanka

July 5 (CG) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading Tamil disapora group based in London, has welcomed the oral update provided by High Commissioner for Human Rights ZeidAl Hussein to the UNHRC on 29 June in Geneva. “We commend the High Commissioner and his office for their forthright assessment and concur with their observation that the promise of governance reform and transitional justice more..

Drug traffickers getting smart, but authorities smarter

July 5 (ST) Law enforcement agencies have stepped up operations to stay ahead of drug traffickers, who are increasingly using new technologies and techniques to carry out drug smuggling activities. A detective said new measues were necessary because smugglers were now using GPS devises to coordinate operations. A sting of drugs busts and drugs-related arrests in the past month have revealed extensive details more..

FM Samaraweera accused of acting contrary to the Constitution

July 5 (Island) Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has accused Minister Mangala Samaraweera of reaching agreements and understanding with a section of the international community at the expense of SL’s interests. GSLF has, in a letter to foreign missions of countries represented at the Geneva-based UNHRC, alleged that Minister Samaraweera’s actions at the UNHRC were inconsistent with SL’s Constitution. more..

GL alleges Geneva intervention aims to promote separatism

July 5 (Island) Former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris alleged that the ongoing high profile Geneva exercise spearheaded by Western powers was clearly meant to divide the country on ethnic lines. Their real objective was to bring in constitutional changes to achieve what he called despicable objective. He was addressing a group of professionals on Sunday. Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was also present. more..

Sri Lanka may grant fishing licence

July 5 (Hindu) Even as the arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen continues for alleged poaching in Sri Lankan waters, Colombo is considering various options including licensed fishing to break the stalemate over the vexatious issue. However, Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that nothing had been finalised as of now. Declining to divulge details on other options, he said “everything is under consideration.” more..

Thousands affected by doctors’ strike

July 5 (Island) Out Patient Departments (OPDs) and clinics conducted in govt hospitals were largely affected during the 4-hour token strike by GMOA yesterday morning. A spokesman for Jaffna Teaching Hospital said that only emergencies had been attended to during the strike. About 1,000 patients who visited five clinics and the OPD had been affected. At Trincomalee hospital over 850 patients had been turned away more..

GMOA to toughen its stance if...

July 5 (DN) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) will toughen its stance if the govt does not pay heed to its demands, GMOA Secretary Dr. Naveen de Zoysa said yesterday. “We will convene a special Central Committee meeting on July 6 to discuss about our future plans. We will stick to firm decisions if the govt does not heed our demands,” he said. The GMOA launched an island-wide token strike from 8 a.m. to noon yesterday. more..

A bout at Chandrikawewa, 29th April 2009

July 5 (CT) The manner in which President Rajapaksa withstood and totally deflated the imperialistic moves by Miliband and Kouchner, respective Foreign Ministers for Britain and France, in late April 2009 has been the stuff of salacious gossip in pro-Rajapaksa and Sri Lankan patriot circles. Any re-telling of this tale in solid detail on the foundations of direct witness will cast me into the same mould in the minds of those beyond that circle, whether sanctimonious, liberal and/or snooty. more..

Courts to be moved against delay in holding LG polls

June 5 (Island) PAFFREL has decided to resort to legal action against the govt over its failure to hold the local govt elections. Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said different factions affiliated to the govt were announcing different dates for the local govt elections which continued to be postponed. "Although the local govt minister and the election commission have been informed in writing of the need to hold the LG polls, so far they have failed to do the needful and, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

SL shares recover on bargain-hunting

June 5 (Reuters) Shares rose on Tuesday, recovering from a near three-month closing low hit in the previous session, as investors picked up battered stocks such as John Keells Holdings. However, the gain was capped as worries about a capital gains tax on equities and rising interest rates weighed on sentiment. Colombo stock index ended 0.41% higher at 6,280.39, after posting its lowest close since April 7 on Monday. It lost 1.3% last week, posting its third straight weekly loss. more..

VAT increase and the new CB governor

July 5 (CT) The vehement colloquy in the VAT increase, last May, from 11 per cent to 15 per cent is finally coming to an end (we hope) as President Sirisena was expected to address the matter, personally, yesterday. In several news reports it was detailed that the President will be meeting businessmen spread throughout the island to discuss potential tax amendments. The decision to meet and discuss matters with businessmen of the island came as a result of several more..

Tourist arrivals barely grow in June

June 5 (EN) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals grew just 2.2% to 118,038 in June 2016 from a year earlier, with slow growth from Western Europe and India, while arrivals from the Middle East plummeted amid Ramadan. In the six months to June tourist arrivals were grew 16.2% to 964,267. Arrivals from the Middle East, Pakistan, Maldives, Malaysia and Indonesia plunged in the Holy month while growth from India was also slow. more..

Video: MS gave me Maha Rajano title: MR

June 5 (AM) Former President Rajapaksa claimed that he was elevated to the state of a king for the first time by the current President Maithripala Sirisena, who was the first to use the term Maha Rajano. Once senior ministers started using this term, it was natural for others to follow their lead, he added. Speaking at a public meeting in Balangoda, Rajapaksa also claimed that he had always asked his supporters not to refer to him as a king since it was a bad omen. more..

JO says it will contest LG polls separately

June 5 (Island) Leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF), MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said the Joint Opposition (JO) would contest the next Local Govt elections as a separate political party or front. Nanayakkara noted that the JO would vie with what he called the UNP-Sirisena govt. Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Communist Party D.E.W. Gunasekera observed that there were serious issues between the UNP-SLFP unity govt and as well as within the UNP itself. more..

Thewarapperuma fiasco: mothers remanded

June 5 (DM) The mothers of the nine students, admitted to the Meegahathenna Primary School by Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma, were produced in Court today and remanded till July 7 by Matugama Magistrate on charges of unlawful assembly and illegal entry to the school. The deputy minister and several parents of the students of the primary school had launched strike on June 27 outside the Matugama more..

Singing of National Anthem in Tamil; SC re-fixed petition for 1 Sept

June 5 (FT) Supreme Court re-fixed for support on 1 Sept for granting of leave to proceed with the petition challenging the singing of the National Anthem in Tamil. Bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Eva Wanasundera took note that the Bench was not properly constituted and the matter is for constitutional interpretation and re-fixed for support. Petitioners Sudath Perera, Pradeep Soysa and G.A.D. Premarathna cited President and the AG as Respondents. more..

Captain of Avant-Garde vessel further remanded

June 5 (CT) Ukranian national and captain of the Avant Garde Vessel, Gennady Gavrilov, was further remanded by the Galle Magistrate till July 18. Gavrilov, was arrested by the CID on June 23, in connection to an ongoing investigation of the vessel belonging to the controversial Avant-Garde company, for allegedly illegally importing firearms to Sri Lanka and illegally possessing firearms and explosives. The CID is currently conducting further investigations. more..

Central Bank will co-operate with COPE probe: CB Governor

June 5 (EN) Central bank will co-operate with a probe started by a parliamentary committee on controversial bond issues in the recent past, newly appointed Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. Coomaraswamy said he would wait for the result from the parliament's COPE, before taking action against anyone inside the bank. "The parliament has the highest degree of sovereignty, COPE is a group of MPs," he said. more..