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Environmentally friendly vehicle tax system

June 8 (CT) There were many complaints in the news media regarding the increase in the Excise Duty of Toyota Prius cars which are used by most taxi companies for the transport of tourists from the airport, because of the high fuel efficiency, internationally accepted safety standards and the long term durability of the vehicle. When a former Minister now representing the joint opposition made an allegation that the duties of vehicles were revised recently to please the Indian authorities, more..

SL's perennial problem of delayed Justice

June 8 (SO) Today, when one enters into litigation in our courts, one has no idea as to when one will learn of one's destiny on this critical matter of one's life. Such is the delay in justice in our country. How many years have ordinary Sri Lankans waited for their court cases pertaining to a property issue, or personal relations, or business, to be finally resolved? How many years have suspects in crimes waited in remand jail for court cases or more..

In a land of fiction

June 8 (FT) If there was one war cry that united the unlike and hastily-arranged Yahapalanaya alliance, it was the charge against a regime which had come to epitomise family rule, abuse of State power and corruption in every form. The oppression united the varied Opposition groups; whatever their political differences, things could not be allowed to go on that way. On 8 Jan 2015, the majority agreed. For an electorate long accustomed to voting on immediate economic factors, more..

World Environment Day: Wilderness out of bounds

June 8 (DN) World Environment Day (WED) is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. WED activities take place all year round but climax on June 5 every year, involving everyone from everywhere. WED celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. more..

'Separatism will not be allowed to raise its head again'

June 8 (SL) Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara says that he strongly condemns the separatist attitude of an educated person such as the NPC Chief Minister C. V. Vigneshwaran. He made this comment in response to a query made by The Sunday Leader regarding the Northern Province chief ministerís congratulatory message to the re-elected TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. Pointing out that govt is never going to more..

Editorial: Post-Kosgama blues

June 8 (Island) Flying debris including exploding ordnance that rained on residential areas adjacent to the Kosgama camp when the armyís central armoury went up in flames on Sunday evening, has wreaked widespread destruction. The following day the country beheld a frightful sight with so many heavy shells lodged in various places kilometres away from the site of explosions. But for timely evacuations, many lives would have been lost. Hundreds of houses and business places more..

Beware of counter revolutions

June 8 (CT) The aftermath of any successful revolution - armed or peaceful electoral- leading to formation of a new govt leaves a significant section of the frontrunners of the campaign disillusioned and bitter. A transformation from totalitarianism to good governance is not a smooth process that ensures total purity, righteousness, transparency and absolutely morally correct decision making. After the French Revolution, the first and foremost task of the new leaders was to more..

Satana: Yahapalana govt deals

Triumphant Sri Lankan Duo fly Fairway Holdings Flag at Everest peak

June 8 (DN) Fairway Holdings made history recently, by becoming the only Sri Lankan company to have their flag fly high on top of the world at the summit of Mt Everest. Fairway Holdings took a leading role in supporting the efforts of Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala and Johann Peries as the Summit Sponsor of their Expedition to Mt Everest. The triumphant duo were presented with commemorative medals when they returned to Sri Lanka by Fairway Holdings. more..

In defence of Nationalism

June 8 (Island) The public discourse on a suitable future course for Sri Lanka appears to bedominated by the suite of neocon values being pushed vigorously by the previously marginalised NGOs and other sympathisers of the dreaded neo-liberalism that has plagued the earth over the last century. It appears that as far as such vested interests are concerned, there is no future for Sri Lanka outside this set of values handed to them by the global neocolonial networks. more..

Lord's return a great opportunity: Kusal

June 8 (CI) Two days before a Dunedin Test match in December, news broke that a doping test had found a banned substance in Kusal Perera's body. In the grueling months that followed, Perera put himself through more tests - including a polygraph - to have his name cleared. Two days out from another Test match and Perera's batting was seen getting special attention in the nets on the Lord's Nursery Ground. more..

Bat-first advantage, Anderson's barren run

June 8 (CI) 1991: The last time an England-SL Test ended in a decisive result at Lord's. Since then, all four Tests that the hosts have played against Sri Lanka at this venue have ended in a draw. Overall, England have played seven Tests against Sri Lanka at Lord's, five of which have ended in a draw. Two Tests, including the one played in 1991, were won by England. Of the 15 Tests played at Lord's since 2009, the only two Tests to end in a draw were played between the hosts and Sri Lanka. more..

Movie-ing with the masters

June 8 (DN) In its almost every film, the SAARC Film Festival 2016 explored one theme: impermanence. Although every film could not be called a tragedy, they took impermanence of relationships into an insightful peak. National Film Corporationís Tharangani film hall was almost packed despite evening rains from time to time. If you were in that crowd, you would have been next to a movie freak. These movie freaks, though not equal in number to the large audience gathered at more..

Tourist arrivals up by 10.1% in May

June 8 (FT) Tourist arrivals to SL in May grew by 10.1% to 125,044, with the continued expansion of the Chinese market boosting the first five monthsí haul to 846,229 in total and posting 18.4% growth. India maintained its position as the top source market once again as arrivals grew by 7.9% to 34,259, while China coming in second grew by 31.5% to 16,004. In the first five months arrivals from India grew by 21.9% more..

Illegal foreign employment agency

June 8 (DN) Officers of the Foreign Employment Bureau yesterday arrested two individuals for operating a foreign employment recruitment agency in Pettah, without valid license. The two were arrested following investigation into an incident in which the suspects had attempted to facilitate the illegal migration of a woman for employment to a Middle Eastern country. The officers had also seized 37 passports, 41 applications submitted by job aspirants, 12 medical reports, more..

Commander of the Navy visits the Bangladesh Navy Ship

June 8 (SLN) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne today visited the Bangladesh Navy Ship BNS Bangabandu which arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday. The Commanding Officer of the ship Captain JA Samdany received Commander of the Navy very warmly upon his arrival. The Bangladesh Navy Ship arrived in Sri Lanka with a stock of relief supplies for the people who were affected by floods and landslides caused by torrential downpour recently. more..

SL awaiting EU Council approval for lifting fisheries exports ban

June 8 (Island) "Sri Lanka has now successfully reformed its fisheries governance system and we are waiting until the EU Council approval comes for lifting the ban on Sri Lanka's sea food exports to the EU, and we hope it would be a positive move, Attache Trade Ė EU Office in Colombo Rohan Layman said. "Sri Lanka was issued with a yellow card in 2012 and been listed by the Council in Feb 2015. more..

5,187 individuals still in 65 camps

June 8 (CT) There are 5,187 victims of floods and landslides still stranded in 65 camps in the Sabaragamuwa Province, said the Chief Minister of the Sabaragamuwa Province, SLFP Maheepala Herath. Herath said that, "in these camps there are 1,651 families, from which 1,674 are schoolchildren, affected by the recent disasters. Records of the District Secretariat reveal that 244 houses have been completely destroyed due to these adverse weather conditions. more..

Depleted Sri Lanka face mountainous task

June 8 (DN) A depleted Sri Lanka team will face a tough task when they confront a confident England in the third and final cricket Test beginning at Lordís on Thursday in a bid to avoid a 0-3 whitewash of the three-match series. Just as when Sri Lanka were coming out of their batting problems which was the main cause of their comprehensive defeats in the first two Tests of the series at Leeds and Durham, they have been further hit by their bowling stock being depleted further with more..

National ceremony to declare Nutrition Month held under patronage of President

June 8 (PMD) National ceremony to declare the National Nutrition Month with the aim of uplifting the nutrition level of the citizens of SL held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at SL Foundation Institute on June 6. Public is moving away from a healthy diet as a result of this competitive society. People are rapidly changing towards fast food items. Specially, there is a trend of fast food among school children. more..

Healthy oceans, healthy planet: Cleaning up marine debris from natural disasters

June 8 (IPS) The World Oceans Day is marked today, under the theme Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet; at a time Sri Lanka is striving to recover from a major natural disaster. While natural disasters cause sudden surges of ocean debris, taking tonnes of garbage from land into the ocean, it is much worse during floods, especially when populated areas adjoining the coastal belt are affected Ė as it did during the recent floods in Sri Lankaís Western Province. more..

Sri Lanka among top 10 countries in Asia facing threats to cyber security

June 8 (FT) Sri Lanka is among top 10 countries in the Asia Pacific impacted by and facing growing threats to cyber security, according to findings of a top regional study released in Singapore yesterday. Sri Lanka was ranked at number nine, with Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh figuring in the top three in the Microsoft Malware Infection Index 2016 (MII2016). Others within the top 10 were Nepal, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, India and Thailand. Most in the top 10 had more..

Presidentís House in Colombo open for public from today

June 8 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to open the Presidentís House in Colombo and the Gordon park for the public including the school children. Accordingly, general public and the school children will get an opportunity to see the Presidentís House from today to June 14. The inauguration ceremony in this regard will be held under the patronage of the President at 2 pm today. Presidentís House, which was used by more..

Govt taking steps to reduce taxes: Ravi

June 8 (DM) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said today the govt was taking steps to reduce taxes and that the increase of VAT was to pay back the loans obtained by the Rajapaksa regime. ďThe VAT was increased to pay back the loans obtained by the Rajapaksa regime. The loans cannot be used to pay back loans that had been obtained. They can be used only for the future development projects. We use these taxes to pay back the loans obtained by the previous regime,Ē he said. more..

PC members ask MR to form new party

June 8 (Island) A group of UPFA provincial councillors who met former President Rajapaksa at his party office in Battaramulla yesterday called upon him to form a new party. They pointed out that real SLFPers were being hounded out of their party and they were without any political party to back them. The only solution was to found a new party to accommodate the vast majority of SLFPers who were given step motherly treatment by the new SLFP leadership, they said. more..

Govt Group to vote against NCM

June 8 (CT) Govt Parliamentary Group in its entirety, comprising both the UNP and the SLFP MPs, which met on Monday unanimously assured both President and PM that they will vote against the No Confidence Motion against Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake when it is brought in Parliament today. "We have all assured the President and the PM of our wholehearted support against the motion and we will stand as one more..

No conflict between Health Ministry, GMOA

June 8 (DN) Efforts to create an explosion similar to the Salawa armoury between the Health Ministry and the GMOA have failed, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He was speaking at a ceremony organised by the Health Ministry to announce post-intern appointments at the BMICH. Dr. Senaratne said that the conflict between the Health Ministry and the GMOA relating to post-intern appointment occurred due to miscommunication and a lack of understanding between two parties. more..

Salawa debris buried in a cemetery

June 8 (CT) The 1 km restriction zone surrounding the Salawa Army Camp in Kosgama was reduced to a perimeter of 500 metres yesterday following progress in the clearance process carried out by the Army. Army Media Spokesman stated the residents can return to their homes but cautioned those living within a radius of 500 metres to stay away until further notice. The fire was completely killed and Army personnel were scouring the area for shrapnel and other related debris. more..

Ravi defiant in face of no-confidence motion

June 8 (FT) On the eve of facing a no-confidence motion, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake remained defiant yesterday, dismissing the efforts of the Joint Opposition as pointless and pledging to continue his post to develop the country. Insisting that the no-confidence motion, the second since his appointment, was aimed at the Govt rather than himself, Karunanayake emphasised it would be faced more..

SB defends private medical college to the hilt

June 8 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake told Parliament that the facilities and standards of academic staff of the SAITM were far better than the Medical Faculties of Colombo, Peradeniya and Kelaniya Universities. Participating in a debate on the prevailing problems of the education sector, Minister Dissanayake, who as the former Higher Education Minister had granted the degree awarding status to the SAITM, challenged those who were opposed to it to compare the facilities more..

Senior journalist calls bankís bluff

June 8 (Island) Senior journalist and IT consultant I. J. Yogaraj has sought the intervention of the Bank Supervision Division of the Central Bank, Financial Ombudsman of Sri Lanka Dr Ranjith Ranarajah as well as the police over a private bank depriving him of any interest for prematurely terminating a fixed deposit recently. Yogaraj told The Island that in accordance with banking regulations a depositor should get a lesser interest in case of premature termination. more..

Kosgama camp fire: Exact cause still unknown: PM

June 8 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that govt was not in a position to tell the exact cause of the explosions and the fire at the Salawa Army Camp in Kosgama. He said the govt had to wait till a tri-forces committee appointed to probe the incident submitted its report. PM said the incident was not the first instance the country had experienced an explosion of an ammunition dump. more..

Coconut oil case: HC of Civil Appeal upholds District Court judgment

June 8 (Island) The High Court of Civil Appeal Colombo recently upheld the Judgement of the Additional District Judge of Colombo and dismissed an appeal filed against that by defendant appellant Sedawatte Mills Limited of Colombo 14. The plaintiff respondent in this case is Thasim Trading Company Pvt Limited of Colombo 14. The Judgment was by High Court Judge of Civil Appeal, D.N. Samarakoon with High Court Judge of Civil Appeal, M. Samayawardhana agreeing. more..

Tamil to be made compulsory for recruitment to public service

June 8 (Island) Minister Mano Ganesan told Parliament that his ministry had formulated a cabinet paper to make the Tamil Language Proficiency a pre-requisite for the recruitment to the public service. Responding to a query by UPFA MP Douglas Devananda, he said the cabinet paper was presently being taken up at a Cabinet sub-committee. He said even though Tamil Language proficiency had been made compulsory for all public servants by a Circular, it had not been properly observed. more..

Robbing people's hard earned money: Rs. 1,175 mn for luxury vehicles for ministers

June 8 (Island) The govt presented a supplementary estimate seeking parliamentary approval for purchasing 32 brand new cars at a cost of Rs. 1,175 million for the use of 30 ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers. The supplementary estimate was presented by Minister Gayantha Karunathilake on behalf of Minister of Finance. Highest amount of 70 mil was sought to purchase a vehicle for Minister Sarath Fonseka. more..

Water: Freely we receive, freely we abuse

June 8 (DM) In this World Environment Week when we need to reflect deeply on vital issues which have brought about the catastrophe of climate change and global warning, one such vast area is water -- the mighty oceans, rivers and streams. Water, an essential component for life, is generally available and obtained freely. So we have a tendency to take it for granted. This happens at family level also. We often realize the vital need for water only when there is a prolonged water cut. more..

Special Courts, Special Prosecutors and Constitutional change in the Real Country

June 8 (DM) UNP leadership is accelerating on two tracks: accountability and constitutional change. Will the political ammo dump explode? PM summoned the military brass and informed them that the govt was to commit itself to an investigation with local judges. What he didnít make clear is that the local judges would be for a Special Court. Thus the term local mechanism is a subterfuge, a diversion. By drawing attention to the adjective local, govt seeks to divert attention from the noun mechanism. more..

Flood e-waste hazard warning

June 8 (ST) Electronic waste (e-waste) items such as television sets, fridges, computers and small electronic devices that have been destroyed by the floods have been dumped in huge piles mixed in with household waste. Flood victims who now have nothing left are beginning to reconstruct their lives by gathering what they can, discarding the rest to simply make a fresh start. A visit to the devastated areas showed more..

Higher Education Ministry to entertain online complaints to tackle ragging

June 8 (Island) Minister Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament that a system to receive online complaints from undergraduates would be introduced by December this year to prevent ragging in universities. He said the university system had given freedom and independence under the present govt without any political interference. Kiriella said the independence would be further strengthened through an Act of Parliament. more..

GMOA on why SAITM students cannot be registered

June 8 (DN) The Medical Ordinance is the current law of the country. The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) practices it. Medical students of SAITM will never receive the registration of the SLMC which prevents those students from becoming doctors, according to the current law, GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said. He said the SLMC cannot give registration to SAITM students as recognition cannot be backdated. more..