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Wigneswaran appeals to Tamil students to learn Sinhalese

June 9 (ENS) Chief Minister of Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has appealed to Tamil school students to learn Sinhalese so that they do not lose job opportunities both in Sinhalese-speaking South Lanka and the Tamil-speaking North. Speaking at the Jaffna Kokkuvil Hindu Primary School, Wigneswaran said that given the fact that Sinhalese in South Lanka are now compulsorily learning Tamil, more..

MR undecided on Japan visit

June 9 (CT) UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa's proposed visit, to Japan today, was hanging in the balance even at the time this edition went to press, as he was yet mulling on whether to emplane or stay back and vote for the No-Confidence Motion filed against Minister Ravi Karunanayake, in Parliament yesterday. Parliament proceedings came to an abrupt halt yesterday, as the microphone system malfunctioned before Speaker more..

A Billion on fears? Or real security threats?

June 9 (CT) It must be admitted that the govt's concerns for the security of many of its ministers and deputy ministers have been aggravated by recent negative developments in the political scenario in Colombo or the South as most are wont to describe it. Niggling security doubts and fears are best met with meaningful security responses. Nor do we begrudge the govt that option. But does the element of fear and threat so very immense that it justifies Rs 1.2 billion on a few custom-ordered more..

Sri Lankan shares close steady; turnover falls to over 2-1/2 mth low

June 9 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed steady on Thursday as positive sentiment after an IMF loan approval offset concerns over rising interest rates and foreign fund outflows. Turnover was 326.9 million rupees, the lowest since March 19, and less than half of this year's daily average of around 778 million rupees. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.03% higher at 6,528.03. "There were some concerns over the prime minister's comment on the capital gain tax," a stockbroker said. more..

රුසිරිපාල තෙන්නකෝන්

Gota’s entry and Kosgama disaster

June 9 (CT) Prior to the arrest of Senior DIG Anura Senanayake over the murder of Thajudeen, a special discussion was held at Gotabaya Rajapaksa's house with the participation of the lawyers of the Rajapaksas, according to reports. Anura being an officer close to Gotabaya, it is no secret Anura acted on Gotabaya's orders. The arrest of Anura caused immense anguish and shock to Gotabaya. Last weekend posters were awash across the country that Commission of more..

Police nab Choowa following high drama

June 9 (DN) High drama prevailed at Frazer Road Dehiwela yesterday when Police gave chase to a suspicious car following a shoot out. Later, the police arrested an underworld gangster and seized Rs. 700,000, heroin worth over Rs. 3 million, a firearm and a haul of ammunition from his possession. According to police sources a team of officers were waiting at Dehiwela following a tip-off that some underworld characters were slated to visit the area. more..

Video: MR, Gota responsible for Kosgama blast: Akila

June 9 (DM) Former President Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa should be held responsible for the Salawa Army Camp explosion, UNP Spokesman Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. The former president had said the war would have to be stopped if this blast occurred under his administration. Even Gotabaya Rajapaksa said arrangements had been made to move the army camp to another location during the more..

Recyclers ready to accept recyclable throwaways

June 9 (Island) The Sri Lanka Recycling Association (SLRA) said they were prepared to recycle all recyclable items. Director SLRA, Buddhika Muthukumarana said all items such as glass, plastic, cardboard, coconut shells, e-waste, CFL bulbs, etc which were recyclable could be collected by over 100 recyclers in the country. However, a majority of the people either did not have the time to separate the various types of items that collected as garbage or they were not aware of more..

ADB support for Sri Lanka small business venture capital fund

June 9 (EN) ADB is to help Sri Lanka set up a venture capital fund for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who face difficulties in getting access to finance. Support comes in response to a govt request to ADB to formulate a plan for a venture capital fund for SMEs and is aligned with the lending agency’s interim country partnership strategy. Sri Lanka lacks a vibrant capital market to support investment and economic growth, with the financial market dominated by banks. more..

Harsha, Ranjan and Palitha says No to new luxury vehicles

June 9 (CT) Deputy Ministers Harsha de Silva, Ranjan Ramanayake and Palitha Thewarapperuma has rejected the new luxury vehicles offered to them, as protests mounted against the govt’s move to purchase 32 luxury vehicles at a cost of a staggering Rs. 1.1 billion. Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment & Welfare, Ramanayake and Deputy Minister of Internal Cultural & Wayamba Development, more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority calls for bids to run new container terminal

June 9 (EN) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has called for Expressions of Interest for the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port on build-operate-transfer (BOT) terms. It announced that the invitation is the pre-qualification stage and the first step in the process leading to the selection of a concessionaire for the award of a BOT concession. ECT in the new deep-water Colombo South Harbour is partly built with a 440m long 18 m deep quay wall, and a 20 hectare yard area more..

Malfunctioning sound system: Govt rejects JO allegations

June 9 (DN) The govt rejected the Joint Opposition allegations that it had a hand in the malfunctioning sound system in parliament which resulted in the suspension of sittings for the day. The JO had accused the govt of having a hand in the incident on a day where the no confidence motion presented by them against Minister Ravi Karunanayake was to be taken up. Minister Karunanayake said said that if anyone had a hand in the malfunction of the sound system it should be the Joint Opposition more..

At meeting with TNA leaders British officials express concern over resettlements

June 9 (CT) Britain's Permanent Under-Secretary, at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Simon McDonald and Permanent Secretary at the UK Department for International Development, Mark Lowcock expressed concern over the resettlement process. Two British officials met the TNA and Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran in Colombo, where they discussed the progress made in the more..

CC sends its proposals on remuneration for members of independent commissions

June 9 (Island) Constitutional Council (CC) has taken steps to send the Cabinet a proposal for the payment of emoluments and allowances to the Chairman and Members of the commissions set up under the 19th Amendment, a communiqué issued by the CC stated. The statement said that the second report of the CC for the period Dec 2015 to Feb 2016 had been submitted to President Sirisena. The CC kept the President informed of the work it had undertaken during the aforesaid period. more..

Heart operation fund stolen from temple

June 9 (Island) Buddhist monk Ven. Galkadawala Ratnaasara Thera of a temple at Mahamedagama, Talatuoya has complained to police that an intruder threatened him and robbed Rs. 780,000 which had been collected for his brother-in-law to undergo a heart operation. The money was kept in a flower vase under the bed in the temple, the Bhikkhu has told police. The suspect had gained entry by pretending to contribute some money. The mother of the priest who was present at the time more..

CEB gets contract for first phase

June 9 (CT) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that approval had already been received for the CEB to carry out the first 100 MW phase of the 375 MW Wind Power Park Project on Mannar Island which is a potentially high revenue earner. Minister said that discussions are already underway to give the contract for the other 275 MW power plant of the Mannar Wind Power Park to the private sector. more..

Don't miss out on Benz, BMW :) : Ranil tells JO to support and work with UPFA

June 9 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today urged the joint opposition to support and work with the UPFA. Speaking in Parliament today, Wickremesinghe said the joint opposition must stop attempting to create splinter groups and support the UPFA. Earlier today the joint opposition criticised the Govt’s economic policies which has caused a steep slide in foreign reserves and making its currency’s value weaker due to an increase in Indian car imports to the country. more..

Five illegally held baby elephants found to be infected with tuberculosis

June 9 (Island) Five elephants out of 20 which had been seized from illegal custody during recent raids were infected with tuberculosis, Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) said. DWC Director General Dr Sumith Pilapitiya noted that the Veterinary Doctor at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage had tested the health status of the elephants and found that the five baby elephants were infected with tuberculosis at the time they had been taken into the Department custody. more..

Bond Scam: Chandra wants labour minister to safeguard investor rights of EPF members

June 9 (CT) Good Governance activist, Chandra Jayaratne has urged Minister of Labour, W.D.J. Seneviratna to ensure that the investor rights of the EPF Members are safeguarded. In a letter sent on Tuesday, Jayaratne said, “I write with further reference to my letter of 3rd June, where it was stressed that the Trustee responsibility and overall oversight responsibility of the pool of investments held more..

Sri Lanka to introduce capital gains tax & remove exchange control: PM

June 9 (LBO) Govt will remove exchange control regulations before the end of this year with improved inflows coming into the country, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking at the debate of the no-confidence motion against Finance Minister, Premier said the proposal will be implemented with the 2017 budget proposals. “We are strong enough and confident to say that we can remove exchange control before the 2017 budget,” he said. However, Wickremesinghe once again suggested that more..

SLSBA involved in financial fraud

June 9 (CT) A high ranking official of the Sri Lanka Schools Badminton Association (SLSBA) has informed the parents of players that a sum of Rs 125,000 is required from each player who will be participating in the Asian Junior Badminton Championships, Ceylon Today reliable learns. This tournament is scheduled to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 9 to 17 July. 20 players from different schools have been selected to participate at this championship along with five officials. more..

SL’s rank improves in Global Peace Index

June 9 (DM) Sri Lanka has moved up 18 notches and ranked at 97th place out of 163 countries in the 2016 Global Peace Index compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Iceland ranked 1st in the index as the most peaceful country followed by Denmark, Austria, NZ and Portugal. Syria made it to the bottom of the list followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. SL’s neighbouring countries India ranked at 141, Pakistan 153, more..

Video: Three killed in hand grenade attack

June 9 (AD) Three persons were killed and a child was injured following a hand grenade explosion in Thalangama area in Koswatta, the police said. The incident occurred today near the Thalangama police station. One of the victims has been identified as the person who detonated the hand grenade over a personal dispute. The remains of the deceased, including mother and the grand mother of the child, will be taken to the Colombo National Hospital for autopsy. more..

Anura Senanayake further remanded

June 9 (AD) Former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake, who was arrested for allegedly withholding evidences in the murder of national Rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, has been further remanded until June 23. Senanayake was remanded after being produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris today. Earlier, former Crime OIC of Narahenpita police Sumith Perera was also arrested for allegedly hiding evidence in the case. He was too further remanded until June 23. more..

'Tamils have right to self-determination'

June 9 (CT) Opposition and TNA Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan recently said, the Tamils were a unique race and had historically been living in the country's North and East. Sampanthan was speaking at the ITAK office premises, in Vaddukottai, at a meeting organized by TNA MP E. Saravanabhavan. He said, “We (Tamils) are a unique race. We have been living in this country, historically, in the North- East more..

BOI facilitate Japanese investors meeting

June 9 (GDI) Board of Investment (BOI) hosted the annual Japan-Sri Lanka Govt Private Sector Joint Forum for existing Japanese Companies based in Sri Lanka and operating projects under the BOI regime. This is the 8th such Forum where the BOI is hosting Japanese enterprises. The Forum is an ongoing process whereby Japanese investors meet BOI regularly and discuss ongoing matters to ensure that Sri Lanka offers the most investor friendly conditions to existing Japanese companies. more..

Govt announces initial compensation for Salawa victims

June 9 (AD) Minister Anura Yapa today said that Rs. 50,000 per month for three months will be provided to those whose houses are uninhabitable due to the Salawa fire. The Colombo-Awissawella Main Road was also blocked near the Salawa Army camp by area residents yet again this morning. The protestors were demanding the clearance of debris from their homes prior to opening the road. However, SL Army announced that it has commenced renovation of damaged houses, more..

No-faith motion against Ravi K defeated , fails to secure two-thirds

June 9 (EN) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake comfortably defeated the so-called joint opposition's no-confidence resolution with a majority of 94 votes, but was disappointed because he failed to secure a two thirds majority. The 225-member parliament voted 145 against the motion, five short of a two thirds majority while 51 were in favour and 28 were absent. President Maithripala Sirisena was in the house during the debate on more..

Financial profligacy of an Omnibus Cabinet: Can Sri Lanka afford this scandal?

June 10 (CT) In September last year in a piece I titled “An Omnibus Cabinet & Outvoted Parliamentarians: Can the Economy Afford to Maintain This Colony of Prodigals?” (Colombo Telegraph, September 7, 2015) I posed a question, “Can anyone tell the people the estimated total cost of this colony of artificially elevated political gentry?”. Ten months have passed since then, and the public auditors should have some rough idea to answer my question. more..

Protest opposite the malay military mosque in Kandy

June 10 (CT) A protest led by several monks and lay people took place on 05.06.2016 in front of the mosque in Kandy, situated near the Central Market. There were also present members of the Police force. The point of contention was that this mosque is building a minaret which they allege will be taller than the height of Dalada Maligawa. According to some prominent persons, this is an unsubstantiated allegation. The first question; Is there a law which prohibits any construction up to more..

Ramazan cleansing the soul

June 10 (CT) Muslims around the world welcome the blessed month of Ramazan tomorrow (6). They will fast every day from sunrise to sunset continuously for a month. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting during this period is not simply about abstaining from food and water for 14 hours or so a day but is a month long spiritual journey that helps purify the soul, refocus attention on God and practice self sacrifice. more..

Talking Garbage

June 10 (SL) The living standards of the residents in the vicinity of the newly formed garbage mountain in Meethotamulla was further compromised by the recent floods which also swept tonnes of garbage into their homes. The worst part according to residents is that even after the flood waters had ebbed, a foul ordour has permeated the air and the thick black component of the garbage mountain has clung to a number of houses, giving a dirty, black appearance. more..

The Principle of Culpability

June 10 (DM) There is a useful rule of thumb with respect to institutions and corruption. If the person at the top is corrupt, it is a veritable licence for corruption down the line. If there is any corrupt individual anywhere in the institution it means that either the person at the top is corrupt or else he/she is incompetent. There are corollaries as well. Foolishness begets foolishness and only a fool will suffer fools. Replace fool and foolish with incompetent and incompetence more..

'Mervyn, Sajin Vass now with govt'

June 10 (CT) MP Shehan Semasinghe says the govt is of the view the people elected them to power only to criticize the Rajapaksa administration. "We have seen what these people have done in the past 15 months," he said in an interview. Q: The country experienced a number of natural disasters in the past few weeks. But, the Joint Opposition appears to be silent on all these. What is the reason? A: There is no such thing. more..

SL targets four million tourists by 2020

June 10 (Island) Minister John Amaratunga has been making some statements in recent days which have raised eye brows; his (and the President’s statement) that our target is to have four million tourist arrivals in the next four years is an extremely serious one. I do hope his advisors have studied this issue thoroughly, for there are certain obvious aspects we need to focus on. The first and most obvious issue is what if a bomb goes off and kills even one tourist, what would be the impact more..

Editorial: Wanderlust of potentates

June 10 (Island) It looks as if Indian PM Narendra Modi had been more airborne than chairborne. He is said to have been to 37 countries since his election as PM 25 moons ago, as we reported. He is scheduled to return home this morning having completed a 140-hour-long trip covering five countries in three continents after flying 33,000 km for nearly 44 hours mostly at night.If PM Modi has set his mind on a world record as the most travelled leader he should not rest on his oars. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa: Salawa Camp Fire

Politicians mainly responsible for destroying natural resources

June 10 (SL) Crimes relating to wildlife all over the world have reached a tipping point threatening the existence of many wildlife species including two iconic species, elephant and rhinoceros. Each year the celebration of World Environment Day (WED) is based on a particular theme decided by the United Nations to make the celebration more effective by encouraging masses worldwide to take part in addressing environmental issues on a global scale. The theme this year is more..

Lankan delegation visits Pakistan to promote religious and cultural tourism

June 10 (DM) A Vesak ceremony was held last week in Islamabad with the participation of a SL delegation who visited Pakistan on an invitation extended by Pakistan govt with the aim to promote religious and cultural tourism and strengthen political links between the two countries. Sri Lankans also visited the Hund Museum in Swabi, the last capital of Gandhara Civilization and the Pukhtun cultural stalls at the Museum which displayed Buddhist artifacts, statues, relics & antiques. more..