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Wanted (or Not) ?

June 16 (DN) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, who took up the responsibility soon after President Sirisena’s election victory in January, last year, has suddenly become a newsmaker. His first term in office will come to an end on June 30 and there were various differences of opinion among political circles over the renewal of his contract. While the UNP, is strongly backing Mahendran, Joint Opposition group and some elements in the SLFP have declared war on him. more..


Studying Sinhala by Tamils, An ill-timed & inappropriate plea by Wigneswaran

June 16 (CT) Northern Provincial Chief Minister Justice C. V. Wigneswaran in a recent speech has exhorted the Tamil students to study Sinhalese. The reasons he mentioned were: • Lack of knowledge in Sinhalese is the root cause of misunderstanding, suspicion, mistrust and lack of confidence. • If you know Sinhalese, you can effectively reply a Sinhalese, more particularly Sinhalese politicians. • Tamils in Norway and France are learning Norwegian and French language more..

Should Sri Lanka offer more concessions to India over Trincomalee?

June 16 (Island) Rajiv-JRJ Agreement of July 1987 should be read from back to front. That brings into focus what really India gained from that agreement besides creating Provincial Councils, which would reduce the country’s control by the centre. The latter arrangement was expected to lead to demands for a process of further devolution which could help to consolidate the gains India made over Trincomlee through the agreement. What I am talking about is the notorious exchange of letters under more..

Sri Lankan gem dealer faces huge loss after HK$6m robbery in Hong Kong

June 16 (SCMP) A Sri Lankan precious gems dealer is staring at financial ruin after his HK$6 million haul of uninsured precious sapphires and rubies was snatched in a daylight robbery in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday. As the police investigate the theft, trader Mohamed Azan Mohideen Abdul Cader,44, pleaded for the safe return of the gems and urged local jewellery traders to watch out for anyone trying to sell the stolen goods. more..

Editorial: Cocaine bust: Some questions

June 16 (Island) Arecord cocaine haul smuggled into the country has been seized and a suspect taken into custody. Finance Ministry Special Operations Unit (FMSOU) deserves praise for Tuesday’s successful detection. However, there are some questions that need answers. Why did the FMSOU keep the Customs out of the detection? Did it do so as it did not want to share the credit for its feat with anyone else? Or, did it seek to show the Customs in a bad light by stealing a march more..

Reverse swing crucial in Sri Lanka: Australia

June 16 (AAP) Australia will seek to rattle Sri Lanka with reverse swing in July, when their No.1 Test ranking defence starts in Kandy. Australia haven't donned the whites since February, when they grabbed top spot on the ICC's rankings with a 2-0 series win in New Zealand. The subcontinent looms as the final frontier in Steve Smith's search for a golden dynasty at No.1. Coming trips will give Australia a chance to shore up their status as the world's best Test side. more..

Video: Sri Lanka's stability, security vital for the region: Turkey

June 16 (DM) Sri Lanka’s geographical location is a strategic one and therefore, the country's security and stability was vital for the region and beyond, visiting Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuþoðlu said today. He expressed these views to the media after signing an MOU between the two Foreign Ministries on Diplomatic Training, Exchange of Information and Documentation. more..

Under-19 Sports out of step with World Governing Bodies

June 16 (ST) Besides of being considered as an Extra Curricular Activity at schools, Sports at junior level is one of the key platforms in many aspects. There are many age categories that children get to compete at during their days at school but the one before reaching the next stage, the national level, is considered the Under-19 age group. But there are certain sports that are contested in the age category of Under-20. There are positives as well as negatives that are involved as more..

Passengers prefer tech to people – but one size does not fit all

June 16 (ST) Airline passengers across the globe are so comfortable with technology today that they are choosing to use it rather than interacting with people. This is according to the 2016 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a global survey released today by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air Transport World. SITA’s survey, as explained in a media release, shows that 85% of passengers had a positive travel experience, up from 80% last year. more..

Temples have lost tamed jumbos to tourist resorts: Environmentalist

June 16 (Island) An environmental organisation alleged that Diyawadana Nilame of Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela and a group of Buddhist monks were making what he called a false claim that there was a shortage of tamed elephants for Peraheras. They were trying to halt legal actions against the elephant racket, Environment Conservation Trust (ECT) Director, Sajeewa Chamikara alleged. more..

RTI Bill in Parliament on 23 June

June 16 (FT) The amended Right to Information (RTI) Bill will be presented in Parliament on 23 June for a second reading, Deputy Minister Karunaratna Paranavithana said. He affirmed the proposed bill will allow the public to get information regarding public authorities and it will be an important feature for the Govt to be responsible at a higher level. The proposed RTI Bill is expected to make changes in a moderate way to uphold good governance and the state function, according to Deputy Minister. more..

Bankers bash FM over new leasing rule

June 16 (FT) Disgruntled bankers slammed Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s proposal to set an upper limit of Rs.10 million on them if engaging in leasing business, though the move has been welcomed by specialist firms. Some of the disappointment of bankers had been conveyed during a meeting held earlier this week between heads of banks and the Finance Minister, who also met Non-Bank Financial Institutions, which are considered specialists in leasing, separately on the same day. more..

BoI signs 37 new agreements worth Rs 579m

June 16 (DN) BoI has entered into 37 new investment agreements in April and May 2016. The total estimated investment is around US$ 579 million generating 6000 direct employment opportunities. With the Megalopolis programme in progress nine agreements have been signed toset up new apartment complexes. Fairwar Urban Homes, Iconic Development, S T K Developers, Menara Residencies, Capital Tower, Elysian more..

Lankans up against the Irish in two ODIs

June 16 (DN) The two-match ODI series against Ireland at Malahide, Dublin on Thursday and Saturday provides a perfect opportunity for Sri Lanka to get used to the white ball in these conditions after losing their three-Test match series against England. It will help them clear their heads and concentrate on doing well out there in the middle with bat and ball. The visitors are a young team which has lost some stalwarts in the past two years and it has clearly affected them. more..

SL Ambassador speaks on how LankaCorps can aid post-conflict reconciliation

June 16 (AF) On May 18, The Asia Foundation held a reception at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington, hosted by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the U.S., Prasad Kariyawasam, as an opportunity for members of the area’s Sri Lankan diaspora and policy community to learn about the Foundation’s LankaCorps program. Over the past four years, 25 young professionals have served as LankaCorps Fellows, a unique opportunity developed by The Asia Foundation for young people of more..

Indonesia must allow stranded Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers to disembark

June 16 (AI) Indonesian govt should allow dozens of SL Tamil asylum seekers, including a pregnant woman and nine children, who have reached the coast of Lhoknga, Aceh, to disembark and meet UNHCR officials, Amnesty International said. “These people have endured a long and difficult journey already. Now that they have reached land in Aceh, they should be allowed to disembark and meet UNHCR officials,” more..

Colombo’s reconciliation steps get French support

June 16 (Hindu) France strongly backs the present SL govt’s approach in the areas of reconciliation, good governance and human rights, said French Ambassador to SL, Jean Marin Schuh. Mr. Schuh said: “We are clearly in favour of the programme of this govt regarding reconciliation, good governance and human rights. This is why we have decided to upgrade our ties with Sri Lanka.” Mr. Schuh also spoke about steps taken by the current govt to bring about reconciliation and said, more..

Govt to take over KKS land to resettle 400 families

June 16 (FT) Cabinet approval has been given for the Govt to take over 65 hectares of land to resettle 400 families in the north. At the end of March 2016, 251,000 internally displaced families have been resettled in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. However, more than 14,000 families are to be further resettled. Currently 1,109 families are residing in 31 welfare camps in the Tellippalai DS Division and 641 families out of them are reported as landless families. more..

Market-based fuel, electricity pricing

June 16 (EN) Govt has agreed to introduce automatic pricing mechanisms that ensure retail prices above cost-recovery levels for fuel and electricity by Dec 2016 under a deal with the IMF. These are among proposed prior actions, structural benchmarks and state enterprise reforms agreed under the $1.5 billion three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) agreement with the IMF. Under the deal, Ministry of Finance is to introduce more..

Jordanian heroin peddler sentenced to death

June 16 (DM) A Jordanian who was found guilty of peddling heroin arrested at Grandpass in 2012 was sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court Judge. Ameer Al Subani was produced in Court on charges of being in possession of 16.19 grams of heroin ion 22 Nov 2012. The Judge observed that the prosecution had not proved the first charge against the suspect on the heroin peddling charge but that the second charge of possessing heroin was proved beyond reasonable doubt. more..

Video: 700,000 letters and parcels pile up

June 16 (DM) A huge backlog of about 700,000 letters and parcels were piled up at post offices around the island due to the strike launched by the Joint Postal Trade Union, its Convener Chinthaka Bandara said today. He said about 350,000 letters and parcels were reported to be piled up at the Colombo Central postal exchange. “The Joint Postal Trade Union had, on Tuesday, warned that trade union action would be launched by a group of Postal Department workers on Sunday and that more..

Cabinet cheers capital gains tax!

June 16 (FT) Cabinet has approved a proposal submitted by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to draft a new Capital Gains tax regime with technical assistance from the IMF. Cabinet paper notes that since the announcement by the Govt of its intention to reintroduce a Capital Gains tax regime in March 2016, work has been undertaken to develop a system that “makes it consistent with current international good practice, more..

Ravi K to sue Lanka C News

June 16 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that legal action will be taken against Lanka C News for falsely implicating him as a suspect for the recently hauled Cocaine. The report by Lanka C News suggest that the cocaine belonged to Karunanayake. Karunanayake who labelled Lanka C news report as a lowly form of mudslinging further asserted that he had no connection to the cocaine haul. "This news website is run by Rajapaksa loyalists such as Namal Rajapaksa and Wimal Weerawansa. more..

Italian Marangoni to build $ 75 m tyre plant

June 16 (FT) Italian tyre manufacturer Marangoni is seeking to establish a $75 million tyre production plant in Sri Lanka under the BoI that is expected to create about 1,000 direct employment opportunities. Under a Cabinet paper submitted by Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, a private land of 100 acres in Gonapola, Horana will be acquired by the UDA to allocate land on a 99-year lease to the Ceylon Steel Corporation. more..

Powerful Bureau to replace FCID: Through Act of Parliament

June 16 (DN) FCID is soon to be replaced with a more powerful and permanent Bureau with a mandate to investigate financial crimes, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He stressed that the FCID would remain for the time being until they set up the new Bureau. “Our Manifesto on Jan 8 promised to establish a unit which will investigate into financial crimes and we did that. But, now we find that we need a unit which is more permanent and more..

SL, Australia discuss combatting people smuggling and other transnational crimes

June 16 (MoD) Sri Lanka-Australia Joint Working Group (JWG) on People Smuggling and Other Transnational Crime met on the 14th of June 2016 at the Ministry of Defence. This is the 03rd occasion that the Joint Working Group is being convened. Launched in 2012, by the then Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and Australia it opened a new chapter in cooperation between the two countries enabling a structured dialogue focused on combatting people smuggling and other transnational crime. more..

Police break up undergrads’ protest march

June 16 (Island) Police baton charged and used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a protest march organised by undergraduates of the Kelaniya University at the Lotus roundabout in Fort yesterday. The protest march that started from Technical Junction was scheduled to end at the Presidential Secretariat after handing over a memorandum. The protest resulted in a massive traffic jam. "Three of our colleagues including a female undergraduate have been arrested," more..

Partners in Crime: Fault Lines

June 16 (FT) On economic affairs and foreign policy, political fault lines inside the ruling UNF-SLFP coalition have begun to emerge more clearly than ever this past week. As the campaign against CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran begins to crystallise, with the SLFP, anti-corruption activists, civil society and even Joint Opposition vehemently opposing his reappointment, both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe have legacy decisions to more..

Cries in Kithulgala

June 16 (DM) In line with the principles of Sustainable development, aspects such as the environment, the diverse needs of the people and their personal well-being should be the main focus. It appears that the relevant authorities have not learned a lesson from the hazards of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development project in Bandarawela which caused social, economic, ecological and geological distress. The same thing is being repeated under the Broadlands Hydro Power more..

Betrayed the rights of the whole…

June 16 (DM) Western World, particularly the USA and Western Europe, can well afford to boast about human rights and their vehement protection on international platforms and fora. Especially in the US, the first ten amendments (also known as the Bill of Rights) to their Constitution talk volumes for the safeguard of the rights of an individual. What is most significant about the US Constitution is, it has been crafted to safeguard the individual from the govt and its potential threats to the individual. more..

Ghost from the past to haunt Anura?

June 16 (SL) Complaints against former Senior DIG Anura Senanayake are now piling at the CID. Senanayake was recently taken into custody for allegedly suppressing evidence related to the murder case of Wasim Thajudeen. One such complaint that has been made against Senanayake is on his alleged involvement in the murder of 42-year-old Ramasamy Prabakaran, owner of Panama Traders, an electronics more..

good governance Yellow Carded!

June 16 (CT) Do you think Good Governance Govt has any urge to nourish a new political culture in the country? I have serious doubts on this. It is continuing the same sour politics which was rejected by the law abiding citizens of this country in the consecutive elections held in 2015. It is unfortunate to see the President and PM have forgotten the true expectations of people's power vested on them, Chairman of NMSJ more..

President orders special anti-narcotics unit

June 16 (DN) President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the establishment of a special anti-narcotic unit combining the persons from all intelligence units and with the participation of all other key stakeholders to completely eradicate the illicit drug trafficking and peddling in Sri Lanka with immediate effect. Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, the proposed unit will comprise high-ranking officials of intelligent units, security forces, more..

Patients complain that private hospitals unfairly add VAT to bills

June 16 (ST) The introduction of the value added tax (VAT) last month to the health sector is causing much confusion and ambiguity among in-house patients in private hospitals who complain that they are being unfairly charged VAT for pharmaceutical drugs. Private hospitals are charging 15% VAT on the total bill of patients being discharged including 15%on pharmaceutical drugs administered. more..

Special Rapporteur tells UNHRC more reforms necessary in Sri Lanka

June 16 (CG) UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Mónica Pinto told the UNHRC that more reforms are expected and necessary in SL before the country can be considered to be on a path to sustainable democratization governed by the rule of law. Pinto told the ongoing 32nd session of the Council that she will present a comprehensive report on her recent visit to SL to the Council next year. more..

Yala Warden's Daily Mirror Interview: Ministry to hold inquiry

June 16 (DM) Wild Life Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said he would order an inquiry into the statements made by the Warden of Yala National Park during an interview with Daily Mirror. He said the interview had embarrassed the ministry and tarnished the image of the govt. He denied the allegations made by Yala Warden Suranga Ratnayake that he had asked him to apologize to Minister Sajith Premadasa. more..

Sri Lanka says it remains committed to ensure the Right to Development

June 16 (CG) Sri Lanka says it remains committed to ensure the Right to Development through its National development policies. In a statement to the UNHRC during its ongoing 32nd session, the SL delegation said that owing to Sri Lanka’s long history of consistent investments in health, education and poverty alleviation programmes, the country has succeeded in achieving some targets in relation to MDGs more..

CP leader accuses Ranil of attempting to save CB Governor

June 16 (Island) Former Minister and ex-Chairman of the COPE D.E.W. Gunasekera accused PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of being behind the attempts to protect Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and to extend his term which was scheduled to expire on June 30. The Communist Party leader, demanded a special presidential commission to investigate the alleged wrongdoings of Mahendran. more..

A fresh term for Mahendran strongly opposed by civil society

June 16 (Island) Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has launched an online petition to pressure the govt not to extend CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s term in office beyond June 30, 2016. A spokesperson for GSLF said that having repeatedly assured the country of good governance and financial accountability in the run-up to last presidential and parliamentary polls last year, UNP-SLFP coalition shouldn’t keep Mahendran more..