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Unit of devolution

June 17 (Island) Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform headed by its Chairman Lal Wijenayake has recommended retaining the Province as the unit of Devolution. The Commission proposes 6 alternate formulations based on the Province as the peripheral unit. These formulations vary from retaining the existing 9 Provinces without merger with provision to withdraw devolved power without consent, to merger with minority participation in the Executive and the Legislature and more..

Container weight rule from October

June 17 (EN) Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping ministry said new international safety regulations that make container weighing mandatory for shippers would be enforced from October 1, 2016. Local regulations giving effect to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) would be implemented from July 1 by the director general of Merchant Shipping. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has held discussions with all relevant parties more..

Watchful Fitch hopeful

June 17 (FT) In the backdrop of SL successfully securing $ 1.5 billion IMF cash support, Fitch Ratings said that the agency is closely monitoring how the economy adjusts under the IMF program and will consider a fresh review if reforms materialise. Noting that adjustment of any sort would challenge Sovereigns Ratings, Associate Director Sagarika Chandra said that from a rating point of view govt should reverse its hasty policy making more..

Goodness Rhythm Dancers perform at Lord’s

June 17 (DN) The Goodness Rhythm Dance Troupe which was established as a sustainable income generation venture for the Foundation of Goodness, a charitable NGO established in 1999 performed at the prestigious MCC Lord’s ground during the second day of the England vs. Sri Lanka 3rd Test match on 10 June together with Chandana Wickramasinghe and the Dancers Guild of Sri Lanka. The Dancers were flown to and from England courtesy of Sri Lankan Airlines. more..

Mahanama College bag LV Jayaweera Boxing C’ship: Fernando Best Boxer

June 17 (DN) Mahanama College, Colombo clinched the LV Jayaweera Memorial Boxing Championship and College’s KJ Fernando crowned as the Best Boxer at the 43rd edition of SL’s premier school boxing tournament, which concluded at Mahanama College, yesterday. Winning four gold medals, the hosts clinched the championship producing Best Boxer KJ Fernanando, who beat GCM Amarasinghe of Vidyartha College Kandy in under 17-18 flyweight category. more..

Shanaka five-for and Chandimal hundred too much for Ireland

June 17 (CI) Dasun Shanaka has the batting build of an unobtrusive nurdler, and his bowling seems of the innocuous wicket-to-wicket variety. He is a cricketer who invites underestimation. In his embryonic international career, his impact has been with bat or ball, never both. But on his ODI debut against Ireland at Malahide, he married both disciplines to bring victory to Sri Lanka in spectacular style. more..

Ten Bangladeshi nationals arrested for working here illegally

June 17 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, officers of the Panadura Division Crimes Investigations Unit took into custody ten Bangladeshi nationals who had stayed in the country without valid visas. They had also arrested three locals for harbouring the foreigners. An investigating officer attached to the unit said the three persons, who had helped the foreigners, were a Bagaladeshi national married to a SL woman, who had got dual citizenship, a filling station owner and a furniture dealer. more..

‘Sri Lanka needs to have fewer taxes and a more liberalized business environment’

June 17 (Island) "Sri Lanka's tax system is still very complicated. The tax system needs to be predictable, consistent and fair. Sri Lanka needs to have fewer taxes, IMF Resident Representative to Sri Lanka Dr Eteri Kvintradze said. "Sri Lanka is at a critical stage of transition where private-sector led growth must start. In view of this, the govt, which is having a large number of entities under its control, should reform ownership, she said. "SL has made significant macroeconomic gains over more..

No dual citizenship for SL refugees: Indian law doesn’t permit dual nationality

June 17 (ENS) Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in India cannot be given dual citizenship as demanded by the TN Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa, because India does not recognize dual citizenship, Indian officials said. They were responding to the demand for the grant of dual citizenship made by the TN Chief Minister when she met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday. “India does not recognize dual citizenship. more..

Land acquisition, partnerships in Megapolis project

June 17 (EN) A project to turn Colombo and suburbs into a megapolis will require some land acquisition but authorities intend to get into partnerships with private owners where possible, a senior official has said. “Some land acquisition will certainly be required,” said Nayana Mawilmada, Head of Investment of the US$ 40 billion worth megapolis project. “But where possible we will seek to partner with private sector landowners so that the benefits of planned developments can be shared,” more..

‘Katchatheevu needs a political settlement’

June 17 (Hindu) The Katchatheevu row requires only a political settlement, as there is nothing to be sorted out legally between India and Sri Lanka, according to a senior legal expert, Nirmala Chandrahasan. Ms. Chandrahasan, now a consultant to the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) of the SL govt, told a high-profile seminar on the India-SL relationship here on Thursday that the Indian govt did not consider Katchatheevu a disputed territory and more..

Video: Postal strike called off

June 17 (DM) The four-day long strike launched by the Joint Postal Trade Union on Sunday was called off last evening following a meeting held at the PM’ office, Joint Postal Trade Union Convener Chinthaka Bandara said. Those present at the meeting were PM’s Secretary, Public Administration Ministry’s secretary, Post and Postal Services Minister Abdul Haleem, Postmaster General Rohana Abeyratne, more..

'Someawansa died of natural cause'

June 17 (Island) Colombo Additional Magistrate said that the death of Somawansa Amerasinghe aged 73 years was due to a natural cause; there was no cause for suspicion. The body was ordered to be handed over to the relatives for cremation. Police had wanted a post mortem because a nephew of the deceased, had noticed bleeding from Somawansa’s nose. A post mortem was conducted by Dr. Sameera Gunewardene, who said death was due to a heart attack and internal bleeding. more..

Sampur project uncertainty continues

June 17 (Hindu) The uncertainty over the Sampur thermal power project continues as the NTPC, India’s partner in the coal-fired 500MW project, is awaiting advice from the Central govt on the issue of change of fuel for the proposed plant. The issue has been raised by SL, which apparently now favours liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the fuel. In Feb this year, the project received environmental clearance and about a month ago, even a decision was taken by Trincomalee Power Company (TPCL), more..

‘Build Sampur project or face the consequences’

June 17 (Island) Sri Lanka is heading for a crippling power crisis due to an inordinate delay in implementing the Sampur coal-fired project as well as the failure on the part of the current administration to initiate any other power generation scheme. One of SL’s foremost experts in the power sector Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya warned of dire consequences unless Indo-Lanka joint venture at Sampur was launched immediately. more..

Video: Yoshitha Rajapaksa granted bail over property case

June 17 (AD) Yoshitha Rajapaksa has been granted bail after appearing before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate over a case filed regarding a property and house in Mihindu Mawatha, Dehiwala. He was ordered released on three personal bails of Rs 1 million each. The Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court had issued notice for Yoshitha Rajapaksa to appear in Court today (16) based on a request made by FCID. The FCID has indicted him over a land and house situated in Dehiwela. more..

Kolonnawa to receive Rs. 300 m in flood relief: Ravi K

June 17 (FT) The Finance Ministry released Rs.300 million to the Disaster Management Ministry to enable it to pay relief allowances for the flood affected people of Kolonnawa area. Minster Ravi Karunanayake said the previous plan by the government to provide relief to the flood affected people has been disrupted due to the inefficiency and negligence in the part of relevant officials on one hand, and on the other hand due to the officials confining themselves to govt circulars. more..

China sheds reserve over Sri Lankan domestic issues

June 17 (ENS) China, which had a policy of turning a blind eye to SL’s domestic issues, whether it was the ethnic issue or that of governance, has now shed its reserve and has started commenting on them. The change has come about following the exit of the pro-China SL President Rajapaksa in Jan 2015. While under Rajapaksa, China had a free run of the island nation, it has been facing competition from the West and India more..

AG instructs CID: Take legal action against Thilina

June 17 (DN) Attorney General (AG) instructed the CID Director to take legal action against former Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage to produce him before a court for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence. The AG has given this instruction after taking into consideration the fact that the former Magistrate’s bail has been suspended by the Colombo High Court until June 21. On June 13, Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke issued an Interim Order more..

Pandemonium reigns in Aranayaka as landslide affected protest

June 17 (DN) Pandemonium reigned in Aranayaka when the landslide affected people in the area brought traffic to a standstill and protested when several ministers and state officials visited the area yesterday. After engaging in a protest march in the morning, the displaced protested opposite the Aranayaka District Hospital where a meeting was held with the participation of Ministers Kabir Hashim and Anura Priyadarashana Yapa, Chief Minister Mahipala Herath, former Deputy Minister more..

Video: Indonesian police fire warning shot as stranded Sri Lankan women disembark boat

June 17 (SMH) Police fired a warning shot into the air after a group of SL women who have been stranded off the coast of Aceh since June 11 disembarked from their boat in defiance of orders from Indonesian authorities. An eyewitness said the five women, who are among 44 Sri Lankans who claimed they were en route to Australia when they suffered engine trouble, had earlier pleaded that a child they said was sick more..

Customs Union wants seized narcotics destroyed

June 17 (CT) The ACCSU has requested President Sirisena to destroy the stocks of illegal drugs, detained by the Customs, in the presence of Customs officers as it would then serve as in preventing such stocks falling into the hands of big-time drug smugglers. ACCSU Secretary J.A. Gunathilaka, submitting a letter to President, had noted that the public were curious to know as to what happens to the large illegal drug stocks regularly taken into custody by the Customs. more..

Police on trail of 24 containers

June 17 (CT) Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) has begun inquiries to determine where 24 container loads of sugar had been removed from the ship which brought a consignment of sugar in which cocaine valued at Rs 2 billion had been concealed. The container holding bags of sugar in which the Rs 2 billion cocaine haul was made had been detected by PNB officials at the Orugodawatta Container Yard last Tuesday. PNB sources told this paper that suspicions had been raised as to how more..

IT professionals join docs in opposing ETCA

June 17 (Island) Society of IT Professionals yesterday announced that it would join hands with the GMOA to conduct a signature campaign opposing the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). Secretary of the Society Lasantha Wickramasinghe said the govt was hell bent on signing the agreement and if it was signed the country would the risk of large scale brain drain. more..

Open the gates for the cow

June 17 (DM) Despite widespread criticism on the failure to reduce the cost of living and prosecute former VIPs allegedly involved in large scale corruption, National Unity Govt is actively engaged in two creditable achievements -- making Sri Lanka a Wasa Wisa Nethi country and providing fresh milk to schoolchildren. In May this year, President Sirisena personally launched a national programme to grow all the nourishing food we need without the use of imported agro-chemicals, more..

What made Wigneswaran ask students to learn Sinhala?

June 17 (DM) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran who has been provoking the Southern politicians and the Sinhalese people for the past few years with his extremist actions and remarks has given the Tamil students a remarkable conciliatory advice at a function in Jaffna recently. He had said that communities must learn each other’s language so that mutual understanding could be built among them and had advised the students to learn the Sinhala language. more..

RTI Act: Every public institution will be legally bound to provide information

June 17 (DM) Right to Information Act is to be debated in Parliament on the 23rd June. The subject has been criticised by the general public. Responding to the disapproval the Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana said the criticisms were baseless and had been made without a clear understanding of the draft. He also said that although the govt could not introduce the Act during the period promised, more..

Cabraal’s Greek gifts fail to bear fruit

June 17 (DM) The infamous Nazi adage – “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed”, is attributed to Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897–1945) Adolf Hitler’s Propaganda Minister in Nazi Germany. Goebbels was the spin doctor of the Nazi regime and helped Hitler in no mean measure to take Germany into a darker age. Likewise former Governor of the Central Bank – Ajith Nivard Cabraal went beyond his mandate to safeguard more..

TN fishermen can fund Kachchativu church construction but can't build it

June 17 (ENS) TN fishermen are welcome to make financial contributions for the reconstruction and expansion of St.Anthony’s church on Kachchativu, but they cannot participate in the actual building of the shrine, its priest, Fr.Jayaranjan, said. Reacting to TN’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demand that Indian PM Narendra Modi should intervene to see that Tamil Nadu fishermen participate in the construction more..

Service for downtrodden masses would never be forgotten!

June 17 (LT) Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe, who had to hide in the wilderness, spend his time in prisons or live abroad under very trying conditions, fulfilled a very magnanimous task. For, he dedicated himself, without any consideration for his own life, for the elevation of the JVP on behalf of the downtrodden masses of this country who have been deprived of justice and fair play. Leadership task he carried out amidst more..

'Aluthgamage’s COPE nomination shows JO’s bankruptcy'

June 17 (DN) The nomination of MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage to the COPE demonstrates Joint Opposition’s bankruptcy, Minister Palitha Range Bandara said. The overwhelming majority in the JO has various charges against them. “They have nominated a rogue to catch the rest of the rogues” he opined. However, he said the appointment of MP Aluthgamage would not disrupt COPE activities as COPE work as a team. more..

Mrs Walpola and the Kattadiya: The passion that ended in tragedy

June 17 (ST) Exorcists the world over are known to drive out evil spirits from those known to be possessed. However, one of their tribe was different: he turned evil and allegedly killed his paramour, all because she did not pay him a million rupees after the sale of land. For carrying out this gruesome act, this kattadiya, as exorcists are better known in Sri Lanka, did not use any item from the black arts. Instead, he used a grenade. more..

UNDP encouraged by emphasis on implementation of official languages policy

June 17 (CG) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says it is encouraged by the continued emphasis placed by the Govt of Sri Lanka on the implementation of the Official Languages Policy. A new language laboratory was ceremonially opened by the Minister Mano Ganesan together with the UNDP at the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) in Agalawatte. more..

Indonesia to escort Sri Lankan asylum seekers to international waters

June 17 (AP) Authorities in the Indonesian province of Aceh are preparing to tow a boat with more than 40 Tamil men, women and children out to sea Friday after rescuing it last weekend. It would be the second attempt in the past week to remove the vessel from Indonesian waters after it suffered engine trouble and was discovered stranded last Saturday. The migrants have been at sea for about a month and were trying to more..

IMF report spotlight on controversial bond deal

June 17 (EN) An IMF staff report highlighted a controversial bond auction in March 2016, where the Central Bank sold large volumes of long tenor bonds, after offering small volumes. "The govt bond market also became volatile in late March, as the CB initially announced issuance of Rs 40 billion in Treasury bonds, but instead issued bonds of Rs 80 billion at a higher rate than that prevailing in the secondary market," more..

Sri Lanka port city becomes financial city, new deal by August: PM

June 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s port city construction will be converted to a financial city with a new agreement which is expected to be signed by August with China Harbour Engineering Company. Officially announcing the lifting of EU fishing ban, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the port city land will be given on a 99-year lease basis. “We will convert the port city to a financial city filling the gap between Singapore and Dubai,” more..

National policy on trade agreements a must

June 17 (CT) Recently, the GMOA launched a campaign to urge the govt to formulate a national policy regarding international trade agreements. GMOA, one of the most powerful trade unions in the country which has been very active in the campaign against the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) proposed to be signed with India, has initiated signing an online petition urging the govt to formulate a national policy regarding international trade agreements. more..

Moral Crusader Journeys Into Duplicity

June 17 (CT) Today’s world in the West is marked by currents of secular fundamentalism mounting campaigns against paedophiles, smoking, corruption and crimes against humanity. The humanitarian campaign directed at war crimes has on occasions promoted a strange phenomenon: where people of ethical stance indulge in outright lies as well as the massaging of facts. When Amnesty International, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (Sydney) and such moral crusaders more..


Sivajilingam flays Bathiudeen for discrimination against Tamils

June 17 (Island) M.K. Sivajilingam, a former Chairman of Velvettithurai UC, alleged that there were more than twenty corporations and statutory bodies under Rishard Bathiudeen’s Ministry but not a single Tamil had been appointed either as Chairman or as Managing Director in any of those bodies under him. "He has appointed only relatives and friends from his community. Aren’t there competent Tamils to be appointed to lead any of these institutions? more..