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Will MS, RW follow Filipino Prez? Namal

June 17 (DM) UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa questioned if President or PM would consider replacing the luxury vehicles for Cabinet ministers with cheaper vehicles following the footsteps of newly elected Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte. “Wonder if the PM or the President will consider a similar option for Sri Lanka?” the MP tweeted. As part of austere style of governance, incoming Philippines President Duterte had planned to replace luxury sedans with cheaper cars more..

US fears military uprising in Sri Lanka?

June 17 (CT) Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has advised the Sri Lanka Govt on how to implement proposals of the UNHRC. On China's unqualified support for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, which annoys the world human rights lobby, Ambassador Yi Xianliang said that China is against outside interference in domestic affairs. He also advised Sri Lankan leaders to see that the reconciliation mechanisms suggested by the UNHRC do not themselves create new conflicts. more..

Magistrate orders Police to arrest students who defied order against protest

June 17 (AM) Fort Magistrate Court ordered the Fort Police to arrest any university students who had defied the court order against their protest on Wednesday. This order was given by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne when the case against three students arrested on Wednesday was taken up. Police had obtained an order prohibiting students from proceeding beyond the Ceramic Junction towards the Presidential Secretariat. However, according to the submission by the police, more..

Sri Lanka Cultural Evening at the Seoul Grand Park

June 17 (GDI) Sri Lanka Embassy in Korea and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotional Bureau in association with the Seoul Grand Park organized a Sri Lanka Cultural Evening including celebration of the Birthday of the two Sri Lankan elephants donated to the Seoul Grand Park in 2010 by Govt of Sri Lanka on Saturday (11) at the Seoul Grand Park. The objective of the event was to share various aspects of Sri Lankan culture with Korean visitors to the Seoul Grand Park, including children. more..

Sri Lanka to modernize fishing industry with lifting of EU ban

June 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka said on Friday that the local fisheries industry is to be modernized with lifting of a ban by the European Union (EU) on fisheries products from Sri Lanka. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a statement Norwegian assistance has been sought to modernize the fisheries industry. PM appreciated the role played by the Foreign Ministry, Fisheries Ministry and others to lift the ban on fisheries products from Sri Lanka to the EU. more..

Sri Lankan shares edge up; turnover slumps to 19-wk low

June 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged up on Friday from a more than seven-week closing low hit in the previous session as investors picked up beaten down shares of companies such as conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc. The gains were however capped by concerns over a government proposal to reintroduce capital gains tax, brokers said. Turnover hit a 19-week low as investor sentiment took a hit on continued foreign fund outflows and rising interest rates, dealers said. more..

Man, who threatened President, PM on FB, files complaint with HRC

June 17 (DM) Sugath Kumara Lakmana, the individual who was arrested on charges of threatening President Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe through social media, has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission yesterday saying he was illegally arrested and detained in Malaysia. Speaking to the media outside the Commission, Lakmana said that the CID arrested him on April 22 in Malaysia and detained him for five days prior to extraditing him to Sri Lanka. more..

Jayalalithaa writes to PM Modi over latest arrest of fishermen by Lanka

June 17 (PTI) Taking up the latest detention of three Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today appealed to PM Narendra Modi to take steps to secure the release of all 24 fishermen and 93 boats under Lankan custody at the earliest. She also requested the PM to evolve a permanent and pragmatic solution to end their woes. Three fishermen in their mechanised fishing boat from Pudukottai District more..

Rs.20 Mn worth of Heroin seized

June 17 (DM) Rs.20 million worth of heroin in packets of varying weights was seized by the Panadura Divisional Law Enforcement Unit and the Kalutara Divisional Crime Investigation Unit at Wellawatta, Panadura and Wadduwa last night. Five people including a former navy commando and two females were arrested while a car, a three-wheeler and a motorbike used by the suspects were taken into custody by the police. Police recovered215grammes of heroin worth Rs.18 million from Wellawatta, more..

UNP warns will not remain silent if pushed to the limit

June 17 (CG) The UNP warned that it will not remain silent if it is pushed to the limit when carrying out work for the public. UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim said that some elements are testing the patience of the UNP and attempting to confront the ‘elephant’. He warned that the UNP will confront anyone who makes an attempt to derail the development program of the UNP led Govt. Hashim also said that the UNP and SLFP and working together in the best interest of the Nation more..

China to help developing northern Sri Lanka

June 17 (Xinhua) Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang pledged to push forward ties with Sri Lanka by assisting development of the former war zone in the Tamil-dominated north, a Chinese Embassy official said. During a four-day visit to Northern Province, the ambassador met with Chief Minister Wigneswaran and Northern Governor Reginald Cooray, saying that China stood ready to offer assistance to Sri Lanka and the province. Ambassador Yi noted that China and SL more..

Judges refuse to hear Thilina Gamage case

June 17 (CT) The Judicial Service Commission has informed the CID that the case featuring former Magistrate Thilina Gamage relating to allegations he had kept an elephant calf illegally, will be called before a District Court and not before a Magistrate's Court. As a result, CID officers who went to the Nugegoda Magistrate's Court yesterday had to turn back and head for the Nugegoda District Court. The CID was informed by Additional Magistrate Anushka Seneviratne last morning that more..

Minister gives homily on mobile phone use

June 17 (DN) Proper use of the mobile phone is an art which should be practised by all, especially the present generation, said Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. President Sirisena can be described as the only person who used the mobile phone properly. People should take a leaf from him regarding the proper use of the mobile phone, he said. The minister made these remarks at a discussion at his ministry when the mobile phone of a participant started ringing disrupting the proceedings of more..

Video: Basil, S.M. Ranjith at PRECIFAC today

June 17 (DM) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and former North-Central Province Chief Minister S.M. Ranjith have been summoned by the PRECIFAC today over two separate incidents. A spokesman for the commission said Mr. Rajapaksa was asked to report to the commission at 2 p.m. to give a statement over the alleged misappropriation of funds belonging to Economic Development Ministry. Mr. Rajapaksa was questioned by the PRECIFAC on several occasions over the matter. more..

Video: Now Sri Lanka’s challenge is to consolidate the progress made: EU

June 17 (AD) The European Union (EU) says that although the ban imposed on fisheries exports from Sri Lanka has now been lifted, there is more to be done and that the challenge for Sri Lanka is to consolidate the progress that has been made. EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, David Daly, stated that the decision to lift the ban on exports of fisheries from Sri Lanka to the European market comes as a result of a huge amount of effort and work which has been done by Sri Lanka. more..

Over two million devotees expected at Atamasthana and Mihintale for Poya

June 17 (DN) The National Poson Festival will be held centering Anuradhapura Atamasthana, Mihintale and Thanthirimale sacred cities with state patronage. A Poson Week has also been declared from June 16 to 22. Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said measures have already been taken to extend many facilities including food, water, sanitary, health, etc to devotees who will arrive in Mihintale and Anuradhapura for Poson with the assistance of both govt and private sector institutions. more..

President, PM non-committal on Mahendran at powwow

June 17 (EN) President and PM side stepped calls Friday by good governance activists who urged the termination of controversial Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran. A participant at Friday's closed-door talks at the Presidential Secretariat said both leaders did not indicate what they planned to do when Mahendran's term ends this month. "We talked about bribery, corruption and the Central Bank Governor," the source told Economynext. more..

Central Bank to sell US$ 250mn development bonds

June 17 (LBO) The Central Bank will issue 250 million US dollars development bonds with a tenor of 1 year and 7 months, 2 years and 7 months and 4 years to local and foreign investors. The Debt Department said the subscription will be at a floating rate of 6 month LIBOR for USD plus a margin through competitive bidding or at a fixed rate to be determined through competitive bidding. Minimum investment is US$ 10,000 with additional investments in multiples of US$ 10,000. more..

President should consult us: Digambaram

June 17 (DM) National Workers Congress Leader and Minister P Digambaram said President Maithripala Sirisena should consult govt politicians representing the estate sector before giving any ministerial posts to Arumugam Thondaman who is tipped to crossover to the govt. “There is a moral obligation for the President to consult us before making a decision to take Mr Thondaman to the govt fold as it was we who worked for him at the presidential elections. more..

GMOA to take legal action if SAITM graduates granted provisional registration

June 17 (DM) GMOA told Minister Rajitha Senaratne that it would take legal action if the SAITM students said to have passed the MBBS degree are granted provisional registration. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath had in a letter to the minister asked him not to interfere in the work of the SL Medical Council. While condemning the efforts made by those who backed SAITM, Dr. Herath said they still believed Health Minister would not safeguard such enterprises. more..

Strong Sri Lankan delegation headed to global entrepreneurship Summit 2016

June 17 (SLE) Sri Lankan fashion designer Yasisurie Kiribandara, founder of Yasisurie Pvt. Ltd, has been selected by the U.S. Embassy to join four other entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 at Stanford University in California next week. The summit will serve as a forum for top entrepreneurs and executives from Silicon Valley to share their experiences and ideas with entrepreneurs from around the world. more..

Sri Lankan company R&D tax breaks go a-begging

June 17 (EN) Sri Lankan companies have been given generous tax breaks to encourage research and development but the incentives are hardly used, an energy expert said. The govt has given a very attractive 300% tax rebate on R&D aimed at encouraging more corporate research and innovation. But Tilak Siyambalapitiya, Energy Consultant at Resource Management Associates (Pvt) Ltd., said only a few firms were known to be claiming the tax credit and the phenomena was not widespread. more..

Other taxes likely to be removed except for VAT: Eran

June 17 (DM) Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said the Govt was gradually removing the various taxes imposed on goods and services so that in future the taxation would be restricted to the Value Added Tax (VAT). He said most of the countries were imposing VAT, which has been termed as a progressive form of taxation. He said the previous Govt had imposed various taxes under different names but those taxes were being removed and only the VAT would remain. more..

Evidence of Rajapaksa (State) sponsorship of hate

June 18 (CT) Two years have passed since the pogrom of Aluthgama, the black June for the Muslims in Sri Lanka. Yahapalanaya Govt has done sweet nothing for those affected by extremist violence in Aluthgama and Beruwela. Demands for a commission of inquiry on religious hate and to punish the perpetrators have fallen on deaf years. Govt is only interested in appeasing the international community in Geneva with regard to the conflict in the North. more..

Smallholder farmers vulnerable to climate change

June 18 (CT) SL and its people are feeling impacts of climate change. With changes in rain intensity, floods and with slow onset impacts of climate change such as droughts, as well as increased temperature levels, and impacts of scarcity of water, or losses due to too much water from floods, we feel the daily impacts of climate change. These impacts increase already existing vulnerabilities, making those communities already impacts due to social and economic hardships to experience more..

Somawansa Amarasinghe: Some recollections from our political journeys

June 18 (GV) Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe since joining the JVP in 1969, had been committed at that time to the political line of the JVP. I understand that while he was held in custody in Welikada prison for the April 1971 uprising, he had become estranged from the politics of the JVP. However, when he had been transferred to Jaffna prison later, he had apparently been self-critical about his political deviation. more..

Emergence of Dasun Shanaka has sent a strong word or two

June 18 (Island) The national cricket team has only given pain and heartbreak to their unwavering supporters in the last 12 months. Batting collapses, unfit and fat fast bowlers, lethargic fielding displays have been all too common in the last year. The arrival of a few young players has excited the fans. There’s a feeling that the team’s future is in good hands. Young Kusal Mendis with his attacking style impressed many during the Test series against England while Nuwan Pradeep looked deadly more..

Defending friends at heavy political cost

June 18 (NS) It is perfectly normal for ordinary people to defend their friends irrespective of whether they are right or wrong. But can the leaders of a country afford to do so? This is the question that often comes to one’s mind whenever top ministers of the govt show that they are ready to defend the beleaguered Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran at whatever the political cost. Mahendran has been accused of profiting out of a govt bond transaction in collusion with his more..

War crimes probe Incoherence as a strategy

June 18 (CT) Most people are under the misconception that SL's dominant political conflict of our days saw its end with the elimination of the LTTE in May 2009, although, as is often the case, the truth is far from it. The military defeat of the LTTE was but one step towards the resolution of the conflict, albeit a crucial one. However, how much the military defeat of the LTTE would contribute towards the final resolution more..

Editorial: Double trouble

June 18 (Island) President Sirisena had the courage to make a firm decision when the issue of a third term for the then President Rajapaksa came up. He took a calculated risk and ruined the latter’s chances of becoming President again. But, he is dilly-dallying on the question of Central Bank (CB) Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s second term. As if the worries caused by Mahendran in Colombo were not enough, he now has a problem caused by Sumanthiran in Washington to contend with. more..

What moral right has JO to lend its support?

June 18 (Island) What moral right has the Joint Opposition to lend its support, participate in the constitution making initiated by this govt? No one has so far brought out this basic question. Thereby the JO has made the vast masses that opposed this regime into acquiescing and endorsing it without a whimper of protest. This inaction influenced by the attitude of the Joint Opposition has given legitimacy to this rogue regime to carry out their fraudulent exercise unhampered. more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Ireland seek reboot after false start to summer

June 18 (CI) Two months ago in Dublin, Cricket Ireland unveiled an ambitious scheme in which it sought to rid the game of its elitist perception and become, by 2020, a mainstream sport to rank alongside the Emerald Isle's big three: rugby, football and GAA. Nobody expects it to be an overnight process, least of all coming at a time - ten years on from their maiden ODI - when many of the players who have carried the side so far, so quickly, are coming to the end of their careers. more..

Geneva sessions a tight rope walk

June 18 (CT) It was nine months ago at the UNHRC a consensus resolution on accountability for the alleged human rights violations during the final phase of the civil war in SL was adopted and the resolution was sponsored by the US, UK and SL along with certain other countries. Establishing a credible judicial process with the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign legal experts to form a hybrid judicial mechanism to probe into the alleged war crimes remains a key feature more..

Dawn of the age of Luxury Lanka

June 18 (Island) There is a new theme emerging in the task of constitution making. "Surely, there can’t be anything other than Yahapalanaya or Good Governance, as it is so often described, said Conman Yahapal. "Don’t you see that yahapalana is on the retreat and rapidly at that; so how can that be the theme of the new constitution?" asked Vyavastha Rathna. ‘But isn’t that what the people voted for – creating all that noise about more..

Lessons to be learnt from Salawa fiasco

June 18 (SL) Massive explosion occurred at Kosgama army camp caused only one death and people raised suspicion because none can believe it. But we should be actually thankful that the blast caused only one death. Giving a comment to Lankadeepa, wife of the deceased army soldier said that her husband had called her and said that several soldiers were trapped at a nearby place to the armoury. If the soldier got killed in the blast, what happened to others who were trapped? more..

Sri Lanka reneges

June 18 (TS) The ethnic problem in Sri Lanka defies solution as Colombo has gone back on the resolution it co-sponsored with the USA at the 31st session of the UNHRC in Geneva. The resolution required Sri Lanka to take a number of measures, including the setting up of a credible justice process with the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges and defence lawyers, to investigate allegations of violence and abuses of human rights during the 30-year-long civil war. more..

Thilina Gamage case: Gangodawila Court Registrar noticed

June 18 (DM) Colombo High Court directed the Gangodawila Magistrate's Court Registrar to immediately forward the case file -- on the inquiry in which former magistrate Thilina Gamage is charged with the rearing of an elephant in contravention of the Public Property and Fauna and Flora Act -- to the Colombo High Court. This order was given by HC Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka when a motion filed by Counsel J.M. Paumi more..

Manjula to attempt Olympic qualifying standards at Nationals in July

June 18 (Island) National high jump record holder Manjula Kumara said that he would make the best use of the forthcoming National Athletics Championship in a bid to achieve qualifying standards for the 2016 Rio Olympics. 2004 Athens Olympic participant was unlucky not to have achieved the qualifying standards for the last two Olympics. Despite being in form Manjula missed the qualifying mark during qualifying periods ahead of the last two Olympics. more..

Writ against trawling and purse seine nets

June 18 (FT) The Court of Appeal on 15 June fixed to be mentioned on 29 June the Writ Petition of fisher-folks complaining of trawling and other harmful nets such as purse seine (dragnet) nets lamenting that these are destroying the livelihood of nearly 2.5.million fisher-folk families. The matter was taken up before the Bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda and Devika Thennakoon. Purse seine is named as such because along the bottom are a number of rings. more..