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RTI bill unanimously passed in Parliament without a vote

June 24 (CG) Right To Information (RTI) bill was unanimously passed in Parliament today without a vote being taken. RTI bill was passed at the end of the second day of a two day debate. Parliament yesterday began debating the amended RTI bill. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said the amended bill was submitted to Parliament after extensive discussions with several political parties and civil society. more..

Six nabbed with heroin worth Rs 12 million

June 24 (AD) Six suspects including two women have been arrested with a haul of more than 1 kg of heroin following two separate raids carried out by the Police Narcotics Bureau last night. In a drug bust carried out in the Wellampitiya area police officers had arrested two women and two men along with around 600g of heroin. Two three-wheelers in their possession were also taken into custody. In a separate operation carried out by Narcotics sleuths 2 suspects were arrested more..

Traffic violation fines to be increased

June 24 (DN) Fines for traffic and road rule violations are to be increased soon, Assistant Commissioner of Motor Traffic Department J.S. Jayaweera said. There are six million registered vehicles in SL at the moment and 4.5 million of them are on the roads. Half of them are motor bicycles and one fourth of them are three wheelers. Only the three wheel drivers who undergo the special two day training will be allowed to sit for written exam to issue three wheeler driving license. more..

Sri Lanka to sign trade pact with UK; Defends stand it took on backing UK in EU

June 24 (CG) Govt today backed the decision it took to support the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union (EU). Deputy Minister Dr. Harsh de Silva said that the decision was taken in the best interest of SL’s economy. He said that SL’s future has a dependence on the world economy especially since Sri Lanka is looking to export apparel to the EU under GSP trade concession scheme to which Britain is also a member. more..

Sri Lanka business chamber says Britain’s EU exit could hit trade, loans

June 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s exports to Britain and the European Union could be affected by Britain’s exit from the EU and the island’s borrowing costs could rise, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. But the full impact on international trade would take time to be felt with negotiations around the terms of Britain’s new engagement with Europe likely to take a couple of years, it said. “The effect of Britain’s EU referendum results on international financial markets would be a key channel of impact for SL, more..

Over 70 killed on pedestrian crossings last year

June 24 (DN) 72 persons died in accidents on pedestrian crossings last year while 229 persons travelling in three wheelers died during the same period. Of this, 23 were children below five years, DIG Amarasiri Senaratne said. He that the majority of three wheeler drivers tamper with the lock to give more flexibility to the steering wheel of the three wheeler. He said the he three wheeler can make a U turn very quickly and easily in a small space once the lock is tampered with. more..

Joint Opposition protest march against Mahendran

June 24 (DM) A chaotic situation prevailed as the Joint Opposition demonstrated and staged a protest march demanding the resignation of CB Governor Arjun Mahendran accused of a bond scam and for the cancellation of the recent tax hikes. Its MPs, along with their supporters, assembled at the Lakehouse Junction and proceeded towards the Central Bank building shouting slogans. However, the protest march was barricaded. more..

BIA attack trial to begin in July after 15 years

June 24 (DM) The hearing of the Katunayaka Air base attack by the LTTE that damaged and destroyed 40 aircraft, helicopters and Airbuses in July 24, 2001 was fixed for July 29, 2016, the Colombo High Court Judge said today. The accused, who were indicted with 311 charges for conspiring between October 01, 2000 and July 24, 2001 to destroy fighter aircraft at the Airport attack were Ratnasingham Pushpakumaran alias Ponnadurei Nirmala Ranjan alias Masoor, more..

UNP App to take country foward

June 24 (DN) As the UNP turns 70 this September, its leadership is looking at innovative ways to reach out to young voters who could impact the long term sustainability of the party. “The country cannot go forward without the UNP,” said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as he launched mobile application UNP App which allows users to obtain an electronic membership from the party for a sum of Rs 20. “I say to the youth, come join us and take the party forward. Our time is soon coming to an end, more..

Have top officials protected drug lords?

June 24 (CT) National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) Chairman Prof. Ravindra Fernando accused his predecessor Dr. Chamira Sumathipala of not leaving behind documentary or other evidence of a controversial list of narco-traffickers, which he has claimed to have compiled during his tenure in office. The lack of this information is seriously impeding our investigations, Professor Fernando said. more..

Monks keeping jumbos must disrobe: WCF

June 24 (CT) The Chief Prelates must disrobe monks, who are alleged to be keeping elephants captured without a permit, said the representative of the Wildlife Conservation Forum (WCF), Nayanaka Ranwella at a press briefing. Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Justice, Hemantha Withanage, assured that despite various allegations, they were not against elephants being used for various cultural and Buddhist practices. more..

Sri Lanka maintains policy rate at 8%

June 24 (EN) Central bank said that it is keeping unchanged at 8%, its Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR), the policy rate at which cash in injected to the banking system. Central Bank Monetary Board also decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) unchanged at 6.5%. Credit extended to the private sector by commercial banks grew by 28.1% in April 2016 on a year-on-year basis, although in absolute terms, disbursements in April 2016 were limited to Rs. 27.4 billion more..

400 Tamils to join SL police force in August

June 24 (ENS) Over 400 Tamils will be joining the Sri Lanka Police after the completion of their training in August this year, the Minister of National Dialogue, Mano Ganeshan, said on Friday. Recruitment of Tamil policemen had become urgent after the end of Eelam War IV in 2009 and the coming to power of elected governments in the Tamil-speaking Eastern and Northern Provinces in 2008 and 2013 respectively. more..

Appointing a new governor for Central Bank!

June 25 (CT) Why the appointment of the Governor of the Central Bank is so important? I kindly invite you to think about it for a little moment before you read this brief essay. My enlightened view is that, if the country got a competent governor for the central bank, I do not care who is being elected to be the President or PM of the country when it comes to the issue of the economy and its growth. Why do I say so? It is because, the governor of the central bank is the only man in our governmental system more..

Narcotics problem worsening by the day

June 25 (CT) Today drug business is the most lucrative business, in the past it was only a few kilos of drugs that were being peddled, but today it is happening in billions of rupees and is in the international market in Europe and Asia. The tobacco company burns all the cartons of illicit FAGS. The people should know what happens to the large consignments of heroin and cannabis that are seized. In 1997 when Anti Narcotics Association conducted a survey on drug menace more..

'Every one will enjoy the freedom of expression with the RTI act'

June 25 (SL) Since it is unclear what type of economic data that the phrase severe harm to Sri Lanka’s economy really means, this has to be discussed to determine whether it could limit even the economic data thus far released by the Treasury and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, point out analysts while stating that some could argue that certain data released even now may cause severe harm to the country’s economy. more..

Understanding the needs and aspirations of post-conflict Sri Lanka

June 25 (GV) There have been numerous debates along the lines of Sri Lanka’s ability to deliver Transitional Justice (TJ), how the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) should approach the TJ process and the people’s right to know, yet little is known about Sri Lankans’ attitude towards restorative justice. The way Sri Lankans evaluate TJ measures is clearly determined by their ability to understand not only the recent past in general and key historical events, but also the root-causes of the ethnic conflict. more..

Brexit: The end of Great Britain

June 25 (Island) Britain was for long refusing to admit the reality of the loss of its greatness with the steady decline of its colonial territories since World War 2. Now the British voters themselves have put an end to Great Britain - by voting to leave the Euopean Union. Britain is now only another island, certainly with a history of interest, but nothing of greatness about it. Nigel Farage leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party – UKIP- who was in the lead of the leave EU campaign, more..

When AG steps in on a Jumbo decision

June 25 (SL) The verdict given in favour of former Colombo Additional Magistrate Thilina Gamage to grant him bail was suspended by Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyasekera on June 13, after considering a revision application filed by Attorney General (AG). Previously, the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Court had granted bail to the former additional magistrate accused of illegal possession of an elephant. more..

Chronic Kidney Disease persists!

June 25 (DN) The common viewpoint is that agrochemicals are the cause of CKDu, but is there tangible evidence for it? On the other hand, CKDu or not agrochemical pollution is a serious matter and the govt’s concern and the public outcry against it is justifiable. However, all facets relating to agrochemicals, namely, their impact on food security, environmental pollution and people’s health should be examined in depth in making decisions. Highly prejudiced and emotional views on more..

Editorial: A journey into the unknown

June 25 (Island) The UK’s decision to pull out of the European Union (EU) after more than four decades has sent shock waves across the world as expected. It has met with shock and dismay across both the channel and the Atlantic. International financial markets plunged and the pound tumbled. British PM David Cameron, whose luck ran out at a crucial juncture, announced that he would quit in a few months. Having danced down the track and been stumped, he is now in the same predicament more..


Balancing the scales Mini Hydro Development vs. Environment

June 25 (DN) In reference to the article Mini Hydro - Power Projects and Human Issues appearing on May 30 on the Daily News, it is evident that the author’s argument has neglected to discuss several aspects of the present situation. While trying to reconcile the opposing elements of development and environment, facts and figures have blurred to support inaccurate claims. Attempting to present scientific evidence, the author has failed to distinguish fact from fiction more..

Reflections on self-determination, justice & peace in post-war Sri Lanka

June 25 (CT) I am deeply honoured by this invitation to deliver the Maamanithar Prof Christopher Jeyaratnam Eliezer’s memorial lecture for the year 2016. It will be pretentious for me in these preliminary remarks to claim an understanding Prof. Eliezer’s achievements in the field of mathematical physics. Despite coming from a family of physicists, physics or any of the natural sciences never rubbed off on me. Thankfully for me the reason why we are remembering Prof. Eliezer today more..

Somawansa Amarasinghe: A patriot who lost his way due to Marxism-Leninism?

June 25 (Island) I had a brief association with Somawansa Amarasinghe lasting less than a year when I started my journalistic career in the Niyamuwa central organ of JVP back in 1982. I flirted with the JVP student wing as a GCE A/L student at Ananda College and was fascinated by the analysis of the JVP. Any teenager just reading up on politics, would naturally be interested in the way JVP analysed things. more..

Ceiling on election expenditure, a must

June 25 (NS) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed in parliament to include in the constitution, a clause which will empower the legislature to control campaign expenditure of candidates and political parties in future elections. He has suggested that the parliament should have the power to curtail media advertising by individual candidates contesting elections or to impose a ceiling on such expenditure incurred by political parties. The matter has become relevant in the recent past more..

Sri Lanka hamstrung by Roy's roving run-out

June 25 (CI) Plenty of eyes were fixed on Angelo Mathews before the game, as he completed a series of sprints, shuttle runs and stretches to test his stiff hamstring. While he didn't appear to be running at full speed, Mathews was declared fit to play but not to bowl. A subsequent quick team shuffle saw off-spinner Suraj Randiv come into the side in place of Dasun Shanaka and although Mathews' contribution with the bat - he made 44 runs from 54 deliveries - was welcome, more..

Hales and Roy power England to record-breaking ten-wicket victory

June 25 (CI) A record opening stand has powered England to an overwhelming victory in the second ODI against England at Edgbaston. Alex Hales and Jason Roy both thrashed centuries as England completed a ten-wicket win with 95 balls remaining. It is just the sixth such victory England have achieved in their ODI history and the highest score against which any side has achieved it. It is the fifth time SL have been defeated by more..

Mahendran issue: Challenge to show integrity

June 25 (NS) Cricket matches sometimes end in thrilling finishes. At other times, they end in a tie, such as last Tuesday’s one day international with England, leaving both sides with some degree of satisfaction but deprived of victory. The recent controversy over CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran is somewhat similar. Mahendran completes his current tenure on June 30, as he was appointed only for the remainder of the period of office of former Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. more..

Record win for England and their highest partnership

June 25 (CI) 236: The previous highest successful run chase without losing any wicket in ODIs, by NZ against Zimbabwe in Harare last year. The previous highest successful chase for England without losing any wicket was 191 against Bangladesh at The Oval in 2005. In their last ODI at Edgbaston, against New Zealand in 2015, they scored their first total of 400-plus and won by 210 runs which is their largest win in terms of runs. 0: Number of higher partnerships for England for any wicket in ODIs, more..

CB Governor says not seeking reappointment

June 25 (FT) Under fire Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said he would not seek reappointment when his term ends next Thursday, after the Govt came under intense pressure to replace the controversial official. Governor Mahendran informed the Monetary Board, which is the legal authority that governs the Central Bank, that he would not be seeking reappointment until COPE reports on its findings related to more..

Bangladesh’s tour of SL likely in Feb 2017

June 25 (BDC) On June 19 in the directors’ committee meeting, Bangladesh’s international and domestic calendar for the forthcoming 2016/17 season was approved. And as per the calendar, Bangladesh are likely to travel Sri Lanka for a full bilateral series in February next year. According to the calendar, Bangladesh are supposed to tour India and play a one-off Test in the first week of February. Then from February 8 to March 7, Bangladesh may have a tour of Sri Lanka. more..

TVS Lanka records over Rs. 12 b in revenue

June 25 (Island) TVS Lanka recorded an impressive financial performance for the year ended 31st March 2016 by posting Rs.5.67 billion in revenues which reflects 79% growth over the previous year. Profit before tax grew by 91% over the corresponding year, reflecting a major turnaround for the company. TVS Lanka specializes in the Motor cycles, scooters, three-wheelers, spare parts and the lubricant business. Commenting on the company’s outstanding financial performance, more..

Toxic crude palm oil flows into Sri Lanka

June 25 (NS) Medical academia charged that since 2012, over 900 containers of crude palm oil containing toxic material had been imported from Malaysia by several leading private companies. Dr. Channa Jayasumana also added that said palm oil had been discarded in Malaysia following purification as it was deemed unfit for human consumption, and had subsequently been labelled by their Customs as crude palm oil. more..

Umpire's bizarre way of protecting himself

June 25 (NZH) Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford has caused a stir in England's second ODI against Sri Lanka in Birmingham. He took charge of the match at Edgbaston wearing a self-designed transparent forearm shield, which many viewers had never seen before. The keenest of cricket-watchers will know, however, that it's not the first time Oxenford has worn the custom-built apparatus. Oxenford for a T20 warm-up match between Australia and the West Indies in March. more..

Govt hiding behind technicalities: PUCL

June 25 (Hindu) Asked about the State’s stand on the issue, People’s Union for Civil Liberties general secretary V. Suresh said the position of Govt in urging the Madras High Court to reject the petition of Nalini amounted to hiding behind technicalities. “It is important to recognise that commutation and parole are two separate and distinct powers. Consultation with the Central Government is necessary only for commuting the sentence but not required for grant of parole. more..

Tough rules for raising tamed jumbos

June 25 (FT) In an attempt to prevent stealing of wild elephants for domestication, Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife is to lay down stringent measures for raising wild elephants. Illegal capture of wild elephants for domesticating for the use of religious ceremonies has stirred controversy in recent years. Some baby elephants captured from wild have been reported dead due to poor management of animals. more..

Serious and entertaining politicos

June 25 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena (thankfully he wanted all appellations such as His Honour and His Excellency deleted so that we can write easily) went to Japan on invitation to sit with the heads of the richest and most powerful seven countries of the world and met and chatted with all of them. He did not quite go, see and conquer, but he definitely cemented cordial relations forged earlier on and the country will benefit. We have already got concessions for the garment industry more..

HMAS Perth makes goodwill visit to Colombo

June 25 (FT) Royal Australian Navy Anzac class frigate, HMAS Perth, arrived in Colombo on Sunday 19 June for a five-day goodwill visit. Whilst in Sri Lanka, sailors from Perth will practice boarding and anti-narcotic operations with the Sri Lanka Navy and undertake several professional, sporting, social and charity activities to build on the friendship and engagement between the Australian and Sri Lanka navies. HMAS Perth left from her home port in Western Australia on 7 June more..

Medical undergrads mount fresh protest against SAITM

June 25 (Island) Medical undergraduates yesterday held a demonstration opposite SL Medical Council, demanding that it withhold recognition to SAITM. Convener of Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee, said that SAITM had so far not been recognised by SLMC. It was preventing the passing out of its first batch, he said, adding that govt however was in a move to force SLMC to grant approval for SAITM students. more..