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The anatomy of corruption

June 3 (Island) I refer to the very thought provoking article written by Dr. Janaka Ratnasiri (Dr.J.R.) titled The economy and corruption- the nexus, appearing in the Island. Having worked in some of the most corrupt govt. institutions I would like to add a little to this, though volumes can be written. Before I proceed further, I would like to reveal the perception of corruption from the angle of those who take bribes. I once asked a senior officer in a department that I severed, why officers take bribes. more..

‘I was not drunk at the time’

June 3 (DN) JVP MP Vijitha Herath was at the centre of controversy this week, when he was arrested after meeting with an accident on Monday night. He had crashed into a telephone post in Rajagirya, after swerving to avoid a pedestrian. It was speculated that the MP was under the influence of alcohol, which he denied. He was released on bail after recording a statement. JVP MP insisted he had followed due process more..

Huawei invests US$9.2 bil in 2015 for R&D

June 3 (Island) As a leading ICT solutions and smart device provider and patent owner, Huawei invests heavily in research and development. In 2015 alone, Huawei invested US$9.2 billion, or 15% of its annual revenue, in the research and development of new technologies, new products, and wireless communications standards. Huawei’s substantial investment in R&D over the years has resulted in a large number of high-value patents. According to the statistics published by more..

100 Years of Sri Lanka Volleyball

June 3 (SO) The national game of Sri Lanka volleyball was introduced to the country a century ago. However, the origin of this sport is the United States of America. The honor of introducing this game to the world initially should go to William Mogen who was the Sports Director of the Association of American Young Men Christians of Holyoke in the region of Massachusetts. The volleyball which was introduced by Mogen in 1895 evolved itself throughout world year by year. more..

Sri Lanka drops Bus Rapid Transport proposal from Megapolis

June 3 (LBO) The transport committee of Western Megapolis has dropped an earlier proposal to introduce a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system due to reasons including inability to add additional bus lanes. The decision has been reached after analyzing a feasibility study by Moratuwa University which shows that the proposed BRT on Galle Road, for instance, will not be sustainable beyond 2025. more..

Korea Hyundai backed firm enters KKS Cement race with huge $450 mn pitch

June 3 (DN) In a new breakthrough in the ongoing revival saga of historic Kankesanthurai (KKS) cement project, a South Korean conglomerate of global scale said it is vying to clinch the mega Northern project. Interestingly, the Korean conglomerate is to enlist yet another gigantic Korean multinational for the required engineering services for the huge KKS project. “We shall bring in all the necessary machinery and technology and can start from scratch” more..

Mauritius Coat Guard Ship Barracuda arrives at the Port of Hambantota

June 3 (SLN) Offshore Patrol Vessel CGS Barracuda, belonging to the Mauritius Coat Guard, which is en route from Kolkata to Mauritius arrived at the Port of Hambantota on a replenishment visit today. The ship was ceremonially welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on her arrival. The Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander Rajneesh Dalal paid a courtesy call on the Commanding Officer of SLNS Ruhuna Captain Priyadarshana Senarathne at SLNS Ruhuna, more..

Sri Lankan professional bodies tolerating unethical conduct: SEC chief

June 3 (EN) Professional bodies and trade chambers in Sri Lanka were not taking action against unethical conduct of their members, undermining efforts to inculcate and enforce business ethics, the head of the capital markets regulator said. Proper implementation of business ethics in organizations can ensure maximization of lawful profits and effectively protect the interests of all stakeholders, said Thilak Karunaratne, chairman of SEC. more..

Funding for corruption: ‘SL to receive first tranche of US$ 1.5 bn IMF loan next week’

June 3 (Island) First tranche of the US$ 1.5 billion IMF loan facility to Sri Lanka is likely to be received by the country sometime next week, Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. "We are looking for a loan of as much as US$ 1.5 billion from the IMF as a seal of approval for the govt's policies, in order to help draw further foreign inflows and to cover up our import bill, he said. He said SL would be informed about the day on which the first tranche of the loan would be released." more..

Supreme Court to decide on petition challenging VAT on 22 June

June 3 (FT) Supreme Court yesterday fixed for support on 22 June the rights petitions challenging the intended imposition of additional liabilities pertaining to multi-stage tax called VAT and NBT. The Bench comprised Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justices Eva Wanasundera and Priyantha Jayawardane. Five petitions have been filed against the said intended imposition of taxes. Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, Maduruoya Dharmisiri Thero, Bengamuge Nalaka Thero, more..

Patriotic people urged to unite against govt as talks on MR’s security fail

June 3 (Island) Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka and NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera warned of dire consequences unless patriotic forces compelled the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition to reverse its agenda meant to appease Western powers and the govt of India. They urged members of all political parties represented in parliament as well as the masses to be vigilant of the Yahapalana leadership’s strategy. more..

Racing Driver wins case against former Minister and Sports DG

June 3 (CT) Racing driver Upulwan Serasinghe filed a writ application No. 315/2014 in the Court of Appeal against the then Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Director of Sports Ranjini Jayakody, for having conducted an illegal Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Association, Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS), in August 2014. At the instigation of certain influential individuals, presently under investigation in another case, the former minister and more..

CPC to request use of Hambantota oil terminal

June 3 (EN) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is planning to request the ports agency, which owns an oil terminal in the Southern port of Hambantota, to use the facility for oil imports, Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. "We have decided to ask Sri Lanka Ports Authority to give the terminal to us, so that we can use it for oil imports," he said. Hambantota could accommodate 100,000 tonne fuel carriers but only 40,000 tonne vessels are used to unload in Colombo at the moment. more..

Comprehensive strategies to resolve higher education issues: President

June 3 (PSL) President Sirisena said that the Govt will act according to a comprehensive strategy to resolve the issues that have arisen in the field of university education in the country. He made these remarks participating in the Convocation of the Uva-Wellassa University held at the BMICH. President pointed out that even though many criticisms were leveled against our country’s free education policy as well as for its procedures, more..

SL hoping for better luck, weather in London

June 3 (Island) The national cricket team arrived in London on Wednesday and will resume training on Saturday ahead of the third Test against England at Lord’s here in London starting on the 9th of June. The tourists have already lost the series having suffered defeats at Leeds and Chester-le-Street and another defeat here in London would make this Sri Lanka’s worst tour of England. The team’s worst performance in England so far is the 2-0 defeat they suffered in 2002. more..

Sri Lanka panel proposes Bill of Rights

June 3 (Hindu) The official committee on constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka has not been able to arrive at a consensus while making recommendations on several contentious areas such as the nature of state, national flag, religion, merger of provinces and land powers. Despite this, the 20-member committee has come up with an exhaustive Bill of Rights and provisions for curtailment of powers of the office of Governor, a subject that has been of great interest to more..

Shangri-La fire probed

June 3 (CT) DIG Southern Province D.D. Wickremaratne ordered an immediate probe to verify how a fire engulfed a straw covered hut within the Hambantota Resort and Spa at Mirijjawila moments after the new resort was declared open by President Sirisena on Wednesday. The resort is owned by Shangri-La's 5-star group. Sources said stray sparks from a firecrackers display may have ignited the fire after the opening ceremony. more..

Civil society speaks out for victim of ragging

June 3 (Island) A group of civil society organisations and some concerned individuals yesterday in a collective statement called for the safeguarding of the rights of the female undergraduate of the Kelaniya University, who had been subjected to ragging. The group found fault with the media for divulging the identity of the victim. It also urged the media to protect the identity of suspects in such circumstances as they, too, had a right to be presumed innocent till proven guilty. more..

Elephant calf found in uncovered drain recovering well: Veterinary surgeon

June 3 (DM) The four-month-old female elephant, who made the news after it was rescued from an uncovered drain situated close to the entrance to the Hambantota Port, is recovering well from an injury to one of its legs, Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home’s Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Vijitha Perera said yesterday. He said elephant calves were usually kept at the elephant transit home for about five years before they were released to the wild following rehabilitation. more..

Finance Ministry to nab illegal liquor as Rs. 36 b in revenue lost

June 3 (FT) The Govt loses around Rs. 36 billion per year due to non-remittance of excise taxes, the Head of the newly-set up unit to crack down illegal liquor breweries in the country said. Wing Commander (Rtd) Ravi Jayasinghe, Head, Prevention of Illegal Liquor Unit under the Ministry of Finance, said that the main aim of the unit was to raid illegal liquor breweries countrywide to increase the govt revenue. more..

Meepura Editor attacked

June 3 (CT) Freddie Gamage, Editor of the Meepura newspaper and Website and Convener of the Media Freedom Activists' Committee was attacked yesterday afternoon when he was returning after visiting the Negombo Municipal Council to gather facts for a news report. Two persons had arrived on a motorcycle sans number plates. The pillion rider had hit Gamage with an improvised club and fled. Gamage is the Convener of the Professional Websites Association. more..

Navy welcomes EP CM to Trinco Naval base

June 3 (DM) Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed, who publicly rebuked a naval officer during a function held at the Sampur Maha Vidyalaya, was welcomed by the Navy to the Naval Base in Trincomalee today. The Chief Minister arrived at the naval base to attend a luncheon with Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister S. Iswaran who is currently in the country. This was Mr. Ahamed‘s first visit to a naval base after the incident. more..

GMOA to keep close watch on amended list

June 3 (DN) More than 40 hospitals that were closed would open for the patients with the implementation of the Post Intern Doctors’ Appointment List to be amended again, GMOA stated. GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that Health Minister has agreed to accept the list of the GMOA and accepted there were flaws in the list prepared by the ministry officials. Officials said if the impending list would be contradictory to the list of the GMOA’s more..

GCE O/L no more a decisive hurdle: PM

June 3 (DM) The GCE O/L Exam will no longer be an exam which makes students pass or fail but an exam which merely promotes students to the next class in accordance with the new education system which this govt intends to introduce, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. “The students will be able to move on to the next class after they sit for the ordinary level exam. But few subjects will be made compulsory for those who intend to enter university after the A/L examination. more..

About 2,500 tonnes of garbage removed from flood-hit areas by yesterday evening

June 3 (Island) Over 2,500 tonnes of garbage collected from flood affected areas in Colombo within the last two days had been dumped at the Kolonnawa refuse heap, Provincial Councils and Local Govt Ministry said. It said the removal of garbage piling up in flood affected areas had commenced on Wednesday and an operating centre had also been established at the T.B. Ilangarathna Stadium, Angoda. Over 2500 tonnes of waste material have been removed from more..

Wijeyadasa castigates Rajitha’s son for hurling barbs at govt doctors

June 3 (Island) Justice Minister Dr Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, castigated UNP MP Chathura Senaratne for being harshly critical of the GMOA battling his father, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne over post-intern appointments. He said MP Senaratne shouldn’t have made derogatory statements about members of the GMOA under any circumstances. Justice Minister was responding to a query in the wake of the GMOA declaring more..

Mr. Wijeratne, buzz off with your traffic tax

June 3 (DM) With traffic snarls sounding alarm horns louder than ever before, the National Govt has announced long and short term plans to ease the congestion. In a short term project, two elevated highways will be built linking Colombo city with Kelaniya and Rajagiriya. According to Ministry of Highways, one of these elevated highways will cover 6.9 km and link the Kelaniya bridge with Rajagiriya. The second highway covering 5.8 km will connect the Kelaniya bridge with the Colombo Port. more..

Wigneswaran's proposed political marriage to Jajalalithaa

June 3 (DM) C V Wignesvaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, is a retired Supreme Court Judge. As much as his judiciary judgements would one day be called for ultimate arbitration by history, one would also expect his political judgements shall stand the test of time and history. A man who was catapulted into politics on the backs of a defeated people, a scholar of no mean criteria, this Northern pundit seems to have unfortunately bartered his scholarship with the squalor of TN politics. more..

'Interim committees are a curse in sports'

June 3 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), a profit-making giant back in the day, has been plagued with allegation of corruption. While some employees have complained that they were not being paid bonuses, the SLC will be spending lavishly in launching Cricket Aid, its charitable arm in aid of flood victims and patients suffering from chronic kidney disease this weekend in London. The event is expected to drain a considerable amount of money from contributions made by more..

Avant Garde breathes fire

June 3 (SL) Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi claims that the govt forcibly signed the agreement to take over naval operations that had been under Avant Garde for five years. He claims that taking over the operations is illegal, and he has filed a case against the takeover. Avant Garde claims to have brought in US$ 6.8 and US$ 10 million dollars during some months. But during the period the Navy was handling more..

‘Shangri-La to invest more’

June 3 (DN) Sri Lanka which is economically growing fast has great potential and Shangri-La will bring in more investments to the country, said Kuok Meng Xiong - Chairman of the hotel, Sri Lanka. In an exclusive interview after opening their US$ 125 million Shangri-La Resort and Spa near the Hambantota Harbour he said that their second property, Shangri-La, Colombo would open in less than 14 months. more..

Solutions under our nose for better crisis co-ordination

June 3 (ST) For the past few years, Sri Lankans have been receiving text messages on their mobile phones from their President, wishing them a happy New Year in all three languages. The messages have irritated some, who see it as an invasion of privacy. These messages, though, make it clear that a mechanism exists whereby text messages can be sent to large segments of the population. more..

Fuel wastage: No extra charge on commuters, says NTC

June 3 (DN) The National Transport Commission (NTC) yesterday said it will not allow any extra charge or charges to be imposed on bus commuters as charges of fuel wastage during delays in traffic jams. NTC Chairman M.A.P. Hemachandra made these comments on being asked to declare if the commission is set to allow what will be an extra charge on private bus commuters for fuel wastage on roads due to traffic congestion. more..

Proposal to scrap parliament powers to remove judges

June 3 (EN) The authority presently given to Sri Lanka’s Parliament to remove Judges of the Superior Courts should be done away with, according to recommendations of the Committee of Public Representations on Constitutional Reforms. The committee, headed by Attorney Lal Wijenayake and appointed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to seek public opinion on proposed constitutional reforms presented their report to the Speaker. more..

Restoration of US-SL ties commended, concerns expressed over China policy

June 3 (Island) Having commended the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition for acting swiftly and decisively to restore relationship with US-led Western powers immediately after the January 2015 presidential polls, former Foreign Secretary H.M.G.S. Palihakkara strongly cautioned the administration against undermining Sri Lanka’s relationship with other countries, particularly China. The veteran career diplomat asserted that more..

Lankan refugees caught on journey to promised land

June 3 (DC) Sri Lankan refugees who were risking their lives to go to Australia — a country that has already shut its door on asylum seekers -— were intercepted in a joint-operation involving the Q-Branch, Coastal Security Group (CSG), and Tiruvallur police, on Thursday near Chennai. Two agents, both Lankan nationals, assured the refugees that they were scheduled to leave from Pulicat Lake as tourists more..

US finds LTTE financial network still operational, ban remains

June 3 (CG) The US has found that the LTTE’s financial network of support continued operations in 2015 and so the ban on the outfit in the US will remain. The LTTE, in the past used its international contacts and the large Tamil diaspora in North America, Europe, and Asia to procure weapons, communications, funds, and other needed supplies. The group employed charities as fronts to collect and divert funds for its activities. more..

GMOA seeks President’s intervention to save NMRA from unscrupulous forces

June 3 (Island) The GMOA urged President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene to appoint suitable administrators to steer the National Medicines Regulatory Authority following the resignation of its Chairman, Prof Lal Jayakody. GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr Haritha Aluthge said President Sirisena had been instrumental in the establishment of the NMRA in a bid to ensure that people would be able to purchase quality, more..

A comment on the proposed office of missing persons

June 3 (CT) It seems no progress can be made in Sri Lanka on the attitude to murder. Murder is now regarded as normal and therefore not something to worry much about. And, this is exactly what should worry everyone. But hardly anyone seems to worry about it. We see the same thing in the proposed Office of Missing Persons (OMP). The simple fact about a missing person in Sri Lanka is that he or she is dead. Very rarely, does a missing person re-appear. As in the case of the dead, more..

'Centres of Tamil political parties not in control of their fringe elements'

June 3 (Island) A prominent Tamil politician claims that some Tamil political parties organise hartals at their whims and fancies and cancel them at the last moment inconveniencing thousands of people in the North and East. "Recently a section of a Tamil political party organised a hartal at Kilinochchi and cancelled it at the last moment," TULF leader Veerasingham Anandasangaree said adding that "hartals should be organised by a responsible organisation or by a common body more..