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Arrest under PTA: HRCSL responds to President

June 28 (Island) The Human Right Commission of Sri Lanka has explained its position in respect of the arrest of persons under the Prevention of Terrorist Act (PTA) as well as when state of emergency is in force. The following is the full text of the statement issued by the commission. The Human Rights Commission welcomes the Directives issued by President Maithripala Sirisena on the arrest and detention of persons under more..

Sri Lanka to send top minister to hasten new economic deal with India

June 28 (ENS) Sri Lanka is to send this week its Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama, to New Delhi to speed up negotiations on the proposed Indo-Lanka Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). This announcement was made by PM Wickemesinghe as part of his package of measures to meet the crisis created by Britain’s decision to leave EU. more..

Fisheries Minister upbeat about selling marine craft to EU this year

June 28 (Island) More Sri Lankan made vessels would be exported to the European Union (EU) countries this year, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera claimed yesterday. With the lifting of EU ban on Sri Lanka fish exports, the country would receive an income of over Rs. 20 billion by exporting Sri Lankan made vessels to the EU countries, he said. Participating in a discussion recently on the international exhibition of Sri Lankan boats more..

Shortage of safe land blocks Sri Lanka disaster relocation efforts

June 28 (Reuters) Every time the wind picks up in the night, the Karunadasas get the shivers. The couple has been living in this remote village in the western foothills of Sri Lanka's central mountains for over five decades. But since May, when a massive landslide hit another mountain slope 15 km away, they have struggled to sleep at night. The landslide, which followed relentless rainfall, buried 130 people in Egalpitiya area. more..

Won’t change decision to replace Gota’s military security: Def. Secy

June 28 (DM) Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said the decision taken by Govt, to replace the military security provided to former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa with Police and STF, would not be changed under any circumstance. On an earlier occasion, he had said that military personnel deployed for the security of former president Rajapaksa and former defence secretary would be gradually removed and more..

CB Chief job tests SL's dual leadership

June 28 (EN) SL's duel leadership between the President and the PM will be tested over the fate of controversial central Bank of governor Arjuna Mahendran whose term ends on Thursday. Sources close to President Sirisena have made it clear that he was opposed to renewing Mahendran's term and had at least three other people in mind to lead the Central Bank. However, PM is equally keen to retain Mahendran, more..

Smoking Problem that doesn’t go away

June 28 (CT) In The Plague Albert Camus writes: The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits. We would like to add to that by saying, not all habits that are cultivated are good. Where some habits will develop, others will destroy you. And there's nothing worse than the habit of smoking. Recently Ministry of Health revealed that three per cent of the cigarette and tobacco consumers of the population of Sri Lanka consist of school going students. more..

Transforming the political culture: Illusion to reality

June 28 (CT) A singular significant achievement of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration was the passing of the Right to Information Bill few days ago, a decade overdue. This is the scaffolding to preserve people’s democratic values and build the tower of democracy. With this in full operation the citizen will soon wake up to a nation that is transparent in its actions- to a greater extent than before. An ordinary individual could now question and ask the details of the brand and more..


Petition against NPC’s NE re-merger motion fixed for support

June 28 (Island) The Supreme Court fixed for support on Aug 29, 2016 the petition filed by, Attorney-at-Law Unawatunage Anura Laksiri, who has complained that the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council to approve the proposed merger of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces is unconstitutional. It violated the constitutional provision which ensured a unitary state of Sri Lanka. The proposal was placed before the council General Secretary of ITAK, Mavai Senathiraja, more..

Sri Lanka shares end down; capital gains tax, Brexit weigh

June 28 (Reuters) Shares ended weaker on Tuesday, falling for the seventh straight session, as comments from a senior minister on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities dented sentiment while fresh woes after Brexit also weighed. Sri Lanka intends to impose a capital gains tax on profits from equities, a senior minister said, as the govt attempts to shore up its finances to qualify for an IMF loan. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.17% down at 6,307.40, more..

SL to impose capital gains tax on stocks

June 28 (Reuters) SL intends to impose a capital gains tax on profits from equities, a minister said, as the govt attempts to shore up its finances to qualify for an IMF loan. Cabinet approved reintroducing a capital gains tax on land early this month, but has not said whether it would be imposed on profits from buying and selling equities. "We don't know the details of it right now, but there will definitely be a capital gains tax more..

Walkers Shipyard in talks on Maldives unit

June 28 (EN) Walkers Colombo Shipyard, Sri Lanka’s second shipyard which focuses on small and medium sized vessels, is planning to extend operations to the Maldives, managing director Sarath Obeysekera said. The company’s first yard, started in the Mutwal fishery harbour leased from the Fisheries Corporation, is also being expanded to enable handling of vessel repairs in a dry berth, he told a news conference. “We’re also negotiating with a small shipyard in the Maldives,” more..

Video: Mahindananda arrives at PRECIFAC

June 28 (AD) UPFA MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage today arrived at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC). The former Minister arrived at the commission at around 10 am this morning to give a statement with regard to an investigation into a building erected at a property belonging to the Railway Department in Nawalapitiya, more..

Sri Lanka ranked No.50 in HCI

June 28 (DM) Sri Lanka is at No.50 in the worldwide Human Capital Index (HCI), which was launched today by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Finland topped the index which measures a country’s ability to nurture, develop and deploy talent for economic growth. Index covers six countries in South Asian region including Sri Lanka (50), Bhutan (91), Bangladesh (104), India (105), Nepal (108) and Pakistan (118). more..

Customs unions urge Mahanayakes to educate govt leaders on dangers in new Act

June 28 (Island) A team of Customs officials, who are members of the Customs Trade Unions Forum, urged the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya to educate the government leaders on the ill-effects of the proposed Customs Act. The team of the senior officials of the Customs Department told the prelates that some provisions of the proposed new ordinance were favourable to racketeers and discouraged Customs officers from carrying out their duties and functions. more..

Sri Lanka to market Megapolis projects in India and China

June 28 (EN) SL will market around US$ 44 billion of govt and private investment projects planned under a Megalpolis to investors in India and China, Minister Patali Ranawaka said. Under a plan to make Sri Lanka a megapolis of 9 million people 140 projects have been identified which will be completed over the next 15 years. Japan and Korea was also key targets for investments. Tough global conditions as well local domestic financial constrains were challenges to bringing investors, more..

Govt to confiscate houses, office owned by Basil Rajapaksa, and CSN building

June 28 (CT) Govt has decided to confiscate several houses and an office belonging to former minister Basil Rajapaksa, as there is no proper legal documentation to prove the ownership of these houses. Accordingly, at least two houses, believed to be owned by Rajapaksa in Malwana, and Matara, along with his office in Gampaha will be confiscated by the govt. Sources said that the house in Matara is under Rajapaksa’s wife, more..

Video: ETCA is not a job-stealing boogeyman: Kavinda

June 28 (AD) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardena says that Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India has been inaccurately portrayed as a boogeyman that will come steal away the jobs of SL’s youth and take them to India. Even those who make such wild accusations regarding the proposed agreement have no understanding about the real appearance of ETCA. We need technical and scientific agreements with the world in order to carry the country forward, more..

Petition demands arrest of politicos responsible for attack on journalist

June 28 (Island) Civil society groups have launched a campaign to collect signatures for a petition demanding the immediate arrest of ruling party politicians responsible for the recent attack on journalist Freddie Gamage within the Negombo Municipal Council premises. UNP organiser for Negombo and WPC member Royce Vijitha Fernando and Municipal Council members, Sangeeth Fernando, Dr Henry Rosairo and Gina Frenando signed petition over the weekend. more..

Video: President committed wrong by keeping Mahendran as CB governor: JVP

June 28 (AD) President Sirisena has also committed a wrong by allowing Arjuna Mahendran to continue in the position of CB governor for such a long period despite knowing that he is a fraud, claims JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Governor’s term of service should not be extended because he is a fraud and afterwards those frauds should be investigated, defrauded money returned and he should be punished for his crimes, more..

Chandra Jayaratne wants Sirisena to introduce a Ministerial code of conduct

June 28 (CT) Good Governance activist, Chandra Jayaratne has urged President Sirisena to introduce a ministerial code of conduct, which should apply to all ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers. In a letter addressed to Sirisena, Jayaratne also said; “In addition, kindly consider requiring all persons holding Ministerial Office (including Deputy Ministers and State Ministers), to make the following declarations annually, which are to be tabled and noted by the Cabinet more..

Navin, Dayasiri and Royal Turf Club violate public property act

June 28 (CT) Yahapalanaya Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekara and Navin Dissanayake along with the Royal Turf Club are in blatant violation of committing an offense against the Public Property Act number 12 of 1982 section 2, Colombo Telegraph can reveal. The violation falling under section 2 – Mischief to Public Property is where the Royal Turf Club, a private enterprise registered under Act no 7 of 2007 Companies Act, is currently constructing an Equine Hospital and an Equine Pool more..

Sri Lanka to rope in top Indian Companies for Megapolis project

June 28 (ENS) SL wants to rope in top Indian companies like the Tatas and Infosys for its ambitious 15-year US$ 44 billion Megapolis project covering the entire Western Province. Minister Champika Ranawaka told the Foreign Correspondent Association that his officials will be holding road shows in India shortly. “The Tatas are already here. We have sought the assistance of the Govt of India to organize meetings with more..

DEW expresses dismay at COPE Chairman’s issue

June 28 (DN) Former Minister DEW Gunasekera expressed his dismay at the news that COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti is to resign at a time when a decision with regard to the Central Bank Governor is imminent. He was speaking at a press conference. “The COPE Chairman says that the members of his committee are being intimidated by certain quarters. This is an unprecedented situation,” he said. Gunasekera said he held the post of the COPE Chairman for five years. more..

Pada Yathra begins from the North

June 28 (ITN) The Pada Yathra aimed and holding poojas in Kataragama has commenced from the North. Those who joined in the Pathra will be travelling a distance of 400 km by foot. The devotees will take 15 days to reach Kataragama and they have been granted permission to walks through the Kumana National Park. Devotees from the Okanda Devale premises at Panama in Ampara joined in the Pada Yathra that commenced today. Eastern Province Wildlife Assistant Director more..

36 SL Tamil refugees from TN arriving today

June 28 (AT) 36 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving SL today Under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme. They are scheduled to arrive through Mihin Lanka Airlines (MJ 130) at 11.45 a.m from Chennai Minister D.M. Swaminathan, had a discussion with the UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person with assistance of the Ministry of more..

Zeid wants use of cluster bombs probed

June 28 (ENS) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has called for a probe into allegations that cluster bombs were used by the SL Security Forces in the final phase of Eelam War IV. Giving an update on the implementation of the UNHRC’s resolution of Sept-Oct 2015 by Sri Lanka at the on-going 32 nd regular session of the UNHRC, Zeid said: “In light of recent reports on new evidence that has emerged on the use of cluster munitions towards the end of the conflict, more..

'Govt using Brexit as excuse to sign ECTA'

June 28 (DM) The Govt is attempting to expedite the signing of the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ECTA) with India in the wake of Britain leaving the European Union, would amount to a jump from the frying pan into the fire, the joint opposition charged today. Former UPFA MP G.L. Peiris told a news conference that any quantum leap to open the service sector to another country should be taken after an in-depth consideration of foreign trade agreements. more..

Future party to be lead by Mahinda Rajapaksa: Wimal

June 28 (DM) If a new party was to be formed in the future, it would be under the leadership of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa said today. He said the party would be guided by Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and all others including former minister Basil Rajapaksa, would be of equal standing.“If a new party is formed under the leadership of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, we will be a part of it,” more..

British backpacker, 23, killed in 80ft fall from cliffs on trip to Sri Lanka

June 28 (Mirror) Tom Perry fell to his death when he went for a walk with his girlfriend after an evening at a clifftop bar and restaurant at the resort of Weligama. A British backpacker has plunged 80ft to his death during a late-night cliff-top walk with a girl in Sri Lanka, it has emerged. Tom Perry, 23, died after falling onto rocks at the foot of the sheer cliff at Weligama, a popular tourist destination on the south of the island. According to a witness, Tom, from Christchurch, Dorset, more..

JVP insists there was no meeting between Ranil and Handunnetti

June 28 (CG) The JVP today insisted there was no meeting held between PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP member Sunil Handunnetti. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that while Handunnetti was the chairman of the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE), he had not met the Prime Minister for talks as a JVP member or COPE chairman. There were reports that Handunnetti met the PM to discuss the allegations raised against Central Bank governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

Video: Gammanpila using politics to cover up his crime: JHU

June 28 (DM) JHU said that close associates of UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila were attempting to spread rumours that his arrest was a result of his criticism of the Yahapalana Govt, and that they are trying to dress him up in different political clothes to cover up his crimes. JHU National Organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said people were trying to pretend that Gammanpila was arrested because he was a patriot, more..

Peacebuilding of the future: The challenges

June 29 (GV) Transitions are periods of potential danger in a nation’s history. They are moments when we can move forward or moments where we may slip back into cycles of perpetual violence. They are interregnums where we must act with caution and wisdom. The nation state should take the lead but the international community, especially the Peacebuilding Commission, has an important role to play. When the Department of Peace building asked me to give the keynote speech here today, more..

Getting Yahapâlanaya is a process?

June 29 (CT) The word Yahapalanaya (good governance) has been the most used lexis in Sri Lankan politics since Maithripala Sirisena decided to run for the office of President in November 2014. Sri Lankans would not find it difficult to understand the reasons behind this mind-set. In a nutshell, ensuring Yahapalanaya was an attractive promise (given the situation that the people were in) made to the public and many of us Sri Lankans considered it as an immediate panacea for all our woes! more..

Pattaya model for Sri Lanka’s coastal resorts

June 29 (SO) Development and environment are constantly at loggerheads. Which of the two should take precedence has been a burning issue among policy makers, developers and environmentalists. However, given the magnitude and the spate of ecological disasters, policy makers are increasingly giving priority to environmental safety to minimize the impact of human activity. The impact of mega development projects more..

Editorial: More equal before law

June 29 (Island) George Orwell sought to ridicule the Bolshevik revolution and vilify the Soviet Union through his dystopian novel, Animal Farm, where crafty pigs decree that all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. The socialist bloc is a thing of the past, but Sri Lanka has apparently adopted that porcine commandment as it were. In fact, what is happening in this land as regards law enforcement and justice dispensation is stranger than fiction. more..

Understanding ragging as a social phenomenon

June 29 (CT) Ragging of freshers in the University becomes a problem in the eyes of the collective, due to its inhuman nature involving a “disturbingly high degree of physical and mental harassment” as it has been highlighted. Various measures recommended by authorities seasonally to deal with the problems of ragging highlight the enormity and the gravity of the problem as perceived by the collective. All the same, the measures we adopt in combating it should be conceived and applied with great care, more..

'We are hopeful positive developments will happen at Geneva'

June 29 (SL) UNHRC sessions are now underway in Geneva and the Tamils are hopeful that some positive developments will take place. However, the SL govt is facing criticism by the Tamil community that there is very little progress being made on the ground, because the govt has either gone back, or done very little, to keep to their pledges. PLOT leader and TNA MP D. Sidharthan said that unless the UN High commissioner more..

From off-track to the right track

June 29 (DN) This oral update is presented pursuant to UNHRC Resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in SL, which was adopted by consensus with the co-sponsorship of SL. UNHRC noted with appreciation the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka to its 30th session, including the findings and conclusions of the comprehensive investigation undertaken by OHCHR, and encouraged Govt of SL to implement recommendations contained therein. more..