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Around 9000 deserters get legal discharge

June 29 (MoD) A large number of deserters from the tri forces have used the General Amnesty period to get their legal discharge from the services. A month long general amnesty period was declared from June 13th to July 13th to enable deserters to obtain legal discharge from their respective services. As of Tuesday (28) a total of 8852 (Army 8099, Navy 418 & Air Force 335) deserters have obtained clearance and legal discharge. more..

SriLankan Airlines hospitality @ Lord’s

June 29 (CT) The national carrier SriLankan Airlines operated an eighteen seater Flysmiles Hospitality Booth at Lord’s Cricket Grounds in London on June 10 and 11 June during the third test match between England and Sri Lanka. Free food and drinks had been served to invitees. A group photograph which contained former cricketing greats Sidath Wettimuny, Aravinda de Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, cabinet minister Arjuna Ranatunga & commentator Ranjith Fernando more..

ETCA and beyond: Sri Lanka grapples with Global changes

June 29 (CT) Back of the govt's anxiety to sign the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement [ETCA] with India lies a pool of immense knowledge ploughed into it by Sri Lanka's elite chambers of commerce and industry, the banking community, think tank experts and govt's own difficult economic juggling act. What we are looking at is a crumbling of the EU, a potential fact that is puzzling to some extent to many observers in that US President Barack Obama is against and more..

විගණකාධිපති ගාමිණි විජේසිංහ

President, PM visit Central Bank

June 29 (EN) President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has visited the central bank, with a new governor to be appointed before July 01. President Sirisena, and PM Wickremesinghe had a discussed about the economy. State Minister for Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said a person with experience will be appointed for one year. Among those tipped to be Governor and current Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe, Lalith Samarakoon and Saman Kelegama. more..

Weerasinghe tipped as new CB Governor

June 29 (EN) Deputy Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weeresinghe is mostly likely to replace outgoing Governor Arjuna Mahendran, sources said. There was no confirmation from the office of the President, who is the appointing authority. Weerasinghe is the most senior Deputy Governor appointed to the post in 2011. Weerasinghe is a career officer who was wide experience in economic research, monetary policy and had also served at the IMF as alternative executive director. more..

Tax & Debt crisis of the yahapâlana govt

June 29 (CT) Reckless borrowing by the present government is the main reason why Sri Lanka was given negative outlook categorisations this year by Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor – the three top international credit rating agencies. All three ratings agencies had cited the huge liabilities coming due for payment before the end of this year as the main reason for their decision to downgrade Sri Lanka. more..

Free cataract operations for elderly poor

June 29 (Island) Western Provincial Council Health Department (WPCHD) said it had initiated a programme to perform free cataract surgeries for the elderly poor. Programme under the theme From Darkness to Light (Anduren Eliyata) was being carried out in collaboration with the Bandaragama District Hospital and Elderly Committees. A Theatre of the Bandaragama Hospital had been developed and equipped by the WPCHD to perform cataract operations. more..

Organisation For Protecting Customs requests a meeting with President

June 29 (Island) The Organisation For Protecting Customs (OFPC) on Monday handed over a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena seeking his intervention to thwart attempts being made by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to overhaul Customs Ordinance and implement a new customs law. OFPC comprises the All Ceylon Customs Services Union, the Sri Lanka Independent Govt Union Organisation, Customs Guard Union and Wharf Representatives Union. more..

Video: Palitha Thewarapperuma threatens to quit govt

June 29 (AD) Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma, who is currently staging a protest fast in Mathugama, says he will leave the govt if there is no response to his demands within the day. “If a decision is not received within today, we will leave Yahapalanaya govt,” he said. Deputy Minister and parents of the 10 students denied admission to a school in the area commenced a protest on Monday in front of Mathugama Zonal Edu Office. more..

Shares end down on capital gains tax jitters

June 29 (Reuters) Shares fell for an eighth straight session on Wednesday as sentiment continued to be lacklustre following a minister's comments a day earlier on the imposition of capital gains tax on equities. Sri Lanka will impose a capital gains tax on profits from equities, a senior govt minister said late on Monday, as the government tries to shore up its finances to meet conditions for an IMF loan. Colombo stock index ended 0.26% down at 6,290.89. more..

JVP against new Customs Ordinance

June 29 (CT) JVP charged that the govt has, through the new Customs Ordinance, removed all previous obstacles placed in the path of smugglers entering the country, while allowing them free rein in their trade. JVP said that under such a scenario the new Customs Ordinance, which is to be introduced by the govt, replacing one of the World's oldest Customs Ordinances, should be defeated in Parliament. JVP leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged that Ministry of Finance more..

President at the National Kidney Disease Prevention Program

June 29 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says that he will appoint a new Central Bank Governor within the next few hours as the present Governor’s term of office will end tomorrow. The President further said that taking into consideration the difficulties faced by the general public due to the enforcement of new tax systems, steps will be taken in the future to make amendments to the existing tax systems to more..

Panama land dispute: Peasants vow to move courts again

June 29 (Island) The displaced people of Panama in the Eastern Province, warned of legal action against Lahugala Divisional Secretary L.A Somaratne for not implementing a Cabinet decision last year to release the lands in the area to their owners, except 25 acres. A resident of Panama, P. Somasiri said that there were hundreds of people eagerly waiting to go back to their villages. About 30 families who had already returned to their lands without permission were asked to vacate them by tomorrow more..

Video: Janasetha Peramuna goes to FCID against CB Governor

June 29 (DM) Leader of Janasetha Peramuna, Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero lodged a complaint at the FCID against the Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran citing non declaration of assets. Seelarathana Thero met the DIG in charge of the FCID Ravi Waidyalankara and had reportedly produced documents supporting his complaint against the Governor. DIG had however declined to receive the complaint and had instead directed the Thero to the IGP. more..

US will push to ensure all Sri Lankans enjoy equal rights

June 29 (CG) The United States says it will remain steadfast in its support of efforts to rebuild the economy, advance good governance, and ensure that all Sri Lankans can enjoy equal rights, equal opportunities and the full benefits of post-conflict development and prosperity, regardless of their ethnicity or origins. US Ambassador, Atul Keshap said American relations with Sri Lanka are at an historic high. more..

25 monks visit Gammanpila in prison

June 29 (CT) A group of 25 monks led by Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera yesterday visited the Welikada Prison to inquire after the wellbeing of imprisoned PHU Leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila. The group included Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, Ven. Gombaddala Damitha Thera, and Ven. Galagama Dhammaransi Thera. Speaking after visiting the MP Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera said "this regime is resorting to barbaric actions in the name of good governance. more..

Video: Cabinet approves Light Train Transit

June 29 (DM) Cabinet approval had been given for the feasibility report preparation on the light rail transit system in Western Province and to commence its construction. “Western Region Megapolis Programme is given its priority as it addresses transport issues in the region and it has identified that improvement of public transport modes, development of road infrastructure, management of transport demand & environmentally sustainable transportation is crucial more..

Central Bank Union calls for immediate action

June 29 (LBO) Central Bank Executive Officers Union says that immediate legitimate action needs to be taken to prevent probable anarchic state that would arise at the institution from July 1, 2016. “We write to record our discontent on the current state of depletion of public confidence in and heightened criticism of Central Bank at all levels and draw the attention of the members of Monetary Board to possible anarchical situation more..

Kahn Group set to expand presence in Sri Lanka with new deal

June 29 (CDM) KAHN Group has formed a partnership with Millennium Automotive Group in an agreement that sees Millennium appointed as the sole Kahn distributor for Sri Lanka. Trading as Kahn Design Sri Lanka (Millennium Motors) this appointment will allow the full range of Chelsea Truck Company, Project Kahn and Kahn Design products to be offered from Millennium’s impressive showroom facility in Colombo. Stuart Whitmore, CEO of Millennium Automotive Group, said: more..

Arjuna Mahendran summoned before COPE on July 7

June 29 (DM) COPE today unanimously decided to accept the Auditor General’s report on the Treasury bond transactions between February 2015 and May 2016 and to convene the committee on July 5 to study the report, COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said. He said the AG had submitted a full report consisting of 1251 pages to the Speaker while a concise report was submitted to the COPE. Mr. Handunnetti said the committee also decided to summon CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran more..

Cricket Australia rope in Samaraweera as batting consultant

June 29 (CI) Former SL batsman Thilan Samaraweera is working with some Australia Test players ahead of their tour to SL, in his brief consulting stint at Australia's National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. Samaraweera has been hired as a consultant for the academy from June to August. Though his role is not specifically geared towards preparing Australia Test players for the forthcoming tour, he has already begun to more..

Bribery Commission asked to forward its findings on bond scam

June 29 (Island) Campaign for Free and fair Elections (CaFFE) has asked the Director General of the CIABOC, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe to forward its findings on the first controversial treasury bond auction to President and PM. In a letter to the Director General, the CaFFE has stated that it believes that the investigation that the CIABOC carried out is the only comprehensive professional inquiry so far conducted on controversial bond issues for the following reasons: more..

Video: Decision on extending term of LG bodies tomorrow

June 29 (AD) Minister Faiszer Musthapha says that the decision on extending the tenure of Local Govt bodies, which are set to end tomorrow, will be announced before midnight tomorrow. A final decision will be reached on the matter after discussing with the President and PM as a unity govt currently exists, he said. Minister said that the term of Local Govt institutions are 4 years and that the power to extend that by another years is vested with Minister of Provincial Councils & Local Govt. more..

Corrupt probing Currupt: Govt extends corruption probe committee's term

June 29 (PTI) Sri Lankan Cabinet today extended the term of the country's anti-corruption panel, which is probing serious graft charges against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members. The Cabinet approved the proposal to continue the operations of the Anti-corruption Committee Secretariat (ACCS) until a new institutional structure is introduced, Minister of Information Gayantha Karunathilake said. more..

UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon to visit Sri Lanka this year

June 29 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon is to visit Sri Lanka this year, Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. He made this announcement during the 32nd session of the UNHRC in Geneva today. Samaraweera told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein that Sri Lanka is now open to the world and engages with the international community with courage and confidence. “We were also pleased to receive you, High Commissioner, in Feb; more..

EU calls for international participation in accountability process

June 29 (CG) European Union (EU) today called on the Sri Lankan Govt to ensure international participation in the accountability process related to the war. The EU made the statement at the 32nd session of the UNHRC in Geneva today. Roderick Van Schreven, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said that Sri Lanka is still at the beginning of a long process. “Much remains to be done to fulfil the commitments it has made at this Council and more..

Govt denies claims of delaying tactics in war probe

June 29 (CG) Govt today denied claims that it was adopting a delaying tactic in the investigations over incidents related to the war. Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the UNHRC today that consultations were taking place with all stake holders in the accountability and reconciliation process. “Reconciliation does not happen at once, overnight. It requires effort, hard work, commitment, & careful, continuous, concrete action. more..

Moolai Hospital Jaffna – Reaching for new vistas

june 30 (CT) Plumbing new ground, embracing bold initiatives, sustaining effort amidst adversities and bouncing back even after grave situations, have remained a hallmark of the Jaffna man’s attributes. The vicissitudes of Moolai Hospital epitomize these characteristics. Commenced in 1935 as the first Cooperative Hospital in the country, it developed at high speed attracting attention of medical professionals, drawing a multitude of patients from the North and prospering as well. more..

Submission to Consultation Task Force on reconciliation mechanisms

june 30 (GV) Groundviews, along with Maatram and Vikalpa, were invited to present submissions to a Sectoral Meeting of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institution on 28 June. The invitation from the Consultations Task Force (CTF) laid out the framework for the submission and also had a helpful FAQ to guide our understanding of what was expected. As noted in the FAQ, the consultations will focus on mechanisms to more..

'Prime Minister is after me'

June 30 (FT) The PM is after me, claims MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage. The former Sports Minister says Premier Wickremesinghe is intimidating him on a personal level following his involvement in matters with regard to the Central Bank Governor and the Minister of Finance. “He (Wickremesinghe) is enraged that I was very active in both these cases. He is on a personal mission to shut my mouth,” Aluthgamage charged. more..

We have lost our collective conscience

June 30 (DM) The manner in which the world media is covering significant events, the twists and turns it renders to the core substance of a major event and the preordained definitions it ascribes to the personalities and communities who generate these events are way beyond comprehension. Whether it’s the so-called free media of the West or state-controlled media in closed societies such as the Middle East, North Korea and Cuba or even an open society like India, the story is the same. more..

Frustration Leads to Aggression in Citizens

June 30 (DM) An unidentified gunman opened fire at a prisoner who was being taken back to jail after a court case in a high security zone. Another incident took place where a woman had been shot dead outside the prison headquarters in Borella. The most recent killing was opposite Mahara court premises. There are similar incidents where men, women and children had been killed,wounded, raped etc. due to lawlessness throughout the country. President in a speech prior to election had said: more..

'BREXIT: Govt backed wrong horse'

June 30 (CT) MP Dinesh Gunawardena shares his thoughts on the RTI, Audit Bill, BREXIT and Provincial Councils. He feels the govt will not be able to handle the economic repercussions of the UK voting to leave the European Union (EU) adding that 'by supporting their conservative friends abroad the govt had neglected securing the interests of Sri Lanka. He stressed that govt should hold discussions with the Opposition, more..

Price controls can’t control prices

June 30 (SL) Today, consumer prices are skyrocketing and rising in an unbelievable manner according to the whims and fancies of the importers, manufacturers and the traders passing on an unbearable burden to the consumers who have no voice but have to humbly accept the behest of the merchant class. It seems that controlling of prices of essential goods is under the authority of those traders and manufacturers associated with importing and selling consumer goods rather than more..

Editorial: Hussein’s bombshell

June 30 (Island) Caressing one’s face before slapping it is a popular saying here. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein has done just that to the Sri Lankan govt. In his report to the current session of the UNHRC, the other day, he paid some compliments to the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration and even described its engagement with his outfit as positive and constructive before delivering a slap. Diplomats are said to be those who can tell more..


Where from here, Wigneswaran’s language lament?

June 30 (SL) For all the criticism heaped on him thus far on the post-war ethnic concerns and attendant political calculus and calculations, Northern Province Tamil Chief Minister, Justice C. V. Wigneswaran, has to be congratulated – and thanked – for his recent utterances on the language front. Tamil-Sinhala linguistic discrimination had fuelled the post-Independence ethnic division, war and violence in the country. A product of socio-economic, political bias all this, more..

Avoiding needless panic over Brexit

June 30 (Island) The entirely unexpected happened and the British in a deeply polarizing referendum voted to leave the European Union by a margin of 52% to 48%. Voting to leave were seemingly older voters and most of England and Wales, while, younger voters, Metropolitan London and overwhelmingly Scotland voted to remain. British PM David Cameron immediately announced his intention of stepping down at the Conservative Party’s annual conference due in October, more..

How does Govt spend your money?

June 30 (SO) Do you, as a citizen of this Republic, know exactly what govts do with your money – that you provide to the State through direct and indirect taxes? At long last, Sri Lankan legislators have passed into law a Bill that gives the citizens the Right to Information about what Govt, from top to bottom, does with public funds in the name of the citizens. Right to Information (RTI) Bill presented and passed in Parliament last week, more..