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Animal rights activists take up cudgels for stray dogs

May 11 (Island) Animal rights activists are up in arms over proposed govt-led project meant to control the stray dog population. Chairperson of Animal Protection Trust Lorraine Bibile alleged that an obvious attempt was being made to eliminate stray dogs. Mrs Bibile was responding to a recent statement issued by the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Govt in respect of proposed formulation more..

2 Japanese naval ships arrive in Colombo

May 11 (SLN) Two Japanese naval ships, Uraga and Takashimayaeyama, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and replenishment visit on 11th May 2016. They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. The Commander of the 51st Minesweeper Division, Captain Toshihiro Takaiwa, the Commanding Officers of the Ships, Commander Shunichiro Kachi and Lieutenant Masanori Nakai paid a courtesy call on Commander of Navy, more..

Sri Lanka to update bankruptcy law

May 11 (EN) Sri Lanka is to modernise its bankruptcy law to meet present day needs and improve conditions to do business in the island, a spokesman said. Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said provisions of the Insolvency Ordinance No 24 of 1884 are not sufficient in dealing with issues related to enterprises that face difficulties. The urgent need to reform public enterprises has also given rise to calls for new laws related to bankruptcy, he said. more..

Video: LPBOA wants a fare hike in July

May 11 (DM) Private bus owners’ said today that they would request for an eight percent to ten percent fares hike by July 1 with a minimum hike of Rs.1 “Due to the increment of the Dollar, the prices of all related products and services to operating buses have gone up,” LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said. Bus fares are subject to an annual revision based on a special formula taking into account twelve factors including more..

Sri Lanka raises fines for sub-standard tea

May 11 (EN) Sri Lanka will sharply raise fines to crack down on the sale of refuse tea or tea waste. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said the Cabinet had approved a proposal by Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, to amend the Tea Control Act No. 51 of 1957. The changes increase the powers of the minister to make orders regarding refuse tea, he told a news conference. Refuse tea refers to waste produced during the manufacture of black tea. more..

FR petition challenges massive tax increases on telecom services

May 11 (Island) Petitioner, Attorney-at-Law P. Liyanarachchi of Ganemulle complained in a fundamental rights violation application in the Supreme Court that Minister Ravi Karunayake had no legal authority, power or mandate to impose a 15% VAT and 2% NBT on Telecom Services when the telephone bills were already subjected to a 25% telecommunication levy. The impending increase was to be made effective from May 2. NBT was imposed on top of the application of more..

Inter-ministerial committee to be appointed to deal with human rights

May 11 (CG) Govt is to appoint an inter-ministerial committee to to consider all facts related to human rights for the preparation of a National Action Plan on Human Rights for the period 2017-2021. Cabinet has approved the proposal made by Minister Mangala Samaraweera to form the committee. Govt says it’s policy is to uphold, promote and protect the human rights of Sri Lankan people and so it must strengthen the more..

Sri Lanka reforms urgent, govt borrowing to meet daily needs: Central Bank

May 11 (EN) The govt is forced to borrow to even meet its daily spending requirements, making structural reforms that would raise revenue and reduce the budget deficit urgent, a senior Central Bank official said. The performance in govt finances reflects serious structural weaknesses in the govt budget, said Mahen Siriwardana, director of economic research of the Central Bank. There is a sizeable deficit of 2.2% in the revenue account of the budget, he said. more..

Sri Lanka and Ukraine to reach agreement on dealing with criminal matters

May 11 (CG) Sri Lanka and Ukraine are to an reach agreement on dealing with criminal matters, the Govt said today. The Got says international mutual legal assistance in criminal matters is becoming increasingly important to combat such crimes. Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act No. 25 of 2002 provides for the provisions of assistance by Sri Lanka to foreign countries and regarding criminal matters in those countries and for obtaining of similar assistance from such countries to SL. more..

Panama issue was a private matter: Vidya

May 11 (DM) Former Megapolis and Western Development Ministry Consultant Vidya Amarapala said Panama Papers exposure was a private matter and that certain people were trying to politicise it. Mr. Amarapala said he stepped down from the Ministry position, when a print media revealed a list of names as Panama Papers exposure in April 6, which was later found out not to be true. “I gave a statement to FCID more..

Bottlenecks delayed Loon and WiFi plans

May 11 (DM) Bottlenecks had prevented the proper implementation of Google Loon project and free WiFi projects, Minister Harin Fernando said. He said that a delay on the part of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) to give clearance for the Google Loon project had prevented its implementation. He also said the failure of the company, which had undertaken the contract for the implementation of free WiFi project of the Govt had led to the shortcomings. more..

Bribery Commission files case against Sajin

May 11 (CT) The Commission to Investigate allegations of Bribery or Corruption filed a case today against controversial figure and one time loyalist of former President Rajapaksa, Sajin de Vass Gunawardena. Commission has filed a case over Gunawardena’s failure to declare his assets during several years including in 2011 and 2012. Incidentally, the charges comes just days after Gunawardena told a news conference that he has declared all his assets, and if he had not, more..

US envoy backs rights of LGBT community

May 11 (CG) US Ambassador to SL Atul Keshap has extended support to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in Sri Lanka. US Embassy in Colombo said that Keshap met Rosanna Flamer-Caldera from EQUAL GROUND Sri Lanka and stood against any forms of discrimination. Meanwhile UK’s Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Barker, Vice Chair of Parliament’s APPG on Global LGBT Rights, said that more..

Weerawansa files FR petition against increase of taxes

May 11 (AM) Wimal Weerawansa filed a Fundamental Rights petition against the increase of the VAT and NBT by the govt, arguing that it violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the articles 12 (1), 13 (1) and 14 (g) of the constitution. The petitioner argued that the VAT and the NBT could not be increased without amending the relevant laws and presenting them to the Parliament for approval. Therefore, the imposition of new taxes has violated the fundamental rights of the petitioner and more..

Govt will not protect anyone listed in Panama Papers: Minister

May 11 (DN) SL govt will not protect whoever involved in foreign exchange scams revealed by Panama Papers. President Maithripala Sirisena will never intervene to save anyone involved no matter what their status are, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. He said foreign exchange that belong to SL cannot be siphoned off on any ground and it is an offence. He said in Sri Lanka, there are very clear laws in connection with offences related to foreign exchange frauds. more..

What is expected of Central Bank Governor?

May 11 (FT) Before Nivard Cabraal assumed office, 90% of the Central Bank Governors have been very astute and professional Central Bankers who have clearly stayed out of the media and any controversy. They spent most of their time providing advice to the Govt and keeping a good eye on our economic fundamentals. The only Governor who was somewhat controversial was one of the cleverest boys to ever come out from Trinity more..

Video: Yoshitha at FCID again

May 11 (DM) Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, appeared before the police Financial Crimes Investigation Division for a second day today. He appeared before the FCID yesterday as well. He appeared before the FCID following an order by the Kaduwela Magistrate to give a statement on CSN to the FCID on a suitable day after May 3. This order was given on April 28. Rajapaksa was yesterday queried on finances and e-mail accounts of the CSN. more..

Holidaying at public expense!

May 11 (DM) This white collar high-up heading a key State establishment has a daughter domiciled abroad. She and her family members were here on a holiday recently and the indulgent father generously used the resources of the State-owned body he helms to provide all facilities necessary for them to enjoy their holiday here, they say. The white collar bigwig placed a Merc and a van belonging to the establishment at the disposal of the holiday makers to go places in comfort. more..

Video: Udaya calls govt black

May 11 (DM) Joint Opposition requested President, PM and other Govt leaders to set an example by tightening their belts to revive the economy, instead of instructing the people to do so. MP Udaya Gammanpila said the people were not ready to tighten the belt around their bellies, when the Govt leaders loosening theirs. Referring to the recent supplementary estimate submitted in Parliament, MP said the Govt had allocated more..

Brits will go all out to outsmart SL

May 12 (CT) Sri Lanka will just be eleven days from the first Test by the time you read this article. Judging from what we have heard and seen about the weather it's cold, and also in some parts of the country it's snowing. It isn't ideal if you are a touring party from the subcontinent which is exactly what the Sri Lankans are. As we have tried to explain before it will definitely be a very tough tour for the Lankans who will in some way be fighting to prevent England proving a point. more..

Schools and Good Governance

May 12 (CT) PM recently spoke of an education plan which will be introduced this year. Unlike in the environment created by the dictatorial Republican Constitutions of 1972 and 1978, every plan should be in a good governance environment in which equal treatment of every citizen is a must. All educational reforms since independence achieved nothing but further discrimination except the reforms under C.W.W. Kannangara due to non inclusion of the school system in the reforms. more..

'Only one SLFP May Day rally'

May 12 (CT) General Secretary of the SLFP Duminda Dissanayake said, only one May Day rally was organized by the SLFP and that was victoriously concluded at the Samanala Grounds in Galle before a large gathering. Q: What is your analysis of the political turnaround after the May Day? A: In short, last May Day was a fine showcase of true power within the SLFP. The large crowd gathered in Galle was a statement that more..

Rehabilitation doesn't give you immunity

May 12 (CT) In recent weeks a number of former LTTE cadres have been arrested by the security forces in connection with the suicide jacket found in Chavakachcheri last March. When the suicide jacket was found, people were either losing their cool or were trying to downplay the incident, according to their respective ideologies. On 5 April, I wrote a column highlighting the dangers of the existence of large amounts of undisclosed weapons in the North and the East. more..

How does our media cover tragedy?

May 12 (GV) On 25 April, two 19 year-old women were fatally hit by a train while attempting to cross a railway track in Dehiwala. The tragic incident quickly attracted the attention of the media, and journalists from every major domestic media outlet reported the incident, bringing to the nation and the world images and stories about the tragic death of two friends. The coverage included graphic CCTV footage of their last moments, sound bites from devastated parents and family, as well as those more..

Damage to Sigiriya frescoes

May 12 (Island) A most disturbing letter on the damage to Sigiriya frescoes was published in Daily Mirror. Prof. Jagath Weerasinghe, Director of CCT’s Sigiriya and Dambulla Conservation project, has made a very serious charge against the Archaeological Department. According to him the department "has not focused attention on the original colours of the frescoes and had carried plastering in a haphazard manner more..

Rent seeking, inequality and injustice

May 12 (DM) In an earlier article, I pointed out that there was an urgent need to increase productivity of labour and value added production, in order to arrest the present downward slide of the economy and with it, society and polity. This has become all the more necessary because, unlike in the past, today, most people do not want to live frugal and simple lives. There are about three million motor cycles in the country, in addition to over a million three-wheelers. Urban roads are full of all types of motor cars. more..

Havoc in the hallowed chamber

May 12 (DN) The disgraceful incidents in Parliament which saw fisticuffs between members of UNP and Joint Opposition faction of the UPFA was a blot in SL’s commendable record of parliamentary democracy: it was the first instance where a MP had to be hospitalised following injuries sustained in the Chamber of the House. The incident has already been dissected in forensic detail and the public which has been allowed a glimpse of CCTV footage will form their own conclusions. more..


Ragging, Student Violence, and University Academics: a brief note

May 12 (Island) If Sri Lankan university academics turned a blind eye to ragging and student violence as they are accused of by some, the reasons for that could be complex. Ragging and student violence in Sri Lankan universities have been linked to student politics to which the teachers’ politics also has been linked at certain times and varying levels. Students and teachers in the universities shared an interest in politics from the early days of university, when the traditional left parties such as CP, LSSP more..

Editorial: The way forward

May 12 (Island) Man has come a long way since the penny farthing and velocipede days. Today’s two-wheeler has gained tremendous popularity in some environmentally conscious societies as an alternative to petroleum guzzling vehicles and a solution to the ever worsening problems of air pollution and congestion in urban areas. Pedal Pushers, an outfit promoting cycling in Sri Lanka, deserves plaudits for having come forward to light a candle instead of cursing darkness. more..

Corruption: The inconvenient truth

May 12 (FT) President Sirisena travelled to London yesterday to attend an International Anti-Corruption Summit organised by the British Govt. The summit is aimed at driving out the culture of corruption wherever it exists. Some of the world’s most corrupt political leaders will flock to London this week, an irony that was not lost on British PM David Cameron who was recorded telling Queen Elizabeth II recently that leaders of more..

Commercial Bank makes confident start to 2016

May 12 (Island) Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has reported profit before VAT and NBT of Rs 5.377 billion for the three months ending 31st March 2016, commencing the year with a robust 27.89% growth, made possible by notable improvements in business volumes and reduced growth in charges. Sri Lanka’s largest private bank’s profit before tax for the quarter was up 27.95% to Rs 4.579 billion, and profit after tax grew by 28.92% to Rs 3.234 billion according to a filing with Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). more..

President calls for report from young SLFP MPs

May 12 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena has sought a special secretive review report from young SLFP MPs concerning the party's May Day rally held in Galle and the subsequent political situation in the country, informed sources said. These sources stated the President had sought such a report in order to get a clear picture of those who had attended the party's May Day rally at Galle and for the purpose of doing a review on the party's organizational ability. more..

Problem of land acquisition may stall plan to build monument at Mulliwaikkal

May 12 (ENS) Tamil-majority NPC, and TNA which dominates the council, would like to build a monument at Mulliwaikkal for the thousands of Tamil civilians who perished there in the last brutal phase of Eelam War IV. But they are aware that getting land to build the monument will be problematic. Central govt will have to release the required land because it is the Centre which has rights over public land. more..

30 experts to show way forward to reforming Sri Lankan economy

May 12 (FT) Sri Lanka urgently needs a spate of third generation reforms to improve business climate and achieve higher and sustainable socio-economic growth. Under a joint initiative by the Daily FT and the Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association a first of its kind forum next Tuesday will highlight and prioritise key reforms. Titled Reforms: The Way forward for Sri Lanka the full day forum on 17 May at Hotel Galadari will bring around 30 public and private experts to share key insights. more..

Rajapaksa’s front man, Mariott Lokuwithana named in Panama Papers

May 12 (CT) Nandana Jayadewa Lokuwithana, the Dubai based Sri Lankan businessman, and alleged front man of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been named in the Panama Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Lokuwithana, is more popularly known as the Sri Lankan who bought the Mariott Hotel in Dubai – which was reported to have belonged to Rajapaksa, who later denied reports that he had purchased the hotel. more..

Rajapaksas’ financial transactions using Gamini Senarath’s driver revealed

May 12 (DN) All monetary transactions carried out by the former President, his family members, etc. through the driver of Gamini Senarath, had now been revealed, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. “A sum of Rs. 12,670 million was withdrawn from an account in a Colombo bank on January 7, which is a violation of bank rules and regulations. They will experience the repercussions for their acts of corruption by next week,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka: Elephant in the room

May 12 (NZH) More than 10 years after the Boxing Day tsunami, the tiny village of Mirissa, on the south coast of Sri Lanka, is still doing it tough. The area is steeped in culture, and the landscape is spectacular. But it was hard hit by - and is still recovering from - the 2004 disaster. It is also very basic and devoid of easily accessible creature comforts for a first-world traveller like me. The need to adapt my beach-lounging, cocktail-sipping vision was evident very quickly. more..

Reconciliation still a long way off in Sri lanka

May 12 (ENS) Justice after a civil war is one of the most questionable aspects of the process of healing. For instance, Bangladesh is trying to get to grips with its own turbulent history leading up to independence, 45 years after the event. Contrary to the popular perception of a Punjabi-Pakistani pogrom, the war crimes tribunal set up in 2010 has found at least seven Jamaat-e-Islami leaders guilty of war crimes. Against that backdrop, it is scarcely surprising that SL’s reconciliation efforts more..

Fungus found in diabetes drug

May 12 (Island) Lives of diabetes patients may be in danger owing to what is suspected to be fungus found in a drug imported from TN, say doctors. Medical practitioners in the Western Province have informed DGHS of the possible dangers of a brand of Metformin, manufactured by Kausikh Therapeuticals (P) Ltd in TN and asked for an immediate inquiry. Samples of drug have been sent to NDQAL for testing. more..