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Will TPP lead to trade diversion from SL?

May 12 (IPS) After more than five years of negotiations behind closed doors, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement reached a conclusion on 5th Oct, 2015 in Atlanta, US and was signed on 4th February 2016 in Auckland, NZ. The completion of this deal was a landmark given that it is the first mega trade agreement of its kind. TPP brings together 12 countries, both developed and developing nations in the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, more..

Malaysia’s Fiji boost rips SL apart 42-17

May 12 (DN) Host Malaysia condemned Asian Rugby Championship Division 1 defending champions Sri Lanka to a shocking 17-42 defeat in an Asian Rugby Championship Division 1 match played in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The six Fijians represented Malaysia initiated all the moves off which Malaysia scored their points in the entire match. The Lankans did not have any ploys to turn the game around and succumbed to defeat. Malaysia drew first blood and went into more..

No takers for revamping Sri Lankan Airlines

May 12 (Hindu) Sri Lankan govt has made it clear that no airline company has formally expressed interest in the proposed revamping of SriLankan Airlines. Responding to a query on whether Qatar Airways was being contemplated as a possible international partner, Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne, said “there is no specific party. There are many names that keep coming up from time to time. more..

Modi meets TN fishermen

May 12 (Hindu) Minutes before addressing an election meeting in Vedaranyam on Wednesday, PM Narendra Modi, who secured the release of five Tamil Nadu fishermen facing death sentence in Sri Lanka, made it a point to meet them. “It gave me immense pleasure to meet the five fishermen who were saved from the jaws of death,” Mr. Modi said at the meeting later. “I am really happy that the five fishermen are back with their family,” he said amid applause from the huge gathering. more..

Vasu recalls UNPers beating him in House

May 12 (Island) UNPers have proved their predilection for violence and disrespect for Parliament once again by provoking the recent fracas in the House, UPFA MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said. He said that he had been beaten mercilessly on the floor of parliament by a UNP Member some 12 years back. "I was thrashed when I with other opposition members protested against a bill sponsored by the UNP. The bill was against the interests of local farmers. more..

Govt forced to borrow even for day-to-day operations: CB

May 12 (Island) Central Bank (CB) said that the govt is forced to have recourse to borrowings even for its day-to-day operations. Mahinda Siriwardana, Director of Economic Research, CB stated this at the Centre for Banking Studies at Rajagiriya yesterday while delivering a public lecture on the State of the Economy as reflected in the Central Bank Annual Report-2015. Annual Report 2015 highlights several issues & challenges more..

GMOA blows whistle on consignment of snuff containing nicotine

May 12 (Island) The GMOA warned of a stock of snuff containing nicotine being held at the Customs. GMOA Secretary, Dr Nalinda Herath in a letter to President, Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday said there was a danger that the importer would attempt to have the narcotic released from the Customs as a medicine using an existing loophole in the law if timely action was not taken. He said it was the second attempt to smuggle narcotics into the country in the guise of snuff. more..

Barodian helps rehabilitate war survivors

May 12 (TOI) Humanitarian acts know no boundaries, proved a 41-year-old woman from the city. Her love for helping those in need has got Jayshree Chaudhary to work for victims of war in Sri Lanka. Chaudhary, 41, has been working in Sri Lanka for the last two years towards the rehabilitating widows, orphaned girls and rape survivors. Chaudhary who has been working for specially-abled children in the city since 2009 said that the plight of women in Sri Lanka more..

Kusal Janith cleared of doping charges

May 12 (CI) Kusal Perera is free to resume playing cricket with immediate effect after the ICC lifted the provisional suspension imposed on him for doping. ICC said there was no decisive evidence that Perera, who was suspended in Dec 2015, had used performance-enhancing substances after a detailed examination of the Qatar-based testing facility's finding 19-Norandrostenedione - banned substance - in Perera's sample. more..

Potential landslides if rain persists

May 12 (CT) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) has warned the individuals living in and around the areas of Balangoda and Imbulpe Divisional Secretariat of possible cut slope failures and landslides if rain continues. Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department said the rainy condition is expected to grow due to a low level atmospheric disturbance in the vicinity of Sri Lanka. Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in the Eastern, Uva and Southern Provinces. more..

Fine for ticketless train travel increased

May 12 (Island) With an increasing number of passengers traveling ticketless on trains and many upgrading themselves to a higher class after buying cheaper tickets, the fine for ticketless travel has been increased from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 3,000. Transport Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva, who had submitted the proposal for increasing train fares told Cabinet which met on Tuesday that although the railway service offered transport facilities at concessionary rates, it had been found that more..

Whitewashing fraud: Real costs lower than estimates: Harin

May 12 (DM) The actual cost of the two vehicles of PM and the cost of repairs of residence and offices of some Ministers were less than what was stated in the supplementary estimates, Minister Harin Fernando said. The issue of the estimated was debated extensively during the past few days. He said that only Rs. 128 million has been spent for the two bullet proof vehicles as pre-tax value, and another Rs. 448 million was for taxes levied more..

CB Chief Mahendran rebuts Insider; sets record straight

May 12 (FT) Further to the article by an anonymous writer carried in the 11 May edition of the Daily FT entitled What is expected of Central Bank Governor? Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has sent the following correction since there were some factual inaccuracies in the said article. The writer has sought to compare my conduct with that of a former Governor. No mention is made of the billions of rupees lost to the Central Bank and the Govt through controversial dealings more..

Basil’s wife, daughter fail to answer summons again

May 12 (DN) Pushpa Rajapaksa and Theja Rajapaksa, wife and daughter of former Minister Basil Rajapaksa have evaded the Presidential Commission to Investigate Mass scale Corruption and Financial Malpractices twice despite summons issued by the commission. They were summoned by the Commission as part of ongoing investigations into the misuse of planes and helicopters belonging to SL Air Force. The Commission has decided to summon them before it on May 13. more..

NGOs finally condemn accomodation in parliament of political rejects

May 12 (Island) Executive Director of Sarvodaya, Chaminda Rajakaruna said that the much-touted good governance project in the run-up to parliamentary polls in August last year had suffered a severe setback due to political parties accommodating defeated candidates through the National List. Rajakaruna accepted responsibility for their failure to condemn the appointment of defeated candidates. He was addressing the media more..

Law must be enforced if ragging is to be stopped

May 12 (DM) Ragging in universities is taking centrestage in the media these days inviting us to editorially discuss the matter for the second time in just forty days. A ten-day High Level Consultative Dialogue on Preventing Ragging and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Universities organised by the UGC in collaboration with the Association of Commonwealth Universities too held recently at Galadari Hotel with academics and university administrators from India and Sri Lanka. more..

The morning after May Day: VAT's going on?

May 12 (DM) This May Day I resisted the siren song of being participant-observer (engaging in participatory action research as the late GVS de Silva termed it), and preferred to stay home, surf the three channels that provided live coverage of the main May Day mobilizations, track the newscasts on all channels, and peruse the social media and still photographs, especially the overhead shots, over the next few days. On the morning after, my impressionistic conclusion was that more..

Human – crocodile conflict poses conservation challenge

May 12 (ST) Riverside dwellers of Kelanimulla who are in the habit of taking a dip in the Kelani River or collecting water for their households suspect they are witnessing an increasing number or crocodile attacks. But wildlife conservation specialists point to human factors that lead to conflicts with crocs in urban settings in the first place. Six months ago, one man survived an attack by what he suspects was a 16-footer and more..

Govt wanting on good governance: G. L.

May 12 (DN) Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the govt has failed to establish good governance within the country as pledged before the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. He said so addressing a media briefing organised by the Joint Opposition in Colombo yesterday. “It is clear that the govt has failed to maintain Parliamentary democracy when the vote was taken up for passing a Supplementary Estimate ,” he said. more..

Civil society raises concerns

May 12 (SL) With Sri Lanka’s apex court, the Supreme Court ruling this week that certain clauses of the controversial Right to Information (RTI) Bill are in violating the Constitution and declaring that the Bill will need a special majority in Parliament to become law, civic organisations and good governance activists are upbeat that the concerns raised by the society at large would be duly addressed. more..

Chandrika tells UN Sri Lanka must address human rights concerns

May 12 (CG) Former President and current Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation, Chandrika Kumaratunga says accusations of human rights violations during the conflict in Sri Lanka must be addressed. She was speaking at a special session of the UNGA focused on UN, Peace and Security at the UN Headquarters in New York. The former President relayed her country’s experience in years more..

Civil society now expresses displeasure over diluting of 19A for political expediency

May 12 (Island) The PAFFREL said that extremely poor turnout of MPs even during important sessions was a matter of serious concern. Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said that during visits to parliament he had observed 15 to 20 members taking part in sessions though the House consisted of 225 members. He pointed out that a govt move to secure parliamentary approval for a supplementary estimate more..

Justice Minister: Too early to jump to conclusions over offshore accounts

May 12 (Island) Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said govt would not allow anyone who had operated overseas accounts illegally to go scot free. However, he said, the govt was only aware of what the media had said about Panama Papers and it had to wait till the basic investigations were completed to arrive at a conclusion whether those named were guilty or not. "One could operate offshore accounts legally. more..

Rajitha's Vision: Govt plans to cultivate cannabis for export

May 12 (GDI) Ministry of Health has taken steps to cultivate cannabis for export. Minister Rajitha Senaratne has revealed that Sri Lanka has received a proposal from Western countries to export cannabis for the production of Ayurvedic medicine. He said it is planned to be implemented. The Health Minister said that they planned to grow cannabis in Sri Lanka and export them. He said this whilst attending an event where new products more..

Vehicle Imports: Committee to assess value

May 12 (DM) An Evaluation Committee had been appointed by the PM to assess a value of an imported vehicle. The Committee would consider the true transaction value or the unit value or the highest, when imposing tax. The True transaction value is the actual value of the imported vehicle, while the Unit Value is a value based on a formula with the vehicle engine capacity multiplied by the rupee value. more..

President arrives in London

May 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in London Wednesday evening (11) to participate in the Anti- Corruption Summit – 2016 commencing tomorrow in the British capital. The President was received at the Heathrow Airport by Queen’s special representative Bruce Holder, who is the Deputy Lieutenant to Queen Elizabeth and Kathryn Colvin, Special Representative of the Ministry of State for more..

Govt expects GSP soon following final talks in Brussels

May 12 (CG) The Govt expects Sri Lanka to receive the GSP plus trade concession from the European Union (EU) soon following talks held in Brussels yesterday. Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that Sri Lanka is now on the final leg of the GSP+ application process. “It will be made in a matter of weeks as EU and Sri Lanka are now just about ready except for a few loose ends to be tied up,” he said. more..

COPE: A toothless tiger!

May 12 (CT) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, who is also Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), recently, said that a complete report on corruption and fraud in 30 govt institutions, including the CEB, will be presented in Parliament in June. He also said COPE has discovered that top officials of institutions established in affiliation with the CEB are in the process of transferring shareholdings to others. As Handunnetti very correctly noted, all forms of fraud involving public funds and more..

A request to establish a University for the upcountry Tamils

May 12 (CT) Tamils of Indian origin numbering about 1.5 million or around 7 percent of the population have been living in this country for the past two hundred years and contributed enormously to the development of the country during this period. They were highly disadvantaged in education since their arrival but now things have improved that they have 20 1AB and 80 ! C schools and two teacher education institutes and a technical institute at Hatton, thanks to the efforts made by more..

අශෝක අබේගුණවර්ධන

Sri Lankan shares snap 5-day wining streak

May 12 (Reuters) Shares ended marginally lower on Thursday, snapping a five-session winning streak, as investors booked profit in telecom shares and foreign investors continued to exit risky assets. Investors were also concerned that govt's move to increase the VAT and impose new taxes, effective from May 2, would hit the bottom lines of companies. "It (the stock index) hit the resistance level and turned back. There is a lot of selling pressure but people are waiting to see where the level is," more..

Five members of dreaded SF gang netted

May 12 (Island) Anuradhapura police yesterday arrested five members of the dreaded SF gang who had terrorised the area by an extorting money and committing robberies. The leader of the gang known as S. F. Banda was shot dead along with two others on April 30 by unidentified gunmen. With the killing of Banda, a number of crimes committed by his criminal gang surfaced. His gang had allegedly demanded Rs. 10 million from a rich businessman in the area, the police said. more..

Video: ICC withdraws doping case, apologizes to Kusal

May 12 (DM) Cricket’s world body on Wednesday withdrew a doping case against cricketer Kusal Janith Perera after his lawyers proved scientifically and beyond reasonable doubt that the testing process of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accredited lab report in Qatar was flawed. Soon after withdrawing the provisional suspension issued the ICC released a statement apologizing to the cricketer and said it would call for more..

Arpico owner Dr. Sena Yaddehige named in Panama Papers

May 12 (CT) Controversial businessman Dr. Sena Yaddehige who bought over Richard Peiris Company with the help of Rajapaksa front man Asanga Seneviratne has been named in the Panama papers released by the ICIJ. Senevirate who held over 24.7% shares of Richard Peiris and Company through Asia Capital a company he owned then, sold his shares to Yaddehige to take control of the family owned business enterprise. Asia Capital also named in Panama Papers. more..

One week delay in SW monsoon

May 12 (Island) Met Department predicted a one-week delay in Southwest-monsoon reaching Sri Lanka this year due to the strong El Nino conditions that affected the country last year. Duty Meteorologist Janaka Kumara said that due date for the monsoon was May 25, but this year it would reach the country in the first week of June. He said, "The inter-monsoon is still active and the evening thunder showers experienced during last several days will end by today. more..

Video: Basil Rajapaksa arrested by FCID

May 12 (AD) Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa has been arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID). He was arrested after arriving at the FCID to give a statement in connection with a land issue in Matara. The former Minister is to be produced before court today. Basil Rajapaksa was previously arrested by the FCID in April last year on alleged financial misappropriations in the Divi Neguma Department. more..

'Uni admission online will quicken process'

May 12 (DM) State Minister Mohan Lal Grero requested candidates applying for University entrance this year to do so online to avoid the long time taken to complete the formalities. He said online applications would help the authorities to begin the academic year much earlier than when written applications were submitted. “From 2017, we will accept applications online,” he added. Minister said he had discussed with the Education Department and Examination Department more..

Two Sri Lankans nearing Everest summit

May 12 (DM) The two Sri Lankans - Jayanthi Kuru Uthumpala and Yohan Peiris - who are trekking the Mount Everest, said that they have reached the final stage of their mission. The duo will create history as the first two Sri Lankans to make it to the top of the world’s highest Mountain. Yohan Peiris said the climate on the top of the mountain will be clear for ten days and therefore, they would try to make it to the top targetting these days. “We are in the final stage of the trekking. more..

Colombo suburban railway electrification project to cost USD300mn

May 12 (LBO) Colombo suburban railway electrification project phase one which initially focuses on 64 kilometers along Veyangoda – Panadura section will cost US$ 300 million to implement. Energy consultant Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya said the project will support the modernization of the railway network in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. “The govt has been pledged a soft loan by the ADB. more..

Manoj, the mud thrower at JVP, sacked

May 12 (LT) It is reported that Manoj Abeydheera, who published a feature article in Irida Divaina on the 8th insulting the JVP and its Leader Anura Dissanayaka has been sacked from the newspaper. The JVP held a press conference and stated that the article was a slander full of blatant lies and a complaint was made at Press Complaints Commission with the participation of all its members of the Political Bureau. Chief Editor of Divaina too had told callers that more..