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'Remove Vajira from Cabinet'

May 27 (CT) The Yahapalana govt came under severe criticism for its delay in taking action against the alleged corrupt individuals in the previous regime. The recent move to appoint Anusha Pelpita, former chairman of TRC who is facing a legal battle against fraudulent deals, as an additional Secretary to Ministry of Home Affairs, has now come under scathing attack by civil society movements which played a major role in electing more..

Is rise in VAT a tax on jobs?

May 27 (DM) In May 2015, the standard rate of VAT jumped from 12% to 15%. The Sri Lankan economy will thus have to adjust to this higher rate but what are some of the possible macroeconomic consequences? everjobs spoke to University of Colombo Professor in Economics Sirimal Abeyratne recently about whether the rise in VAT is a tax on jobs. Q: What’s your take on the recent hike in VAT? A: A rise in VAT represents part of a policy of fiscal tightening by the govt. more..

Shares end steady; higher rates weigh

May 27 (Reuters) Shares ended steady on Friday as gains led by consumer shares were offset by losses in the telecom stocks amid investor sentiment dented by foreign outflow and rising interest rates. Yields on treasury bills edged up by between 5 and 27 basis points to near three-year highs at a weekly auction on Wednesday despite the central bank left key policy rates steady for a third straight month. The benchmark stock index ended up 0.04%, or 2.45 points, at 6,571.21, more..

Vehicle prices increased again

May 27 (DM) Prices of motor vehicles with a cylinder capacity between 1000 cc and 1500 cc and three-wheelers have risen as a result of the increase in the Unit Rate Tax from yesterday. VIASL President Indika Sampath Merenchige said the Unit Rate Tax has increased from Rs. 2.6 million to Rs.3 million resulting in the price of a Toyota Prius increasing from Rs.3.3 million to Rs.7.7 million and would likely discourage people from importing more..

NPC members oppose CV’s resolution on Jayalalithaa

May 27 (DM) A tense situation prevailed in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) when the members protested against Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran submitting a resolution on Jayalalithaa Jayaram becoming the TN Chief Minister again while nothing was done about people affected by the recent disaster in the country. Mr. Wigneswaran said Sri Lankan Tamils were also happy about Ms. Jayalalitha’s re-election as Chief Minister adding that she was able to do so because of more..

'People will surround Election Secretariat for depriving them of their franchise'

May 27 (Island) The day would not be far off when the people in their thousands surround the Elections Secretariat demanding that the delayed local govt elections be held, the Joint Opposition said on Wednesday. UFPA Matara District MP Dullas Alahapperuma said one year had passed without elections being held to 174 local govt bodies. Six months had elapsed without elections to 32 other local bodies. People were resentful that their right to vote had been denied to them. more..

President Maithripala Sirisena at the G-7

JO tells public servants not to heed orders of govt cronies

May 27 (Island) Addressing a joint opposition press conference on Wednesday the former minister Dullas Alahapperuma said the incumbent govt had been changing the chairmen of District Coordinatig Committees (DCCs) and appointing their cronies to those positions. The DCCs coming under the District Development Committees had to be headed by an elected representative as co-chair with the Divisional Secretary in carrying out development plans of the govt within the division. more..

Arananayake: Search operations to continue despite fading hopes for survivors

May 27 (DM) Search operations, at the landslide site of Samasara Hill in Aranayake, will continue amidst hopes for survivors gradually fading, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe said today. He said they were searching for 93 bodies and so far 27 bodies and 21 body parts had been recovered at the Aranayake landslide site. Search operations in Bulathkohupitiya landslide site was concluded recently after the bodies of all those gone missing were discovered and accounted for. more..

Sri Lankan govt still divided on Lakshmi Mittal’s housing scheme for war displaced

May 27 (ENS) SL govt continues to be divided on a proposal by Lakshmi Mittal’s company ArcelorMittal to build 65,000 prefabricated houses made of steel and PVC in the Northern and Eastern Provinces for the war-displaced families. While Rehabilitation Minister D.M. Swaminathan, who mooted the project, is certain that it is on, Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, told parliament on Thursday, that it is not on, more..

Video: CID ordered to expedite investigation on Shashi Weerawansa

May 27 (AD) Colombo Chief Magistrate today ordered the CID to expedite the investigation regarding former minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Shashi Weerawansa, who has been charged with obtaining a diplomatic passport by providing false documents. Shashi Weerawansa appeared before the court when the case was taken up for hearing. The CID informed the court that the report of the investigator authenticating the suspicious documents has still not been received. more..

Rs 113 M dance in Hambantota: PRECIFAC summons Channa Wijewardena

May 27 (CT) Veteran Dancer Channa Wijewardena has been summoned to appear before the PRECIFAC tomorrow to obtain a statement after questioning him about an alleged misuse of State funds amounting to Rs 113 million for events held to mark the commissioning of the Hambantota Harbour. A spokesman for PRECIFAC said that it has been revealed that a sum of Rs 113 million in State funds had been misused and that the Commission is carrying out investigations to more..

Japanese investors shown tremendous interest in SL’s potential for investment

May 27 (PMD) Japanese investors have shown tremendous interest in Sri Lanka’s potential for investment opportunities. This was revealed when the representatives of Japanese mega corporations met President Maithripala Sirisena this afternoon. Takashi Yamauchi, President of Taisei Corporation expressed his interest in investing in various sectors, including highway construction, expansion of BIA and building of monorail more..

'Natural disasters cannot be prevented but country can be prepared to face them'

May 27 (Island) The govt should open its eyes to the bitter truth that there was no way of preventing natural disasters and attention should be paid to timely measures to lessen their impact and mitigate the damage and destruction, Opposition Leader R Sampanthan told Parliament. Participating in the adjournment motion moved by the Govt on the relief measures and damages caused by floods and landslides, he said: "Look at the larger picture. Natural disasters are inevitable. more..

SLMC undecided over incident involving EP CM

May 27 (DM) SLMC said that they have not taken any decision as yet to take action against Eastern Province Chief Minister Nazeer Ahamed for reprimanding a naval officer during an event held at the Sampur Maha Vidyalaya last Friday. SLMA General Secretary Hassan Ali said the Working Committee of the party should be convened if a decision is to be taken in this regard. Nazeer Ahamed is a member of the SLMC who succeeded Abdul Majeed as the Chief Minister of EP more..

Minister rejects racial issue behind Madawala school incident

May 27 (DM) Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam rejected reports of an alleged incident that had taken place during a parent-teacher meeting at the Madina Central College in Madawala, a national school in Kandy as being racially motivated. Reports circulating in websites and social media claimed that the parents of the school are demanding that only Muslim teachers be appointed to the school. He dismissed the claims but more..

Reflections on flood aid and youth-led mobilization in Colombo

May 28 (GV) Last weekend was Vesak, but the streets of Colombo were uncharacteristically quiet. In place of the usual crowds pouring out onto the streets to view the lanterns, and the rambunctious dansals distributing food to passers by, a sombre mood settled across the city. Over the past week, Sri Lanka was hit by the worst floods since the 2004 Tsunami. No one had been prepared for the rains, which came at the heels of a heat wave that parched the earth, dried up the rivers and tributaries, more..

CM Nazeer Ahamed saga: Need to end this political arrogance !

May 28 (CT) During the previous regime, we had the likes of political thugs such as Mervyn Silva who punished a state official by tying him to a tree; politicians who talked filth in public media such as SB and Johnston and we had a Local body chairman in Hambantota who sought to attack opposition politicos with a pistol in hand and another one punishing a teacher in school. It was a common sight during those days for civil servants and law enforcement officers to be treated by more..

Behind Iron Bars, Vesak Colours Glow

May 28 (SO) As the country prepares to celebrate a rather subdued and rain dampened Vesak a largely forgotten segment of our population are making preparations for the celebration. In prisons and correction facilities throughout Sri Lanka official Vesak festivities began earlier this week. Inmates have made Vesak lanterns, organized Dan Sel, drama festivals and prepared to sing Bhakthi Geetha. more..

On the path of reconciliation in Sri Lanka

May 28 (GV) Politics has played a significant role in the Sri Lankan conflict which some consider to be an ethnic conflict, some as a civil war while others as a state versus terrorist war. Moving aside from the semantics and syntax, the conflict itself caused significant pain and turmoil in the hearts and minds of people across the island and even among communities abroad. In this article I hope to focus on a key issue that runs through our country – division. more..

Political violence and (this time) the CM!

May 28 (CT) CM Nazeer Ahamed’s outburst is not acceptable by any standards. As the senior most political office holder in the province, he has a much bigger responsibility to ensure that law, order and justice prevails. If he was insulted, the stage was not the forum to address it. He was a bad example to the children around him. Yet, haven’t we seen similar behavior or worse in parliament when innocent children who come to witness some rare species are entertained from the well of our more..

'Catching thieves Delay at AG’s Dept'

May 28 (CT) Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara says no matter what the Govt does, Opposition finds something wrong with how they run the country. Q: Are the things the good governance govt is doing now, the same as what they promised before coming to power? A: Most definitely. Before the govt of good governance came to power, we promised that independence, democracy, justice of the law will be established. more..

After the deluge

May 28 (DN) Our country has just experienced the worst natural disaster since the fatal tsunami of 2004. According to official data over 400,000 had to be housed in temporary camps and hundreds of houses were destroyed. Counting those that in homes of relatives and friends the number of directly affected persons could be well over 500,000. Over a hundred have been dead and an equal number are missing (presumably buried alive or drowned). To this must be added those who were more..

G7 and Sri Lanka: Positives and the pitfalls

May 28 (DM) The state of the world’s economy, terrorism, the refugee crisis, the uncertainty over Britain’s continuing membership in the European Union and, of course, the tension in the South China Sea are some of the main items on the agenda of the two-day G7 summit which began yesterday in Ise-Shima, Japan. A day ahead of the summit, as questions were asked whether the summit would have the makings of an anti-China forum, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying more..

Aluth Parlimenthuwa

Core problem is Tamil Nadu: Solution is democracy

May 28 (Island) Problems like everything else under the sun have a protean character. They don’t have an unchangeable essence, they keep changing over time, and our ability to handle them depends largely on how we perceive them and conceptualize them, on whether those perceptions and conceptualizations are reasonably accurate or wildly inaccurate. Until the other day I held that we don’t have a purely indigenous Tamil ethnic problem; rather it is an Indo-Tamil ethnic problem, more..

Editorial: Floods: Fish or cut bait!

May 28 (Island) Nature has her own way of humbling humans who are so arrogant as to trifle with her. She unleashes her fury through the medium of calamities, from time to time to keep conceited bipeds in their place. Unfortunately, intelligent as humans are, lessons that disasters offer go unlearnt. Thousands of unauthorised structures have sprung on the beaches pummeled by killer waves in 2004 though a buffer zone was declared in immediate aftermath of tsunami. more..

Surge in online addiction

May 28 (NS) Consultant psychiatrists’ community noted that Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) and Online Gaming Disorder (OGD) constituted an emerging problem amongst Sri Lankan children, conditions which they noted would require medical treatment. As per research conducted and evidence available in this regard from Asian countries such as Korea and China, it has been revealed that over 45% of more..

IFS highlights power of the Industrial Internet of Things

May 28 (Island) IFS and ARC Advisory Group recently held a forum for Sri Lankan industrialists at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo to highlight the fourth industrial revolution waged by Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). They described the concept as manufacturing digitised products to stay connected to the asset after it is sold, in order to expand aftermarket services. IIoT consistently captures and communicates data. This data can enable companies to pick up on inefficiencies more..

Water and sanitation a key concern in Sri Lanka flood emergency: Unicef

May 28 (UNICEF) Over 300,000 victims including women and children have been affected by the tropical cyclonic storm ROANU which has caused landslides and heavy rains in 22 districts of the 25 districts in the country. 22 people had been reported dead and 118 people claimed missing from the resultant landslides in the Kegalle district. Currently, survivors are living in schools and public buildings being used as temporary camps. UNICEF has responded to the growing risk of more..

Flood relief work: Still a long way to go

May 28 (FT) Since the devastating floods that hit the island recently leaving many people displaced, various groups and individuals have been coming forward to help – be it in the form of manpower, money, food, clothing or shelter. Daily FT enquiring about the present situation in terms of relief and how much more is needed spoke to The Voice Foundation, which has been working round the clock to provide relief to flood victims. more..

Garbage disposal issue needs top attention

May 28 (NS) The issue of haphazard dumping of garbage has been bothering us for quite some time. The ugliest side is that garbage removed by the local authorities to protect the good health of their residents, is often dumped in other areas causing health problems to the people of those areas. Thus we create a new problem to the people of one area in order to satisfy the people of another area. We Sri Lankans are famous for throwing our garbage at other people’s doorstep and more..

Root's impressive conversion rate

May 28 (CI) 29: Fifty-plus scores in Tests by Joe Root in only 74 innings. He has a conversion rate of a fifty-plus score every 2.55 innings. Among batsmen with at least 20 fifty-plus scores in Test history, only seven other batsmen have a better conversion rate. Among England batsmen, only Herbert Sutcliffe (39 fifty-plus scores in 84 innings, conversion rate of 2.15), Jack Hobbs (43 in 102 innings, 2.37) and Ken Barrington (55 in 131, 2.38) have done better than Root. more..

For once, Sri Lanka avoid being caught cold

May 28 (CI) Before this match Angelo Mathews said he thought Sri Lanka fielded and caught well at Headingley. They dropped at least three catches in their one innings in the field. Yet he was probably correct in suggesting this represented improvement. Often this year, they have fumbled the ball, fallen over in pursuit, fist-bumped it, chest-bumped it, caressed it lovingly over the rope, escorted it gallantly to the fence, more..

Ceylon chamber to help Sri Lankan importers source goods at factory prices

May 28 (LBO) The Ceylon chamber of commerce with Fair Deal AS, a globally spread import sourcing arm is planning to launch a program to help Sri Lankan importers buy goods at factory prices. Under this program, Fair Deal which is a subsidiary of the Advance Business Partners of Norway will function as the purchasing agent of the Sri Lankan importer. It will help importers to source quality goods at a better margin while cutting down intermediaries in the value chain and bringing more..

SMEs invited to World Islamic Economic Forum

May 28 (FT) Linking Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be the focus of the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), which extended a formal invitation to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday. The invitation was handed over to Wickremesinghe by the WIFE Foundation Chairman Tun Musa Hitam. The Chairman also encouraged Sri Lankan businessmen to accompany the Prime Minister and insisted the forum was dedicated to promoting the investment interests of participants. more..

Hales and Root underpin England but catching lifts Sri Lanka

May 28 (CI) Sri Lanka might have feared the only thing they could catch in Durham would be a cold, but instead they caught a collection of stunners to keep England just about in sight on the opening day of the second Test. Four of the wickets would easily fit into a 'classic catches' compilation and though the final score of 310 for 6 was healthy enough for England - and given the fragility of Sri Lanka's batting may already be enough - more..

CICT terminal to use electronic cargo dispatch notes

May 28 (EN) Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) said it has started to use e Boat Notes in collaboration with Sri Lanka Customs, with the shift to electronic processing reducing paper in export documentation. “Officially termed an electronic CDN (Cargo Dispatch Note) message by the Customs, the e Boat Note will enhance efficiency, expedite the process and reduce manpower requirements while significantly reducing use of paper,” a statement said. more..

The coming tragedy of Jumbo Pageantry

May 28 (Island) In the midst of the increasing criticism the AG's Department receives today on its slow pace on corruption probes, here is a word of deserved congrats to the AG. It is on the interim order obtained from the Colombo High Court suspending the release of 15 elephants to their alleged owners. With no disrespect to the original court, it was indeed shocking to see an order allowing the temporary release of these 15 elephants, held by the Wildlife and Nature more..

PM toasts tourism

May 28 (FT) Tourism will be given new direction in a five-year plan currently being compiled by the Govt, affirmed PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday, while insisting the industry needs to do more to get the maximum out of Sri Lanka’s tourists. Speaking at the Golden Jubilee of the Sri Lanka Tourism Board, Prime Minister was critical about increasing importance given to volumes rather than value. more..