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How the COPE dope on bond probe put just governance back on track

Nov 7 (ST) Suddenly the sky seems to have fallen down on the fortunes of Perpetual Treasuries; and the garden where the company basked in the year-long summer sunshine amid 5 billion roses, has now been buried in darkness, its future fate swallowed up in uncertainty. The monitoring committee of this other Eden, where only the chosen few could tread and which was once considered off limits to inspectors, has unearthed startling evidence that has taken sheen off the Perpetual’s more..

Power crisis prompts more changes, clashes over LNG ideology

Nov 7 (SO) Earlier in 2010, when former President Rajapaksa undertook an official visit to India, the possibility of Sri Lanka selling power to India was touted and discussions reaffirmed on the basis that commissioning the Norochcholai, Trincomalee and Hambantota plants would be sufficient. The previous proposal was to establish a submarine power cable line for 500 megawatts of power so that SL would have the opportunity more..

Questions for Ranil and Mahinda Rajapaksa

Nov 7 (SL) Opposition or rather the Joint Opposition should be thankful to the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe govt for providing controversial subjects with regularity to sink in their teeth and tear them apart in the hope that the people would be appreciative of their performance. There is an apt Sinhala saying for such performances: Ballata Pol lellak dunna wagei (Like throwing a coconut husk at a dog). Those who have seen usually staid, placid dogs running riot around the neighbourhood more..

Editorial: They deserve pensions

Nov 7 (Island) Several disabled military personnel, engaged in a fast in Colombo, demanding pensions which have been denied to them on the grounds that they had not completed 12 years in service by the time they had to retire due to injury, have been admitted to hospital. Our limbs are intact because those protesting men risked theirs in battling terrorism, which is thankfully a thing of the past. It is heart-rending to see their prosthetic arms and legs beside them. more..

Tribute to Dr. W D Amaradeva

EPF should be investigated promptly as recommended by COPE

Nov 7 (CT) The COPE report on the bond scam in the Central Bank from February 2015 to May 2016 has come up with, among others things, a very strong recommendation relating to EPF. It has recommended in both the main report and the dissenting report with footnotes that the activities of EPF from around 2010 until May 2016 should be fully investigated to ascertain irregularities in investments, improprieties, malpractices and losses to members. more..

Sri Lanka's prerogative tax impunity checked in Magna Carta moment

Nov 7 (EN) When King John imposed yet another scutage, the main tax of the times that was the basis of a feudal serfdom, on the barons of England without discussion in 1214 - and in peacetime not in war like in Sri Lanka in 2016- they revolted. Out of that revolt was born the Magna Carta, where instead of toppling the king, a change in the system was made and the king was restrained in charging taxes without discussion, eventually leading to the establishment of modern democracy. more..

Cricket’s emigration culture and the new kids on the block

Nov 7 (ST) When I saw the new Lankan fast bowler Lahiru Kumara operating during the first Test against Zimbabwe I was impressed. In Lahiru, we have discovered a young cricketer who has most of the ingredients that a true fast bowler should possess. Now that he is on the stage it is up to Ford and company to see that he is made to perform. Kumara possesses the ideal build for a fast bowler – I mean talking of int'l standards. more..

Sampath Bank ups profit by 41% to Rs. 6.7 b

Nov 7 (FT) Sampath Bank has achieved an impressive profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 6.7 billion for the first nine months of 2016, up by 41.2% from a year earlier. The bank also achieved Rs. 8.9 billion in profit before tax (PBT), recording a growth of 28.2%, as against Rs. 7.0 billion earned in the comparative period of the previous year. The main reason for higher PAT growth compared to the PBT growth is the reversal of excess income tax provisions made in the previous years. more..

Trail 2016: Unleashing the perfumes of hope

Nov 7 (Island) Mahela Jayawardena, former cricket captain of Sri Lanka wept.  He recalled how his brother had died of cancer twenty years previously.  Through his tears he acknowledged that the past 28 days had been the most wonderful of his life and he thanked Sarinda Unamboowe and Nathan Sivagananathan for providing the opportunity.   It was a poignant moment.  It was just one of many.  His weren’t the only tears and neither was he the only person moved to walk from the northern more..

Sri Lanka chamber warns on price controls

Nov 7 (EN) CCC warned that the free choice of sick people was being robbed as effective original drugs made by top pharmaceutical firms, went off the shelves, as the country descended into price controls. Rulers and bureaucrats have imposed price controls on widely used drugs, despite the availability of generics (copies of original drugs whose effectiveness has not been proved through clinical trials) at low prices. more..

Seven children reject 80-year-old mother

Nov 7 (DM) An 80-year-old mother of seven in a complaint to the Bandaragama Police said today that her five daughters and two sons had neglected to take care of her. The mother said she had divided all the properties including her properties among all the children. When two daughters and a son were summoned to the Police, they had refused to accept their mother. Police said they would report the matter to the Horana Magistrate’s Court. more..

Are we looking for the killer punch

Nov 7 (ST) An immensely popular game, boxing has always captured the imagination of the Lankan sports  loving public, and the case is topped by the fact that there is participation of both sexes though is a rough and tumble physical sport.  The irony is that though we have had some international success in the past, we seems to have dropped our standards off the guard in the recent past. At the same time unlike many other sports it has backers like Dian Gomes who has taken the crusade his own more..

Dhananjaya ton leaves Sri Lanka ahead

Nov 7 (CI) It took Upul Tharanga multiple stints and close to 11 years after his first Test century to bring up his second. A week on, he looked set to add to that tally. He had progressed serenely to 79 during the course of a 143-run fifth-wicket stand with Dhananjaya De Silva and revived SL after a top order wobble, before fading light brought about a slightly more circumspect approach that may have contributed to his dismissal. more..

SLFP will vote in favour of the Budget

Nov 7 (FT) An SLFP delegation met the State Finance Minister and other officials on Friday for a final discussion on the Budget proposals put forward by the party while also discussing the current financial situation of the country.  Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the SLFP would vote in partnership for the Budget, taking into consideration the financial policy and stance taken by the party. Abeywardena said 95% of their proposals were accepted by the UNP.   more..

Economy must align with SDGs: Rishad

Nov 7 (CT) It is important for a small economy such as Sri Lanka to streamline trade and economic policies aligning them with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on the side-lines of SL's fourth Trade Policy Review at the World Trade Organization in Geneva. SL delegation was headed by Minister Bathiudeen, who presented Sri Lanka's economic perspectives to over 150 participants, under the theme Sri Lanka – An Emerging Economic Hub in Asia. more..

COPE report’s untold story

Nov 7 (CT) The most controversial topic generating heat in political circles these days is the report submitted to Parliament by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on the Central Bank Treasury Bond scandal. COPE, under the chairmanship of JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, examined and debated the allegations pertaining to the festering T-Bond issue, and the final report was submitted to Parliament on Friday, 28 Oct. more..

Looking for a humane solution

Nov 7 (Hindu) The agreement between India and Sri Lanka on establishing a Joint Working Group on fisheries is a small step forward in resolving the dispute between fishermen of both countries. In fact, such a mechanism had been in place until a few years ago to address problems that arose whenever fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by Sri Lanka. The points agreed on are important: a hotline between the Coast Guards of both countries, a meeting of the JWG once in three months, more..

SriLankan inducts Mihin Lanka employees

Nov 7 (DM) SriLankan Airlines has inducted two batches of Mihin Lanka cabin crew comprising more than 50 employees, the airline announced. Full Statement: Honouring its commitment to absorb many as possible of Mihin Lanka employees, SriLankan Airlines recently inducted two batches of Mihin Lanka cabin crew comprising more than 50 employees. The visibly overjoyed young men and women were presented their letters of appointment in Katunayake recently. more..

Sri Lanka to summon Chinese envoy

Nov 7 (Hindu) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will meet China’s Ambassador to place on record Colombo’s “displeasure” at the latter’s recent remarks. A Foreign Ministry source said: “We are trying to schedule a meeting.” At a press conference last week, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang had criticised Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s remarks on Chinese loans being expensive, and asked more..

Colombo clue in Calcutta dengue fight

Nov 7 (TT) Ruwan Wijemuni's rigour in the rules of engagement with mosquitoes may hold lessons for Calcutta and other cities on the subcontinent battling repeated outbreaks of dengue. Wijemuni is the chief medical officer of the CMC that has documented about 2,800 dengue patients in Colombo so far this year, a number lower than what it could have been given the spurt in dengue across the island. Sri Lanka's health department has registered over 44,000 dengue patients this year, more..

Three fasting soldiers hospitalized

Nov 7 (CT) Three disabled soldiers, who were on a death fast, near the Fort Railway station, were admitted to the National Hospital early yesterday (6) morning. A group of disabled soldiers launched a protest demanding pensions. The war heroes launched the fast unto death in front of the Fort Railway Station, three days ago, demanding pensions benefits for disabled veterans who have not completed 12 years of service. Another group of disabled war heroes, who had not completed more..

Call for autonomous unit in N&E renewed

Nov 7 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) on behalf of the Sri Lankan Tamils resident overseas has called for the creation of an Autonomous Tamil Region (ATR) in a re-merged Northern and Eastern Province to address their grievances. The two provinces comprise eight administrative districts. GTF has acknowledged that a consensus among Tamil and Muslim leaders is a prerequisite for creating an autonomous unit. more..

Four Districts get landslide warning

Nov 7 (CT) The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) yesterday issued a landslide warning to four districts for the next 24 hours. Sources at the NBRO stated that the warnings were issued to landslide prone areas such as the Galle, Matara, Ratnapura and Kalutara Districts. The NBRO warned that landslides may occur if the rains persist. Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has warned of heavy showers, rough seas and strong winds, for the next eight hours. more..

Six AAVA suspects arrested

Nov 7 (CT) The Jaffna Police have arrested six suspected 'AAVA' group members, Police said yesterday. Four of the suspects were arrested from the Jaffna area and the other two in Chunnakkam, on information elicited from the other four. The suspects are being questioned while the CID is conducting investigations. On 23 October it was reported that two Govt Intelligence Service officers had been attacked with swords by two unidentified motorcyclists in Chunnakam, Jaffna. more..

GL suspended from SLFP

Nov 7 (CT) Former Minister G.L. Pieris, who has formed a new Party, was officially suspended from the SLFP as of yesterday. He accused the SLFP hierarchy of step-motherly treatment and noted that President Sirisena, who also defected from the SLFP in late 2014, was treated in a different way. He said, "My party membership has been suspended. Similarly the present president of the Party, more..

Fairy tales form PM: A/L students to get tabs

Nov 7 (DM) All students in the A/L stream will get tabs while university students will be able to buy tabs on a concessionary rate soon, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking at the Asia Pacific conference of German Business in Hong Kong, he said SL has embarked on building a digital economy. "We have embarked on developing WiFi zones in the country. We are in need of engineers especially in the IT sector. We also need IT training institutions and have kept that sector open," more..

JO will not support Podu Jana Peramuna

Nov 7 (NR) Joint Opposition (JO) says its members have not decided to support the party initiated under the Chairmanship of Professor GL Peiris. Leader of JO MP Dinesh Gunewardene said the party will not support the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna party whose symbol bears a flower bud. He said members of the Joint Opposition will not be a part of the new party. MP Dinesh Gunewardene was commenting on the decision to revoke the SLFP membership of Professor GL Peiris. more..

Partners in Crime: UNP or SLFP have no intention on destroying each other: PM

Nov 7 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the UNP and SLFP wish to work together in the national govt to develop the country and have no intention of destroying each other. “We (UNP) do not wish to destroy the SLFP and the SLFP does not wish to destroy the UNP. We wish to join together and develop this country for the people,” Wickremesinghe said, while addressing a religious event at Ahangama, Dikkumbura. more..

Refugee kids in Chennai face disruption of studies

Nov 7 (DC) Asha Perinbanayagam is worried that the safe shelter over her head as she pursued studies as a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee girl could collapse under red tape. The 19-year-old student of computer science at the Saraswati College at Konerikuppam returned to the hostel Saturday evening only to be told by her father, who works as the warden at the hostel run by a charitable trust called the Bright Society, that the local officials have threatened to close down the facility as more..

'Avaa not backed by military or politicians'

Nov 7 (DM) State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene dismissed statements that the Aava group operating the Northern Province had political and military backing of the govt. He said the govt would not let anyone or any organization in the country to take the law into their hands, especially after the end of the three decade long war. “The group called Aava is a small number of people who are trying to distress the public”, he said. "I'm is disappointed that some individuals were more..

'Draft constitution unlikely to merge N & E'

Nov 7 (ENS) To address the ethnic question, SL’s draft constitution is likely to suggest the implementation of the existing 13th Amendment (13A) with an additional provision for a 2nd Chamber in parliament but without a merger of the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern province, said Minister Mano Ganesan. Muslims and Sinhalese are highly unlikely to accept a merger ofNorthern and Eastern provinces out of the fear that more..

US election in a changing world

Nov 7 (DM) Tomorrow, the people of the world’s most powerful nation will elect a new president. The choice is between the billionaire businessman with no political experience -Donald Trump of Republican Party- or former Secretary of State and former First Lady Hilary Clinton of Democratic Party. Having just eight years ago, elected the first African-American president –one of the best in history- will the US elect a woman as president this time around?  Perhaps it is the right time. more..

Ven. Madoluwawe Sobitha Thera: An irreparable loss to countrymen

Nov 7 (DM) We must not forget that LTTE was formed five years before Hezbolla, ten years before Al Qaeda and Hamas and 15 years before the Taliban. We had also gone through two insurgencies in the South as well. Why did we so far fail to assess the shortcomings to plan the future course of action for the benefit of the citizens as one nation? Unfortunately, after having defeated the LTTE, why couldn’t we resolve many of the post war issues too? more..

Will Sri Lanka's new constitution retain the mistakes that led to 25 years of civil war?

Nov 7 (Scroll) Last month, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Colombo that the country's new constitution, currently being framed by a steering committee of parliamentarians, will protect the special place accorded to Buddhism in the existing document. The remarks were met with shock from minority groups, who were hoping that the new constitution would protect the communal, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the island nation and more..

AG may seek more details on bond scam

Nov 7 (SL) The Attorney General (AG) may seek more details before making his recommendations on the recent report by the COPE on the CB bond scam. Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya said the report is being carefully studied but it does not have a fixed date to be finalized the recommendations. He says the process involving his department will take place separately and independently from the parliament process, more..

JO No-Faith against PM: JVP not interested

Nov 7 (CT) The JVP is not interested in any no confidence motion, which may be brought by Joint Opposition (JO), against the PM in connection with the alleged Bond Scam, JVP MP Bimal Rathnayaka said. He addd, "Mahinda Rajapaksa-led JO has no stake in the present politics of the country. Also, the people's trust in the PM has been gravely diluted following the controversial bond scam, at Central Bank. more..

Smart reforms could improve Sri Lanka’s exports: World Bank

Nov 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka could grow it exports by encouraging resources to more productive firms through managing urbanization and fostering agglomeration of firms, a World Bank report states. Firms could also invest more in training their workers and managers, with active measures from the govt, the report states. “Sri Lanka’s leading firms have risen to standards of global excellence, demonstrating that more..

Sri Lankan Police shooting of two students more of the same

Nov 7 (HRW) Two students from Jaffna University were shot by police near a checkpoint in the early hours of Oct 20, 2016. Both died from their wounds. Initially, police denied the shooting, saying that Sundiraja Sulakshan and Nadarasa Gajan died in an accident. However, the autopsy found bullets lodged in their bodies. SL authorities would still very likely have covered up the incident, the norm in police abuse cases, more..

Sri Lanka wants an end to bottom trawling

Nov 7 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Sunday urged India to expeditiously end unsustainable industrial-scale fishing in the coastal waters between the two countries. Addressing presspersons here a day after both sides agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on the fishermen issue, MP M.A. Sumanthiran, said Indian trawlers were using heavy-duty fishing techniques in the coastal waters that must be ended at the earliest. more..