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Sri Lanka should retain flood waters, not pump them out

Nov 8 (EN) Sri Lanka should make an effort to retain water from floods whose incidence is increasing, like in other countries, and not pump them out. Surath Wickremasinghe, President  of the Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka, said flooding happens twice a year now and little is being done by govts to rectify the problem. “The easiest solution to the flood problem as adopted by many parts of Sri Lanka is to pump the water out,” he told a forum on disaster risk reduction. more..

Abolition of exec Presidency: Is it warranted?

Nov 8 (DM) We have experienced during the past regime of former President, that absolute power vested in Executive Presidency has caused opportunity for absolute corruption and abuse of power. As a result many critics have pointed out that abolition of Executive Presidency is absolutely necessary in the process of the formation of a new Constitution. There is no mechanism within the present Constitution to ensure the principle of Separation of powers and balance of power more..

Chari, Ervine fifties lift hosts after SL's 504

Nov 8 (CI) An amateurish approach to spin upfront was somewhat covered up by Craig Ervine and Brian Chari, who hit unbeaten half-centuries, to lead Zimbabwe's recovery from an early wobble. They closed the second day of the 2nd Test in Harare at 126 for 2, still 378 runs adrift of SL's 504. Ervine and Chari's unbroken 109-run stand for 3rd wicket stood out on a day in which most of the wickets were brought about by more..

Sri Lanka's fringe players make their mark

Nov 8 (CI) Over the past few years, visitors to Zimbabwe have faced an unwelcome prospect: little to gain, everything to lose. The decreasing value of a tour of Zimbabwe can be seen in its most consistent marker. As India visited in three of the last four years, the teams they selected became ever weaker. In 2013, five first-XI players were rested. This year, as many as 17 players who were in India's previous limited-overs squads were left at home. more..

Wooing at public expense

Nov 8 (DM) Despite being past the mandatory retirement age of 60, this fair one attached to a certain regulatory commission still looks attractive enough to draw a second look from any grown-up normal male, they say. What makes this story is that a powerful secretary to a very high political authority going beyond bestowing a second look on this voluptuous lady has gone out of his way to authorize a service extension to her & an acting pay package as a bonus in addition to normal salary. more..

Malik calls for mindset change to boost competitiveness

Nov 8 (FT) Minister Malik Samarawickrama called for a mindset change from both politicians and bureaucrats to boost much needed competiveness of the country to become a successful export nation. This bold observation was made at the launch of World Bank’s new report titled South Asia’s Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness & Create Next Export Powerhouse. While calling for mindset changes, more..

Political commitment necessary until independent institutions get stronger

Nov 8 (Island) The govt’s handling of the Central Bank bond issue has generated a wave of public opinion that is critical of it. Even those who voted for the govt and count themselves as govt supporters have been placed in a situation of consternation. High among the reasons many of them cast their votes against the former govt was its corruption. They expected that the new govt would speedily deal with those who had been guilty of corruption. But the manner in which govt members more..

Dialog CEO scotches rumours about share sale

Nov 8 (Island) Group CEO - Dialog Axiata Dr. Hans Wijesuriya said that his company has no idea of selling its operations in full or any part of it to any other company and is now focused on developing 4 G technology in SL. "Dialog 4G mobile technology is the new generation of the mobile broadband internet facility introduced by Dialog..The company operates 2.5G and 3/3.5G, the latest in multimedia and mobile Internet services in Sri Lanka. Dialog mobile 4G helps to deliver high speed internet, more..

Women’s team undergoes radical changes for England series

Nov 8 (DN) SL women’s cricketers will battle against visiting English women’s team under a new captain, left arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera in their forthcoming four-match ODI series on home soil. The selectors have changed the captain and made drastic changes to the 14-member SL squad with the aim of achieving positive results, chairman of women’s national selection committee Vinodhan John said. 30-year-old Inoka is more..

8th World Sanda Cup 2016: Sri Lanka wins two bronze medals

Nov 8 (CT) Sri Lanka wushu athletes Luxman Gunasekara and Lakshitha Thimal put up an impressive performance to win Bronze Medals at the 8th World Sanda Cup Wushu Tournament which concluded in China yesterday. The event witnessed the participation of 80 of the best sanda players who took part in the 13th World Wushu Championship (WWC) 2015 in Indonesia. Luxman and Lakshitha were selected to represent Sri Lanka based on their performances at the last WWC in Jakarta. more..

Gammanpila ready to join any party headed by Mahinda

Nov 8 (DN) PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila said he will contest a future election under a new coalition formed under the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksha. This new coalition will include the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna parties connected to the common opposition in Parliament and members of the SLFP. Gammanpila said this addressing a press conference held at his party headquarters in Pitakotte on Nov 7. more..

'Some LLRC proposals can be implemented'

Nov 8 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that some recommendations of the LLRC that could be implemented would be put into practice in the coming years. PM made these remarks at last evening's commemoration lecture on one time Attorney General C R De Silva who chaired the LLRC. Mr Wickremesinghe was referring to late Mr De Silva who was his classmate with his pet name Bulla. more..

Ravi K gets Budget tips from maestro Ronnie

Nov 8 (FT) Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake met former Finance Minister Ronnie de Mel yesterday. The meeting was held with regard to Budget 2017 at the Colpetty residence of the former minister. After his meeting, Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the media that everything is in place to present a people friendly budget. He said former finance minister Ronnie de Mel’s views were collected as his they were considered to be important in making Budget 2017. Minister also met former President more..

Senior attorney Vernon Botejue no more

Nov 8 (FT) Vernon Botejue, a senior attorney who counts over 60 years at the bar, passed away yesterday after a brief illness. Remembered along with S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Philip Gunawardena in the struggle to make Sinhala the official language of the courts, Botejue’s interest in this area went back to his days at S Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia.  Vernon had a distinguished school career winning the Mollamure Prize for History of Ceylon and the Special Prize for more..

A mini war in Colombo

Nov 8 (CT) Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the disabled soldiers who were protesting outside the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. The disabled soldiers, protesting for the fourth continuous day, were pummelled with the pressurized jet streams of water and tear gas, when they attempted to enter the Presidential Secretariat premises. The military personnel with disabilities were demanding more..

Cabinet paper on plain packaging for tobacco products

Nov 8 (FT) The Health Ministry yesterday said that regulations on plain packaging for tobacco products, modelled after the policies followed by Australia, would be introduced in the near future following consultations with the World Health Organization (WHO). Director General of Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala, said that the Ministry aimed to introduce plain packaging, with a uniform colour to cover space not covered by pictorial warnings, for all brands.  more..

'Sri Lanka striving for global collaboration in science, technology & innovation'

Nov 8 (FT) At the International Convention of Science, Technology and innovation held from 31 Oct to 4 Nov 2016 in Havana, Cuba, Sri Lanka emphasised the need for developing countries to work together while making collective efforts in their endeavours to transform their countries into scientific, technological and innovation centric development models. Participating in a round table panel discussion  chaired by Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment more..

India agrees to consider SL’s proposal for joint patrolling of Palk Strait

Nov 8 (ENS) For the first time in the history of Indo-Sri Lankan negotiations on the fishing issue troubling the two countries, India has agreed to consider Sri Lankan proposal for the joint patrolling of the Palk Strait by the naval arms of the two countries. The Terms of Reference for the Joint Working Group on Fisheries (JWGF) includes ascertaining possibilities for cooperation on joint patrolling by the naval arms of two countries. more..

IMF Executive Board to review Sri Lanka’s programme on Nov 17

Nov 8 (DM) IMF Executive Board in Washington is expected to review the current three-year extended loan facility with Sri Lanka during the third week of November as the fund’s staff team concluded its first programme review in September. IMF staff teams visit the member countries, which have programmes with the fund under its country surveillance, to assess the progress made in the economy – a process known as article IV consultations – and the staff mission reports its findings to the IMF more..

Welgama not joining new party

Nov 8 (CT) JO and SLFP MP Kumara Welgama says that he has no intention of joining the newly formed political party, Sri Lanka Podujana Perumana (SLPF) which was formed recently with former Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris as its Chairman. "I am still a hardcore SLFP member. So far I have no intention of joining the new party. That decision, I feel, we must take as a group. I will not take that decision alone. I also think that there is tremendous support for the new party at grassroots level" more..

Police arrests soldier over Jaffna terror

Nov 8 (EN) Police have arrested a member of the security forces while investigating the so called Aava Group accused of terrorising people in the Jaffna peninsula and destabilising the region. The suspect, arrested along with five others, is reported to be from a military unit. The military denied the arrest, but police sources said their information was that one of the suspects in custody was reportedly in active service. more..

Foreign Secy rings Chinese envoy

Nov 8 (DM) In the wake of Chinese Ambassador Yi Xiangliang'a critical remarks on Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon yesterday contacted the envoy over the phone and said the govt of Sri Lanka was always prepared and open to discuss any issue of concern, it is learnt. As a result, Mr. Weerakoon is reported to have said that there is no need for the Ambassador to discuss such matters through the media. Ambassador told a news conference last week that more..

Comprehensive mechanism to purchase coal

Nov 8 (DN) The govt has finalised a comprehensive mechanism to purchase coal for the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai, Power and Energy Ministry sources said. The govt has decided to go ahead with a term-contract to supply coal to the coal power plant. This will allow the Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises, to supply 50% of the required coal under their existing contract - the remaining 50% will go to contracts on a spot-tender basis. “This is not an entirely new practice,” more..

TN fisher leaders disappointed over outcome of talks with Sri Lanka

Nov 8 (Hindu) A cross-section of fisher leaders has expressed disappointment over the outcome of the recent high-level meeting between Indian Minister Sushma Swaraj and SL Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Delhi to find a solution to the long-standing livelihood issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen. “We are not at all satisfied with the decision to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG), joint patrolling and hotline between more..

Monks contest tax concession on beer; CA permits to file further documents

Nov 8 (FT) Court of Appeal yesterday granted permission to the Petitioners to file further documents to further establish their case and fixed the matter to be taken up on 15 Dec, with notice to the Respondents in respect of the Writ Petition challenging the impugned decision granting a waiver of any kind of fiscal levy. The Bench comprised Justices Vijith K.Malalgoda (President/CA) and S.Thurairajah. Buddhist Monks Agulugalle Sri Jinananda Thero, Rathgama Sumangala more..

Importers say vehicle customs duty up

Nov 8 (DM) The customs duty on Toyota Premio, Allion and Honda Vezel has increased between Rs.220,000 to Rs.400,000 fromt Nov 1, Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka Chariman Dinesh Senanayake said. “The base value of the customs duty has been increased according to the vehicle valuation,” he said. Accordingly, the new customs vehicle duty on a Toyota Premio will be Rs. 384,027, while Rs. 362,570 will have to be paid on a Toyota Allion and Rs. 220,222 on a Honda Vezel. more..

G.L. wants Rajapaksa to lead new party

Nov 8 (Hindu) Amid speculation about former President Mahinda Rajapaksa floating a new party, his colleague and former Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris has decided to invite Mr. Rajapaksa to lead a new political organisation he chairs. “We will do our best to persuade him, to lead our party” Mr. Peiris said. “Until now he [Mr. Rajapaksa] has not given us any commitment, but we are very hopeful that he will accept it,” he said, more..

Let’s not wallow in garbage

Nov 8 (DM) TV channels showed Minister Faiszer Musthapha being challenged by residents of an area in Colombo, when he went to inspect the progress of the govt’s programme to collect segregated garbage in the CMC areas from Nov 1. A person questioned the Minister as to whether authorities had explained to the residents on what basis the garbage should be segregated. He said in other countries residents were provided with garbage bins in several colours to dump segregated garbage. more..

We are in a right royal mess

Nov 8 (DM) No new faces, no innovations, no out of the box thinking, no principles – appeals not to the floating voter; the vote that changes regimes, as did the good governance kids in 2015 - more inclined to be anti establishment- to the old or new outlaws. Both sides of the divide are populated with dandies that dye their hair and retain green or blue shirts in stock, if a switch is required in an emergency.   Prof. G.L. Pieris is an eminent choice for chairmanship of an emerging party as he is devoid of more..

Mystery over mother’s death in Kuwait

Nov 8 (DM) Niluka Jayathilaka (38), a mother of two, returned to Sri Lanka in a coffin on Oct. 25 after she died of a so called gas tank explosion in her work place in Kuwait. Her kidneys were removed and sold at Aden hospital in Kuwait for Rs. 1,500,000 with her Saudi-employed, estranged husband Udaya Kumara’s agreement.   According to reports and autopsy done in Sri Lanka, she died on October 4. more..

Peace fails to bring prosperity in Eastern SL

Nov 8 (IPS) It is a Tuesday afternoon and only a handful of devotees have flocked to the Meera Grand Mosque in Katankuddi, about 300 kms east of Colombo. As they prostrate in prayer, the wall in front of them is anything but pious. It is pock-marked with hundreds of holes bored into it when attackers opened fire using automatic weapons on Aug. 3, 1990. Suspected LTTE separatists attacked Meera Mosque more..

Dubious US$ 1B Chinese project for H’tota?

Nov 11 (SL) Experts have questioned the reason for the present govt to entertain another dubious project by the Chinese Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). It is the same company that built the China’s main energy-related project in Sri Lanka – Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, which has already become a shining example for questionable Chinese investments during the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Experts query SriLankan’s departure from Europe

Nov 11 (ST) Travel industry experts are questioning the national carrier’s move to stop flights to European destinations, a decision it started implementing last month. “In my view, SriLankan Airlines has to explain a fundamental issue,” said Rohan Abeywickrama, an expert in transport and aviation. “That is, how can Middle Eastern airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad operate to the same European destinations from more..

Health Ministry receiving complaints against errant pharmacies

Nov 11 (Island) Director General Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Palitha Mahipala said the Complaints Unit set up by his Ministry to ensure that pharmacies and private sector health institutions adhered to gazetted price reductions on 48 drugs had received 82 complaints since Friday. He said the Complaints Unit had adopted remedial measures such as ordering the Food and Drug Inspectors (FDIs) to raid the errant pharmacies. more..

Saudi to appoint a labor attacheé in SL

Nov 11 (SG) The Council of Ministers approved the setting up of labor attache offices at Saudi embassies in Egypt, India, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The weekly session of the Cabinet, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, took this decision after reviewing the recommendation of the Permanent Committee at the Council of Economic & Development Affairs. more..

Saga of the Albino Turtle

Nov 11 (CT) The theft of the Kosgoda white turtle took place two years ago. Police investigations were conducted on a number of leads and popular singer Amal Perera was also suspected and questioned. Eventually, it was reported that the owner of the Kosgoda Turtle Centre, K. Chandrasiri Thabrew had himself been the thief and a white turtle which was kept at his daughter's house was shown as stolen one. more..

Small car prices come down ahead of budget

Nov 11 (EN) Car dealers were aggressively advertising discounted prices on small cars amid expectations that Thursday's budget could see another revision of tariffs that will favour smaller vehicles. Associated Motorways, agents for Suzuki brand was offering discounts of up to 200,000 rupees and urged buyers to beat the change, own it today. Micro cars were offering a Rs. 100,000 reduction on their small car Panda. more..

Appeals Court orders release of Tiran Alles

Nov 11 (AD) Court of Appeal today suspended the remand order on former MP Tiran Alles issued by Colombo High Court and ordered to release him. A revision petition filed by Alles, owner of the Mawbima newspaper, seeking to suspend the remand order which he claims is against the law, was taken up before the Court of Appeals today. On Nov 2, three persons including Alles were remanded till Nov 10 by the HC, more..

SL tells China ready to discuss any concerns

Nov 11 (CG) Govt has told China it is prepared to discuss any concerns it has after controversy arose over a statement made by China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka last week. Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon had spoken to the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang and noted Sri Lanka’s willingness to discuss his concerns. Foreign Secretary had told the Chinese envoy it would be best for any more..

Playing with the future

Nov 8 (CT) As the bureaucrats head out once again to negotiate the climate convention, Sri Lanka burns. In a manner fitting of Nero fiddling while Rome burnt, those entrusted with the task of looking after our interests in the climate convention, seem more interested in the bracket brigade where endless hours are spent discussing weather to put in or remove brackets in the convention document, rather than informing us of the exact science and innovations that will help us face more..