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UN probe sought on torture by Lankan security forces

Nov 14 (PTI) The UN Committee Against Torture should visit Sri Lanka and conduct an independent investigation into the continued abductions, torture and sexual violence committed by the security forces, a former member of the UN special panel has said. Indian-origin Yasmin Sooka is a member of a former UN special panel on Sri Lanka's war with the LTTE. She heads the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP). more..

Video: 'Budget 2017 eyes to privatize CBSL'

Nov 14 (AD) Some proposals in the Budget 2017 are eyeing to privatize the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Joint Opposition asserts. The observation was made by MP Bandula Gunawardena while speaking at a press conference held in Colombo. He also pointed out there is a move to transfer the authority of the national payment system to three private organizations, without the monitoring of the CBSL. more..

Bus strike called off: LPBOA

Nov 14 (DM) The countrywide bus strike to be launched tomorrow was called off after discussions with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said a short while ago. The private bus operators had earlier warned they would launch the strike from tomorrow if the govt did not rescind its decision to impose a minimum penalty of Rs.2,500 for traffic offences. more..

Ours is a kleptocracy; literally rule by thieves

Nov 15 (DM) I watched with absolute disgust and frustration a video of a media briefing sent to me where Prof. G.L. Peiris, assisted by tutor-turned politician Bandula Gunawardena accusing PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that he is solely responsible as an accomplice for the serious crimes allegedly committed by former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Duo while attempting to white-wash their past sins of the previous regime, decried that a perpetrator of an enormous financial crime, more..

Draining The Swamp

Nov 15 (CT) Donald Trump prevailing over Hillary Clinton is a matter that gives contemplative satisfaction to those who wish for ethical governance. During the primaries, I desperately hoped that Bernie Sanders would succeed Obama. Triumph of Trump is a consolation prize. Had Hillary won she would have reversed the process of 2008. In contrast, Trump presidency is only a temporary setback. Bigotry is curable. Humbug is incurable. Sanders has spoken. Sad but not surprising. more..

'SLFP dissidents have not decided to join new party'

Nov 15 (SL) UPFA MP Prasanna Ranaweera says the budget does not offer any concessions for the ordinary citizen, and the middle and lower income groups have been further burdened with taxes while the upper income groups have been given greater benefits. The direct taxes promised by the govt have not come into play, he further pointed out. “One of the most common excuses is that money was borrowed more..

Donald Trump phenomenon & lessons therein

Nov 15 (CT) At the recently concluded US presidential elections, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represented two political extremes with dubious personal track records. It was no surprise, therefore, that in this biggest Western democracy in the world, only 56% of voters turned up at the polling booths to cast their votes. Another reason for this disillusionment was the acrimonious way the competition and debates were conducted by two candidates and two parties. more..

Love your neighbour as yourself? Not a chance!

Nov 15 (DM) What does it mean to love? It means to serve, give others and feel happy over other people’s joy. When we act with love in our hearts, we can achieve closeness not only with those living next door but also with others around us at home, school and work place  Loving a neighbor is loving, appreciating and also supporting any reciprocation from them. Such neighbourliness is supposed to bring out the best in all of us. It sounds perfect; but to ordinary human beings more..

Thavarajah vows to hold on as EPDP tells him to quit

Nov 15 (CT) NPC Opposition Leader Sinnadurai Thavarajah, commenting on the replacement to his post said, he would have compromised with his party's (EPDP) request to appoint V. Thavanathan from Kilinochchi to the post of Opposition Leader of NPC, if they had approached him in a proper manner. "I may have compromised on their request had they done it in a proper manner. But in the current context more..

Whose Trump?

Nov 15 (SL) It’s surprising that much of America and all of the rest of the world seems surprised at Donald Trump’s election as the next US President. Barring party-partisan Americans, there should have been no surprise at the result. Either it had to be America’s first woman President, or had to be an unconventional man who appealed to all-American inherent sense of insecurity, often buried deep in the façade of being a super-power, hence super-humans. New America, middle America and more..

Yahapalanaya, backbone of civilised living

Nov 15 (DN) Yahapalanaya, is the new high profile addition to the Sri Lankan political lexicon. Backers of the previous Rajapaksa regime like to spin around this term, dance around it and try and make it look like some weird thing or a funny joke. The fact is that the concept merely stands for a standard that defines good governance. Generally, all citizens who inhabit the developed western world do enjoy Yahapalanaya despite occasional breakdowns. We, in Australia observe the norm more..

Face the Nation

Gunaratne's seam-up variation, Panyangara's errant front foot

Nov 15 (CI) Asela Gunaratne is nominally a medium-pacer, but showed he's an unusual member of the species on his ODI debut. He ran in like a medium-pacer, went through his delivery stride like a medium-pacer, but gripped the ball and released it like an offspinner. Having taken two wickets with his offcutter, he was now bowling to Zimbabwe's No. 11, Tinashe Panyangara, who had slogged him with the turn for a boundary through midwicket in his previous over. Now came the change-up. more..

Obstacles to Ranil’s destiny

Nov 15 (Island) I was tempted to write this piece by the outspoken remarks of an Island editorial under the title O tempora! O mores! After highlighting a list of failures by a young minister holding an important portfolio, the editorial raised the question, "If it (the Govt) had been really serious about developing vital sectors … it would have got very senior Cabinet members to helm the relevant ministries without turning them into playpens for politicians still wet behind the ears." more..

Principal under fire over beer party in school

Nov 15 (SL) The principal of a girl’s school in Ambalangoda has come under fire over a beer party held in the school by some of the students. The principal of Prajapathi Gothami Vidyalaya has refused to resign by accepting responsibility for the actions of the students. The students have been accused of bringing beer and consuming it in school during school hours. General Secretary of SL Teachers’ Association, Joseph Stalin claimed more..

Don't need talent to fight: Streak

Nov 15 (CI) Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak lost his gruntle. While Zimbabwe was able to take heart from the way they resisted defeat during the Test series, Streak opened the press conference after his side's eight-wicket thrashing in the tri-series opener by admitting: "I won't have too many positives today." Streak seemed particularly vexed by the white flag Zimbabwe raised through their body language. "Your positivity and your mental outlook is affected by your body language and how you're thinking," more..

Editorial: For the love of people

Nov 15 (Island) All government leaders are overflowing with the milk of human kindness. After all, they are the champions of compassionate governance whatever that means. They are living for the people and spending long days and sleepless nights to improve our lot. The same is true of their Joint Opposition counterparts who are even ready to lay down their lives for the masses. They are generously spending part of their wealth painstakingly amassed through various deals more..

Sri Lanka steamroll Zimbabwe on green track

Nov 15 (CI) Sent in to bat on a green and slightly damp Harare surface, Zimbabwe lasted only 41.3 overs, leaving Sri Lanka a target of 155 that they chased down breezily courtesy Dhananjaya de Silva's unbeaten 78. Easy on the eye and ruthless on anything short or on his pads, de Silva scored his second ODI half-century, and put on 56 for the first wicket with Kusal Perera and 84 for the second with Niroshan Dickwella more..

Mixed results for Junior shuttlers

Nov 15 (ST) Sri Lanka Junior Badminton team taking part in the World Junior Badminton Championships 2016 at Bilbhawo city in Spain finished in the 36th position at the conclusion of team events and will have to come out with a much improved performance in the Singles events to give the badminton fans back at home some consolation.   The young shuttlers started off on a winning note defeating Lethuania 3-0 and Norway 3-2 but missed the bus to reach either 33rd or 34th position more..

Engagement crucial to achieve Budget goals

Nov 15 (FT) Creating and curating a comprehensive ecommerce platform, taxes on financial services and clarity on landownership by foreign investors are three segments that were highlighted as needing further engagement from the Govt with stakeholders on Budget 2017.  Participating at the post-Budget seminar organised jointly by Reuters and the SL Forex Association, CCC Chief Economist Anushka Wijesinha pointed out that govt had made a slew of progressive proposals, more..

'Budget further jolts automobile industry'

Nov 15 (DN) 2017 Budget proposals on the automobile industry was nothing but a blatant breach of promises given by him and the industry has lost faith in him, Ceylon Motor Trader Association (CMTA) Chairman Reeza Rauf said. Duties have been increased two fold despite the minister’s assurance to the industry that the tax structure will remain unchanged for at least two years, he said. For example the unit rate of a 1,000 cc car more..

Six diplomats present credentials

Nov 15 (ITN) Six new foreign diplomats have been appointed to Sri Lanka. There are four new Ambassadors and two High Commissioners. They handed in their credentials to President Sirisena. Igor Poligha is the newly appointed Ambassador of Ukraine. Sonam Rabgye has been appointed as the new Ambassador of Bhutan. Asfaw Kame, presented his credential as new Ambassador Ethiopia & Jononov Sherali as new Ambassador to Tajikistan presented his credentials. more..

Sri Lanka interested in e-learning from PITB

Nov 15 (TN) A visiting 15-member delegation from National Services Youth Council Colombo, having representation from all over Sri Lanka led by Youth Parliament Minister Kasun Wickramasingha expressed keen interest in e-Learning programme of Punjab IT Board (PITB). Briefing the delegation head of e-learning programme Kashif Farooq informed that the PITB had initiated exemplary IT-based education projects in Punjab that were being replicated by the other provinces more..

Channelled practice in govt hospitals

Nov 15 (NS) Ministry of health has discussed possibility of introducing private chanelling of doctors through some major govt hospitals in the evenings after 4pm with the aim of providing medical consultation at more affordable rates to the people. It has been proposed that doctors, paramedics and other relevant staff remain at the hospital premises after their working hours for which they would be paid overtime and other incentives. more..

Ravi K justifies RPCs 5,000-acre land rule

Nov 15 (FT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Friday justified the 2017 Budget move to limit acregae of Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) to 5,000 acres. “We want to break the current 28,000-30,000 acres help by RPCs into smaller units. You certainly cannot incorporate acreage into your group consolidated balance sheets. We want specific standalone companies where you will be able to make money through Government assets on a win-win basis,” the Minister explained more..

Cargo Boat blames BOI for delay; abandons Rs. 2b Baybrooke commercial complex

Nov 15 (FT) A delay by the Board of Investment in approvals has forced Cargo Boat Development Company to abandon its proposed commercial complex at Braybrooke Street, Colombo 2. The company said that it has not invested funds in the proposed project by Renuka Land Ltd. at Colombo 2 and has withdrawn from the planned investment “due to the prolonged time taken by the BOI to extend the project implementation period stipulated in Principal Agreement dated 19 Nov 2014.” more..

Facilitate early release of boats in Sri Lankan custody: TN to Centre

Nov 15 (ENS) TN govt has urged the Centre to facilitate early release of 105 fishing boats belonging to the State’s fishermen under the custody of SL Govt and relief assistance to the owners of 18 boats that were damaged under the island nation’s custody. In a letter written to Foreign Secretary on Nov 10, TN Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao said, “I request you to impress upon govt of SL to secure the early release of 105 fishing boats more..

Holy Trinity Centre shattered by stabbing death

Nov 15 (Island) A clash between a cook and the driver of a priest training centre at Talangama had ended with the former being stabbed to death by the latter on Saturday night, Police said. The victim has been identified as Joseph Fernando (45) of Ja-Ela. He had been working as a cook at the Holy Trinity Centre on Robert Gunawardena Mawatha at Talangama-Battaramulla. According to police on the tragic night, the cook after preparing dinner for the priests and trainees more..

Muralitharan to feature in former Eden Gardens’ groundsman’s documentary

Nov 15 (DC) Muttiah Muralitharan has figured in the documentary of Eden Garden's former curator Prabir Mukherjee.   A documentary on Mukherjee, who, at the age of 86, died in Kolkata (June this year) will be released soon. This was revealed by his grandson Pronay Mukherjee. He said, “The film takes you on a journey of discovering Prabir Mukherjee as a personality. It deals with his personal and professional life and his tenure as a curator at the Eden Gardens." more..

Navy earns over Rs. 2.3 billion in a year from maritime security operations

Nov 15 (SLN) Having taken over the Onboard Security Team Operations (OBST) from Avant Garde Maritime Services since 13th Nov 2015, SL Navy was able to earn Rs. 2.33 Billion for the Govt to date. Accordingly, from 13th Nov 2015 until 13th Nov 2016 the Navy had earned an income of Rs. 2.33 Billion for a total of 6,646 ship movements. Galle and Colombo operation centers have carried out 6150 and 496 movements respectively more..

Teejay Lanka to invest US$ 38 million, rebrands with acquisition

Nov 15 (DN) Teejay Lanka PLC, the region’s largest weft knit textile manufacturing will invest US$ 38 million to intensify their operations in both Sri Lanka and India. The company formerly known as Textured Jersey, also unveiled their new corporate brand and spelled out plans to convert themselves as US$ 300 million company in three years. The parent company, Teejay Lanka PLC will bring its acquired entities too and will be re-banded as Teejay Prints and Teejay India. more..

Financial Transaction Levy to rake in Rs. 8 billon or Rs. 47 billion?

Nov 15 (FT) Confusion reigned on Friday at a post-Budget forum in Colombo over the actual amount the Govt was planning to raise via the new Financial Transaction Levy (FTL). In the 2017 Budget, a new FTL of Rs. 5 for every Rs. 10,000 cash transaction was proposed, including Easy Cash by banks and other financial institutions. This levy, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake justified was a contribution for social development. FTL will be treated as expenditure for income purposes. more..

Indians spent their kidney money in Colombo night clubs

Nov 15 (Island) Five out of six Indian nationals who escaped last week from the Mirihana detention centre where they had been held for their alleged involvement in a kidney transplant racket but were arrested in Pesali last Friday confessed to police that they had spent all their earnings from illegal kidney transplants in Colombo night clubs. Suspects have been remanded till Nov 24. They were nabbed by police at Talaimannar more..

SLT to uplift Homagama Techno City digital infrastructure

Nov 15 (DN) A MoU was signed between the Ministry of Megalopolis Development and SL Telecom to uplift digital infrastructure facilities of the techno city being constructed in Homagama according to the Western Provincial Megalopolis Development Plan. This country will become the strategic commercial hub in the Indian oceanic region with the construction of the financial city and Homagama techno city centering the city of Colombo, main commercial city of Sri Lanka. more..

Green lobby exempted from VAT while healthccare draws tax

Nov 15 (EN) Sri Lanka's renewable energy businessmen, who are making billions of rupees by selling high priced power to the people, have been exempted from value added tax when they build plants, while healthcare is taxed. Renewable energy businessmen have built close ties to rulers and through intensive public relations activities also win privileges and avoid paying their fair share in taxes in most countries they operate. Rather than paying taxes, many renewable energy more..

Following Water Tariff hike Canteens threaten to jack up prices

Nov 15 (CT) If the Gazette notification announcing the implementation of the increased tariff on drinking water by 1 Dec is not withdrawn, Canteen Owners' Association declared that they will increase the price of a cup of plain tea and milk tea by Rs 5 and the price of a packet of rice as well as all types of flour based foods by Rs 10. National Organizer of Canteen Owners' Association Asela Sampath said, more..

High powered dairy-business delegation from Netherlands to visit Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (Island) A 12 member high powered business/investor delegation from Dairy and Poultry Sectors from Netherlands will be visiting Sri Lanka in end Nov 2016. The Netherlands Export Combination (NEC) in association with the Embassy of Netherlands in SL and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be organising a Seminar on Innovative Technological Solutions in Agriculture from the Netherlands followed by B2B meetings on 28th Nov at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. more..

Pelting of stones: Embassy complains to Ministry

Nov 15 (DM) A leading foreign embassy located in Colombo has complained to the Foreign Affairs Ministry that residents living in the neighbourhood were pelting stones at the embassy premises across the parapet wall. The embassy had reportedly complained to the police as well as the Defence Ministry over the incident. The embassy was built on a land which had been previously occupied by squatters and there was a controversy over the ownership of land for past couple of years. more..

Bus owners railroad govt into reconsidering huge fine hike

Nov 15 (Island) The LPBOA suspended its strike scheduled for today after a discussion with Minister, Ravi Karunanayake.  Chairman LPBOA, Gemunu Wijeratne said that Minister claimed that the minimum fine of Rs. 2,500 had been misinterpreted. "The unions explained to him that they had no issues with such heavy fines for drunk driving and other such serious offences. But, to charge such a colossal amount for more..

People will save water if politicians don’t waste money

Nov 15 (DM) From Dec 1, we will have to pay at least 30% more for fresh water supplied on tap by National Water Supply and Drainage Board. Most people are complaining that while the price of sugar is being reduced by Rs.2 a kilo as part of the 2017 budget proposals, much more will have to be paid for tap water. But govt ministers say the increase in the tap water rates is not connected to the budget but part of the process where the NWSDB increases rates every three years.  more..