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Vibes of a Sri Lankan rock artiste

Nov 17 (NS) The heat was killing me as I drove down R.A de Mel Mawatha in Bambalapitiya in search of rock artiste Prasanna Abeysekera’s residence. Prasanna’s instructions given to me the other day to find his residence gave me a hint of what he is made of. He gave all indication that he was sure of himself with regard to which direction he was going in life. The word meticulous would best describe the mental map he drew in my mind about where he lived. more..


Ban political parties from contesting LG elections

Nov 17 (Island) Yes let us hold LG elections without political parties and take the first step to put an end to the curse of confrontational politics in our country. which is sick and tired of old style politics and old style politicians. We are now living in a new world with Information Technology directing our affairs, we need a new political system beneficial to our people, particularly our youth, the leaders of tomorrow. Many well informed citizens have pleaded for an end to confrontational politics and more..

Editorial: Shooting rapids upstream

Nov 17 (Island) Come to think of it, we have been in print for three and a half decades, which represent perhaps the most eventful phase of the country’s post-Independence history. This arduous journey would not have been possible without our faithful readers who have been solidly behind us through thick and thin. The Island is theirs and we raise our editorial hat to them. We do not make our 35th anniversary an excuse to preen ourselves on what we consider our achievements. more..

Carter, Powell spur WI to 62-run win over SL

Nov 17 (CI) West Indies' bowlers, led by Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse, defended 227 on a deteriorating Harare pitch to register a bonus-point win, their first against Sri Lanka at a neutral venue since 1999. West Indies may not have had as much had it not been for enterprising cameos from Jonathan Carter and debutant Rovman Powell. Holder set the tone with a sensational opening spell of swing bowling in which he picked up more..

'Express ways in hill country not advisable'

Nov 17 (DM) Construction of express ways in the hill country is not advisable due to environmental reasons, govt MP Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera told Parliament today. Ven. Thera, who was speaking during the debate on the second reading of the budget said express ways in the hill country could result in natural disasters. “A major disaster can happen in the event of a flood as express ways will convert hill country into a highly populated area" he said. more..

SL struggle adjusting to West Indies pace

Nov 17 (CI) Sri Lanka barely broke a sweat while easing past Zimbabwe in the Tri-Series opener, but West Indies' pace and bounce proved a rather more testing assignment in their second match, with Sri Lanka bowled out for 165 in pursuit of West Indies' 227. Nuwan Kulasekara said that the Sri Lankans will have to adjust as quickly as possible to the varying attacks if they are to bounce back when the series moves to Bulawayo. "Zimbabwe, they have talent, but they tend to bowl 120 to 130 kph," more..

Sri Lanka plantations say land limit unfair for shareholders, hit investor confidence

Nov 17 (EN) Regional plantations companies said a govt 2017 budget proposal to limit landholdings to 5,000 acres would be potentially ruinous, be unfair for shareholders and erode investor confidence. Planters’ Association, which represents RPCs, said, they had not been consulted on the proposal and demanded talks with the govt on its feasibility and adverse impact. PA said there was a distressing lack of clarity around core more..

Sri Lankans too feel the pinch of India's demonetization

Nov 17 (ENS) Sri Lankans, who travel to India in large numbers and frequently, are feeling the pinch after India demonetized 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes. Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans are stuck with large amounts of Indian currency because they do not change the money while returning to the island from a visit to India. This is because many go back to India for repeat shopping or pilgrimage either to the Buddhist shrines in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh or to Hindu temples in south India. more..

Kulasekara takes two in the field, Jayasuriya gives one

Nov 17 (CI) On an overcast morning, Kraigg Brathwaite weathered a testing opening spell from Sri Lanka's seamers. All his hardwork came undone with sloppy technique, not against the new balls but while running. He patted a length delivery to mid-on, judged a run well and immediately set off. However, instead of sliding the bat in, he plonked it in the turf on the adjacent pitch. The bat jarred and bounced back up. Nuwan Kulasekara ran in, picked the ball with his right hand and threw stumps down more..

Duty Free Permit Abuse: Dy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma’s Land Cruiser for sale

Nov 17 (CT) Deputy Minister and UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma‘s brand new Toyota Land Cruiser is now for sale. This Land Cruiser is imported from Japan with a duty free vehicle permit, which resulted in the country losing millions of rupees in revenue. According to Customs’ declaration form the actual cost of the imported vehicle is stated as Rs 9.2 million even though MP Thewarapperuma has advertised to sell it for Rs 39 million. more..

Budget hailed as futuristic

Nov 17 (FT) Budget 2017 presented last week drew praise from members of the private sector, for its futuristic and holistic approach, highlighting that the proposals also demonstrate continuation as it falls in line with the economic policy framework presented by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, in comparison to Budget proposals which were disconnected from State policy. Kicking off the Budget highlight seminar organised by BDO Partners, Managing Partner Sujeewa Rajapakse, more..

HNB’s 9-month PAT surpasses Rs. 11 bn

Nov 17 (Island) HNB continued its trailblazing performance in 2016 with the Group’s nine month PAT growing by 54.2% to exceed Rs 11 bn. Group performance mirrored that of the Bank which reported an increase of 52.6% Year-on-Year (YoY) in profit before VAT and taxes to Rs 17.3 Bn and an increase in PAT by 48% YoY to Rs 10.1 Bn. Core banking operations contributed strongly to HNB’s results with net interest income growing by 28.8% YoY to Rs 24.9 Bn. more..

Govt moves to curb communal hate speech

Nov 17 (ENS) SL govt has moved to curb communal hate speech by arresting and getting remanded two extremists, one a Sinhalese and the other a Muslim, on charges of making communally incendiary speeches in the capital earlier in the month. A Sinhalese man, Dan Priyasad, leader of Savior of Sinhalese was arrested and remanded till Nov 26. On Wednesday, police held Abdul Razik, General Secretary of SL Tawheed Jamaath more..

CB Governor keen to end fiscal dominance

Nov 17 (FT) Putting economics before politics, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy stressed that the Monetary Board was keen to put a complete halt to fiscal dominance, highlighting that he was keen for it to move towards a progressive monetary policy in the medium term. Refusing to use the term political agenda, Coomaraswamy, who preferred using fiscal dominance, admitted that in the past there had been political influence in the Central Bank’s independence to more..

2017 Budget proposals and issues under spotlight at KPMG forum

Nov 17 (FT) KPMG hosted a post-Budget presentation and discussion unraveling key highlights of the tax and fiscal proposals of the 2017 Budget, which saw the attendance of a plethora of industry heads and entrepreneurs last Friday at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. The salient features of the tax and fiscal proposals of the 2017 Budget were presented by KPMG in SL Partner - Head of Tax, Shamila Jayasekara, and KPMG in SL Principal - Deal Advisory, Shiluka Goonewardene. more..

Video: Current political stability is something we won’t get after five years: PM

Nov 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that there was a golden opportunity for the country to move forward, as the current political stability was something which we would not get after five years. “The current political stability is something which we will not get after 5 years, so I invite all the top 30 companies to invest for the development of the country,” PM said, addressing the business leaders of Top 30 more..

Gulf Air adds Colombo to its Network

Nov 17 (Island) Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Bahrain, recently announced the addition of Colombo, to its network of destinations with the upcoming launch of 5 weekly flights to/from BIA from 19th Jan, 2017. This latest addition to Gulf Air’s network is in line with the airline’s business strategy which sees it strengthening its position as one of Middle East’s largest network carriers, while serving key global destinations that provide strong business and tourism links to Bahrain and more..

Jaffna International Trade Fair 2017 launched

Nov 17 (CT) Jaffna International Trade Fair (JITF) will be held for the 8th consecutive time in 2017 January. The exhibition will take place from the 27–29 of Jan 2017 at the Municipality grounds in Jaffna. This time as well the JITF 2017 is organized by Lanka Exhibition & Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd (LECS) in association with the Chamber of Commerce & Industries of Yarlpanam (CCIY) with the support of Jaffna Municipal Council, SL Convention Bureau & Int'l Business Council. more..

More than 100 SL women sold in Maldives, racket busted in Battaramulla

Nov 17 (DM) Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) today busted a major human trafficking network operating between Sri Lanka and Maldives, which had so far sent more than 100 Sri Lankan women to work in brothels in Maldives, where they are sold for VIPs. SLFEB Media Unit said two SL men, who allegedly masterminded the long-running human trafficking racket were also taken into custody more..

PM invites private sector to join govt’s efforts to develop Sri Lanka

Nov 17 (FT) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe last night invited the private sector to join the Govt’s effort to develop Sri Lanka by investing for growth, harnessing political stability and policies towards a highly competitive market economy.  Speaking at the Business Today Top 30 Awards ceremony, the Premier said the Govt is willing to work together with the private sector and he would invite them over to discuss their ideas. Let us work together, he said. However PM insisted nothing for nothing and more..

Citi Asia Pacific CEO in town

Nov 17 (FT) Citigroup Asia CEO Francisco Aristeguieta will be in Sri Lanka today, to meet with Govt officials, regulators and key clients. Aristeguieta is responsible for all Citi businesses across 16 markets in Asia. He has the additional responsibilities for Citi’s consumer operations in the UK, Russia, Poland and the UAE. Asia is Citi’s largest contributor to revenues and profit outside North America and the region reported third quarter revenues of $ 3.4 billion, more..

STF called in to help police nab cop killer

Nov 17 (Island) The STF has been called in to help the police track down a person who fled after killing police sub inspector Ratnabanda Dassanayake and causing grievous injuries to Sergeant Bandara and police constable Subasinghe on Tuesday night at a hotel at Maspotha in the Kurunegala Police Division. The police arrested one of the persons involved in the incident in the Kurunegala town. However, the gunman escaped. more..

Donald trumps markets Rates rise, foreigners flee, reserves fall

Nov 17 (CT) Central Bank made a vain attempt to cap Govt's borrowing costs by selling only 3.42% of the original Treasury (T) bill issue at auction, which yet saw the weighted average yield (WAY) of the benchmark one year tenure rise by six basis points (bps) to 10.20%, assisted by the market being short of excess liquidity for a record, 47 market days. Yesterday's shortfall was massive Rs 53,031 million; an increase of Rs 7,599 million (16.73%) over the previous day's shortfall. more..

Water board will lose Rs. 9 billion without tariff hike: Hakeem

Nov 17 (NS) Minister Rauff Hakeem has warned that National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) would record a loss of Rs. 9 billion if the proposed tariff hike on water is not implemented. He said that they were to implement the tariff hike last year. He also said that the last time the hike was implemented was in 2012. However, he said that the issue was currently being discussed by the Cabinet Ministers and added that a final decision would be taken by a 3 member ministerial committee more..

Bond scammers get 110% pay rise?

Nov 17 (CT) Convener of VAC Wasantha Samarasinghe says that despite an order given by President Sirisena, that the salaries of all top officials of the Central Bank (CB) which were increased recently should be suspended in the wake of the CB bond scam, no official announcement has been made of its suspension in line with the President's order. Samarasinghe said that the President had ordered an amendment of more..

PM’s secy tells officials todeliver or depart

Nov 17 (Island) Secretary to PM Saman Ekanayake warned public officials including heads of state institutions that if they could deliver they would have to quit. Addressing launch of Elections Commission’s first ever strategic plan, he said the key to the success of any govt was delivery of what it promised. In reality many decisions and plans were made but they were not implemented. "Sad to say, though many govt institutions made elaborate plans but they are gathering dust." more..

Kurunegala shooting: Suspect who shot and killed SI arrested

Nov 17 (DN) Kurunegala Police arrested a suspect and recovered two weapons, allegedly used in a shooting where a Sub Inspector died and a sergeant and a constable were injured when they attempted to apprehend several suspects, in Kurunegala on Tuesday night. Suspect was arrested last morning with a weapon believed to have been used in the shooting while another weapon was recovered at the scene of the crime. SI Rathna Banda, (59), attached to Kurunegala Police, died in the incident. more..

Sri Lankan official dodges UN questions over alleged torture

Nov 17 (AP) A UN committee that monitors acts of torture in member countries grilled an intelligence chief Wednesday over the alleged abuse of detainees during Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, only to have the nation's attorney general step in to deflect the questions. The mere presence of Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis at the Committee Against Torture's two-day hearing on Sri Lanka was already a surprise to both panel members more..

Let’s be country-first citizens

Nov 17 (DM) Addressing an inter-cultural literary festival in Kilinochchi, President Sirisena has again appealed to all people and political parties to come together in a spirit of unity in diversity and take the country towards sustainable, eco-friendly and all-inclusive development.  The festival, in which Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other literary groups participated, was organized by the National Reconciliation and Unity office headed by former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, more..

Reconciliation process must be fast tracked

Nov 17 (DM) Its now eight years after the war ended and this govt has reached out to the Tamil people and is now addressing their genuine grievances in a meaningful manner, though of course the process is taking time and the unfortunate Tamil people who were used and misused by the LTTE in the war (they were from the low castes who had suffered when the Vellalas ruled the North and shut out the other castes till the Karawa led LTTE took over) are yet suffering in many ways. more..

Law slow on Namal’s money laundering

Nov 17 (SL) Questions have been raised as to why the long arm of the law is so slow to take action against MP Namal Rajapaksa when there is mounting evidence against him over alleged money laundering. Namal Rajapaksa was imprisoned earlier and is now out on bail for his alleged involvement in money laundering. FCID has now completed the investigation into how Rajapaksa obtained money from Krrish Lanka Transwork more..

Wonder drugs vs Super-bugs: Battle is on

Nov 17 (ST) It was a medical miracle which opened up amazing frontiers. The discovery of mould which could kill off bacteria way back in 1928, by chance, and the subsequent development of penicillin launched the modern antibiotic era. Antibiotics cure numerous diseases and pull back millions of men, women and children from the brink of death. Have we come full circle, 12 years short of a century after the discovery of wonder-drugs more..

Water Board will lose 9 billion: Hakeem

Nov 17 (CT) If the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) is not allowed to increase the water tariff it will suffer a Rs 9 billion loss in 2017, Minister Rauff Hakeem said. "We are not a failing institution. But we have made tremendous investments on infrastructure in the last few years. We have to repay loans and we have increased salaries of employees. NWSDB has not increased tariffs in 4 years. more..

JICA to lend Yen 23Bn for water supply project in Anuradhapura

Nov 17 (LBO) JICA signed a loan agreement with the Govt to provide a Japanese loan of 23 billion Yen as assistance for the Anuradhapura North Water Supply Project. This project will construct a water supply system in the northern part of Anuradhapura District to provide safe drinking water and increase the water supply coverage, thereby improving health conditions and the living environment in the project area, more..

'CB Bond issues: Courts, not parliament or media can find Mahendran guilty'

Nov 17 (Island) The govt said that it was the courts and not Parliament or the media that could find people guilty of an offence. Minister Lakshman Kiriella answering questions at the Cabinet Press Briefing, said that the COPE report on CB bond issues of Feb 2015 and March 2016 would be debated in keeping with parliamentary rules, but it was the Courts that could pass judgment on its findings." more..

Crisis in judiciary: Prez, PM urged to adopt remedial measures

Nov 17 (Island) Founding Editor of Ravaya Victor Ivan told the ruling UNP-SLFP coalition that tangible measures had to be taken to restore the independence of the judiciary. Former JVP top ranker Ivan said the country couldn’t take a step forward without the restoration of judicial independence and transparency. Ivan was addressing an event organised by Ravaya to celebrate its 30th anniversary at the BMICH. more..

Ranil blasts FT over its reporting, likens FT to toilet paper

Nov 17 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was critical of Daily FT News paper, over two opinion articles in Wednesday's issue on Govt plans for Hambantota port and offers of tabs to students, likening country's only business daily to cheaper than toilet paper. Referring to the opinion piece on Hambantota Port, PM clarified that there was no sale but only a lease arrangement. He claimed no one was selling the port but more..

PM's Aunt Amari Wijewardene new SL High Commissioner to UK

Nov 17 (GDI) Sri Lanka's new High Commissioner to the UK, Amari Wijewardene presented her Letter of Credentials to Queen Elizabeth II on 15 Nov, at a ceremonial event held at the Buckingham Palace. HC Wijewardene, who was escorted to the Buckingham Palace, accompanied by four other SL diplomats, by traditional horse carriages of the Royal Mews, had a very cordial discussion with Her Majesty The Queen. more..

MPs’ duty free permit racket: SC intervention sought to obtain list of 77 imported vehicles

Nov 17 (Island) The Supreme Court has been moved against Director General of Customs and Attorney General in the wake of the former turning down requests to furnish a complete list of all vehicles imported on the tax free permits issued to sitting MPs. The petition has been filed in keeping with Article 126 of the Constitution. The SC has been requested to intervene on behalf of Nagananda Kodituwakku, who sought relevant info more..