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Water tariff hike in the pipeline

Nov 18 (Island) State Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle said the proposal to increase the Water Utility Rates (WUR) would be amended to give maximum relief to the domestic consumers on the directions of President Sirisena. Dr Fernandopulle said the proposal to increase WURs had nothing to do with Budget 2017. Usually, National Water Supply & Drainage Board (NWSDB) increased the WUR every 3 years and the recent proposal was to be implemented in 2015. more..

Sri Lanka regulator raps electricity utility for deviating from plan

Nov 18 (EN) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has expressed its grave concerns to the CEB, for deviating from its approved long term generation plan and delaying building new plants. A PUCSL statement said the concern was expressed in a directive issued Friday to CEB over the delay in constructing the power plants according to the approved Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan. more..

HC allows Rohitha to attend Buddihst event in Japan

Nov 18 (Island) MP Rohitha Abeygunewardena, of the Joint Opposition, was granted permission by the Colombo High Court, to travel to Japan for one month. Abeygunawardena is indicted in the Colombo High Court, on a charge of corruption, for being unable to explain how he has accumulated assets, amounting to Rs. 41.5 million, between May 31, 2004 and May 31, 2006. MP, through his counsel, informed the Court that he needed to attend a Buddhist cultural Seminar, in Japan. more..

Scientists meet in Sri Lanka to build Indian Ocean forecasting system

Nov 18 (EN) Scientists from Indian Ocean countries are meeting in Sri Lanka this week aiming to build a weather forecasting system for the region that could help improve efficiency and safety in fisheries, merchant shipping and tourism. “Why we’re interested in ocean forecasting is to save lives and property,” said Charitha Pattiaratchi, a SL-born Professor of Coastal Oceanography at the University of Western Australia. Scientists are now able to predict weather conditions more..

Supreme Court upholds right to sing National Anthem in Tamil

Nov 18 (LBO) A fundamental rights case challenging the legality of playing the National Anthem in the Tamil language at the Independence Day celebration on Feb 4, 2016 has been dismissed by the Supreme Court. Lawyer Mahanama De Silva, for petitioners Sudath Perera, Asiri Soysa and Don Premarathna, argued that the National Anthem should only be allowed to be sung in the Sinhala language. more..

A long watch: War, captivity and return in SL

Nov 18 (CT) Incarceration has proved productive because some individuals have refused to accept stone walls as a prison or iron bars as a cage (lines adapted from the poem, To Althea from Prison, by Richard Lovelace, 1617-1657) while Lord Byron in his poem, The Prisoner of Chillon, celebrates the mind that cannot be chained. Nehru wrote Glimpses of World History while in prison; Mandela’s autobiography which Boyagoda read several times (perhaps A Long Watch is an echo more..

New ID tender selection under a cloud

Nov 18 (Island) Department of Registration of Persons has called for applications for one million pre-printed cards, which will form the basis of the new identity cards, to be issued shortly and the selected tender is Rs. 22 million above the lowest one, which amounts to a cost of Rs 71.83 per card against the offer of same at Rs 47.67. This additional cost will be eventually passed on to citizens applying for their new ID cards. All tenderers have to submit to ISO standards and more..

Video: Harry J tells PM to seek wise counsel of corporate leaders prior to foreign tours

Nov 18 (DM) Business tycoon Harry Jayawardena, who is known as an outspoken personality, told a packed business gathering in Colombo, where the PM was also present, that views should be obtained from top business leaders when top govt officials go on foreign tours. “When you go abroad, you must consult us. All of us are here because of our achievements, so we have that knowledge to share with you. more..

Duminda will not go to Singapore for treatment says family

Nov 18 (CG) The family of convicted politician Duminda Silva says there is no move to take Duminda Silva to Singapore for treatment. Dilini Anne Silva, the sister of Duminda Silva, said that the doctor who carried out the first surgery on Duminda Silva in Sri Lanka is well aware of his medical condition. Dilini Silva said that Duminda Silva was transferred from the prison hospital to the Sri Jayawardanapura hospital by prison officials as he was falling sick frequently. more..

Protests snowballing against cuts on education budget

Nov 18 (Island) Education Minister should explain the Finance Minister’s claim that Rs. 145.9 billion allocated to education for the current year had not been utilised, General Secretary of Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin said. He said the govt had allocated Rs. 185.9 billion to the Education Ministry through Budget 2016, but it had only spent Rs. 40 billion according to Finance Minister. Stalin said Minister Ravi Karunanayake used the unutilised funds as an excuse to reduce funds more..

Firing on TN fishermen: AIADMK MPs urge Modi to summon SL envoy to convey protest

Nov 18 (TOI) Terming the SL navy's firing on Indian fishermen as an extremely serious and disturbing incident, AIADMK MPs met PM Narendra Modi and urged him to summon the Sri Lankan high commissioner to India and convey strong protest against the incident. The fishermen set out for fishing on a mechanised fishing vessel from Karaikal fishing harbour a few days ago. While they were fishing in their traditional waters, more..

England complete 4-0 sweep after Sri Lanka crumble for 78

Nov 18 (CI) England Women's offspinning duo of Laura Marsh and Danielle Hazell took seven wickets between them to decimate Sri Lanka Women for 78 and seal a 162-run win in the fourth ODI in Colombo. With the win, England completed a 4-0 sweep and their sixth consecutive series win. In a match that was pushed to the reserve day by the weather, Sri Lanka were bowled out in 33.1 overs, with Marsh taking 4 for 21 and Hazell returning figures of 3 for 21 - her best in ODIs. more..

Four major roads in Colombo being renovated - CMC

Nov 18 (DM) Four major roads in Colombo Jampatta Street, Cambridge Place, Guildford Crescent and Thurstan Road, were being renovated at the moment, Colombo Municipality said. “We are making the pavements, drainage system, street lights, re-marking the lanes and landscaping. We have completed most of it but we have halted the process down Thurstan Road because the development project has not been completed,” CMC Commissioner V.K.A Anura said. more..

We should face difficult tasks for the betterment of motherland: President

Nov 18 (PMD) “What we have to do for the motherland is not the easy tasks but face the difficult tasks and win them”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. “The main political parties of the country have come on to a same path to go on a new journey for the motherland by correcting the faults and defects in the history. Whatever the criticisms are done that journey will be move forward for the victory of the country and the people”, more..

Shares fall for fifth straight session; tax proposals weigh

Nov 18 (Reuters) Shares ended for a fifth straight session of declines on Friday, and reached their lowest closing level in more than four months, in thin volume as investor sentiment was hit by budget tax proposals. Govt aims to boost its 2017 tax revenue by 27% to 1.82 trillion rupees year-on-year, including revisions in corporate and withholding taxes and meet a commitment given to the IMF in return for a $1.5 billion loan in May. CSE ended down 0.29% at 6,326.11, its lowest close since July 7. more..

New House committee looks into allowing expat Lankans to vote at future polls

Nov 18 (Island) A special Parliamentary Select Committee has been appointed to study and make recommendations necessary to enable Sri Lankan expatriates to cast their votes at future elections. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament that Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorala had been appointed as the chairperson of the committee. The committee will consist of MPs Susil Premajayantha, Dr Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Faizal Casim, Dr Harsha de Silva, more..

Sri Lanka claims it didn't really sell key national infrastructure to China

Nov 18 (Forbes) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is now saying that the country will not be selling its Hambantota deep sea port and the nearby Mattala International Airport to Chinese companies in exchange for debt relief. He states that claims to the contrary are “baseless” and specifically berated the Sri Lankan publication Daily FT for spreading them. “I assure you that we are not, and cannot, sell the port,” he said. more..

SL and US universities cooperate on innovation and entrepreneurship

Nov 18 (USE) Top American engineering and science universities shared strategies for developing technology incubators and technology transfer offices with SL university, govt, and business leaders as part of the U.S. commitment to helping Sri Lanka develop a diversified, modern economy that can attract foreign and domestic investment. “Sri Lanka is well-positioned to become a technology hub in Asia, given its excellent human capital,” said U.S. Ambassador to SL Atul Keshap.  more..

Video: Residents panic when Bhanu walks into a home garden

Nov 18 (DM) Some of the residents in Pinnawala panicked today after the elephant named ‘Bhanu’ attempted to enter a home garden after exiting the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. However, the keepers at the Pinnawala Orphanage managed to bring the elephant back to the orphanage safely. ‘Bhanu’, which was kept at the Kataragama Devalaya premises without a permit, was handed over to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on a court order last month. more..

'Constitution must ensure religious freedom'

Nov 18 (NR) Minister Champika Ranawaka says the country’s stability cannot be compromised through the enactment of the new constitution. He said the new Constitution cannot in anyway challenge the stability of the state in areas of security, economic, political or environmental. Minister said the six reports compiled by subcommittees of the Constitutional Assembly will be tabled in Parliament tomorrow more..

Govt introduced financial management: Ravi

Nov 18 (NR) Minister Ravi Karunanayake concluding the debate on the second reading of the 2017 Budget said the govt has a surplus of 5 billion rupees during the 2015 financial year. He stressed the govt has introduced financial management. Minister said loans were obtained following the appointment of the new govt in order to repay loans obtained during the UPFA led govt in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. He said 2015 loan amounts increased to repay UPFA loans. more..

2nd reading of the 2017 Budget passed

Nov 18 (NR) The second reading of the 2017 Budget proposal was passed in Parliament a short while ago with a majority of 107 votes. 55 votes were cast against the 2017 Budget while 162 votes were cast in favour. Seven MPs were absent during the vote on the second reading. The vote on the second reading of the 2017 Budget proposal got underway this evening. The debate on the second reading of the Budget that commenced on the 11th of Nov accordingly concludes today. more..

32 Lankans from 4 families have joined ISIS

Nov 18 (ENS) Minister of Justice, Wijedasa Rajapakse, said that there is information that 32 Sri Lankans, belonging to four families, have joined the Islamic State (IS) movement in Syria. The Minister did not give details but assured the House that there will be absolutely no room for religious extremist activities in Sri Lanka starting from today. In July 2015, SL media reported that one Sharfaz Shuraih Muhsin alias Abu Seylani (37), more..

The Trumpeting of racism

Nov 19 (Island) Before you take on the next Trump story drink a glass of water, and feel pleased that the price of water will not be raised from Dec 1st. A hike in the price of water in Sri Lana is something the Trump victory could not do. It looks like Sri Lanka is gladly stepping into the Age of Trump. He is the new nationalist for Sri Lanka to follow, bringing the message of power to the majority, at a time of what many see as deadly uncertainty, with a new constitution in the making, more..

Editorial: A show in poor taste

Nov 19 (Island) Yesterday’s newspapers carried a handout picture, made available by the President’s Office, of President Sirisena with a schoolboy who had hacked into the presidential website in August. One did not know whether to laugh or cry on seeing that photo. That propaganda stunt, in our book, did not yield the desired result; it was in bad taste. Police arrested the teenage hacker in record time. We suggested in this space that in a country where even terrorists were being pardoned more..

Amidst the departed in the dead of night

Nov 19 (ST) Kanatte re-visited at midnight! Deadly silence is what greets us, even though several hours before many men, women and children have gathered at the graves of loved ones to shed a tear, whisper a prayer, place a few flowers and get back to their routines, as one necessarily must. It is midnight on All Souls’ Day, Nov 2, and the Christian burial section including Roman Catholic area has been busy with people walking more..

Fair is foul: IMF budget unleashed

Nov 19 (CT) An IMF authorised budget has been unleashed on Sri Lanka. In the budget speech there was an attempt to use a paltry list of meagre goodies to hide the instrument of darkness – severe austerity. Sections of the media attempt to make something of the few rupees of reductions on potatoes and dal. In fact, it has now been nicknamed the Patola Budget in reference to the utter tastelessness of that vegetable but even that is a deception: more..

Muslim Marriage Law begs change

Nov 19 (SO) The need to amend the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act 1951 (MMDA) was met with resistance, when several parties questioned the necessity for the amendments and the reasons behind it. Earlier this month, Minister Sagala Ratnayake, said, the reforms to the MMDA had to be enacted as part of the conditions to regain GSP+ concessions from the European Union. Accordingly, the Ministry of Justice appointed a committee of 17 eminent Muslim representatives under more..

'Govt cannot go forward without taxes'

Nov 19 (CT) State Minister T.B. Ekanayake, says Budget 2017 is a people-friendly budget that has been presented in order to increase GDP. Q: What is your opinion about Budget 2017? A: At the moment, we in the SLFP are analyzing the budget. A statement can be issued on how it will affect the country subsequent to analyzing the country's income and expenditure. However, it can be said this budget is a people-friendly more..

Social movement, continued

Nov 19 (GV) A particular segment of the country was decisively committed to defeat the Rajapaksa regime and replace it with the present regime of Good Governance. This segment was motivated not by party politics or personal gain, but by genuine concern for the common good of the country, and threw their full weight into it. Nevertheless, the members of this social segment are now rather puzzled to witness the present course of the Good Governance regime. more..

In My Mother’s House: Civil War in SL

Nov 19 (GV) The dominant discourse of post-independence Lanka is that of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism, with a counter-narrative of Tamil nationalism. This debilitating scenario has blotted out a multitude of other narratives – narratives of economic injustice and its attendant consequences in heightening the class and caste differences between and across communities. It also obscures the obvious fact that Lanka is a multi-religious and multicultural country that is as diverse as more..


Rs 10B for EXIM Bank: Implementation without delay is vital

Nov 19 (SO) National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) expresses views on the Budget Proposals for 2017 related to exports. National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) says, the 2017 Budget proposals have many positive features which encourage the export sector to effectively contribute to the achievement of the economic development targets of the Govt in the medium term. Chamber is particularly pleased regarding the allocation of Rs. 10 billion as more..

A Monk’s Mockery

Nov 19 (CT) The conduct of Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thera of the Batticaloa's Mangalaramaya over a land issue in the Pattipalai area has stuck a blow to the efforts taken towards building peace and reconciliation in the country. By his unruly behaviour towards the Pattipalai area Grama Niladhari S. Jeevithan, Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thera had brought traffic on the Ampara – Kandy main road to a halt and had come out with racist comments and foul language. more..

'Total public sector debt is now 101% of GDP'

Nov 19 (DM) W.A. Wijewardena, retired Deputy Governor, CB says that country has fallen into a high indebtedness since independence and the solution now lies in attaining fiscal discipline. Q: What are SL’s public debt structure and its characteristics? A: Sri Lanka’s public debt can be defined narrowly consisting of only the debt of the central govt and broadly composed of both the central govt and other public entities. more..

Budget 2017 & its economic, political and social vision

Nov 19 (CT) This Budget has been presented by the current National Alliance Govt comprising of the two main political parties in this country – the SLFP headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNP headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Cabinet of Ministers comprises of representatives of both political parties. It is the objective of these two political parties to give the country a new future – not merely economically but also politically and socially. That indeed was the verdict of the country more..

Contempt action on Ven. Gnanasara: Court of Appeal defers matter for 11 Jan

Nov 19 (FT) Court of Appeal granted time to file preliminary objection by the Respondent with the contempt matter against Ven. Gnanasara Thero. Bench fixed the matter to be taken up on 11 Jan next year. Court of Appeal on 27 Sept directed the Attorney General to consider to amend the summons if necessary against Ven. Gnanasara Thera with particulars of his alleged offensive conduct with regard to the language and his gestures in Homagama Magistrate’s Court. more..

Sri Lanka gradually regains economic optimism: Survey

Nov 19 (CT) A September report on Perceived Economic Opportunity (PEO) prepared by Foundation for Economic Freedom claims that economic optimism has increased over the past 18 months. Report points to govt's progressive economic programme and the resumption of stalled development projects as possible reasons for the heightened optimism. Expectations of developing the status of the job or business peaked more..

Petition seeks LG Polls in down South: SC defers hearing for 30 Nov

Nov 19 (FT) Supreme Court deferred for 30 Nov, Fundamental Rights petition seeking to hold LG elections in the Districts of Galle and Matara. SC on 2 Nov directed Minister for Local Govt and Provincial Councils who had earlier been released from the proceedings as Respondent to file objection within two weeks. Court on 29 April had granted leave to proceed with the petition which seeks an order from the Court to direct Elections Commission to take all necessary steps to hold these elections. more..

German kitchen brand Leicht unveiled

Nov 19 (DM) Leicht, one of the leading German kitchen brands, was unveiled to the Sri Lankan market recently, at the Sri Lanka Design Festival held in Colombo. It was introduced by Centrepoint Homes, a fully-owned subsidiary of Fairway Holdings. The speciality of the product, which has been accoladed as the Most innovative brand of the year in Germany, is its affordability and the quality. “The customer gets German technology and quality for an affordable price,” more..