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'Hard to improve education in rural areas'

Nov 24 (CT) State Minister for Higher education Mohan Lal Grero emphasized the importance of paying taxes to the govt and noted that it will in turn improve the State's involvement in the health and education sectors. He added that a mechanism must be in place to identify those who evade tax and hinted that many who benefit from State sponsored education tend to evade tax. Q: A technical stream was introduced to more..

Nation of lawbreakers

Nov 24 (DN) This piece is prompted by recent protests around revisions of fines for traffic offences. Public space is regulated by plethora of laws. The application of which is without distinction in theory. There was a cry to appoint Independent Commissions to reportedly make allied institutions and services independent. Has it occurred? A majority of motorists running afoul of the law will have vast arguments on why they should be exonerated. Pvt buses seeking preeminence. more..

Relying on a cauldron of tension

Nov 24 (DN) Members of the Joint Opposition (JO), who are essentially the Rajapaksa faction within the SLFP, are well aware that the success of their political campaign hinges on one key factor – disharmony between the two main partners of the ruling alliance. Over the past 20 months, they have looked for various opportunities to create disharmony between the two main stakeholders of the govt, pushing for the President and the PM to distance themselves from each other and more..

Ravi Karunanayake: Bankrupting Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka balances investments across India, China and Japan: official

Nov 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka is internationalizing key investments in infrastructure across three Asian nations India, China and Japan, a govt official said. After failing to weigh competing interests in the past, observers say the current government is on the right track to develop Sri Lanka’s key infrastructure. Japan will develop the light rail (LRT) system in Colombo, with participation of Mitsubishi and Hitachi, and part of the Central Expressway, the official said. more..

Constitutional reform & devolution of power

Nov 24 (Island) Current SL Parliament sits as a Constitutional Assembly to rework SL’s basic law and social contract in a nation building exercise, which is an opportunity that was created through the ending of our long running civil war. Process adopted by the Constitutional Assembly was to create a steering committee which included all the parties represented in Parliament. Steering committee, was in turn divided into six sub committees each tasked with a different more..

More equal than others

Nov 24 (FT) Radical Buddhist monks threatening demolition of majority Muslim suburbs of Colombo and employing violent, racist and threatening rhetoric against public officials continue to enjoy impunity under the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Govt, which was swept into office on a wave of minority angst and frustration about the meteoric rise of hardline Sinhalese groups under the Rajapaksa administration. more..

When Dickwella played the Dilscoop

Nov 24 (CI) As a batsman, Kusal Perera's favourite scoring area is behind square on the leg side. And so with Shannon Gabriel, clocking in excess of 145 clicks quite regularly, he looked to use the pace and simply lend direction. All of it, of course, seems easier on paper than out on the field. Gabriel proved why. First, Kusal was struck flush on his toe by a yorker, which demanded medical attention. Kusal, in visible discomfort immediately after coping the blow, decided best way out was to counterattack. more..

Editorial: Battling corruption

Nov 24 (Island) Leaders of all countries declare at every international forum that they are committed to eradicating corruption. Each and every one of them wears anti-corruption sentiments on his or her sleeve. But, corruption thrives! Indian PM Narendra Modi does not seem to baulk at anything in his war on corruption. He has even adopted an unorthodox method to flush out black money as part of it. The demonetisation of bank notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denominations has reportedly more..

President urges scientists and researchers to focus work on country's needs

Nov 24 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the scientists and researchers should ask a question from their conscience, whether they could be satisfied with their role in utilizing natural resources of the country in the development process. He pointed out that Sri Lanka is a country abundant with natural resources. The President made these remarks addressing the President’s Awards for Scientific Publication held at more..

Constitutional Assembly: Analysis of Centre-Periphery Relations Report - Part I

Nov 24 (Island) The report submitted to the Constitutional Assembly by its Subcommittee on Centre-Periphery Relations focuses on several areas such as the role of the provincial Governor, and the fiscal, administrative, land and police powers of the provincial councils. What the subcommittee report says about the institution of the provincial governor is plain and direct as follows: "The present powers of the Governors are excessive and should be curtailed. more..

It boils down to experience: Holder

Nov 24 (CI) The Queens Sports Club has witnessed a tie, and a one-run defeat, but still no cigar for West Indies. For the second time in two matches, they went into the final over of a chase with a chance to win. But yet again, they fell just short. Captain Jason Holder put their shortcoming against Sri Lanka on Wednesday down to the relative greenness of this squad. "I think it's inexperience," Holder said. "There's obviously situations that we're not accustomed to being in. more..

Sri Lanka survive Lewis' 148 for thrilling win

Nov 24 (CI) Evin Lewis, with just a handful of internationals under his name, struck a counter-attacking maiden ODI century to give West Indies more than just a sniff in their attempt to gun down a 300-plus chase for the first time in ODIs. Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder then came up with sprightly cameos to take West Indies to within 24 of Sri Lanka's 330 for 7. Then, in a mirror image of Saturday's collapse that resulted in a tie, more..

Sri Lankan receives award from Malaysian Deputy PM

Nov 24 (LR) Canadian Sri Lankan Malay Rizan Ahamat Vice President of DMDI Canada, received the prestigious award Laksmana Hang Tuah from Deputy PM of Malaysia Dr. Ahmad Zahir Bin Hamidi for his dedication and passion towards the Canadian SL Malay and Multicultural Community of Canada. The ceremony was part of the 17th Convention of the Dunia Melayu Dunia Islam (DMDI) Organization was held in Melaka, Malaysia at Hotel Hatten, on 17th and 18th of Nov 2016. more..

No additional funds for repainting zebra crossings: RDA

Nov 24 (DM) Despite the current practice to call for tenders and additional funds for new projects, Road Development Authority (RDA) said yesterday that additional funds would not be allocated to paint the zebra crossings white. RDA said all zebra crossings would be re-painted white from Dec 3. RDA Chairman Nihal Sooriyaarachchi said they did not want to spend more than was necessary on the project, which had prompted the use of the funds that were already allocated for the purpose. more..

Mahapola misuse: Malik rejects allegations

Nov 24 (DM) Minister Malik Samarawickrama, yesterday, categorically rejected the allegation by the Joint Opposition (JO) that he had misused funds belonging to the Mahapola Fund. He said there was no truth whatsoever in the allegation and that the attempt by the Joint Opposition showed the bankruptcy of its members. Mr. Samarawickrama said he was only a member of the Mahapola Trust Fund. more..

LOLC partners with Club Méditerranée

Nov 24 (FT) LOLC Group and Club Mediterranee, France announced their collaboration in branding, marketing and managing the Riverina Resort in Beruwala as the First Club Med Resort in Sri Lanka. The historic agreement will be finalised at a formal signing ceremony in Colombo tomorrow. The LOLC Group is a leading diversified conglomerate present in the foremost economic sectors of the country. Club Méditerranée SA, commonly known as Club Med, is a French company specialising in more..

Billiards: Record-breaking Sirisoma bags title for 25th time

Nov 24 (CT) The most experienced cueist from Sri Lanka Ports Authority K.H. Sirisoma established a new Sri Lanka record when he marked his Silver Jubilee in billiards by winning the National Billiard title beating S.H.M. Aslam of Moors SC in the 64th National Billiard Championship concluded yesterday at Otters AC in Colombo. Sirisoma, who is a consultant at the Logistics Section of SLPA, defeated Aslam by 6 frames to 3 in the 11 frame final encounter. more..

State acquisition of Neville Fernando hospital, conversion of PMC into PPP

Nov 24 (Island) Subcommittee on Higher Education of Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources Development has recommended that the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) be acquired by the government and continued as a government hospital while South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) be converted into public private partnership. more..

Sri Lanka listed company profits up 11%, market re-rated down: data

Nov 24 (EN) Profits at Sri Lanka's publicly traded companies rose 11% to Rs225 billion in the 12 months ending Sept 2016 from a year earlier, while quarterly earnings were up 24% to Rs59.4 billion, a research report said. But the market had steadily re-rated down in terms of price-to-earnings multiples and price-to-book values over the past 18 months. CAP Partners, a Colombo-based advisory firm, said the top contributors to profits in the September quarter was Ceylon Tobacco (7.5%), more..

9 Sri Lankans taken hostage by Yemeni terrorist group

Nov 24 (LR) The Ministry of Foreign affairs says 9 Sri Lankans serving aboard a commercial vessel have been taken hostage by a Yemeni Terrorist group. The Nine Sri Lankans were serving aboard a Greek ship names Sheyar Avalon. They were taken hostage at sea between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The terrorist group have demanded ransom from the company that owns the ship for the release of the 9 Sri Lankans. However the company has not made an official statement yet. more..

SL bans use of young elephants for work

Nov 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka unveiled tougher laws, including a ban on using young elephants for logging and other physical work, as part of a crackdown on cruelty to domesticated wild animals. The cabinet approved new regulations imposing tough conditions on owners of elephants, which are considered sacred by Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The animals are also legally protected but are often subjected to cruel treatment by some owners. more..

Galle Dialogue: 2016 on Nov 28-29 in C'mbo

Nov 24 (GDI) Int'l Maritime Conference Galle Dialog - 2016, organized by SL Navy in partnership with Ministry of Defense, will get underway at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo on 28th and 29th Nov for the Seventh consecutive year. The event will be graced by President Sirisena as the Chief Guest and PM as the Guest of Honor. Local and foreign experts in naval and maritime affairs representing 40 countries and 12 twelve international organizations will share their expertise and discuss matters of more..

SL & Philippines hold political consultations

Nov 24 (MFA) The first round of Sri Lanka – Philippines Political Consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries concluded on 21st at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo. SL and the Philippines signed a MOU on 3 Feb this year to hold political consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, aimed at deepening cooperation between the two countries. The dialogue coincides with the commemoration of the 55th anniversary of more..

Busting corruption British style

Nov 24 (FT) Changes in Govt’s anti-corruption policy are in the offing, with Cabinet this week deciding to maintain the Secretariat that the FCID operates under until a British-style Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is established. Govt has paid attention to restructuring the anti-corruption institutional structure and it has been proposed to establish a fully powered Serious Fraud Office in Sri Lanka, which is similar to the Serious Frauds Office in UK, more..

PAC moots ICT means to boost govt revenue

Nov 24 (FT) The subcommittee of the Public Accounts Committee tabled its interim report with a set of recommendations to increase Govt revenue by using information and communication technology effectively. Improving the quality of service offered by State agencies and departments by upgrading the existing ICT system or introducing new areas to be covered by the ICT system, transparency improvements, using electronic payment methods and reengineering the work process more..

Sri Lanka Women leave for Asia Cup T20

Nov 24 (DN) SL women’s T20 captain Hasini Perera assured that her team will perform well according to their game plans during the forthcoming Asia Cup T20 championship in Thailand. Prior to the team’s departure to Thailand, Hasini, 21-year-old skipper praised her senior players for being very supportive to her and said that the selection committee has given her a very talented side. Lankan lasses will play under the guidance of their coach Hemantha Devapriya for the first time overseas. more..

JO moves CIABOC against Malik & Wickreme

Nov 24 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) lodged a complaint with CIABOC and CID against Minister Malik Samarawickrema accusing him of misusing public funds to the tune of Rs. 1 billion. MP Sisira Jayakody lodged the complaint on behalf of the JO. He said after the Aug 17 General Election, Mahapola Fund attached to Samarawickrema’s ministry, which earlier came under Ministry of Internal Trade since its inception, more..

Massage parlour next door to a girls’ school

Nov 24 (DM) A massage parlour has been opened in Colombo 7 in close proximity to a well-known girls’ school which had produced even a Prime Minister and a President of the country, they say. Discreet inquiries made by highly ruffled parents have revealed that a political heavyweight whose two-syllable name -- a household word in the country these days -- is the real weight behind the person who opened the parlour. Girl students as well as their parents have already made more..

Arrested for hate speech suspect a former NIB man

Nov 24 (CT) Secretary to the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath, Abdul Razik, who was recently arrested by Police for inciting racial tensions, was a National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) mole when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was Defence Secretary, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He added that 99% of Muslims in SL voted against Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 8 Jan 2015 election and that by creating racial tensions pro-Rajapaksa factions are trying to persuade Muslims to boycott coming elections. more..

Rajitha refutes Wijeyadasa on 32 Lankan Muslims joining ISIS

Nov 24 (DN) The Defence establishment has denied having any record of 32 Sri Lankan Muslims joining Islamic State (IS) also known as ISIS in recent times, said Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday. He said the President was briefed at the Defence Council meeting with regard to this and they had assured the govt that none were joining the Muslim terrorist organisation in Syria. more..

Can reckless driving be curbed by increasing age limit?

Nov 24 (DM) Against the backdrop of the Govt move to increase the minimum fine for traffic offences, the authorities have announced that they were going to increase the age limit for trishaw drivers to 25. Interestingly the initial increase in the minimum fine was made through the budget and not through a proposal by the Transport Ministry and the government was later compelled to amend the relevant budget proposal following threats by private bus owners to launch a countrywide strike. more..

The love-hate conundrum of countering hate-speech

Nov 24 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the IGP and Chiefs of the Security Forces to arrest all those who incite racism. At the Security Council meeting where these instructions were given, Minister Mano Ganeshan, it is reported, had drawn the attention of the President to a statement made by a Bikkhu in Batticaloa, which he claims, hurt the Tamil people. The President is said to have inquired about enacting new laws to enable action against people who incited racism and more..

Seamers deserve credit: Dickwella

Nov 24 (CI) SL wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella credited his team's seamers for holding their nerve against a big-hitting West Indian lower order after Sri Lanka pulled off a one-run win to secure their place in the final of the Zimbabwe tri-series. Dickwella was one of two Sri Lankans to reach the 90s in a total of 330 for 7 before Sri Lanka held West Indies to 329 for 9 in reply. "Our bowlers held their nerve, and more..

Fears of racism raising its head

Nov 24 (SL) Fears of racism raising its head once again has spread fear in the country and raised concerns among civil society and human rights groups. The concerns stemmed from the behavior of two Buddhist monks in the North and East over the past two weeks. The two monks had behaved in an aggressive manner, one towards a Tamil district officer and the other towards the police. Human rights groups urged the govt to arrest more..

Ravi K promises to fulfil  it after much denial

Nov 24 (Island) A key govt proposal to enhance benefits provided to Senior Citizens in Budget 2016 budget hadn’t been implemented by the Central Bank, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake acknowledged on Monday night. He said action would be taken to implement 2016 budget proposal along with budget 2017 proposals. Minister castigated interviewer Rangana de Silva during a live political programme more..

'13th Amendment Land and police powersto a certain extent'

Nov 24 (DM) Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Prison Reforms and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Swaminathan speaks about the political solution, development work in the North and the release of those held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Q:  How do you look at the present situation in the North?  A: Govt is keen to rehabilitate the North, so people can live happily without fear of any problem in the future. more..

SEC imposes risk based capital adequacy requirement for broking firms

Nov 24 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) on the recommendation of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), has directed the implementation of a risk based Capital Adequacy Requirement (CAR) of 1.2 times the risk requirement of stockbrokers subject to a minimum liquid capital requirement of Rs 35 million. The CAR Rules are applicable to all stockbroker firms excluding more..

Raviraj murder trial commences, hearing before special jury on day-to-day basis

Nov 24 (DN) Colombo High Court hearing the Nadaraja Raviraj murder case yesterday, commences its hearing on a day-to-day basis before a Special Jury. When the case came up before High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke, seven persons who are graduates of recognized universities were appointed as members of the jury to hear the case. The first witness in the case, a State witness is to testify today (23). more..

Travellers scared of running out of cash in India

Nov 24 (ST) The ramifications of scrapping Indian Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are hurting not only the Indian economy but also Sri Lanka’s travel sector, which conducts a large number of tours to India. Normally, December sees a peak in business activity for travel agencies as families take holidays and bookings mount for pilgrimage tours to Buddhist sites in north India. More than 200,000 Sri Lankans fly to India every year more..