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Elephant Rock City’s Blue Note Orchestra rocks

Nov 3 (Island) I got a ticket last week from friends in Kurunegala to attend a Concert by The Blue Note Orchestra, described as a novel concept of an orchestra that is being introduced for the first time in Sri Lanka. It was held at the Maliyadeva girls’ school auditorium. I cannot remember when I last went to a concert held in Kurunegala. It sure was a new experience for me after many, many moons of my life, though I was like a stranger to the city. Blue Note Orchestra is a creation of more..

Sri Lanka overcome Zimbabwe's resistance in last-hour win

Nov 3 (CI) Graeme Cremer soaked up 175 balls and 121 dots to lead another lower-order rally and raise Zimbabwe's hopes of saving their 100th Test, but Sri Lanka dug deep into their reserves to secure a hard-earned victory with 45 balls to spare. When the last hour began, Zimbabwe needed to bat out 15 overs with Cremer on 41 and No. 10 Carl Mumba on 3. Both batsmen played close to their bodies with a straight bat, more..

Zimbabwe channel spirit of '92

Nov 3 (CI) When John Hampshire was appointed coach of Zimbabwe in the lead-up to their first Test match in 1992, the Yorkshireman was quick to lay out the extent of their ambitions. The batsmen were taught how to leave, and the bowlers instructed to bowl a foot outside off stump. When Zimbabwe crossed 400 in their first innings against India, taking nearly two days to do so, a player had the temerity to suggest that they might declare. Hampshire's spiky response made it clear that they would more..

Japanese business delegation visits BOI

Nov 3 (CT) The BOI hosted a large delegation consisting of representatives from the World Business Society of Tokyo Small and Medium Enterprise Consultant Association who are currently visiting Sri Lanka with the objective of evaluating investment opportunities and opportunities of partnerships between Sri Lankan and Japanese SMEs. One factor which interested the delegation was the fact that Sri Lanka's economy had maintained high levels of economic growth as more..

Satana: CB Bond Scam

Inter International Schools Swimming C'ship

Nov 3 (Island) Inter Int'l Schools Swimming Championship, organised by the Asian International School will be held over the weekend with the particiation of over 800 swimmers, at the Sugathadasa Swimming Pool. First held in 1996 to provide competition experience for swimmers in International Schools, the IISSC will be held for the 22nd time with Milo extending support as the main sponsor. Goolbai Gunasekara, Principal of AIS said that the annual event was first held to more..

'Thirimanne needs a break from cricket'

Nov 3 (DN) Sri Lanka A team coach Avishka Gunawardene is of the view that a break from cricket would do a world of good to beleaguered top order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne. “Everyone goes through a bad patch sometimes it is best to give it a break, a few weeks from cricket,” said Gunawardene who watched Thirimanne struggling to get runs on the board in recently concluded 3-match unofficial test series for SL A against WI A. Thirimanne managed just 59 runs from 6 innings more..

Video: No illegal construction in Sri Pada

Nov 3 (DM) There would be no illegal construction of any buildings in the land near the Sri Pada Forest Reserve, Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana said today. He said a rumor was spreading that a request was made to construct a hotel in the Marewatte Estate in the Sri Pada Forest Reserve. “The holiday resort is situated in a private land in the Marewatte Estate. Several reports are being spread in the social media more..

Sumithrayo: Celebrating 25 Years of caring for troubled minds

Nov 3 (Island) Sri Lanka Sumithrayo, Panadura Branch, Commemorates 25 Years of Service to Community. 26th August 1991 was a memorable day for SL Sumithrayo as they inaugurated their fourth branch in Panadura. At that time, being the only branch south of Colombo, it attracted people from Ratnapura, Balangoda, Embilipitiya and even from the Deep South as far as Matara. Initially with only thirteen trained volunteers forming the core group, the Panadura Branch began its more..

Consumers could take-up VAT irregularities with Inland Revenue Dept

Nov 3 (Island) 'Consumers could complain to the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue against any traders who tax VAT exempted items. Therefore, affected persons should prove trading irregularities through the submission of receipts issued to them if we are to charge errant traders', Tax Consultant, P. Guruge said. "But the issue is that some traders neither issue receipts nor mention the items purchased in any documents to enable affected customers take take these errant more..

Hemasiri unaware there’s ethics in sports

Nov 3 (CT) At the media briefing to explain the Gazette Notification on Amendments to existing Sports Law, Chairman of National Olympic Committee (NOC) Hemasiri Fernando, who was a participant, said that he will not contest for the post of President of NOC again. "I appreciate the action taken by Minister of Sports to solve this problem which existed for about three years. Previously, we worked against the clauses of amendments more..

Air services agreement with Denmark?

Nov 3 (DN) The govt is initiating an air service agreement with scandinavian countries including Denmark to further strengthen trade and economic activities. Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Economic Affairs and Trade Additional Secretary Grace Asiriwatham said connectivity plays a vital role for the successful conduct of economic activities between any country and the proposed initiative will take commercial ties particularly with Denmark to the next level. “Bi-lateral trade between SL and Denmark stands more..

Yarning on the bond scam

Nov 3 (DM) A group of Diyawanna backbenchers from both sides of the divide including two or three from the North and the East were having a heart-to-heart chat in the House lobby the other day. Their attention soon turned to the much talked about Central Bank bonds issue. When the discourse was taking a serious turn, a Betel leaf backbencher spoke up: “Machang, this bonds business is not something that every Jack, Tom and harry can do… There’s a special degree for this subject…” more..

Private sector wish list for Budget 2017

Nov 3 (FT) Top industry representatives listed out suggestions, recommendations and appeals to Minister Ravi Karunanayake at pre-Budget Forum. Below is the Q&A session. Colombo Stock Brokers Association Ravi Abeysuriya: Last Budget had a very good proposal on the use of cash but a lot of people were against it. However, my personal view is that it was a progressive proposal in long term. more..

Speaker Karu’s daughter passes away in UK

Nov 3 (FT) Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s younger daughter Sanjeewani Jayasuriya Dicker (40) passed away in the UK yesterday after a brief illness. Jayasuriya was in London at the time of her passing away. The funeral will be held in the UK, family members said. Sanjeewani Jayasuriya obtained her primary education at St. Bridget’s Convent and Devi Balika Vidyalaya and Fullneck Girls School in Yorkshire. She obtained a degree in economics from Bradford University in UK more..

Faizer given time to file objections

Nov 3 (Island) Supreme Court granted time till Nov 18, for the Minister Faizer Mustapha, PC to file his objections to the petition filed by 18 petitioners, who are residents of Galle, Matara Districts, who are challenging the indefinite postponement of local govt polls. Manohara de Silva, President’s Counsel, who appeared for the petitioners, told the Court that Minister might alter the boundaries of a ward in consultation with a committee appointed by him, from any area but he could not more..

Wasim Thajudeen Murder: CID investigate telephone calls

Nov 3 (DN) CID conducting investigations into the murder of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen informed Court that they have initiated a comprehensive investigation into the telephone calls received by former Narahenpita OIC Damian Perera on the night Thajudeen’s murder took place. At a previous occasion, CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris former Narahenpita OIC Damian Perera had more..

Exporters warn against surcharges on import/export trade

Nov 3 (FT) Exporters Association of Sri Lanka (EASL) warned that surcharges on import and export trade were resurfacing and any concrete moves to that effect would be highly damaging. “It is evident by the recent press articles that, some elements are trying to influence the authorities to reintroduce TCH and other surcharges, which will render the Import /Export trade very uncompetitive,” EASL said in a statement. Former EASL Chairman Lyn Fernando took up this issue more..

AAVA involvement: Gota rejects

Nov 3 (DM) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa vehemently denied the allegations made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne that the Aava gang was established under the approval of Mr. Rajapaksa during the previous govt. He said Minister should focus on executing duties of his ministry instead of making malicious allegations. “He (minister) has been given a ministerial portfolio and he should stick to its duties. He shouldn’t come up with stories which are utter nonsense,” more..

Indo-SL fishermen talks end in stalemate

Nov 3 (Hindu) A fresh round of talks between Indian and SL fisher leaders over a long pending issue ended in a stalemate here on Wednesday. SL fisher leaders rejected a demand from their Indian counterparts for a 3 year phasing out period from SL waters. “There were no agreements during the talks. We have clearly articulated our position at the dialogue that we will not tolerate any illegal poaching in our waters more..

Pension fund for migrant workers approved

Nov 3 (FT) Govt proposals to establish a pension fund for migrant workers was approved by Cabinet this week allowing for the extraction of Rs. 2 b from SL Bureau of Foreign Employment as the initial capital requirement. The money is in the Kuwait Compensation fund of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and would be reallocated through amending the bureau Act. Legal Draftsman is to draft the Act for the proposed pension scheme, which is to be implemented from 1 Jan 2017. more..

GL heads new party, Podujana Peramuna

Nov 3 (CT) Former Minister G.L Pieris has formed a new Party named Sri Lanka Freedom Front (SLFF), which was registered with Elections Commission yesterday. Pieris said he was no more a member of the SLFP. He is now the Chairman of SLFP. "It is a new party, which has been formed in response to an urgent public need and the widespread demand for its formation. We have now formed the party and attended to the formalities with regard to registration. Elections Commission has recognized party. more..

COPE makes no strictures against PM over bond issue: govt

Nov 3 (Island) COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti had cleared PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of any wrongdoing in the issue of 30-year bonds by CB in Feb 2015, but Mahinda Rajapaksa loyalists were trying to implicate him falsely in the transaction, govt said. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that nowhere in the COPE report was it stated that PM was responsible for the actions of former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran. more..

COPE report on bond scam Debate can only happen in January: Kiriella

Nov 3 (CT) Minister Lakshman Kiriella says Govt can only grant the debate sought by the JO related to the COPE report on the CB Bond scam in early January. He said Govt has already submitted the said report to be examined by AG and that it was hence improper for MPs to debate it in the House before the AG had perused it fully. Minister said by Parliament has been suspended till 10 Nov and when the House was suspended only the PM can convene as per the Constitution. more..

PM leaves for Economic Summit in HK

Nov 3 (ITN) PM Ranil Wickremasinghe will be leaving the island today to participate in the 15th Asia Pacific Conference for German businesses. Conference scheduled to begin in Hong Kong today will continue until Saturday. Conference is being organized with the intention of strengthening relations between entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region and German entrepreneurs. As a leading State in the European Union Germany and Asia Pacific Region receive a significant place. more..

'I am under tremendous pressure'

Nov 3 (CT) CB Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy (66) is under tremendous pressure in his bank confidence-building process, however, he said he is ready to accept those challenges and committed to introduce a more transparent and efficient Central Bank system very soon. "Yes, I'm now under more pressure than three months ago when I was appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank", he said on Tuesday. more..

Let us care more for these caring, wonderful people

Nov 3 (DM) One of the most underrated often undermined overworked and often unpaid though vitally important sections of the population are the housewives. Today is being observed as World Housewives Day to recognize the importance of stay-at-home wives and mothers. These wonderful, caring people, build and enrich strong family environments. They help to instill family values and good character. We know that a good family is the nucleus of a good society and the nucleus of more..

Mangala’s Palestine dilemma

Nov 3 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera first faced criticism -- even detrimental to his political career-- over his stand taken regarding a Palestine issue way back when he held the same post during the early part of the 2005/2010 government of former President Rajapaksa. He was even stripped of his portfolios, prompting him to choose a new path in politics. Again on Tuesday, he had a  salvo from the Muslim Ministers at the cabinet meeting as reported over a Sri Lanka’s abstention from more..

Rathupaswala victims still suffering

Nov 3 (SL) Rathupaswala shooting is one among the incidents criticized for police’s irresponsible decision making, which resulted in the death of 3 innocents for asking clean water to drink. Three years have gone past since the shooting took place. However, neither any compensation as promised was given for the victims nor the criminals were brought to book. Factory in question reopened and functions now with no whatsoever troubles. more..

Cabinet raises age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 12

Nov 3 (DM) Cabinet decided to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12 years from the current minimum age which is 8 and in case of children who were between the ages of 12-14 to confer discretion to the Magistrate. Penal Code will be amended accordingly. Cabinet was told that Psychologists and other experts have opined that 8 was far too young an age at which to incur criminal responsibility more..

Govt to service Hambantota loans; budget cash from asset sale

Nov 3 (EN) Sri Lanka is expecting to raise a $1 billion upfront from the sale of an 80% stake in the Southern Hambantota port to China, but the underlying loans will continue to be serviced by the country, an official said. The deal is likely to be closed in the first half of next year, CB Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. The billion dollars would be non-tax revenue for 2017 budget. While the govt will get the cash upfront, more..

Defence counsels tell Court: AG practising differential treatment

Dec 3 (CT) The Counsels appearing for the accused in the RADA case charged that the Attorney General (AG) was acting in a manner so as to punish a select few persons chosen politically unlike never before in the history of the country. While condemning the vicious conduct of the AG in the Colombo High Court, President's Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty, appearing for the accused, pointed out that legal action was being filed by more..

Sri Lanka to establish independent agency for tenders

Nov 3 (FT) In the backdrop of highway projects being parceled out without tenders, Cabinet approval has been given for the Govt to establish an independent centralised procurement institution that would streamline procedure when purchasing goods and services to State institutions. The Cabinet paper presented by President Sirisena this week noted that Cabinet had agreed last year to initiate action to establish more..

Eastern schools face teacher crisis

Nov 3 (ST) A huge shortfall of English, Mathematics and Science teachers in Batticaloa schools is resulting in a severe deterioration in education levels. There are 355 schools in the district’s three education zones, Kalkudah, Paddiruppu and Kannankuda, 340 schools in the Tamil medium and 15 in English medium. There are only six qualified teachers to teach English in 15 English medium schools more..

Video: PM arrives in Hong Kong

Nov 3 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived Hong Kong this morning with seven a member delegation to take part in the 15th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business 2016. The premier was welcomed by the SL Ambassador in China Dr Karunasena Koddithuwakku and officials of the Sri Lankan embassy at the airport. Mr. Wickremesinge is expecting to address the 15th Asia Pacific Conference on German Business more..

Pandith Amaradewa no more

Nov 3 (NR) Pandit WD Amaradeva has passed away at the age of 88 at the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital. Pandit Amaradeva was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital this morning after suddenly taking ill. Wannakuwatta Waduge Don Albert Perera, better known by his adopted name Amaradeva, was born on the 5th of Dec 1927. Primarily using traditional instruments like sitars, tablas and harmoniums, more..

UNP led Opposition failed: Bandula

Nov 3 (NR) MP Bandula Gunawardena says recommendations of the COPE during the UPFA led govt could not be implemented due to the shortcomings of the then Opposition. MP Gunawardena said the then Opposition failed to exert pressure on the govt to implement the recommendations. He said a country has a Parliament, a govt and an Opposition adding the Opposition is vested with a set of responsibilities that must be fulfilled. more..

JO organises countrywide protests to demand Premier’s resignation

Nov 3 (Island) Joint Opposition (JO) says it will hold countrywide protests, demanding the resignation of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for appointing Arjuna Mahendran to the post of Central Bank Governor as the latter has been found to be responsible for the bond scams by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises. JO leader Dinesh Gunawardena said for the first time in the history of the CB coming under the purview of PM more..

Shares rise on gains in blue chips, foreign buying

Nov 3 (Reuters) Shares closed Thursday at a near-two week high, helped by gains in blue chips and as foreign investors picked up beaten down stocks. Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.2% higher, or 13.05 points, at 6,442.09, its second straight session of gains. Turnover stood at 217.7 million rupees ($1.47 million), less than a third of this year's daily average of 721.1 million. Foreign investors were net buyers for a second straight session, picking up stocks worth 61.5 million rupees. more..

Senior lawyer warns of attempts to thrust new Constitution on people

Nov 3 (Island) Any Constitution drafted for the country must safeguard the rights of the people and reflect the features of the nation’s culture, said President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva, addressing a seminar on Sabyathwa Rajjyak Kara the book authored by Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara. de Silva said that Sabyathwa Rajjyak Kara was fit to be a preamble to the new Constitution to be formulated. The seminar was held at Sri Pushpadana Society Hall, Kandy. more..