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Petition for army deployment against Sri Lanka dismissed

Oct 7 (TOI) The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation filed two years ago by an advocate seeking deployment of armed forces to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen from the Sri Lankan navy. In 2014, advocate S M Ananda Murugan filed the petition. He said the Katchatheevu island, the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar have been the areas of conflict between the Tamil Nadu fishermen and the Sri Lankan navy. more..

Sandeep cannot remember being knocked down by Minister’s SUV

Oct 7 (Island) Sandeep Gunawardena, who received serious injuries after the motorcycle he was riding was knocked down by Minister Champika Ranawaka’s SUV in late February, yesterday, said that he could not remember anything about the accident. Gunawardena was discharged from the Rehabilitation Hospital on Tuesday and now he is receiving treatment at his home in Pitipana, Homagama. "I can only remember returning from a function at the BMICH on the fateful day," more..

Wholesale and retail traders in dark over VAT threshold for May-July

Oct 7 (DM) Wholesale and retail traders, who had not followed the ping-pong changes to the VAT laws this year, will have to remain in limbo over their fates for a while longer, after the country’s Finance Minister said that there are legal problems over the matter. “There are some legal problems that we have to sort out,” Minister Ravi Karunanayake said last week in response to the issue raised by Mirror Business. more..

Domestic gas consumption: Will Sri Lanka move from cylinders to pipelines?

Oct 7 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, at a meeting with the Indian Minister for Petroleum and Gas Dharmendra Pradhan last evening, discussed at length the financial viability of replacing domestic gas cylinders with a pipeline. In a message posted on the Prime Minister’s official Twitter account, he said; ‘The special focus of this discussion was the process followed by the world with regards to domestic gas consumption, by way of a pipeline gas supply system.’ more..

Clearance given to transfer Tea Board cess fund to Treasury

Oct 7 (DM) Cabinet Sub Committee on Economic Affairs has given clearance to transfer the Cess Fund of the Sri Lanka Tea Board to the Treasury, a move which was opposed by Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake. The sub committee headed by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken this decision. However, Mr. Dissanayake is reported to have opposed the move at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. This is one of the largest funds with as much as Rs.5.5 billion accumulated by way of a tax more..

'Sri Lanka didn’t boycott SAARC Summit'

Oct 7 (ENS) The war against a common enemy like terrorism must unite members of the SAARC and divide them, says Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Speaking in parliament on Friday on the postponed 19 th  SAARC summit which was to be held in Pakistan in November, Samaraweera said that SAARC cannot function as it should in the absence of mutual confidence and trust more..

FM meets German business delegation

Oct 7 (MEA) A 14 member delegation from the German Asia Pacific Business Association (OAV) and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, from areas such as Garments, Mineral Exploration & Real Estate, Foreign Trade, Induction Technology, Transportation, Engineering and Chambers of Commerce together with German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jörn Rohde called on Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera today, and had discussions on business and trade opportunities in SL. more..

Dearth of lands for use by investors: BOI

Oct 7 (CT) BoI has written to the Chief Ministers of the nine provinces requesting them to provide information about land that can be used by investors, BoI Chairman Upul Jayasuriya, said. "We are faced with a dearth in land that can be used for investment. That is why we wrote to all Chief Ministers asking them to identify land that we can use," he said. Jayasuriya said that the BoI is planning to conduct necessary Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) more..

PM rejects federal call of northern Tamil CM

Oct 7 (PTI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe today dismissed as irrelevant a call by Chief Minister of the Tamil-majority northern province for a federal solution to issues of the ethnic minority community. C V Wigneswaran two weeks ago had demanded a federal solution to meet the political aspirations of Tamil minority. Opposition in parliament demanded govt response to Wigneswaran's demand. more..

Sri Lanka terminal key growth business for China Merchant Port Holdings

Oct 7 (EN) The deep-water container terminal in Sri Lanka’s Colombo port has shown the fastest growth among overseas facilities of global ports operator China Merchant Port Holdings, amid a slowdown or downturn in mainland China, in the first half of this year. Volumes at Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) grew 33% to 0.92 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) for the six months to the end of June 2016, according to China Merchant data. more..

Basil’s Pugoda property: Court to contemplate issuing forfeit order

Oct 7 (DM) Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige requested Pugoda Magistrate’s Court to issue an order to forfeit the property in Malwana which former minister Basil Rajapaksa rejected ownership. The case was filed by FCID against Mr. Rajapaksa on charges of purchasing a land in Malwana and building a house there by misusing State funds. The Presidential Counsel who appeared on behalf of Mr. Rajapaksa today informed the court that his client had ownership neither to land nor the house. more..

South Asia must address terrorism issue: PM

He has now set his sights on a place in world politics

Oct 7 (DM) A politico from the South holding a key portfolio in yahapalanaya who has reportedly grown sick of party politics in the country has set his heart on securing a high post in a world organization, they say.  This politico who entered national politics from an electorate bordering River Nilwala has since then held high office under regimes led by both main political parties during his 27-year political career. He has told his colleagues that his views ware too liberal & too independent to suit party politics more..

In line with House of Commons: New post created in Parliament

Oct 7 (DM) A new post called the Parliamentary Secretary to the PM has been created in keeping with the tradition of the House of Commons for Govt MP Jayampathi Wickramaratne, it is learnt. The appointment has already been made. Mr. Wickramaratne plays a pivotal role in the current Constitution making process in Parliament. Under the Soulbury Constitution, Deputy Ministers were also called parliamentary secretaries. It is learnt that this particular post has been created because more..

President in Thailand to attend Asia Corporation Dialogue

Oct 7 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in the  Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok this morning to attend the Asia Corporation Dialogue Summit, that brings together 34 nations in the Asian region. President was accompanied by First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena. President and First Lady were received at the airport by Thai Minister of Culture, Vira Rojpojchanarat, as the representative of the Royal Thai Govt more..

Nationalist mobilisations & Eluga Thamil: First as tragedy, then as farce

Oct 8 (CT) The Eluga Thamil rally on Sept 24 in Jaffna was nothing but the continuation of efforts to keep reactionary Tamil nationalism mobilised after the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. The forces that organised this protest have been active with the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), the Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) and more recently the Tamil Peoples Council (TPC). Their chauvinist Tamil nationalist rhetoric attempts to capture the political mainstream in Jaffna more..

Law enforcement Vs. Human rights & The Wijeyadasa amendment

Oct 8 (CT) A news item in the Island of the 3rd instant highlights a controversy that has arisen with the publication of a Bill proposing to introduce a new section to the Criminal Procedure Code to deprive suspects’ access to lawyers until their statements were recorded, thus withdrawing the rights already guaranteed by the State under rules made by the Inspector General of Police in accordance with the Police Ordinance. The proposed Section 37A(1) states, “any person who has been arrested more..

'We’ll defeat new Constitution'

Oct 8 (CT) "We have received information that govt will go for a referendum by January or February next year to pass a new Constitution beneficial to leaders such as R. Sampanthan of the TNA. The Joint Opposition challenges the government to go for a referendum and they will defeat the new Constitution with the support of the people." Leader of the NFF MP Wimal Weerawansa said. Q: Where does the Joint Opposition more..

Paying the price for past extravagance

Oct 8 (GV) This week, it was announced that Sri Lanka would be paying as much as Rs. 25 billion to aircraft leasing company AerCap Holdings, in order to cancel the purchase of 4 A350 aircraft. The aircraft had been purchased by the previous Govt. The announcement came at the same time as Sri Lanka decided to discontinue budget airline Mihin Lanka, as part of a restructuring plan. Sri Lankan Airlines have languished in debt for years – the last time it made a profit was reportedly in 2009, more..

Moving from appearance to essence

Oct 8 (DN) A serial drama is being unfolded in the media these days during prime time on electronic media and in the front pages of print media. The villain of the piece is none other than the Northern Province Chief Minister Retired SC Justice C Wigneswaran. There is, however, a competition for the role of the hero with representatives of both the Opposition and the Govt vying for it. Although the dramatis personae are different the script and the modus operandi are both quite familiar. more..

Mind your Plugs and Sockets

Oct 8 (DN) Sri Lanka recorded 138 deaths in 2012 due to electrocution. One of the biggest contributor to this tragedy may lie in using the wrong type of plug. Public Utilities Commission of SL sources recently announced that they would implement and follow the international standard for plugs and socket outlets to protect the public from possible accidents from generation, transmission, distribution & supply or the use of electricity. more..

Editorial: VAT and nuts

Oct 8 (Island) The government is apparently tempting its providence to boost its revenue! One wonders whether it is becoming suicidal. Else, it would never have antagonised the public in this manner by heaping unbearable economic burdens on them in the form of tax hikes. It is hell bent on jacking up VAT at the behest of international lending institutions. This is what happens to politicians masquerading as messiahs when power goes to their heads! They take leave of their senses, more..

Jaffna’s high caste leaders

Oct 8 (CT) The Vellala political class and caste that dominated Jaffna politics in feudal and colonial times, as sub rulers under the colonial masters, was hoisted by their own petard when they passed the Vaddukodai resolution on 14 May 1976. It was an official declaration of war by the ruling Vellala elite against the State of Sri Lanka. In it the Vellala handed over the power to the militant youth, to take up arms against the State, until they achieved the separate State of Eelam. more..


30 years ago she walked into the Govt Press, now she heads it

Oct 8 (ST) The clackety-clack greets us long before we enter building No. 8……..and as we climb up a few steps there comes into view the presses in all their magnitude going back and forth, gobbling up fat reels of paper and spewing forth all documents official. As those who work the presses, now ranging from the old to the new, having moved to the digital age while still making use of the old iron horse, attend to their daily work, on the second floor accessed by an antique-looking lift, more..

3 Japanese naval ships arrive

Oct 8 (SLN) Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships, Kashima, Setoyuki and Asagiri, arrived at the Port of Colombo on a goodwill and training visit this evening (7). They were welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Prior to their departure on 12th October, the visiting Japanese ships are due to conduct Passage Exercises with SLN craft with a view to sharing professional expertise between the two friendly navies. more..

'Stage set for New party'

Oct 8 (NS) MP Basil Rajapaksa has decided to clear the air over the formation of a new political party and claims that it is the people who had called for a new force to combat the govt. Rajapaksa speaks about the process towards forming a new party and responds to allegations of striking a deal with the UNP. Q. There are confusions over the formation of a new party. There is also speculation that you have already decided on the name more..

Discord between Sri Lanka’s estate workers, employers continues

Oct 8 (Hindu) Thousands of workers employed in Sri Lanka’s tea estates continued protesting on Friday, apparently rejecting the marginal wage hike that the government negotiated with employers and trade unions. About 10 days ago, tension erupted across Sri Lanka’s Central and Uva Provinces, where most of the country’s tea estates are located, as workers, mostly Tamils of recent Indian origin, took to the streets and demanded a higher daily wage of LKR 1,000 (around Rs. 450). more..

‘SriLankan Airlines chartering a course towards a sustainable future’

Oct 8 (Island) The national carrier SriLankan Airlines’ focus on re-structuring its operations to effect a turnaround is recording a significant reduction in losses, coupled with a rationalization of routes and aircraft. Stringent cost controls underscored by heightened accountability and transparency have been cornerstones of the new strategy. The new management, supported by the incumbent govt, is successfully shedding its past legacy as a loss-making institution by more..

JO vs Govt battle lines next week

Oct 8 (NS) Masterminds behind the formation of a new political front with former President Rajapaksa at the helm revealed that the name and symbol of the party was expected to be finalized by the end of next week. In addition, moves are also afoot to form two new trade unions for the public and private sector institutions that would be affiliated to the newly formed political party. Discussions pertaining to the formation of the trade unions more..

ComBank receives Strongest Bank in SL

Oct 8 (DN) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon received The Asian Banker award for The Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2016 at an awards ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland on the side-lines of SIBOS, the annual conference, exhibition and networking event of the financial industry. Commercial Bank’s CEO S. Renganathan accepted this award on behalf of the Bank. The Asian Banker accolade ranks Commercial Bank among the 500 strongest banks in the Asia Pacific Region. more..

Law should uphold human dignity, freedom and security and civility of people

Oct 8 (Island) All citizens should obey the law that they have established as the supreme norm governing their individual and collective relationships and the common good. The fundamental basis of law is the basic recognition of the dignity, autonomy, equality and freedom every human being is endowed with. When these come into conflict among persons, the law resolves and reconcile them justly and fairly. The human being’s worth is immeasurable and the dimensions and more..

SL, Japan to sign key document to start Kandy urban development project

Oct 8 (FT) SL and Japan on Monday will take a further step towards the new Kandy urban development program by signing the bilateral Record of Discussion for the project. It will be signed by Secretary, Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development, Nihal Rupasinghe and Chairman, UDA, Dr. Jagath Munasinghe in the presence of Minister Champika Ranawaka for SL side and Senior Representative of JICA-SL more..

New Customs Law in January 2017: Ravi K

Oct 8 (NS) Minister Ravi Karunanayake last week announced the govt has planned to implement the New Customs Ordinance with effect from January 2017 by enacting a new Customs Act in place of the existing customs ordinance of No 17 of 1869 as amended to suit the present day requirements in international trade activities. Cabinet Committee on Economic Management – (CCEM) chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently granted approval for this enactment of proposed new Customs Act more..

Chaos in badminton!

Oct 8 (NS) The cream of badminton players in the island are expected to experience exhaustion in the coming days with the much looked forward to Mercantile Badminton Championships expected to run concurrently with the National Championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Badminton Federation (SLBF). Most of the top rated players are employed by mercantile firms and banks and will give priority to represent their employee at the Mercantile Badminton Championships. more..

Gota resents being hounded by intelligence services

Oct 8 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa alleged that intelligence services had been relentlessly pursuing him. He maintained that intelligence services had checked on his movements and also inquired from various hotels information pertaining to his visits and those with him. Rajapaksa said that he couldn’t see any justifiable reason to keep him under surveillance as he didn’t pose a threat whatsoever to more..

Dengue and cancer prevention programmes are held in Northern Naval Command

Oct 8 (SLN) Following the directives of Commander Northern Naval Area Rear Admiral Piyal De Silva, Naval Public Health Inspectors and naval personnel in the command rendered their assistance to the Medical Officers of Health in Kytes and Velani to conduct several Dengue prevention programmes on 28th and 29th Oct 2016. Accordingly they made field visits to over 1,897 houses in respective areas, in view of educating the public with regard to precautionary measures of Dengue. more..

Rights petition seeks LG polls: SC fixes 2 Nov for hearing

Oct 8 (FT) Supreme Court fixed for hearing on 2 Nov the Fundamental Rights petition seeking to hold the LG elections in Districts of Galle and Matara. The Bench comprised Justices Priyasath Dep, Anil Gooneratne and Nalin Perera. Bench comprising Chief Justice K. Sripavan and Justice B.P. Aluvihare on April 29 granted leave to proceed with the petition which seeks an order from the Court to direct the Elections Commission to take all necessary steps to hold these elections. more..

My ambition is to be an engineer says No 1 at Grade 5 scholarship exam Sithija

Oct 8 (FT) “I want to be an engineer in the future,” said an elated Sithija Niran Samarawickrema of Methodist Junior College Urugamuwa in Dikwella, Matara who was ranked island first at the Grade Five Scholarship examination this year. Sithija obtained 196 out of a possible 200 marks. Methodist Junior College Urugamuwa has 416 students on roll and is the feeder school of Sri Sumangala Central College Radampola. more..

Swiss Speaker Markwalder visits Parliament

Oct 8 (FT) Visiting Speaker of the National Council of the Federal Assembly of Switzerland Christa Markwalder visited the Parliament yesterday. She paid a courtesy call on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the Speaker’s Office in the Parliament. Speaker Jayasuriya focused on his Swiss counterpart’s attention towards the parliamentary reforms, tourism between the two countries and assistance extended to Sri Lanka by Switzerland. In response, Markwalder also pointed out more..