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Absence of remorse as an obstacle to reconciliation

Oct 27 (CT) People who live through long periods of repression often develop psychological and cultural habits that lead them to pretend not to see or hear what is going on around them in their society. These psychological habits may help people survive through difficult times. However, even after the difficult times have passed, cultural habits remain entrenched and people pretend not to really notice things that are going wrong in their societies. Creating the impression that more..

'Many investors waiting to see India’s integration with Sri Lanka'

Oct 27 (DM) Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Anushka  Wijesinha, says proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) is an  important agreement for Sri Lanka. He says the key ongoing issue in  trading with India is the non-tariff barriers. Q: The full potential of FTA with India  is yet to be realized. Then, how do you see the relevance of a broad  agreement in the name of ETCA? more..

The Commissions: How independent is independent?

Oct 27 (SO) Resignation of the CIABOC Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe following a tensed outburst by the President, triggered a national debate. Though some described the whole affair as opening a can of worms, certain members of the Independent Commissions voiced the ongoing debate was healthy in the sense that debates help sustain democracy. The Independent Commissions were brought to life under the 19th Amendment, one of the key election vows of the Unity Govt. more..

Losing hope but continuing the fight for Prageeth

Oct 27 (SL) The court case regarding the alleged abduction of well-known journalist, cartoonist and political analyst Prageeth Eknaligoda is still being heard in court. Almost 6 years after his disappearance, the investigations commenced in March 2015 into the abduction. However, the pace of the investigations gradually lost. The most recent hearing of the case was held last week. The next hearing is to be held at the Avissawella High Court on Oct 24 and at the SC on Nov 1. more..


Prasanna Vithanage’s Usaviya Nihandayi (Silence in the Courts)

Oct 27 (Island) Thanks to Colombo District Court that was not silent but judged fairly that the injunction brought against screening Usaviya Nihandayi directed by Vithanage, be set aside. The film is now screened for public viewing. It was scheduled to be screened at the Regal Cinema and other halls from October 4 but had to be held back till the enjoining order brought forward by the chief protagonist of the film, the magistrate, was over-ruled by the judiciary. more..

Editorial: A wake-up call

Oct 27 (Island) Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran has appealed for calm while protests are being held against the killing of two undergraduates in Jaffna. Had the police acted cautiously and responsibly, that unfortunate incident and the attendant problems could have been avoided. It is wrong to drink and drive or ride and one asks for trouble when one defies police orders to stop, especially at checkpoints, but the two undergrads shouldn’t have been shot. more..

800m poser: Nimali vs Dhammika Manike

Oct 27 (ST) Sri Lanka’s former National athlete Sriyani Dhammika Manike made a complaint with Human Rights Commission (HRC) after her 800 metres record was shattered by Nimali Liyanarachchi during the 42nd National Sports Festival held in Jaffna recently. Manike said: “I am a person who is not chasing after records. But I think injustice has taken place after my 24-year-old record which was established at Barcelona Olympic more..

Int'l Sports Exhibition in Sri Lanka next year

Oct 27 (CT) Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara received Cabinet Approval for the proposed International Sports Workshop, Exhibition and Carnival to be held at Galle Face for two days next year. The said event is the brainchild of a Malaysian Company which had been requesting permission from Sri Lanka to hold such an exhibition for months now. "A Malaysian Company who had been conducting such exhibitions all around the world has been in contact with the ministry for months now more..

Non-use of electronic trade hitting Sri Lanka

Oct 27 (Island) Sri Lanka will lose its efficiency and competitive edge over other countries even within the South Asian region due to not accepting electronic documents and signature for international trade and business, Executive Director Verite Research Dr Nishan de Mel said. "Our regional counterparts have secured substantial process improvement in switching to electronic documents and electronic signatures in the trade process despite SL having passed the best law, more..

I just can’t COPE, Mr Bond

Oct 27 (Island) You all are aware that I am the Minister for Nothing to do in this Socialist (not always) Democratic (not always) Republic of Sri Lanka (sometimes, I don’t see the Siri part). It is true I have nothing to do at all and I get paid by the poor taxpayers’ money for doing nothing. I also got a duty free permit and bought a Hummer with it, and also sold the other duty free permit and made over 44 million bucks. Cool isn't it? With that money more..

Playing peace maker for son’s sake?

Oct 27 (DM) Lady who was on a private visit to UK had cut short her sojourn there to return home to play peace maker, before things could go too far for redemption. Armed with a peace formula worked out while in UK, the former Madam had decided to start negotiations with initial talks with the Green Leader’s Royal college buddy and top confidant para-dropped on the yahapalanaya top team. Second round of talks is due to be held at the official residence of the secretarial one from Rajarata. more..

Rotherham Circuit Meet 2016: Shoel, Darin bag major honours

Oct 27 (DN) Shoel Danial and multi sport maestro Darin Weerasinghe won top honours at the recently held Rotherham Circuit Meet at the famous Katukurunda racing track. Shoel bagged all major honors in motor bike events including the newly introduced Grand Prix event while Darin had mixed fortunes in both races of the elite car event to emerge champion driver. The motorbike Grand Prix was first introduced in 1972 at the Katunayaka Air Force track and abandon in 1978 more..

Draft of new counter-terror law triggers old fears in Sri Lanka

Oct 27 (Hindu) Even as Sri Lanka drafts a new law to counter terrorism, human rights activists and lawyers here fear it might be worse than the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) they want repealed and replaced. One of the key demands around regime change in Sri Lanka in January 2015 — when former President Rajapaksa was unseated —was to repeal the PTA. “After the new govt came to power, all of us expected a shift, more..

Guinness Book records and ego trips

Oct 27 (ST) The world’s tallest Christmas tree at Galle Face. Budo Ammo, mahattaya, monavada mei, my old dhobi (laundryman) would have said, if he was still in the land of the living. I am not the only one who is not only disturbed but also perturbed. I did a quick poll among my editorial team and they too were horrified not only as journalists but as individuals who understand the needs and aspirations of a nation. The feeling was shared by a reader who saw our picture more..

Cabinet nod for capital market strategy

Oct 27 (FT) A capital market strategy for Sri Lanka that spans 2016-2020 and proposes regulatory and development actions to be followed by the Govt was approved by Cabinet yesterday.  Cabinet paper was moved by the PM and the adoption follows the approval in September for the govt to obtain a $ 250 m loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund a capital market development program. ADB will also provide technical assistance in setting up the capital markets. more..

Govt to repay Rs. 4 b to Golden Key depositors

Oct 27 (FT) Cabinet has agreed to allow the Finance Ministry to release Rs. 4 billion to the Central Bank to complete repayment of Golden Key Credit Card company depositors and dispose of assets that belonged to the finance company and its subsidiaries.  The proposal, which was presented by Minister Ravi Karunanayake and approved by Cabinet on Tuesday, approved the release of Rs. 4,055.1 million. more..

Coalition Against Coal hails move to cancel Sampur

Oct 27 (DN) Coalition Against Coal is thanking the govt for deciding to cancel the proposed Coal Power plant that was to be set up in Sampur. Following is a letter sent by the Coalition Against Coal to both the President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. This is a landmark decision made in the interests of the people of Sri Lanka and its future generations who will owe you a debt of gratitude for protecting our citizens and saving the environment of our beautiful island. more..

Sri Lanka calls for special treatment from WTO for Agri, Service exports

Oct 27 (DN) SL is seeking Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) for its agricultural and service exports under World Trade Organisation (WTO), said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen at the WTO’s Colombo session. “Being a Small and Vulnerable Economy and a Net Food Importing Developing country, SL is faced with special circumstances that call for special needs and flexibilities within the system. SL is vigorously pursuing individually and through its likeminded groups more..

Jaffna Varsity students send back governor’s letter written in Sinhalese

Oct 27 (ENS) President of the Jaffna University Arts Faculty Students’ Union, K. Rajeevan, on Wednesday returned a letter sent to him by the Northern Province Governor, Reginold Cooray, because it was written in Sinhalese, the language of the majority in community in SL. It was a copy of a letter the Governor had written to President Sirisena requesting the latter to conduct an inquiry into the incident on Oct 20, more..

Bulls and Meeharakas in Parliament

Oct 27 (CT) Updated microphones recently fitted on to the tables of MPs were a disgrace to the finesse achieved by veteran architect Geoffrey Bawa who designed the Parliament Complex, Deputy Speaker stated in Parliament. He said the new microphones were akin to elaharaka and meeharaka (Ox and Water Buffalo) put together. "None of the MPs likes the new microphone system" he said. He made these remarks after Minister Akhila Viraj Kariyawasam commented that more..

Rs. 800 millon destination marketing plan

Oct 27 (FT) After years of fierce lobbying by the private sector for a State-driven int'l marketing strategy for tourism, Govt will launch its destination marketing program with an investment of Rs. 800 m next year. Mount Lavinia Hotel Chairman Sanath Ukwatte was unanimously appointed as President of The Hotels Association of SL at the AGM. Ukwatte took over as the new President for 2016 - 2017 from Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray, who served the association as President for six years.  more..

Sri Lanka falls 3 places in ease of doing business ranking

Oct 27 (CT) Sri Lanka falls three places in ease of doing business ranking to 110 due to lengthy property registration processes, complexity of paying taxes, difficulties in getting credit and enforcing contracts, says World Bank's Doing Business 2017 rankings which measure the ease of doing business in 190 different countries, a report released by the bank on Tuesday revealed. Sri Lanka was in the 107th place in 2016. more..

If Sri Lanka’s unemployment is 400,000, why create jobs for 1 million?

Oct 27 (ST) Dispute over unemployment figures in Sri Lanka, opposition to foreigners being given freedom to engage in the retail trade and a national trade policy that appears to have ignored many sectors were some of the key points that emerged at a Colombo discussion on Wednesday over proposals connected to the proposed Economic and Technology  Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). The discussion organised by the SL Association for Political Economy at the Colombo University more..

Cabinet approves by-pass over Battaramulla

Oct 27 (DM) A proposal, which had been made for the construction of by-pass road from the Polduwa junction, Battaramulla to the Udumulla Junction via Suhurupaya was approved by the Cabinet. “The govt's policy is to relocate all government institutions to Battaramulla, within the Sri J'pura Administrative City. Many of these institutions have already been relocated and in line with this infrastructure, such as roads and transportation should be provided immediately. more..

Parliament passes VAT hike

Oct 27 (FT) After months of uncertainty the VAT Amendment Bill was passed in parliament yesterday, increasing taxes from 11% to 15% with several amendments that included Finance Minister Ravi Karunanyake pledging to bring fresh regulations to ensure exemptions applicable to health services raised by opposition members. The controversial Bill was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in July but the latest draft more..

PM to make special statement today

Oct 27 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to make a detailed analysis, in Parliament today, on the economic fundamentals on which the 2017 Budget proposals were based. The PM is also scheduled to make a detailed description of the govt's economic programme, based on the 2017 Budget proposals, during his speech in Parliament. The PM's speech comes before the Budget proposals are to be submitted to the House by Minister Ravi Karunanayake on 10 Nov. more..

COPE report to be presented tomorrow

Oct 27 (Island) The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) last night decided to submit its report on bond scams to Parliament on Friday.   The COPE commenced its sittings around 2.30 pm at committee room in the Parliament complex with its chairman Sunil Handunnetti presiding and continued till 9.00 pm and all its members agreed to present a single report on the issue. Almost all members except UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake had attended yesterday’s meeting, a COPE member said. more..

Govt acts to stem a crisis: STF-Police on the spoor of AAVA

Oct 27 (CT) Several STF squads and Police units have been deployed to strengthen security in and around Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Jaffna City limits in the aftermath of the emergence of the 'AAVA' group that has claimed responsibility for putting two Policemen to the sword. AAVA's leaflets scattered throughout the Jaffna peninsula have resurrected the old fear psychosis in and around Jaffna District and other major towns, more..

No headroom for external borrowings next 2 years: economist

Oct 27 (DM) Despite the 3-year engagement with the IMF is expected to act as a confidence booster and open up market access to Sri Lanka to tap int'l capital markets, a top economist said that the country has no headroom for further external borrowings during the next two years. According to Dr. Dushni Weerakoon, Deputy Director at the IPS, an economic policy think tank, Sri Lanka has already maxed out on its credit card to the extent that the country’s external debt sustainability more..

Speaker summons IGP over search fiasco on MP Welgama’s estate

Oct 27 (Island) Deputy Speaker Thialnga Sumathipala informed the House that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had summoned IGP Pujith Jayasundara to Parliament to inquire about searching the Matugama estate and house of UPFA MP Kumara Welgama. Speaker had given a set of guidelines to the IGP to follow when the police needed to search properties of an MP hereafter, Deputy Speaker said. Speaker is out of the country attending a session of IPU in Geneva and once he returned home, more..

Video: UNP MPs shielding leader: One COPE report including dissenting views: Sujeewa

Oct 27 (DM) Member of COPE, and Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe said there would be only one COPE Report, which would be presented to Parliament by COPE Chairman Sunil Handunetti, with the comments of different or dissenting views of a number of other members. He admitted that there was an issue of Conflict of Interest, if and when one of the primary dealers, Perpetual Treasuries, among 17 other dealers registered with the CB, more..

One good turn deserves another

Oct 27 (DM) It was not so long ago that we saw participants in the Asian, African, Eastern European and Latin American countries claiming that the elections that were held in their countries were rigged in favour of the govt or political party in power of the day. We are now witnessing a new chapter opening in the electoral process in the self-acclaimed champion of democracy and in the political life of the US.  The world is faced with a new reality –serious charges are being levelled more..

Words, deeds and devolution-fixations

Oct 27 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera, has pleaded that action be taken more seriously than word. Speaking at a press briefing, Samaraweera referring to controversial remarks made by President Sirisena raising questions on the work of agencies investigating corruption allegations, requested that govt be judged on its actions and not on statements made. Interestingly, Samaraweera also stated govt has not veered from its mandate to create a dynamic and vibrant democracy in Sri Lanka. more..

'Unfair to level war crime allegations'

Oct 27 (DM) Former Army Commander, Retired General Gerry de Silva said that it was unfair to level war crime allegations against Sri Lankan forces and having inquiries into them, without having a proper idea on what really took place in the humanitarian mission and finding out both sides of the story. He said those who were responsible for the amount of casualties caused in Second World War, were now propagating more..

Are they too old to hold office and, is politics a hurdle!

Oct 27 (ST) There is a move by Ministry of Sports to limit the age of office bearers of Sports bodies to 70. At the same time, ministry is also eyeing to bar persons in active politics from holding office in Sports bodies. Here are some views of the issue. My views on the new sports regulations’ age limit provision and politicians holding office in Sports bodies, are hotly debated among sportsmen, politicians, sports administrators, more..

'Maithri-Ranil Govt saved war heroes from facing international tribunal'

Oct 27 (DM) JHU stalwart, Megapolis and Western  Province Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, in an interview with Daily Mirror, says that his party is happy about the two major  parties getting together for governance. He says the Sinhala Buddhist  identity should be there not to suppress non-Buddhists or the  minorities, but to ensure the stability and prosperity of the country. more..

'Split in Govt inevitable at one point'

Oct 27 (DM) NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa, says the period ahead would be decisive in the political circuit as the internal squabbles of the govt are taking a turn for the worse. He says it would result in any eventuality. Q: How do you view the political trend after the recent outburst by President Sirisena? A: For a long period, we, along with other groups and organizers, pointed out that the FCID has been a body more..

'No more tax on Tourism Industry'

Oct 27 (DN) The Finance Minister has agreed not to impose any taxes any further on the Tourism Industry, Minister John Amaratunga addressing the Hotels Association AGM. Govt will also explore the possibility to provide duty free concessions in the direction of refurbishment of old hotels. With regard to the issue of minimum room rates applicable for city hotels, he said it was too early to make changes to it. more..

Lankan heroes who fought British still on traitor list

Oct 27 (Island) No action had yet been taken to remove the names of Sri Lankan leaders who had fought for freedom since 1815 from a list of traitors and rename them as national heroes, Parliament was told. Those who had launched the freedom struggle of 1818 and subsequently been branded traitors by British rulers could be removed from the list of traitors if the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Justice initiated action, more..