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Revised VAT Bill for Cabinet approval tomorrow

Sept 12 (DN) The revised Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill will be presented for Cabinet approval tomorrow, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga said. He said the Cabinet during its next meeting would decide whether to take it up as a separate piece of legislation or to add it to the upcoming Budget. Samaratunga said the new Bill has been drafted as of the proposals agreed during the recent round of talks between more..

Hajj: The annual pilgrimage of Islam

Sept 12 (DM) What is Hajj and what takes place during the pilgrimage? Let us turn to an English scholar who wrote the following in the late 19th Century, when British rule dominated over much of the world: “But above all - and herein is its supreme importance in the missionary history of Islam - it ordains an yearly gathering of believers, of all nations and languages, brought together from all parts of the world, to pray in that sacred place towards which their faces are set in every more..

Ariyadhamma Thera led by example

Sept 12 (DM) Erudition acquired through scholarship and practical self-introspection ennobled the entire monastic life span of the Most Ven. Nauyane Ariyadhamma Anunayake Maha Thera, whose demise has saddened Buddhists across the country. The cremation will be held with full State patronage this afternoon at Parliament grounds, He was a great scholar of Buddhist scripture. Ariyadhamma Thera since the time he was ordained a novice monk, ensured he followed, more..

ඇයි මේ අලුත් ආණ්ඩුක්රම ව්යවස්ථාවක් ?

Bicentenary of Jaffna Central and 70th Convention of UNP

Sept 12 (CT) President Sirisena's participation in the bicentenary celebration of Jaffna Central College, which is one of the oldest educational institutions in the Island on Friday and President's presence along with his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga at UNP 70th Annual Convention on Saturday had highlighted that the present govt is traversing on the right track towards strengthening the reconciliation process not only among the people in the country, but also in the political arena. more..

MR invites Daya to join new party

Sept 12 (SL) Former President Rajapaksa has invited UNP MP Daya Gamage to join his new political party which is to be formed soon, sources said. Rajapaksa had invited Gamage on several occasions in the past as well but Gamage had declined the offer. Rajapaksa and Gamage met each other in Malaysia recently at the residence of SL’s High Commissioner to Malaysia on the sidelines of a summit in Malaysia. When contacted, Gamage said that he will not join any new more..

Haj Messages

Sept 12 (DM) The festival of Haj, also known as Eid-ul-Alha symbolises the noble human values and the ideals of sacrifice that left a deep and significant impression in the historic Muslim legend, President Sirisena said in a Haj message. Message: The festival of Haj emphasises the strong commitment to the Muslim faith and it is an occasion for them to renew their pledge to the teachings of the Holy Quran & Holy Prophet more..

Promotions for 129 politically victimised cops

Sept 12 (Island) Secretary to the National Police Commission Ariyadasa Cooray said that 40 police officers who had been politically victimised would be given promotions in the near future. He said Cabinet of ministers had given approval for effecting promotions of 129 police officers who had been discriminated against during the previous govt. These names had been forwarded to the Cabinet by the Ministry of Law and Order and Southern Development, he said. more..

The national debt is to reduce by 2020: Can it be achieved?

Sept 12 (CT) Three Cheers to the Govt and may its dream come true! The PM on the occasion of celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the UNP stated that by the year 2020, the national debt will be reduced; and vouched that this challenging burden will not be left to be solved by the next generation. The citizens should clap, if this objective can be achieved? However, the citizens must stand vigilant and hold the govt to account to ensure that this target is realized for the sustainable growth more..

Video: Why is the govt silent: PHU

Sept 12 (DM) Foreign Affairs Ministry is remaining silent in the wake of the Danish Immigration Department recognizing Tamil Eelam as one of the countries from which foreigners could apply for a visa to enter Denmark, the PHU said today. It said Danish Immigration website shows Tamil Eelam as one of the options to be selected under the category nationality when filling out the application. PHU General Secretary Udaya more..

There’s no room for complacency

Sept 12 (CT) Sri Lanka, a country which maintained an excellent record in health indices for several decades has achieved another landmark by eradicating malaria, a disease that killed more than 35,000 people in a single year (1935), less than a century ago. The World Health Organization (WHO) has certified that SL is a malaria-free nation on 5 September 2016. The WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh, who made the announcement at WHO Annual Conference more..

Video: Tractor turns into Prado in the hands of Ravi: Wasantha

Sept 12 (AD) Minister Ravi Karunanayake has allegedly imported a Prado vehicle under a permit issued to import a tractor in 2015, JVP Member Wasantha Samarasinghe says. The observation was made during a meeting held in Kalutara. “This was only came to light when the Department of Motor Traffic wanted to register the vehicle,” he added. He also went on to say a complaint would be lodged against the Minister over the alleged decision to purchase a warehouse under the names of more..

Tax on beverages with more than five spoonfuls of sugar

Sept 12 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne pledged to introduce taxes on all beverages and ready-to-drink milk products containing more than five spoons of sugar. He said that if the move was good for Britain then it had to be good for Sri Lanka as well to stem the rising tide of Non Communicable diseases (NCDs). Health Ministry recently introduced the Colour Coding system for soft drinks and ready-to-drink milk products more..

'Confectionery industry risks extinction'

Sept 12 (DN) Local confectionery industry could vanish jeopardizing the livelihood of over half a million industry dependents, alleges Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA). LCMA alleged that the local confectionery industry could extinct if FTA’s were signed before establishing a safe guard mechanism such as passing the Anti Dumping Bill (ADB) in Parliament. Ironically the ADB which has been given the nod way back by the Cabinet has not yet being more..

Karuna to return to politics

Sept 12 (SL) Former MP Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman is to return to politics, sources said. The former LTTE member is said to be preparing to form a new political party with some of his supporters. Muralitharan is looking to recruit academics and intellectuals in the East to his new party. He is expected to have his political party in place in time for the LG elections. Muralitharan was a member of the SLFP when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President. more..

Paranagama Commission recommends Int'l technical assistance and observers

Sept 12 (DM) Maxwell Paranagama Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has strongly recommended in its final report that in the event of Sri Lanka were to set up a purely domestic tribunal without the participation of any foreign judges, there must be an international technical assistance and observers to ensure the acceptance of the mechanism. Commission has wound up its activities after the enactment of the OMP more..

Underwater UXO recovery training comes to an end in Trincomalee

Sept 12 (MoD) The Underwater Unexploded Explosive Ordinance recovery training conducted for the SL Navy Divers by the members of US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, came to an end in Trincomalee on 8th Sept 2016. The training programme which was started on 22nd August helped the SL Navy Divers to enhance their knowledge and capabilities. Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah graced this occasion as the chief guest. more..

More SL women go for beer: President

Sept 12 (DM) Beer consumption among Sri Lankan women had considerably increased in the past few years, President Maithripala Sirisena said in Colombo today. He said statistics showed an increase of consumption of alcohol and cigarettes among men and women as well. President said this while delivering a speech at an award ceremony organised by Mithuru Mithuro Sansadaya organisation to recognise non-alcoholics. more..

'New legislation to restructure state ventures'

Sept 12 (DM) Govt will introduce legislation to deal with the process of converting loss making state ventures into viable entities under a new formula, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said in Parliament. PM said a board would be established under the provisions of this legislation to act in this regard, and it would report to Parliament. “In my personal view, if a state venture is riddled with frauds or run at losses, either MPs or more..

No home cooked meals for Duminda

Sept 12 (DN) Prisons Department officials turned down the request of former MP Duminda Silva convicted of conspiring to the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, to bring food from his home, a Prisons Dept official said. Duminda Silva who was Defence Ministry Monitoring MP during the previous govt, is among the five suspects sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court on Thursday for conspiring and murdering trade unionist and former MP Bharatha Lakshman. more..

Referee assaults boxer

Sept 12 (CT) In a bizarre incident, a boxer of St. Sylvester's College Kandy has been assaulted by a Referee during a Boxing Tournament held at the Royal College, Colombo. The injured student has been hospitalized for treatment. Boxer had been defeated by his opponent from Mahanama, and as it is the customary had not shaken hands but left the ring. This had apparently raised the ire of the Referee who had sought out the loser and berated him in obscene language and assaulted him, more..

Tamil lawyers forum asks UN to set up scientists' team to examine ex-LTTE cadres

Sept 12 (CT) Tamil Lawyers’ Forum (TLF) has petitioned the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner to set up a committee of scientists and medical professionals of international repute to examine former cadres of the LTTE who have been complaining of illnesses and debilities of various kinds which they allege are the result of the injection of some poisonous substances while they were held in captivity by the SL army more..

Minister Samarasinghe to attend Non-Aligned summit in Venezuela

Sept 12 (Island) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe will lead the lankan delegation to the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Venezuela from Sept 13-18. He will participate in the NAM Summit as the special representative of President Sirisena and is expected to deliver a special statement, ministerial sources said yesterday. A delegation from the Foreign Ministry would also attend the summit meeting under the instructions of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, sources said. more..

'Govt asserts commitment to National unity'

Sept 12 (CG) Govt is committed to National unity, Minister Sajith Premadasa said. He said that the cohabitation Govt will work towards establishing reconciliation after taking over a country which was divided. He said that the stand on reconciliation was asserted following the 70th anniversary celebrations of the UNP held over the weekend. He also noted that attempts were made to prevent the SLFP from holding a successful event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the SLFP more..

Sri Lanka appoints new Airforce chief

Sept 12 (PTI) President Sirisena today appointed Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi as the new Air Force Commander and has promoted him to the rank of Air Marshal. Jayampathi will replace Gagana Bulathsinhala who retired at the age of 55. Jayampathy joined Sri Lanka Air Force on March 5, 1982 as an officer cadet and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in General Duties branch of No 4 Squadron Sri Lanka Air Force. more..

Accountability remains an international priority

Sept 13 (CT) The speech by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when he was in Sri Lanka that referred to Sri Lanka along with Rwanda and Srebrenica has created political controversy. In remarks that deviated from the prepared text of his speech, the UNSG said “…something more terrible, serious happened in the past. In 1994 in Rwanda there was a massacre. More than one million people were massacred. The UN felt responsible for that…We said repeatedly Never again, Never again more..

How the Glyphosate ban will trigger political violence in the hill country

Sept 13 (CT) It is well known that ecosystems and societies are complex systems that do not permit careless tinkering. Social revolutions led by visionaries – usually with tunnel vision narrowed down by some ideology- have almost always ended in reigns of terror or long-lasting social chaos. However, when the govt, goaded by eco-extremists and fanned by the fear of an epidemic of kidney disease in the Rajarata announced the ban on a popular herbicide, it did not think of this more..

'We agree with UN call to reduce troops'

Sept 13 (SL) UNP MP Kavinda Jayawardana said the good governance regime has been completely dedicated to heal the past wounds and to bring about lasting reconciliation. “Any UN official comes here or not, govt will work towards this goal to fulfill their pledge to the people,” he said adding further that the govt had already identified the mindset of the Tamil people in the North – their fears, uncertainty and mistrust. more..

Conspiracies: How do you know?

Sept 13 (SL) A famous historian defined history as One damn thing after another. All history said another historian, is a history of political conspiracies. Put together could it be said that history is one damn political conspiracy after another? Sinhalese are a people extremely conscious of their history and often refer to the Mahavamsa, their recorded history of over 2500 years. An NGO cynic notes that very few Sinhala monarchs have died peacefully in bed, more..

Ban comes calling again: Banking on, or banging at govt this time?

Sept 13 (SL) The Sri Lankan nation as a whole needs to admire and thank TNA’s Leader of the Opposition, R. Sampanthan, for breaking the ethnic impasse of the past decades and going South, in search of permanent peace that could emerge only with the blessings and participation of the majority Sinhala community. Like in the past, Sampanthan’s Matara visit was not adequately covered by the self-styled national media, but then the post-war second Sri Lanka visit more..

'Arming LTTE against Indian Army was most unfavorable and dangerous'

Sept 13 (ENS) The clandestine arming of the LTTE by the Premadasa govet in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s to get rid of the common enemy – the IPKF - was “one of the most unfavorable and dangerous steps ever taken by any govt in SL,” says Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne in his book Road To Nandikadal. The whole operation was an abhorrence to SL army officers who were tasked to hand over brand new weapons to the LTTE, more..

Editorial: Cardinal has shown the way!

Sept 13 (Island) How civilised a country is can be measured by the manner in which it disposes of its garbage. Successive governments have boasted of numerous grand plans to develop Colombo. The previous administration yuppified it at an enormous cost to the public purse, but most of its chronic problems remains unaddressed, solid waste disposal, drainage and traffic congestion being some of them. Facelifts have passed for city development. Rajapaksa administration used to brag that more..

Legislators behind the wheel of road safety

Sept 13 (ST) MPs took time off from their usual political bickering this week to discuss an issue that is fast becoming a growing menace to the public of the country as a whole- Road Accidents. Caused mainly by negligent and careless driving and poor driving skills, road accidents on an average are claiming around seven lives daily, while rendering thousands of others maimed. The transport sector and particularly, the need for better rules to ensure road safety, came up for discussion when more..

Narada Bakmeewewa

Trade deficit expands to unprecedented levels

Sept 13 (ST) With the trade deficit reaching US$ 4.2 billion in the first half of the year, this year’s trade deficit is likely to reach a massive US$ 8.5 billion. Despite this large trade deficit, a current account surplus in the balance of payments of around US $2 billion is likely this year. Workers’ remittances, tourist earnings and income from other services are expected to bring in about US$10-11 billion to result in this surplus. Trade deficit increased by 2.2% to US$4.2 billion in the first half of the year. more..

Tamil journalist K.G. Mahadeva no more

Sept 13 (CT) Veteran Tamil journalist K.G. Mahadeva, who served as the Senior News Editor of the Eelanadu, in Jaffna, passed away, at the age of 76, in Chennai on Sunday. Mahadeva, who hailed from Batticaloa, served in the Seithi (News) publication from the upcountry in the sixties before joining Eelanadu, Jaffna, which was one of the leading regional news dailies founded by late Valachchenai Paper Mills Chairman K.C. Thangaraja in 1958. more..

The shuttlecock’s stuck in the racket

Sept 13 (ST) Badminton, rated as a potential medal-winning sport internationally, has yet to achieve any notable feat. It is in a sort of a mess locally, with fractions within the fraternity pointing fingers at one another for the sport’s current status. Over the years, Badminton has grown in popularity but, has failed to add quality for unknown reasons. Let’s ask the insiders why? “I am sad I had to make a statement to media more..

St Joseph’s to meet St Patrick’s, Jaffna at cricket

Sept 13 (Island) St Joseph’s College will meet St Patrick’s College Jaffna in the inaugural Under 19 Cricket match to be played on Sept 16 and 17 at St Patrick’s College grounds, Jaffna. St Joseph’s College and St Patrick’s College are Premier Catholic schools in the country with over a century of existence. According to Rector St Joseph’s College Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel it is a healthy precedent to play with a school in the North and this should be extended to other sports as well. more..

The SLFP and UNP Conventions and ideology of national govt

Sept 13 (Island) The SLFP and UNP held their 65th and 70th annual conventions recently in Kurunegala and Colombo respectively. A notable feature of the two events was that President Maithripala Sirisena was centre stage at both events, at the SLFP convention as the party leader and at the UNP convention as the chief guest. Another notable commonality was former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the architect of the remarkable political landscape we witness today. more..

Govt in classical Catch 22 situation

Sept 13 (CT) All of the problems we're facing with debt are manmade problems. We created them. It's called fantasy economics. Fantasy economics only works in a fantasy world. It doesn't work in reality. This profound quote came from Michele Marie Bachmann (6 April 1956), an American Republican politician. She is a former member of the US House of Representatives, who represented Minnesota's 6th congressional district and more..