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JO to pay on behalf of Maj. Wickremage

Sept 13 (CT) Administrative Committee of Joint Opposition (JO) has consented to, on behalf of former Army Major Wimal Wickremage, pay a sum of two million rupees to the relatives of an LTTE cadre. The former Army Major was found guilty of shooting to death the LTTE cadre, who had attempted to flee the camp when it was overseen by him 18 years ago. JO sources said that they have made arrangements to collect the compensation, as ordered by Court, in front of more..

Govt told to target long term fiscal stability as VAT re-imposition looms

Sept 13 (Island) The govt should target long term fiscal stability rather than focus on short-term gains. Therefore, it should strengthen revenue collection without depending on loans from various agencies, Professor of Economics, University of Colombo Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne said. "The first installment of US $ 168. million of the total IMF loan of US $ 1.5 billion is to be released next week and as a condition of the IMF loan, the govt is to introduce the VAT from 1st of October. more..

Govt drafts Constitution according to Al-Hussein's whims: Wimal

Sept 13 (DM) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, charged that the govt was in a hurry to draft a new Constitution, to satisfy the whims and fancies of UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein. Delivering a lecture on the Constitution being drafted by govt, he said the govt’s plan was to pass the new Constitution in the Parliament in November and then hold a referendum in January. more..

Nine companies onboard as CA Sri Lanka practical training partners

Sept 13 (LBO) Nine leading companies came onboard recently as Training Partners of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) representing diverse sectors and boosting the training partner portfolio of the institute which currently comprises of over 700 organisations from the public and private sectors. Stafford Motor Co (Pvt) Ltd, Lankem Ceylon PLC, Maga Neguma Road Construction Equipment Co (Pvt) Ltd, Araliya Group of Companies, PE Plus (Pvt) Ltd, more..

CB steps up measures to make finance companies stronger

Sept 13 (FT) The Central Bank on Friday revealed that it was initiating a number of steps to turn around struggling finance companies under its purview while cautioning the public to disregard what it termed erroneous news about these institutions. The following is the full statement. Central Bank has observed certain erroneous news items published in a few newspapers raising concerns over financial problems confronted by a few licensed finance companies. more..

KLM returns to SL skies after two decades

Sept 13 (FT) Come Nov 1, KLM will resume its direct services to SL after a lapse of nearly two decades giving a big boost for in-bound and out-bound tourism. The airline last week announced its resumption of Amsterdam-Colombo services initially for the upcoming winter season with two flights per week. Flights from Colombo will depart Tuesdays and Saturdays and returning from Schipol on Mondays & Fridays. more..

Mudslinging coup against People’s Bank?

Sept 13 (SL) Certain parties with vested interests are trying to scuttle the ambitious growth programme of the UNF govt with People’s Bank being the latest target of these unscrupulous parties, Sunday Leader learns. “There’s an organized move to destabilize the banking and finance sector and throw the whole economy into chaos. It is suspected that several persons within state institutions are colluding with these muckrakers and mudslingers in a bid to scuttle the development plan more..

Discipline, prudent spending to spur economic growth in 16 months

Sept 13 (DN) Higher tax compliance, tax restructuring, financial discipline and prudent spending in order to spur growth and economy is the need of the hour, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. Speaking at the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) event under the topic, “Sri Lanka Towards a simplified tax system,” at the Hilton Colombo, he said that despite current fiscal challenges positive economic results would be visible in sixteen months. more..

Sri Lanka to supply medicine to Maldives

Sept 13 (CT) Sri Lanka is prepared to supply emergency medicine to the Maldives, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine says. Govt of Maldives proposed that Sri Lanka provides education, in Sri Lanka, for Maldivian medical students, offers the Maldivian officers in the health sector a special training in Sri Lanka and assist the Maldives to gain knowledge from SL on establishing centres for blood transfusion. more..

Nanda Fernando appointed Managing Director, Sampath Bank

Sept 13 (Island) Sampath Bank, ranked among the top-tier private banks in the country, announced the appointment of Nanda Fernando as its new Managing Director. Having played a pivotal role at Sampath Bank since the year of its inception, Fernando served in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer, prior to this appointment. With a banking career that spans 35 years, he also function as a Director of SC Securities Ltd., which is a subsidiary of the Sampath Group of Companies. more..

SLT Campus signs a MoU with world-renowned Lancaster University

Sept 13 (Island) Adding to its list of accreditations and affiliations, Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC), signed a MoU with world-renowned Lancaster University. This MoU will give students at SLTC the power to innovate and go beyond boundaries with one of the most recognized degrees in the world. Lancaster University has been ranked as one of UK’s Top 10, and is in the top 1% of universities globally. Lancaster has also earned the distinction of being the more..

Unemployment drops to 4.2% in 2016 1Q

Sept 13 (EN) Sri Lanka's unemployment has dropped to 4.2% in the first quarter of 2016 from 4.7% a year earlier, with new jobs being created in services and industry. The total employed persons rose to 7.968 million in the first quarter of 2016 from 7.800 million in 2016 with services creating 155,638 jobs. The unemployment rate is also down from a peak of 5.1% in the third quarter of 2015 and 4.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016. more..

Launch of book on Rathupaswala today

Sept 13 (CT) Jana Aragalayaka Diya Salakuna: Rathupaswala, a book by Journalist Tharindu Jayawardena, will be launched today at 2.45 p.m. at Public Library Auditorium, Colombo. Ceremony will be hosted by SL Young Journalists' Association. Journalist Victor Ivan, Prof. Sarath Wijesooriya and Dr. Ravindra Kariyawasam will address the gathering. Book is based on the people's struggle for clean water at Rathupaswala, which was dealt with by the former govt with force, YJA claimed. more..

Big success story: Sri Lanka is declared free of Malaria

Sept 13 (NYT) After a long struggle, Sri Lanka, the large island nation southeast of India, was declared free of malaria last week by the World Health Organization. It has been more than three years since the last case. “This is a big success story,” said Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, the director of the W.H.O.’s global malaria program. “And it’s an example for other countries.” Sri Lanka almost succeeded in eliminating malaria 50 years ago, but its huge effort fell apart. more..

Health Minister concedes large scale corruption in drug procurement

Sept 13 (Island) Minister Rajitha Senaratne has said that the process of purchasing pharmaceuticals and medical equipment is riddled with corruption. Minister, during a meeting with heads of health institutions, said a particular multinational drug company had supplied a drug to Health Ministry for Rs. 280,000 each. However, his wife Dr Sujatha Senaratne as Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry at the time had made the company reduce price. more..

Bolivian woman caught with Rs. 40M. worth of cocaine

Sept 13 (DM) A stock of cocaine worth over Rs.40 million which a Bolivian woman tried to smuggle into the country through BIA was seized by Customs officials this evening (12). Customs narcotics officers made the detection when they observed the 48-year-old Bolivian woman, who had arrived at the BIA from Bolivia, via Delhi, acting in a suspicious manner. The cocaine was found inside the false bottom of one item of her baggage. The the cocaine weighed 2.6 kg. more..

SriLankan Airlines following standard procedure on random tests

Sept 13 (DN) SriLankan Airlines has refuted comments by the Pilot’s Guild at a recent press briefing on the suspension of a member following his refusal to comply with a random breathalyzer test. The Airline said the issue in question is one of refusal to follow the company procedure which is adopted with the endorsement of the CAA of Sri Lanka to ensure safety of passengers and the operation of aircraft. “There was a lapse in the process by immediately not removing more..

Sri Lanka terminates air force chief after shortest tenure

Sept 13 (EN) President has appointed a new air force commander terminating incumbent Gagan Bulathsinhala who enters history books as the man who held the post for the shortest period. Air Marshal Bulathsinhala had attended an official event along with President Sirisena on Sunday, but there was no hint of the decision not to grant him an extension of service. Bulathsinhala was given the top job in June last year. more..

Sri Lanka becomes first South Asian participant at powerful Sino-ASEAN expo

Sept 13 (FT) Sri Lanka received a rare honour on 11 September of being the third economy ever in the world and the first South Asian economy to join the dominant China-ASEAN bloc’s high profile annual trade and investment event in Nanning, the modern capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, China. “Under the One Belt, One Road framework, China’s Go Global Strategy emphasised a greater importance to enhance trade, investment and economic cooperation with Sri Lanka,” more..

Former Deputy Minister, six others to be indicted today

Sept 13 (DN) Former Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara alias Choka Malli and six others will be indicted before the Ratnapura High Court today by the AG on nine counts including charges of murder and attempted murder. Six others are Aruna Jayasinghe, Vajira de Silva, Pathurm Dhanajaya alias Pala, Asoka Nairmal alias Sajanthu, Nilanka Pradeep and Ajith Gunaratne. A group of UNP supporters had planned and election meeting in support of Presidential Candidate Maithripala more..

Drafting of new constitution: Five out of six sub committees complete work

Sept 13 (Island) Five out of six parliamentary sub committees which discussed the proposals to be submitted to the steering committee headed by PM for formulating a new constitution have completed their tasks and handed over their reports, said Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform Chairman Lal Wijenayake. The committee on economic affairs headed by MP Bandula Gunawardena had not submitted more..

OMP and the Hambantota disappearance

Sept 13 (DM) Police are under fire after the disappearance of a 20-year-old youth who was arrested by the Hambantota Police in connection with a theft of paddy from a paddy store in the area. The incident has resurfaced the memory of the brutality of a section of the police which was invariably evident sometime ago. According to the youth’s relatives who openly talked to the media, the youth along with several others had been arrested by the police along with several others more..

So why did Duminda Silva end up in prison ?

Sept 13 (DM) It is rather strange that nobody has yet cried conspiracy over the High Court sentencing Duminda Silva and four others to death last week on charges of murdering Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others. Perhaps that indifference, even of his fellow travellers in the former regime, is understandable. Judging by the public reactions to the court verdict, Silva is deeply unloved. But, that is a bit confusing though; here was a man who polled the more..

'ETCA a means to become Indian Ocean hub'

Sept 13 (DM) Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva says Sri Lanka’s objective of becoming the Indian Ocean hub will be unrealistic without getting connected to India. As a result, he says ETCA is very important. Q: As the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, you work for economic diplomacy. How important is the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India? more..

Australia's hard-line asylum seeker program costs taxpayers US$ 7.5 bln

Sept 13 (Xinhua) Australia's controversial stop the boats offshore detention program has reportedly cost the govt almost US$ 7.5 billion since its inception in 2013 and will cost a further US$ 4 billion over the next four years. UNICEF along with Save the Children, Australia's largest child aid agency, found the estimated cost of keeping approximately 2000 asylum seekers and illegal refugees on offshore detention centers more..

Lasantha’s autopsy report issued to mislead probe

Sept 13 (SL) Founding Editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge’s autopsy report appears to have been issued to mislead investigations, similar to that of former Havelock Sports Club Captain Wasim Thajudeen. Although the CID is now conducting a full scale investigation to make a breakthrough as there is suspicion on Wickrematunge’s post mortem report, which claimed that death was due to more..

Four female cops file FR cases against gender inequality in promotions

Sept 13 (ST) Supreme Court this week granted leave to proceed with two fundamental rights petitions filed by four senior women police officers seeking gender equality in promotions within the Police Department. The officers, all Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) want the Court’s intervention to increase cadre positions available to females from the ranks of Superintendent of Police (SP) and above. more..

Duminda to become Sri Lanka's 21st century Madduma Bandara

Sept 13 (EN) Politician and convicted murderer Duminda Silva is widely expected to follow in the footsteps of a Sinhala legend Madduma Banadara who braved the executioner just before formal British colonial rule. Duminda Silva who was handed down the capital punishment sentence last week for the 2011 killing of fellow party member Baratha Lakshman Premachandra and four others should face the gallows and help the more..

Sri Lankan envoy provided enhanced security following assault

Sept 13 (NST) Police have stepped-up security at the workplace and residence of SL’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Ibrahim Ansar, following his group assault on Sept 4. IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Ibrahim has also been provided with personal security. "I regret what happened, and we have provided him with enhanced security (following the incident)," he said. To date, police have nabbed five men over the assault at the KLIA. more..

Suspected war criminals from Sri Lanka living freely in UK

Sept 13 (MO) Scores of suspected war criminals seeking to live in Britain escaped deportation thanks to a series of blunders. Officials failed to throw out 135 individuals accused of appalling crimes in the some of the world’s poorest countries despite blocking their bids for citizenship. And the suspects escaped police investigation after officials also failed to refer any of them to Scotland Yard’s specialist war crimes unit. more..

Programme to re-open elephant corridors

Sept 13 (Island) A programme to re-open the elephant corridors obstructed due to human settlements would be launched soon. Around 95% of elephant corridors had been obstructed due to human activities, and that had led to the aggravation of the human-elephant conflict. As the Cabinet approval had already been obtained by Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera for the proposed programme and more..

MP frowns on Prez-PM political partnership

Sept 13 (Island) Ratnapura District UPFA MP Ranjith De Zoysa alleged that there had never been an instance where a constitutional amendment was introduced especially to facilitate the formation of a govt before the 19 Amendment came into being. Instead of stability, the much touted 19 Amendment considered panacea for all problems had caused irreparable damage to the political system, MP De Zoysa said. more..

'Army has agreed to release some lands'

Sept 13 (CT) State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran said that the land dispute in the Northern Province will be settled very soon and that resettlement will be implemented. She further said, "The Army has now agreed to release the lands, although they were reluctant in the beginning. There will not be any changes in our promises. I have personally visited the places and have discussed with the people; the Army has also said that more..

A new age of wonders and cruelties

Sept 13 (CT) SL Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) recently announced the data compiled for the first half of 2016 regarding complaints on internet and computer related criminal offences and incidents. The number of complaints received regarding social media related incidents from the beginning of this year, till the month of August stands at 1,570. Out of these most of the complaints are regarding offences related to social media networks such as Facebook & Twitter. more..

Dependency within? Sri Lanka’s Sir & Madam culture

Sept 13 (CT) Elsewhere I have written about economic, social and cultural dependency of the country at length. In this article, I like to write my thoughts about psychological dependency arising from social norms, etiquette, age-old practices etc. This is because dependency is not only materially, politically and culturally conditioned but it can be ‘a state of mind’ constructed by historical and social forces and conditioned to emulate. One example of this state of mind is more..

දේශපාලන විචාරක මොහාන් සමරනායක

Shares end higher; blue-chips lead

Sept 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark index edged up on Tuesday to recover from a seven-week closing low hit in the previous session, led by blue-chips, but investors stayed on the sidelines amid confusion over falling bond yields. Colombo stock index ended up 0.2% at 6,508.09, edging up from its lowest close since Aug. 1 hit on Friday. The bourse fell 0.68% last week, posting its third straight weekly loss. "The index ended higher amid lacklustre turnover levels. more..

IDPs and Military occupation of northern land

Sept 13 (CT) For reasons not too hard to explain SL security forces get a lot of bad rep for occupying private lands in the North and the East. If one is to believe these claims one would feel that a significant percentage of the private lands in the North and the East are held by the Army, making it impossible for the residents to live freely or make a living. However, a look at the numbers paints a completely different picture. On Sunday it was reported that the Army is to release 700 acres more..

Video: Sri Lanka bans round pin plugs from next year to cut electrocutions

Sept 13 (DM) The use of square pin plugs will in future be the standard for SL and as such the import and manufacture of appliances other than G-plugs commonly known as square pin plugs will be banned in future, Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) Chairman Saliya Mathew said. Ban on the import and manufacture of round-pin appliances will take effect from Aug 16 next year while the ban on their sale will be effective from Aug 16, 2018. more..

Ja-Ela residents back Cardinal on garbage issue

Sept 13 (Island) Residents and clergy of Ja-Ela yesterday expressed solidarity with Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, who has opposed a govt move to relocate Meethotamulla garbage dump in Ja-Ela. Catholic Church, on Sunday, expressed its opposition to CMC decision. He said the dumping of garbage in Ja-Ela would contaminate the water bodies and pollute the area. Protesters chanted slogans and carried placards saying "We don’t want Meethotamulla garbage in Ja-Ela". more..