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'LNG is 30% costlier than coal power'

Sept 18 (CT) Unlike the Chinese who managed to get its mega Port City project back on track after a standstill, India lost the deal on its largest single Indian-assisted project deal – the Sampur Coal Power Plant (CPP) project when the govt said a big No and opted for the costliest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant. The govt last week confirmed that Sri Lanka has scrapped the CPP instead of going for the LNG more..

No immediate power cuts

Sept 18 (SO) Refuting speculations, Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said, no decision has been taken to impose power cuts on account of the current dry spell in the country. There is no necessity to impose power cuts at this juncture as the Ministry is in a position to manage with current water levels in reservoirs. At present, water levels in reservoirs have dropped to some extent, but we maintain a near 50% level, the Minister said. more..

Kilinochchi fire: Police rule out foul play

Sept 18 (SO) Kilinochchi Police say that no foul play was suspected in the fire that ripped through around 125 temporary trading stalls in the town´s public fair on Friday night. A source from the Kilinochchi Police told the Sunday Observer that Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO) of the Police are carrying out investigations into the incident and the fire appears to have been caused by an electrical short circuit. more..

INTERPOL will not push SL to arrest KP

Sept 18 (CG) Sri Lanka will need to decide if it will comply with the Red Notice issued by INTERPOL for the arrest of Tharmalingam Shanmugam Kumaran, better known as Kumaran Pathmanathan or KP. When contacted, the INTERPOL press office said that it will not compel any country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice. Pathmanathan is wanted in India over the murder of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi. more..

Whither the new constitution?

Sept 18 (Island) PM’s assertion earlier this year provides a good frame to appreciate journalist Dharisha Bastians’ tweets on what Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, one of those leading the drafting of Sri Lanka’s new constitution, had noted at a presentation held at the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) recently. Several interesting points are recorded. Dr. Wickramaratne notes that the constitution being drafted is the best under the circumstances (emphasis mine). more..

A role model for women leaders: Vivienne

Sept 18 (Island) To mark the Birth Centenary of Vivienne Goonewardena, (Vivie) which falls on Sept 19, 2016, the LSSP decided to publish a second edition of this book, which was first published on Sept. 18, 1996, to mark her 80th birthday. The authors were Malalgoda Banduthi-laka and Nandasena Suriyaaratchi. As it is out of print, and the former passed away, Suriyaaratchi agreed to add a foreword to expand the scope of the book, thereby giving a more complete picture of more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Chiranthi, Sachinda to deputize for Sri Lankan youth at 71st UNGA

Sept 18 (SO) Foreign Youth Relations Division of the National Youth Services Council (NYSC), under the guidance of its Chairman, Eranda Weliange, has nominated Ms. Chiranthi Senanayake and Sachinda Dulanjana to represent the SL youth at the 71st UN General Assembly session to be held in New York this year. Chiranthi is a product of Ladies' College, Colombo where she was the Head Girl in 2013, President, UN Club, Heritage Club, Sinhala Literary Society and the Buddhist Society. more..

Tax collection at provincial level

Sept 18 (SO) The govt will set up new tax collection counters, on a provincial basis, to take on tax evaders and streamline revenue collection. The collection counters will take the responsibility for revenue collection and other relevant matters in the provinces. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake made a proposal to the Cabinet in this regard, last week. However, Ministry was still engaged in discussions with the Inland Revenue Department over the implementation of the plan. more..

Bowlers set up Australia Women's win

Sept 18 (CI) Australia Women's bowlers set up the side's crushing win in the first ODI in Dambulla by bowling out Sri Lanka Women for 76 in 24.5 overs. Australia chased the target in 15.4 overs, before the scheduled innings break, but stuttered towards the end, losing five wickets for 30 runs. Australia took a 1-0 lead in the four-match ODI series. Having opted to bat, SL lost two wickets off successive deliveries in the 2nd over more..

Two sweet-tooth thieves arrested

Sept 18 (DM) Two men were arrested today by the Bentota Police for allegedly stealing Rs.200,000 worth of sweets including toffees, chocolates and cheese from super markets across the country, Police said. They said the suspects aged 25 and 28 were residents of Horana and Boralesgamuwa. Police investigations had revealed that the expensive brands of food items had been stolen from supermarkets in Athurugiriya, Narahenpita, Kirillapone, Maharagama, Panadura, more..

Beira to be cleaned within three years

Sept 18 (SO) Megapolis Ministry has called for EOIs (expression of interest) from private firms to begin an inland transport service linking the Beira lake canal network. Minister Champika Ranawaka said they have signed agreements with the Singapore Trade Ministry to clean up the entire network within three years. "We have not selected any private company so far, but we have begun the process," the minister said. The Ministry is currently engaged in a feasibility study and more..

Youth killed in accident involving MP’s nephew

Sept 18 (DM) A 27-year-old was killed and a 28-year-old was seriously injured in an accident in Gonapeenuwala, Hikkaduwa involving a speeding Sports car driven by a 17-year-old nephew of Opposition MP Rohitha Abeygunawardena yesterday night. The under-aged suspect Navin Abeygunawardena was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, killing one and seriously injuring another, more..

Video: President leaves for New York to attend UNGA

Sept 18 (DM) President Maithripala Sirisena left the country today (18) to attend the 71st UN General Assembly to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York. He left the country at 10.45 a.m. by Emirates 651 passenger flight. General Assembly will be held from tomorrow to Sep. 26. The President will address the General Assembly on Wednesday. This is the second time that President Sirisena is addressing UNGA. This will be the last assembly participated by Ban Ki-moon. more..

Man dies in police cell: SI, PC suspended

Sept 18 (DM) The death of a 30-year-old man while in police custody has resulted in a Sub Inspector and a Police constable attached to the Pussellawa Police Station to be suspended from duties. Kaviraj Ravichandran, a resident of Pussellawa was arrested on a warrant issued by the Helboda Court on September 17 and was later reported to have committed suicide by hanging inside the prison cell. The Gampola Police Superintendent has launched an investigation into the incident. more..

Meethotamulla garbage to stink up Ekala

Sept 18 (CT) Meethotamulla garbage dump in Kolonnawa has been the talk of the town ever since the CMC discontinued dumping garbage at the Bloemendhal site following a suspension order imposed by the Supreme Court back in 2009. Seven long years have passed but the authorities have failed to come up with a much needed solid plan to remedy the inconvenience that had caused to the people more..

We are opposed to any type of federalism: JO

Sept 18 (DM) In the wake of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga calling for a Federal and Quasi-Secular Constitution for Sri Lanka, the joint opposition (JO) said it was totally opposed to ‘Federalism’ as a means to resolving the national question. JO leader Dinesh Gunawardane said they met to discuss the issues concerning the country at large. He said the JO had noted the statements made by Ms. Kumaratunga call for a Federal and Quasi-Secular Constitution for Sri Lanka. more..

More Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi women going to UAE as housemaids

Sept 18 (DM) More Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi women have been coming to UAE in recent years because of the shortage of housemaids there in the wake of a ban imposed by some other Asian nations on women going to the UAE to work as housemaids. Diplomats of the two countries said it was compulsory for housemaids from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to undergo a few weeks of training so that they would be with the skills necessary to work at such jobs abroad. more..

Diesel tax hike may create losses for retailers

Sept 18 (EN) A prerogative tax on diesel that was imposed by mid-night gazette last month on diesel may generate losses at fuel retailers with petrol already taxed at high levels, analysts have warned. Sri Lanka had taxes of about 15 rupees on diesel and 65 rupees a litre on petrol. With an increase in diesel taxes by 6 rupees in July and 10 rupees in August, diesel taxes have gone up to 32 rupees a litre, and still remains below petrol. more..

Diplomatic mission for Tamil Eelam

Sept 18 (CT) As I pointed out at a media conference last Monday, Denmark had included Tamil Eelam as one of the countries in the world in a list from which visa applicants should choose their nationality. In response to our protest, Danish govt apologized and immediately withdrew the name from the list on Wednesday. Tamil Eelam had never been in existence in the world. No country has so far recognized Tami Eelam. If it is so, how was Tamil Eelam included in the list of countries? more..

Video: Two cops suspended as suspect commits suicide

Sept 18 (AD) A Sub Inspector and a Police constable attached to the Pussellawa Police Station have been suspended from duties over a death of a suspect who was in custody, police said. This came after a suspect in question had committed suicide by hanging himself inside a cell at the police, early hours of this morning. The man had used the shirt he had been wearing to hang himself and was pronounced dead upon admittance to the Pussallawa Hospital. more..

Speaking in Jaffna Ranil assures political solution

SeptSept 18 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking in Jaffna today, assured that his Govt will work towards a political solution to resolve the National issue. PM said that following the end of the war there was an expectation that the National issue will be resolved with the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. PM noted that former President Rajapaksa had also promised to go beyond the 13th Amendment more..

OMP: A flawed attempt to deal with complaints of disappearances

Sept 19 (CT) To say that the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) is a flawed attempt even before the Office is established would sound ridiculous. But the path taken to enact the law creating it and the provisions that got into the Act in the midst of a hullabaloo in the Parliament of Sri Lanka makes such a statement plausible. As a person who was once directly involved with commissions of inquiry into disappearances of persons (COIs) set up by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike, more..

Taniya got it all wrong: I never participated in an election night coup

Sept 19 (CT) I would like to draw your kind attention towards the opinion column by Taniya Raymond under the headline GENERAL INVOLVED IN JANUARY 8TH COUP ATTEMPT TO BE SENT TO NEW YORK AS UN MILITARY ATTACHE. It is quite regrettable to note that the allegations levelled against me in this article are completely untrue and has tarnished my name and reputation as a senior serving officer in the Sri Lanka Army, with more than 36 years of service behind me. more..

'I saw the Windscreen shatter...'

Sept 19 (SO) Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy assumed office as the 16th Commander of the Air Force on Sept 14. Kapila Jayampthy joined the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) on March 5, 1982 as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilot Branch in the 10th Officer Cadet intake. Upon enlistment, he followed the Basic Ground Combat course at SLAF Diyathalawa before moving to Flying Training Wing at SLAF Base China Bay on more..

Editrorial: Picking a good president

Sept 19 (Island) Sri Lanka and Singapore are as different as chalk and cheese, and what is good and feasible anent the latter may not be so in respect of the former in many respects. But, there are certain areas where the former can emulate the latter. Much has been said about the need for Sri Lanka to adopt the Singaporean economic model, and the purpose of this comment is not to try to add to the ever burgeoning corpus of the how-to-be-another-Singapore treatises or disquisitions. more..

CMC plays pass the stink-bag game

Sept 19 (ST) Out of all the things rotten in Lanka, the one that stink the worst is Meetotumulla’s Garbage Mountain. And the cruellest game in town, is the CMC’s squalid sport of pass the stink bag which damns the residents with smell, vermin, disease and even death if the mayoral music stops just when the UDA’s eye is passing over their dwellings. It was such a fate that befell Meethotamulla in 2010. When the first trucks of garbage drove in and began to dump their more..

There will be issues if SLFP splits

Sept 19 (CT) VAT Amendment Bill will be implemented for 9 months; to collect revenue and to pay off the loans taken by the previous regime, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. Q: Are you content in your role as State Minister of Finance? A: Yes I am content, because as the State Minister of Finance my responsibilities are clear and as a politician who entered Parliament in 1994, this is a big achievement. more..

Getting after the second echelon

Sept 19 (SL) I have, in the past, made reference to the need NOT to neglect the hangers-on and hit-men employed by the forces of darkness that imposed their hegemony on this country for far too long. A recent attempt by Hirunika Premachandra to have the doctor who, she alleges, significantly delayed the delivery of justice in her father’s murder by issuing a false medical certificate investigated and brought to justice brings this factor to the surface again in quite dramatic fashion. more..

The demagogue and the Mahanayake

Sept 19 (SL) Demagogues are as old as democracy. They are described as politicians who seek support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than using rational arguments. Often we have used in these columns a definition by American journalist H. L. Menecken: A demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. Our preference for the second definition is particularly because of the reference to the audience – the people. more..

Anura's speech at Jaffna seminar

Has the notion of justice for victims lost its singularity?

Sept 19 (ST) In the whirlwind of activity that attended the 33rd session of the UNHRC in Geneva this week, Sri Lanka was put on inquiry regarding the non-consultative nature of its ongoing transitional justice and constitutional reform process. As would be expected, the denials were strong. State representatives affirmed soothingly that a comprehensive and participatory public policy is in force, with truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence at its core. more..

Chul Bul Pandey wins the Plantations Cup

Sept 19 (ST) Chul Bul Pandey, ridden by M. Christopher and owned by Anura Delgoda, seized the cynosure of the day when it won the Plantation Industries Cup on the Ladies Day Out Horse Racing event held at the Racecourse in Nuwara Eliya yesterday. The Plantation Industries Cup which was the feature event of the day for Class I and II horses of 1600metres, looked like it was going to be a close affair when all four runners were within a length of each other at the 600metre mark, more..

Growing concern over new Constitution

Sept 19 (CT) President Sirisena recently said if former President Rajapaksa won his third term or had the LTTE leader Prabakaran survived Eelam War IV, then achieving lasting peace is not possible. It is an interesting observation on three counts. One is that though the former President gave political will to end the war against terrorism, he did not bring peace to the country. Other is, he and the terrorist leader together were the obstacles more..

'Medium level price structure needed for hotel rooms in view of increasing tourists'

Sept 19 (Island) "With the increase in the number of tourists into Sri Lanka, the country has to increase the number of hotel rooms to cater to the demand. Therefore, we need to promote a medium level price structure where hotel rooms are concerned, chairman ZMAX Fairway Colombo Hotel, which is owned by Fairway Holdings, Hemaka de Alwis, said. Fairway Hotel has 181 rooms and is located behind the Dutch Hospital. "It offers smart luxury to short stay travellers at a very affordable price, more..

US investment firm picks Kandy as its training and research centre

Sept 19 (ST) Wisewel LLC, an investment research firm based in Cleveland, US has set up a company in Kandy named Wisewel Sri Lanka to develop a team of Data Scientists and Quantitative Analysts to support its US operations. Managing Director of Wisewel, Chandika Jayawardane, based in the US, says that their primary objective is to build algorithms to identify investment and trading opportunities in the currencies, equity and financial derivatives in the global markets. more..

National Budget leaves tiny space for citizens’ proposals

Sept 19 (ST) Public proposals for budget 2017 are pouring into the Finance Ministry in response to newspaper advertisements for representations from citizens while Treasury officials grapple to tackle the massive fiscal deficit, unbearable public debts and adverse trade deficit affecting the country’s economy. Finance Ministry’s Trade and Investment Department is now sorting out the proposals from the public in addition to more..

Latest edition of Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka released

Sept 19 (FT) Sixth edition of A Step by Step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka has been now published by Central Bank. This publication contains useful regulatory information on starting, operating and closing a business enterprise in Sri Lanka. As proposed by the relevant institutions, the necessary amendments up to the first quarter of 2016 are incorporated into this edition. This is a useful source document with all information in one place for the business community and foreign investors more..

2Q records 2.6% growth on floods and policy inconsistency

Sept 19 (FT) Sri Lanka’s 2Q grew by only 2.6% compared with 5.5% in 1Q due to floods and inconsistent policy making, official data showed, with agriculture, industries and construction dragging down growth. According to the latest data released by the Census and Statistics Department, the agricultural sector contracted 5.6% in the second quarter, compared to growth of 0.7% in the previous quarter. This was largely attributed to devastating floods that hit Sri Lanka in May. more..

No accolades for Paralympic Bronze medalist Dinesh

Sept 19 (ST) Dinesh Herath, Rio Paralympic Bronze Medalist, represented SL through SL Army but it all looks as if he will not be recognised by SL Army for this feat. It all points out that he will not be promoted. Normally all service personnel who bring honour to the country are elevated in their ranks but it looks as if such luck will not favour Dinesh. He has been representing SL at Paralympics since 1996. more..