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Lankan paddlers struggle at group stage

Sept 19 (DN) Sri Lankan junior paddlers who are participating at the 22nd Asian Junior & Cadet Table Tennis Championship in Thailand failed to impress in yesterday’s Cadet girls’ and boys’ singles and Junior mixed doubles group matches, losing all seven encounters of the day. There were six cadet singles (three boys and three girls) along with the Junior mixed doubles match against Singapore. Only Helitha Hendawitharana won a singles set against his Hong Kong opponent Tsang Tsz more..

Skipper Harin spins St. Joseph’s to victory

Sept 19 (ST) Skipper and left arm spinner Harin Cooray’s impressive match bag figures of 11 for 31 helped St. Joseph’s Colombo record a crushing innings and 191 runs over St. Patrick’s Jaffna in the Under 19 cricket encounter which was also the inaugural contest played for the Rectors trophy concluded at St. Patrick’s grounds in Jaffna yesterday. The foundation for the win was laid by Dineth Maduarwala who cracked a 105 ball unbeaten knock of 101 more..

Megapolis to roll out major project before year-end

Sept 19 (FT) Priority investment projects under the Western Region Megapolis Development worth over hundreds of millions of dollars will be rolled out before the end of this year, with a $ 125 million inland water transport project and key land parcels leading the way. Multi-model hub development around Colombo Fort, Beira Lake and Kirimandala Mawatha has been marked as very high priority with prime sites to be put out on more..

'Business leaders to be made non resident ambassadors'

Sept 19 (DN) Sri Lanka is now requesting their foreign embassies to change their stance from promoting politics to focus on economic promotions, Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said. Speaking at the Rotary District 3220 event at the Galadari hotel yesterday, he said the Foreign Ministry wants the foreign embassies to be more productive and to be more profitable to Sri Lanka. “I am sad to note that some embassies are not productive and we have decided to close them. more..

Motor car registrations rise in August

Sept 19 (DN) Motor car registrations in the August were 3,011 units up from 2,596 units the previous month and significantly down from 9,107 units 12 months ago. Brand new segment registrations recorded 1,738 units in the month up from 1,438 units the previous month but significantly down from 5,216 units 12 months ago. Maruti recorded 632 units (Alto 405, Celerio 213 units) slightly down from 633 units the previous month and 4,259 units recorded 12 months ago. more..

Bill to check campaign funding

Sept 19 (DN) A Bill to regularise election campaign funding is to be submitted to the Cabinet shortly. Election monitoring groups are currently actively involved in drafting the legislation, they added. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said the draft bill on Campaign Finance Upper Limitation for Elections would be presented for Cabinet approval in the middle of next month. PAFFREL was asked to come up with more..

CB improves transparency with common trading platform

Sept 19 (FT) In an effort to improve transparency in the Govt securities market the Central Bank has ensured that commercial banks and primary dealers conduct transactions on one trading platform, which updates deals within half an hour. As the second stage, commercial banks joined the Bloomberg electronic bond trading platform for govt securities secondary market transactions with effect from 15 Sept. Prior to this, all primary dealers joined the platform on 1 Aug 2016. more..

Fairer sex utilized to smuggle out black money

Sept 19 (CT) A systematic racket to smuggle out foreign currency from Sri Lanka, earned by illegal means, employing local and foreign women, is in operation, Customs investigations have revealed. Since January, a total sum of over Rs 2,720 million had been seized from women who attempted to take the money out on 25 occasions, Deputy Director, Customs Katunayake, Parakrama Basnayake said. Those foreign currencies were confiscated and a sum of Rs 36 million was collected as fines, more..

Bitter battle brews in tea

Sept 19 (FT) Showing signs of a battle brewing between the Govt and plantation companies, Minister Naveen Dissanayake recently strung out private sector players for failing to push earlier for a productivity-based wage plan, improve standards and suggested mergers for competition. Dissanayake took a hard-line stance in criticising the lack of forward thinking and insight of Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) of Planters’ Association more..

MO transfer lists to be scrutinized

Sept 19 (CT) Since doubts have arisen over the accuracy of the lists of children to be admitted to schools, on the basis of the Doctors' transfers, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that steps will be taken to subject these lists to inspection. Since information has been revealed that there is an attempt to obtain popular schools by submitting false lists of names, stating that transfers had been made, Minister said that it was decided to carry out an investigation. more..

Firefighters avert major inferno at Hunupitiya

Sept 19 (DN) Firefighters averted a major inferno in Hunupitiya yesterday after a six-hour long battle at a plastic recycling factory in the Gotabhaya area of Hunupitiya, Wattala. As Colombo Fire Department units rushed to the location of the fire last morning, the flames of the building were spreading rapidly to neighboring blocks. No casualties were reported. Firefighters worked tirelessly to quell the flames and prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings. Although there were no casualties, more..

Akila denies accusations

Sept 19 (Island) Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam yesterday said that that he wouldn’t give in to what he called unreasonable demands of the GMOA. He said that following GMOA’s intervention, the Education Ministry had offered to accommodate doctors’ children in state-run schools. However, the Education Ministry in some instances wasn’t in a position to provide the very schools requested by doctors. more..

President to make impromptu speech

Sept 19 (CT) President Maithripala Sirisena, who left the country last morning to attend the 71st UN General Assembly, to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York, is to make an impromptu speech at the Assembly. He left the country at 10.45 a.m. on an Emirates 651 passenger flight. General Assembly will be held from today to 26 Sept. President will address the General Assembly on Wednesday. This is the second time President Sirisena is addressing the UNGA. more..

Stringent action on errant traders: Ravi K.

Sept 19 (CT) Stern action will be taken against errant traders who sell sugar above the govt's controlled price of Rs 95, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake stressed. Minister in a media statement said that instructions have already been given to the relevant authorities to launch islandwide search operations. Minister insisted that the price of sugar would not be changed due to the increase of Special Commodity Levy imposed on white sugar and brown sugar. more..

Schools for 110 children of Doctors

Sept 19 (CT) Following requests by GMOA and Consultants to admit their children to schools on the basis of transfers, 110 children have been given schools by the Ministry of Education. Among the doctors' children who were allocated school entry are 62 children to Grade 1, 27 to Grade 2, 4, 7 and 11. There are 21 Consultants' children who have been allocated schools. Meanwhile 21 children of Judges and 65 children of members of more..

Kabir to make statement

Sept 19 (DN) Minister Kabir Hashim will make a special statement in Parliament this week on the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 700 million in the digitalisation of the People’s Bank. Ministry Secretary Ravindra Hewavitharana said the reply of the minister to the questions raised by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardena on the project to purchase hardware for the digitalisation of the bank was ready. He said the minister would provide a detailed answer on the ongoing investigations more..

Sri Lanka on alert for Zika, Chikungunya

Sept 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main international airport and Colombo Port have been placed on high alert to prevent the spread of the Zika virus and Chikungunya, which is raging in Asia. "The airport's health desks have been told to caution passengers travelling to the affected countries," Quarantine Director, Dr Palitha Karunaperuma said. Sri Lankan govt said that island nation faced a threat from the two deadly diseases, adding that state hospitals were being geared to cope with it. more..

Power devolution to grassroots level : PM

Sept 19 (DN) The new constitution is being formulated by parliament sitting as a constitutional council. Once the new constitution is passed in parliament it has to be adopted by the people at a referendum, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe when he opened the new administrative complex of Jaffna Kachcheri. PM said initial discussions have also been started regarding the executive presidential system but no finality has still been reached. more..

Time we tell mea culpa

Sept 19 (DM) Int'l Day of Peace is observed around the world on Sept 21. UNGA declared Sept 21 as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of Peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Theme for this year’s Day of Peace -The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace was adopted by the UN at its summit of the world’s leaders in New York in Sept 2015 and calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years, that is by 2030. more..

It is the power that matters

Sept 19 (DM) The two leading political parties - SLFP and UNP - undoubtedly overshadowed the usual practice followed by them throughout the past six decades in holding their impressive conventions. Breaching the norm, the leaders of both parties attended each other’s convention held this year. While the SLFP held its 65th convention in Kurunegala on Sept 4, the UNP held its 70th in Campbell Park, Colombo on Sept 10. It was remarkable to witness leading personalities, more..

London Stock Exchange fills 100 tech jobs

Sept 19 (LBO) London Stock Exchange Group said its Business Services division in SL has completed the first stage of its set-up operations, with over 100 tech sector professionals recruited. Set up in May 2016, the new 26,000 sq ft technology centre at Expert City in Maradana, will be manned by 400 high-technology professionals once it becomes fully operational by the end of 2016. LSEG recently completed the first of two more..

Chandimal has surgery after injuring hand

Sept 19 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal has had surgery after being struck on the hand while playing a domestic match last week. Chandimal suffered multiple dislocations around the right thumb area after he was hit during a Mercantile tournament match. The recovery period for the injury is three weeks and the Sri Lankan team management said that Chandimal is expected to be fit for the team's tour of Zimbabwe in October. more..

FCID digs deep into MiG deal

Sept 19 (SL) The FCID is digging deeper into the controversial MiG deal and is looking to probe newspaper reports in this regard. FCID sources said that newspaper articles published with regard to the controversial deal are being collected as part of the investigation. Sunday Leader had exposed the controversial deal surrounding the purchase of MIG aircraft when the former govt was in power. Purchase of four MiG-27 aircrafts more..

SLFP supports VAT Bill

Sept 19 (DM) SLFP said the Valued Added Tax (Amendment) Bill was redrafted well in consultation with it, and therefore it had no reason to oppose it in Parliament. The govt has redrafted the VAT Bill to be enacted in Parliament. SLFP Vice President and Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkodi said the govt excluded services such as diagnostic tests, OPD charges from VAT based on proposals by the SLFP. more..

Farmers to receive power at cheaper rate

Sept 19 (DN) Farmers using water pumps for irrigation and other agricultural purposes will be provided with electricity at a cheaper rate between 10 pm and 6 am daily. The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy will formulate and implement a plan to ensure this said Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, when he attended a ministry organised National Electricity mobile service programme at Badulla on Sept 17. more..

Former President hits out at oppressive VAT proposals

Sept 19 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has opposed the amended VAT Bill and called on the Govt to reconsider the oppressive VAT proposals. Rajapaksa said that the VAT on goods and services will increase from 11% to 15% and cause hardship to the consumer. “We can in no way agree to the increase in the VAT rate, its unconscionable imposition on the sick and the elderly, and its imposition on more..

CEB engineers’ union paints dark picture for country’s power sector

Sept 19 (ST) Ad hoc decisions with regard to the country’s power sector will cost the Govt billions of rupees and the burden will have to be borne by the consumers, the CEB Engineers’ Union warned. Referring to the decision to scrap the Indian funded coal power plant in Sampur, CEBEU President Athula Wanniarachchi claimed a lack of clear direction by the Govt, coupled with apparent disregard for the advice of professionals, more..

Convoy, bags follow Aluthgamage to prison

Sept 19 (SL) A large convoy and some travelling bags were seen following former Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage into the remand prison premises on Thursday. Television footage showed luxury jeeps following the prison bus into the Welikada prison premises. Mahindananda Aluthgamage was arrested Thursday by the FCID. He was arrested after he had appeared before the CID to make a statement. more..

Pussellawa tense after police cell death

Sept 19 (DN) A Sub Inspector and a constable attached to Pussellawa Police have been interdicted over an incident where a suspect is said to have committed suicide while in police custody. Kaviraj Ravichandran, 30, a resident of Pussellawa was arrested on Saturday. The suspect had been ordered to engage in community service by court in connection with another offence and was arrested on Saturday for neglecting the order. more..

Sri Lanka to relax glyphosate weedicide ban

Sept 19 (CG) A ban on glyphosate, a widely used weedicide, imposed on the belief that it may contribute to chronic kidney disease will be relaxed to allow the tea farming sector to use it. Minister Navin Dissanayake had told SL's Planters' Association, a groping of senior managers of tea farms, that the ban will be relaxed. Tea sector will be allowed to import glysophate, following discussions with President, PM and related parties. more..

Govt gets prepared to take up the gauntlet

Sept 19 (CT) Govt leaders have been saying that the draft constitution will be placed before the Parliament prior to the budget debate that takes place in November. A new constitution which would require a referendum could prove to be the govt’s Waterloo if the people reject it. Last week Chairman of the Public Representations Committee Lal Wijenayake, made an announcement that five of the six sub-committees of Parliament that had been delegated the task of submitting reports on more..

Ranil remembering JRJ on his birth anniversary in Jaffna

Sept 19 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe paid tribute to his mentor J.R. Jayewardene in Jaffna at the opening ceremony of the new building complex of the Jaffna Govt Secretariat last Saturday. Sept 17 was the 110th birth anniversary of the first Executive President of the country late J.R. Jayewardene. PM while paying tribute to late J.R. Jayewardene recollected the arduous task he carried out in introducing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution along with signing the Indo-Lanka Accord. more..

Country full of incompetent leaders

Sri Lankan shares hit 7-wk closing low

Sept 19 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares fell for a third straight session on Monday to post their lowest closing level in seven weeks, led by Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka due to selling by foreign investors ahead of a change in company ownership. The benchmark Colombo stock index ended 0.34% weaker at 6,450.44, its lowest close since Aug. 1. It fell 0.34% last week, its fourth straight weekly loss. A govt proposal to raise the value added tax (VAT) also weighed on sentiment. more..

Two fathers die at the hands of their sons

Sept 19 (Island) Two sons who killed their fathers in Hali-Ela and Madampe were arrested by police last Saturday. In the first incident a son attacked his father last Friday with a sharp object and the latter was found dead on the road side. 41-year-old victim had come home in a highly inebriated state and brutally assaulted his wife. His teenage son, unable to bear his mother, being assaulted had stabbed the father. 16-year-old was arrested and was to be produced before Badulla Magistrate. more..

DIG Vass, wife, son, 5 others indicted in SLIIT abduction case

Sept 19 (DM) Colombo High Court served indictments on former DIG Vass Gunawardena, his wife Shamalie Perera, son Ravindu and five other Police officers of the CCD, who had been named by the Attorney General as accused in the Nipuna Ramanayake assault case. Today, when the case was called before High Court Judge Iranganie Gunawardena the Attorney General served the indictments on the eight suspects. more..

Sri Lanka oil exploration block to go to Bona Vista Energy: Minister

Sept 19 (EN) Cabinet of ministers had given the nod to award an exploration block to Bona Vista Energy, a Singapore based firm despite a financial partner backing out due to delays, Petroleum Minister Chandima Weerakkody said. The bidding round closed in 2013 but no decision was made to award the tender and the financial partner in the consortium had pulled out, he said. "But now even a Sri Lankan company with US$ 49 million can become a partner," Weerakkody said. more..

From intervention to restraint, India’s tryst with Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (HT) When Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential elections in early 2015, followed by Ranil Wickremesinghe taking over as PM, New Delhi was delighted. The previous regime led by Mahinda Rajapakse had hurt India’s two core interests in the island — by refusing to politically address Tamil discontent, and inviting a greater Chinese role in the island. Delhi encouraged elements of the SL polity — both Sinhalese and Tamil — opposed to Rajapakse, to come together. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Insufficient fuel on board Heathrow flight forces diversion to Gatwick

Sept 19 (CT) A SriLankan Airlines flight operating from Colombo to London Heathrow on the 15th of Sep was forced to divert to London Gatwick due to insufficient fuel on board. The scheduled SriLankan Airlines flight piloted by Capt. P. Manathunga was sent into a holding pattern by the Air Traffic Control tower prior to its arrival into Heathrow. Sensing insufficient fuel after completing a few minutes in a holding pattern, more..

CCTV cameras in cells

Sept 19 (DM) In the wake of an inmate found dead at Matara Prison, Law and Order Ministry said that CCTV cameras would be installed in all Police cells to monitor the detainees. Sources said that this was revealed by the Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake at a meeting with top Police officers in Jaffna on Sunday. “I have informed IGP Pujith Jayasundera to install CCTV cameras in all Police cells so that Police officers could monitor, what is taking place inside cells,” he has said. more..