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New Customs Act won’t be introduced without consultations: PM

Sept 24 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that discussions would be held with all stakeholders before adopting the proposed Customs Bill. Assurance was given amidst Customs resorting to trade union action against the move to overhaul revenue collection agencies in a bid to boost dwindling revenue. PM emphasized that govt had no intention of secretly introducing a new Customs Bill. more..

Yacht operator says Merchant Shipping blocks business

Sept 24 (LBO) Sri Lankan Aggressor, a yacht named after the island, has been blocked by the Secretariat of Merchant Shipping from registering pending IACS classification. Yacht operator TVB Group said they delayed the launch of their new Aggressor branded Super Luxury Liveaboard Yacht in Sri Lanka due to this IACS issue. TVB said the yacht operations were scheduled to commence on 3rd September more..

'Mattala International Airport feasibility cost just Rs1mn'

Sept 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s previous administration has spent only one million rupees for the feasibility study of Mattala International Airport. Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva pointed out that the then govt has spent just one million rupees before wasting 350 million US dollars for setting up the emptiest international airport in the world. “We actually wanted to find out who actually did the feasibility study for the Mattala Airport. more..

How mobile users are cheated for services they don’t want

Sept 24 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Mobile Service Providers (MSP) have fleeced millions of customers through third-party billing, a practice by which they are charged for value-added services they did not knowingly enlist for. Third-party billing arises from “mobile customers mistakenly joining subscription services by simply clicking on an advertisement or web page”. Registration takes place without the knowledge of subscriber. more..

Land owners to grab it big

Sept 24 (NS) Govt last week announced bringing in new regulations including the introduction of an absolute grant system whereby full ownership of land would be granted to land owners. Secretary to the Ministry of Lands Dr. I.H.K. Mahanama said that the move to bring in new regulations was due to the many issues prevalent in the existing system. Current rules and regulations had several drawbacks due to bureaucracy, more..

Best interest of SL Cricket Prime need

Sept 24 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe recently felicitated the Sri Lankan cricketers and was heard saying that their next task was winning the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Premier emphasized here that the President, he and the Cabinet were ready to give the fullest support to develop cricket. From his statement he showed he had knowledge that cricket in the schools, the cradle of SL cricket, needed boosting and said he would get the Education Minister to implement a programme soon. more..

ACF accuses govt leaders of turning blind eye to corruption

Sept 24 (Island) Anti-Corruption Front (ACF) said that there were several top bureaucrats in the govt charged with corruption but continued to hold on to their posts while their political bosses turned a blind eye to their malpractices. ACF demanded the resignation of those corrupt officials forthwith. Keerthi Tennekoon, Convenor of the ACF addressing the media said Media Ministry Secretary Bopage Nimalaweera alias Nimal Bopage had been accused of corruption and more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

Sept 24 (FPJ) To have stood, and remained standing in a stupor of disbelief, a few feet behind Rajiv Gandhi on that fateful night of the 21st of May, 1991. To be saved by an unwitting human barrier that dropped like nine-pins before one’s eyes. To hope against all rational thought that Rajiv may yet have been spared the worst. To know even then that that terrible blast will reverberate through the recesses of one’s mind for as long as one lives. To live with those terrible images of more..

Girl hit by stray bullet

Sept 24 (CT) Aralaganwila Police said a 12-year-old girl had been accidentally injured when a stray bullet from target practices at the Maduru Oya Army training school had struck her just above the shoulder blades. Child had been playing in the compound of a house in the village close to the practice site when the stray bullet hit her. She was rushed to the Polonnaruwa hospital. Girl had been subjected to minor surgery to remove the bullet and doctors said she would recover. more..

Car parks to go skywards as demand increases

Sept 24 (ST) The Govt is planning to develop several multi-storeyed car parks around the Greater Colombo area as more and more vehicles enter the roads and the demand for parking space increases. UDA Chairman Dr. Jagath Munasinghe revealed the Authority had drafted a set of proposals regarding the setting up of multi-storeyed public car parks in areas such as the Colombo Fort as well as along Baseline Road and Galle Road. more..

Georgia and Sri Lanka hold talks on wide range of issues

Sept 24 (NG) Georgian and Sri Lankan Foreign Ministers highlighted bilateral relations at the meeting held on the sidelines of the 71 stSession of the UN General Assembly. Mikheil Janelidze and Mangala Samaraweera focused on a wide range of issues of common interest, on significant geographic location of both countries that promote the development of the countries’ transit functions. Mikheil Janelidze informed his SL counterpart on the implemented and current reforms in Georgia, more..

After the attack on Ambassador Ansar

Sept 24 (CT) In the concluding paragraph of my last article I wrote that it is time for the LTTE and its clones to be extirpated from off the face of the earth. The present article, and others I hope to write, should be seen as meant to promote that extirpation. At the time I wrote my last article I had not seen the one by D.B.S. Jeyaraj in the Daily Mirror of September 17. It seems to be the only detailed account of what actually happened at the Kuala Lumpur airport, and it provides more..

Sanga dodges question on entering politics

Sept 24 (AM) Cricketer Kumar Sangakkara yesterday dodged a question on whether he would enter politics in the future, saying that he would serve the country in his own style. He made this observation after receiving the award for the Most Popular Sri Lankan 2016 at Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the Year awards ceremony. Sangakkara was asked the question as to whether he will join politics to offer leadership to the country more..

Mahinda-led Political Alliance soon?

Sept 24 (CT) Joint Opposition MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said once the green light is given by the Elections Commission to register political parties, a broad new political alliance will be formed headed under the leadership of JO and SLFP MP Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said the name and symbol of the new political alliance were currently being debated by the MPs in the JO and added that once a final decision is reached it will be announced to the country. more..

Oil bowser also carried goda from distillery

Sept 24 (ST) A bowser owner who was caught releasing effluent from a distillery into the sea in Beruwala was imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 and severely reprimanded by a magistrate. Police said the man who transported fuel for the Lanka IOC in his bowser used the same bowser to collect distillery effluent, locally known as goda, to dispose of it in the sea for a payment from a distillery in Moragalla. They said police officers on patrol early on Tuesday in the beach area found goda more..

Ancient innovations combat water woes

Sept 24 (AJ) In the district of Anuradhapura, Puhudiwula is a village of abandoned wells. Though new and well-built, these wells can be found in every garden, costing around 100,000 rupees ($700) to build. The villagers, however, will not drink or even cook with the water, which they believe is driving an epidemic of the deadly Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) in this area. While the illness is not the end of community's troubles, more..

'Country facing dearth of biology teachers'

Sept 24 (Island) Speaking at the launch of Techno City in Homagama on Thursday, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the dearth of those versed in teaching the subject of biology needed to be addressed. Wickremesinghe observed that the field of biotechnology was full of females while males generally opted for careers in other scientific fields. One way of addressing the situation was to encourage SL professionals working abroad to return and serve their motherland, he noted. more..

CID probes type of gun

Sept 24 (CT) CID, currently conducting investigations into the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremathunga, are attempting to find out the type of firearm used by the killers. They are trying to find whether an automatic rifle, a pistol fitted with a silencer or a stun gun, had been used in the killing. Following conflicting medical views being expressed and in a bid to reach a definite decision, CID is planning to exhume the late newspaperman's body on 27 Sept, on a Court order. more..

Omalpe Thero to resign as JHU leader

Sept 24 (AD) Venerable Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thero says that he will resign from the leadership of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). The Thero made this announcement while delivering a speech during the 13th National Convention of the JHU being held today at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. However, the Venerable Thero added, that he would continue to work dedicatedly for the JHU. more..

Finance minister asks shipping sector to embrace openness

Sept 24 (EN) Sri Lanka’s shipping industry will be protected against unfair foreign competition but it must be ready for the sector to open up and compete with international firms, Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake said. “This is the area where openness is required. If you think that domestically you will be protected for ever, you are wrong,” he said. “But if you working strongly and able to give competition to foreign firms that come in – that’s the way forward.” more..

Depts. of RMV, Customs weakest among State institutions: PAC

Sept 24 (DM) The Departments of Customs and Motor Traffic have found to be the weakest among the 842 State institutions, according to the investigations carried out by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, its Chairman and Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna said yesterday. The Deputy Minister told a media briefing that officers of some institutions including those of Department of Customs would be re-summoned before the PAC before the end of this year. more..

'UN Peacebuilding Fund hampered by decreasing contributions'

Sept 24 (DM) Minister Mangala Samaraweera said it was disheartening that the UN Peacebuilding Fund which provided the capacity for prevention and sustaining peace was hampered by decreasing contributions and urged Member States to increase their contributions to the Fund. Minister speaking at the Pledging Conference for the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund-New York said that more..

SriLankan pilot mentally down after sex-selfie video goes viral

Sept 24 (CT) A SriLankan Airlines‘ pilot self made porn star style selfie video currently going viral on the internet could have serious repercussions to flight and passenger safety. An aviation expert said: “A full analysis of the co-pilot’s mental state needs to be evaluated. There are many questions that require to be answered by him. If in the event a third party had posted this video, then there will be embarrassment attached to it. Who knows, like the famous German Wings pilot he may more..

Over Rs 5,000 million loss at Postal Dept

Sept 24 (ST) The Postal Dept last year suffered the highest reported loss in the past five years, of more than Rs 5,000 million, an increase of more than Rs 2,000 million, its latest performance report shows. According to its overall financial review of last year, the department’s total income was Rs 6,711 million, while its expenditure was Rs 11,756 million, a deficit of Rs 5,045 million. In 2014, the deficit was Rs 2,984 million, while in 2013 it was Rs 2,859 million. The expenditure increased proportionately more..

Thousands take part in Ezhuka Tamil rally

Sept 24 (TG) Thousands of Tamils from across the North-East participated in Ezhuka Tamil rally (Rise Up Tamil) in Jaffna today. Organisers estimate that approximately 10,000 people attended the rally, making it the largest Tamil rights protest since the end of the armed conflict more than 7 years ago. A procession from Nallur was joined by another from Jaffna Uni and gathered at Muttaveli for the main rally, which saw more..

Sinharaja’s slithering new beauty

Sept 24 (ST) A new creature has been found in the Sinharaja rainforest, surprising experts who believed the well-researched forest had few secrets left. Hidden from sight high in the tree canopy is a new and vividly-coloured snake now revealed by veteran herpetologist Mendis Wickramasinghe in an article published in the prestigious science journal, Zootaxa. “Snake lives in the canopy of the forest and that could be the reason it eludes the eyes of researchers who frequent Sinharaja,” more..

Hiccups in UNP Membership Drive

Sept 24 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for a report from officials at UNP Headquarters, Sirikotha, on all UNP electoral and district organizers who have shown a marked lack of enthusiasm for the Party's countrywide membership drive, which began in June this year. The membership drive which began on 23 June at Sirikotha was aimed at increasing its membership countrywide by 20% with a new electronic membership card being introduced. UNP sources said by 31 August, over 75% of more..

Customs work to rule campaign: Rs 7 B loss to govt coffers

Sept 24 (CT) Customs Unions ended their week-long work to rule campaign, which cost govt losses to the tune of between Rs 6 and 7 billion. Director General of Customs Chulananda Perera said, stated the work to rule campaign carried out by Customs Trade Unions Alliance, had resulted in a loss of Rs 6 to 7 billion to the govt. Also, following Minister Ravi Karunanayake agreeing to hold discussions with Customs Trade more..

Environmentalists, officials, trade insults over fires

Sept 24 (ST) More forest fires have left a trail of destruction over more than 1000 acres of forest, killing wild animals and birds and leaving long-term damage. The fires were reported from a number of areas including the Knuckles mountain range, Hambantota, Nuwara Eliya, Monaragala, Anuradhapura and Badulla, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) officials said. Environmentalists claim the significant loss of animal and plant life was caused by lack of adequate action by DMC, more..

Lower piracy risk reduces Sri Lanka sea marshall business

Sept 24 (EN) Southern port of Galle has seen a fall in the business of providing transit services for sea marshalls employed to defend merchant ships from pirate attacks following a sharp reduction in attacks and risk, an official said. Navin Perera, Chairman of Young Shipping Professionals-Sri Lanka said the business boomed from 2012 to 2014 when demand for sea marshalls grew rapidly because of increasing attacks by Somali pirates. The boom led to companies deploying more boats in Galle, more..

Strengthen the hands of elected Tamil representatives: Wigneshwaran

Sept 24 (ENS) CM of Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, on Saturday gave a clarion call for a people’s movement to raise issues pertaining to Tamil people and thereby strengthen the hands of their elected representatives. Speaking at the Ezhuga Tamizh (Tamils Arise) rally at Jaffna, Wigneswaran said that the problems of the Tamil people cannot be solved just by getting elected to parliament or the provincial councils. more..

Pursuit of happiness

Sept 25 (SO) Happiness is often considered a term bearing a relative value: one person’s happiness could easily be another’s suffering. At the same time, being an emotion, a state of mind, happiness rarely gets the usage it once had in less utilitarian eras where the economy and market expansion were not considered the sole or primary drivers of social progress. Even in Sri Lanka, now recovering after a devastating war, the more used language these days has to do with more..

Teaching ECJ about terrorists & imbeciles

Sept 25 (CT) EC Court is either made up of nincompoops, IMBECILES, or there are men and women within it who are in the pay of the Tamil Diaspora egging them on to get the LTTE out from the EU list of terrorist organizations. The ad nauseam cry of the pro-LTTE men and women in the EU Court is that the LTTE was proscribed by the EU and listed as a terrorist organization purely on the basis of statements placed before it by Govt of SL and on impression formed from news more..

'We are national force demanding LG polls'

Sept 25 (SO) Joint Opposition (JO) Leader Dinesh Gunawardena says, all anti-UNP forces in the JO are now working towards forming the grand anti-UNP joint movement to save the nation and instil a sense of confidence in the movement. This is our ultimate goal. The veteran politician Gunawardena said, there is a dire need to protect the country, its unitary state and what the masses have so far won. more..

Challenges confronting tea

Sept 25 (Island) Lankans are generally aware that the tea industry is in deep trouble with both production and earnings falling. The Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) which run most of the large estates taken over by the govt under the land reforms are carrying huge losses and facing wage demands from their workers. The cost of production has been running way above auction prices particularly in the larger estates carrying high overheads. more..

Mobiles: If they are smart, be smarter

Sept 25 (ST) For some time now, Sri Lanka’s mobile phone users have been charged for value added services that a majority of them did not knowingly subscribe for or want. It is not clear how long the scam has been going on. The service providers are vague, the regulator only just found out, and there is no evidence that anyone at ministerial level knows or cares. According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, the country still has no laws to tackle the issue. more..

'Our govt is through democratic means'

Sept 25 (SO) UPFA General Secretary & Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said, 95% of the SLFP MPs in the Joint Opposition (JO) don’t agree to form a separate political alliance. A few SLFP MPs and other small political parties in the JO are keen to form a separate alliance for their mere political survival. He said, it is an attempt by a few small parties in the JO to increase the number of their MPs in the legislature. more..

Doctors’ babies blue; demand better schools

Sept 25 (ST) My dear doctors in the GMOA, I thought of writing to you to congratulate you on your campaign of trying to get your children into the top schools in the country by sending a group of doctors to the Ministry of Education to stage a protest at the Ministry and stay there overnight. I think it was a very clever move! It reminded me of that Palitha chap from Kalutara who went to the office of a school Principal and hung himself from a ceiling fan to get children admitted to that school. more..

School Moms’ dress code and Miss Buriyani

Sept 25 (SO) “At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a page from a cheap fashion magazine. The poster on display outside St Joseph’s College - one of Colombo’s elite private schools - has no text of any sort. Instead it shows 16 pictures of women in a variety of outfits, with tick marks against half and crosses against the rest,” the BBC’s Ayeshea Perera explains why people in the capital Colombo are so outraged. This cat has not gone to Maradana recently nor more..