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Face The Nation

Govt’s insatiable appetite for unnecessary conflicts

Sept 25 (Island) IMF published its end of review visit press release on Friday, where they had emphasised the need to implement the tax reform package without further delay. They were referring primarily about expediting the legislative process relating to the VAT amendments that are needed to support revenue targets for 2016 and 2017. They had also stressed that the 2017 budget should have a well-crafted and high-quality tax policy to raise Sri Lanka’s low tax revenue-to-GDP ratio. more..

Back to school to reconcile state-private higher education

Sept 25 (ST) Matters of dispute within the School and University Education system in the country came up for discussion this week in Parliament, with both, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariawasam, sounding somewhat beleaguered with a fight on their hands with those in the Medical profession. Education Minister who has been on the warpath with the GMOA for several weeks, over their demand for their children’s admission to more..

Maithri talks about reconciliation efforts as Wiggy calls Tamils to rise

Sept 25 (CT) President Sirisena arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York amidst tight security as the city suffered a major security threat with an explosive device going off on the previous day injuring 29 persons, last Sunday. He was received at the Loews Regency Hotel by Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera, SL's Permanent Representative to UN, Dr. Rohan Perera, SL's Amb in Washington, more..

Just how good was Samare

Sept 25 (Island) Among Sri Lanka’s modern day batsmen – Kumar Sangakkara (Test average of 57) was the greatest, Mahela Jayawardene (Test average of 49) was great while Dilshan (Test average of 40) was extremely good. But just how good was Thilan Samaraweera? After the Sydney Test of 2013, Samaraweera retired from international cricket. He averaged 48 in Tests, better than Aravinda (43), better than Ganguly (42) better than Cook (47) and better than Laxman (45). more..

Mahinda & Nalanda qualify for the finals

Sept 25 (ST) The curtains of the 5th Murali Harmony Cup T20 cricket tournament will come today with Mahinda and Nalanda qualifying to clash in the final by securing wins against Seenigama Combined Schools and St Joseph’s in the two semi-finals that were played at the IODR ground in Oddusuddan Mullativu yesterday. In the first semi-final played in the morning session saw Mahinda Skipper Ravindu Welihinda winning the toss and electing to take first lease of the wicket losing wickets more..

Lankans go pink with Premier Cricket

Sept 25 (ST) Living with the coming trends, Sri Lanka Cricket also cut its teeth with the newfangled pink ball in domestic cricket, come January. According to SLC Vice President, Super-Eight Club tournament will be a four-day, day tournament played using a Kookaburra Pink ball. A pink ball, it is said, wears off more slowly than the white ball, and gives better night visibility than the red ball, making it the most suitable for day-night Test cricket. more..

Sri Lanka take on South Korea today

Sept 25 (ST) Sri Lanka will face hosts South Korea in the first semi-final of the Cup Championship at the Second Leg of the Asian Sevens Series at the Namdong Asiad Rugby Stadium in Incheon, South Korea. The match will be played at 9.35am Sri Lanka time today prior to the second Cup semi-final between Hong Kong and China which follows after 30 minutes. If Sri Lanka overcome South Korea, they will qualify to play in their second consecutive Cup Championship final of the Asian Sevens more..

Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year: Charith joins elite band

Sept 25 (SO) Richmondite Charith Asalanka joined the elite band of school cricketers by winning the coveted Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year 2016 title for the second year in succession emulating the feats of former Sri Lankan greats Arjuna Ranatunga, 1980/82 (Ananda) Roshan Mahanama, 1983/84 (Nalanda) Thilan Samaraweera 1994/95 ( Ananda) Lahiru Peiris 2004/2005 (St.Peter’s) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa 2010/2011 (Royal) who had also won the award twice. more..

Colombo International Financial Centre: Dollar salaries, no income tax

Sept 25 (ST) Govt aims to offer a wide ranging product mix in the centre, including banking, capital market, wealth management, global processing, alternative financing, insurance and professional services. “The shipping sector will also be encouraged,” Rajudin said, in a presentation at the Colombo Int'l Maritime Conference, which described how the CIFC will operate, its structural and legal changes in the finance system more..

Mahela’s message to budding cricketers

Sept 25 (SO) For those schoolboy cricketers, parents, teachers, coaches and everyone else who were present at the 38th Sunday Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year awards night at Hotel Galadari last Tuesday the keynote address delivered by Sri Lanka cricketing legend and former captain Mahela Jayawardene was a lesson on how to become a successful cricketer. For a schoolboy, once his career at school is over the next big step he has to take is always going to be more..

Sweep ticket fraud

Sept 25 (ST) At a wayside sweep ticket counter at Olcott Mawatha, Pettah, bystanders are furiously scratching the surface of a ticket hoping for a windfall. On closer examination it’s not the normal tickets sold by the National Lotteries Board but fake ones. The modus operandi is to sell 10 tickets in one sheet at Rs. 10 each per customer. A flat prize of Rs. 2,000 is promised if all the 10 tickets are minus any hidden number. Invariably at least one ticket has Rs. 10 or Rs.20 which more..

BMW, Benz possible for Ministry Secretaries

Sept 25 (ST) Top public officials including Ministry Secretaries are in luck’s way with their monthly vehicle entitlement being increased to a maximum of Rs. 425,000 effective October from Rs. 300,000 earlier.  The new Sept 19 directive – Treasury circular which also covers officers of equal rank was issued by Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga.  This makes them entitled to hire luxury vehicles like BMW more..

Peter England opens store in Colombo

Sept 25 (SO) Peter England, an international men's apparel brand, in association with Softlogic launched its first exclusive store on Duplication Road, Bambalapitiya, Colombo. Set up in Ireland, Peter England has successfully grown as one of the most popular menswear brands in India. Business Head, Madura F&L, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd., Ashish Dikshit said, "Our in-depth market research revealed that the country, besides witnessing a growing retail market, more..

Book Review: A long watch: War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka

Sept 25 (DNA) In the seven years since the LTTE were vanquished, some excellent works of non-fiction have emerged out of Sri Lanka telling the stories of people on both sides of the civil war whose lives were destroyed or disrupted. Commodore Ajith Boyagoda's A Long Watch: War, Captivity and Return in Sri Lanka is the story of a soldier, held prisoner of war for eight years by the Tamil Tigers, first as a trophy catch to parade before their compatriots and international media, and more..

Return of lands pivotal for resettling IDPs: National Policy

Sept 25 (ST) Govt has adopted a national policy on the war-displaced, which acknowledges that one of the major obstacles to providing them with durable solutions for a return to normal life, is occupation of land by the military and police. Policy calls on the Ministry of Defence to coordinate with Ministry of Law and Order, to accurately map out all land that is or was owned, claimed or used by civilians, and is currently occupied by any of more..

Malik underscores Sri Lanka’s interest to deepen economic cooperation with Korea

Sept 25 (Island) Minister Trade Malik Samarawickrama underscored Sri Lanka’s interest to further strengthen economic relations with Korea, at a meeting with Korean Deputy PM and Minister of Strategy and Finance Yoo Il-ho on Sept 20 in Seoul. Minister strongly welcomed more Korean investment in SL’s growing economy, taking advantage of the island nation’s strategic location in Indian Ocean with access to markets and value chains in the Indian sub-continent, Europe, more..

Mosquito menace: ‘Emulate Sri Lanka’

Sept 25 (Hindu) Calling upon people to take the island nation Sri Lanka as their role model in eliminating the mosquito menace, Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao on Saturday said that the mosquito bite was badly affecting the public health and spreading communicable diseases. Inaugurating the War against mosquitoes, a campaign launched by the State government to encourage people to take the initiative to get rid of the insects at Recharlapeta, Mr. Rao said more..

If GMOA demands are met: Teachers Union to take legal action

Sept 25 (SO) Ceylon Teachers Union is all set to initiate legal action if the govt bows down to demands made by the GMOA concerning the allocation of schools for children of transferred GMOA members. According to Secretary of Ceylon Teachers Union, Joseph Stalin, the union will take legal action against any such decision made by Ministry of Education to grant schools requested by GMOA in violation of rights of other students. more..

Pune citizen sets off to Sri Lanka on World Peace Pilgrimage

Sept 25 (TOI) Yogesh Mathuria, a peaceful warrior and wellness coach started off his walk to Sri Lanka as a part of World Peace Pilgrimage on the account of International World Peace Day on September 21. Yogesh who treats his pilgrimages as Tapasya or Sadhana has already walked to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Shirdi and Wagah border in the last four years. Yogesh was an IT professional before and thus has travelled worldwide due to his profession in last 30 years. more..

Hopes of depositors fade over early solution to CIFL crisis

Sept 25 (ST) The hopes of depositors of the failed Central Investment and Finance Ltd (CIFL), lifted last week with the arrival of German investment group to revive the company, are turning to despair, a week later.  Depositors say they have been sidelined from key meetings the 5-member delegation of Vandell Financial Services SA, Germany has had so far with the President, Finance Minister and other officials. Sept 15 arrival of the investors was exclusively reported by more..

Colombo world’s fourth fastest growing tourist destinations: Matercard

Sept 25 (ENS) Colombo, is the world’s fourth fastest-growing destination for international visitors, according to 2016 Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index. The Index, which projects the number of tourists staying in 132 of the most popular cities worldwide, says that Colombo will see a 19.57% increase in foreign arrivals this year. Mastercard’s latest list shows the growing int'l significance of Asia, as 7 of 10 most-visited more..

HSBC Sri Lanka CEO’s exit advanced

Sept 25 (ST) The CEO of HSBC Sri Lanka is being moved out prematurely, authoritative banking sources said. They said Patrick Gallagher, whose term was scheduled to end in April 2017, will return to London and a new foreign CEO will be installed in his place in October. Mr. Gallagher was appointed to Sri Lanka in 2013 and had secured a one-year extension from Central Bank of Sri Lanka. His predecessor Nick Nicolaou had served in Sri Lanka for five years after having scored extensions. more..

434 new scams under probe

Sept 25 (CT) The Anti-Corruption Secretariat (ACS) has received 434 complaints related to misappropriations of public funds amounting to billions of rupees during the tenure of the previous regime. ACS Director, Ananda Wijepala, said 317 complaints had already been submitted to the FCID for further investigation. He stated that of the remaining complaints, 28 had been submitted to the CID, 85 to the Bribery Commission and another seven to the IGP for further action. more..

JHU: Champika gang grabs power

Sept 25 (CT) JHU whose advent into national politics also heralded the entrée of Buddhist Monks to mainstream politics in the country, took a U-turn with Champika-Nishantha gang grabbing absolute control of the party. JHU Central Committee had taken steps to bring in some major changes at the 13th Convention held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium and unpredictably Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera more..

Zim to host tri-series after Sri Lanka Tests

Sept 25 (TS) Sri Lanka's national cricket team is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on October 25 to play two Tests against the hosts before featuring in a triangular One-Day International (ODIs) series involving the hosts and West Indies. According to the schedule, the two Tests between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka will take place at Harare Sports Club, while five of the seven triangular ODI series matches have been slated for Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. more..

Reduction in Sri Lanka’s UN peacekeeping contingent?

Sept 25 (SO) Sri Lanka’s UN peacekeeping contingent to Mali has been slashed because of an administrative delay in passing funds to obtain ammunition, inside sources said. Initially a battalion of 800 soldiers and officers were to be sent to the West African country as peacekeeping forces by the UN. Despite Cabinet approval to finance the mission and acquire weapons and ammunition, the delay in the administrative work has resulted in a battalion from Egypt being deployed for more..

Sirisena seeks world support to make Sri Lanka exemplary democracy

Sept 25 (ST) On the first visit after assuming the mantle of Presidency, Maithripala Sirisena came here to make friends with world leaders and deliver a message — that Sri Lankans have placed their confidence in the new Govt under his leadership. This week, he came again to New York, to renew old friendships and make new ones. For a man of humble beginnings in the outbacks of Polonnaruwa, the simplicity he exuded was more..

SWRD and the paradox of SL federalism

Sept 25 (Island) Tomorrow, 26th of Sept, will be the 57th death anniversary of Sri Lanka’s fourth PM, SWRD Bandaranaike. The shocking circumstances of his death in 1959 and the subsequent electoral successes of the political party that he founded ensured his posthumous political significance and the commemoration of his death as an annual state event for the next two decades. Even tomorrow there will be commemoration ceremonies at the Horagolla Samadhi, but more..

Costly short-circuit at Sampur

Sept 25 (Island) Criticism is an opportunity for correction; Britain just revoked its stop order on the 3200MW, GBP 18 billion, Hinckley Point C nuclear power station. It will be tougher in Lanka due to multiple pressures, some reasonable, some naïve, others venal. The government has no clue what it is doing and is in a muddle. Following last week’s piece on principles of planning I will devote this one to current concerns; next week’s finale will be on sector restructuring. more..

'Media not in govt’s hands'

Sept 25 (NS) First of all we need to finalise the composition of the centre. This is the first time in Sri Lanka where such an information centre has been established. There are similar National media centres in several countries such as India, Japan, UAE and USA Chairman of the newly formed Govet Media Centre and former minister Imthiaz Bakeer Markar says that the establishment of the institution he heads was more..

'There is now potent possibility of seriously considering merging RPCs'

Sept 25 (Island) Minister, Naveen Dissanayake said although the formalized plantation sector has been associated with a "plethora of presumably unsolvable problems", solutions are available. Speaking as the chief guest at the Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA) Annual General Meeting (AGM), he said fresh thinking on different lines is now of relevant significance. Re-enacting the 99-year lease agreement is now necessary more..

EPF loses Rs 42m in P.C. House and Grain Elevators investments: COPA

Sept 25 (ST) The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) disclosed this week that two investments by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in two companies, namely P.C.House and Grain Elevators had resulted in a total loss of around Rs 42 million. This was revealed in COPA’s report presented to Parliament this week by its Chairman MP Lasantha Alagiyawanna. COPA recommended that a programme be devised to ensure that more..

Sri Lanka confirms tax breaks for expanded China Port City

Sept 25 (EN) Sri Lanka's has confirmed tax breaks for an expanded China Port City, originally promised by the ousted Rajapaksa regime, under a law which the current administration has said it will not use in the future. Sri Lanka is giving a 25-year income tax holiday to CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, a project company that reclaim 269 hectares of sea by the main waterfront of the capital Colombo, a gazette notice issued on September 19 said. more..

War crimes: Our ole master speaks in two voices

Sept 25 (ST) Britain is at the forefront of a campaign to have Sri Lanka’s military prosecuted for what it insists were war crimes committed at the end of the war with the terrorist LTTE. But when it comes to allegations against its own forces, British Govt is unapologetically defensive. The BBC quotes PM Theresa May as saying she will not allow an industry of vexatious allegations against UK troops over claims of abuse in Iraq. more..

Vital drug prices to come down at last

Sept 25 (ST) Prices of nearly 50 essential or life-saving drugs are to be slashed shortly, under a proposed formula to be finalised very soon, bringing the curtain down, to some extent, on a decades-long debate on costly medicines. In some cases, the proposed reduction is over 50%, with the price of Atorvastatin being cut by 58%, from Rs. 41 to about Rs. 18 per tablet and metformin by 63%, from Rs. 10 to just over Rs. 3 per tablet. more..

Nuwan plays a straight bat

Sept 25 (CT) A young man succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident. The victim was identified as Dinesh Aravinda of Nittambuwa. The driver was Sri Lankan cricketer Nuwan Kulasekara. "I was afraid. Therefore, I kept the car there and waited in a shop until the Police came. Somebody else had telephoned Police. Later I gave a statement to the Police. I was produced before the Magistrate and granted bail. I appeared in Court on 20 Sept." more..

Timely reform or an act of tokenism?

Sept 25 (CT) In February, SL education system went through a massive change when Minister of Education declared that a pass in O/L Mathematics was not mandatory for students to proceed towards their A/Ls. These reforms continued when, last Wednesday, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said from the year 2018 all students will be allowed to sit the GCE A/L exam whether they passed the O/L exam or not. more..

HIV test mandatory for State sector

Sept 25 (SO) HIV tests will be mandatory for all State sector employees in due course according to the Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratne. “We have decided to introduce the test to all State sector employees. But there so many details that need to be gone through before we can go ahead with it. We also have to mobilize the people and the Director General is attending to it,” he said. more..

Fonseka tells Keheliya: Jump off a balcony

Sept 25 (CT) Just as the wall stopped his son's car dead in its tracks, UPFA MP Keheliya Rambukwella also ran head on into MP Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka's rebuke in Parliament this week, and was left speechless as the Speaker dismissed the objection he made on a Point of Order. Fonseka was three-quarters of the way through his address to Parliament on the motion to increase remunerations of Independent more..