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Video: Mahindananda released on bail

June 27 (AD) MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, who was arrested and remanded on money laundering charges, has been released on bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today. Magistrate ordered that he be released on a cash bail of Rs 50,000 and four personal bails of Rs 10 million each. Aluthgamage, who was the former Sports Minister, was arrested by CID on Sept 15 on charges under Prevention of Money Laundering Act after a statement was recorded from him same day. more..

Ranil's Puppet: CIABOC Director General charged with abuse of office

June 27 (CT) Director General of CIABOC, Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe has been charged for abuse of office. A formal complaint in this regard was lodged to Chairman of the Commission today. Director General for prevention of Bribery and Corruption In his complaint, Public Interest Rights Activist and lawyer, Nagananda Kodituwakku accused Wickramasinghe of abusing her position to suppress and/or ignore more..

Basil to be Coordinator of new party

June 27 (AM) Former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will hold a key responsibility in the new party that will be formed by the Joint Opposition, the Local Govt Representatives of the JO said. The Co-Chairman of the Joint Opposition LG Representative Collective Udeni Athukorala said that the team which is engaged in the organizational work are currently conducting their work as a group, since no officials of the party have been designated. more..

Gemunu slams govt’s tax mania

June 27 (AD) President of Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne says that a complaint was submitted to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) against the Ministry of Finance and several other parties over undue taxing.  Speaking to reporters after handing over the complaint, he said that presently around 20,000 private buses operate across the country while the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) operates only some 5,000 buses.  more..

Expedite of RTI Act implementation: PM

June 27 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had instructed the Media Ministry to expedite the process of implementing the Right to Information Act, Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said. He said Sri Lanka had passed the RTI recently and was now in a process of setting up the Right to Information Commission. "We have already taken steps to set up the RTI Commission, but PM instructed us to expedite it," he said. more..

Shares end at 2-week closing high

June 27 (Reuters) Stocks ended slightly firmer on Tuesday to a two-week closing high led by blue chips, amid foreign outflows and tax hike concerns. Foreign investors sold a net 22.3 million rupees worth of shares on Tuesday extending the year-to-date net forging outflow to 3.03 billion rupees worth of equities. IMF on Friday said SL's govt, which has failed to raise taxes as promised when it received a $1.5 billion loan from the lender in June, needs to implement a tax reform package more..

Lands Ministry web hacked

June 27 (CT) Ministry of Lands website,, was hacked twice in four days, 23–26 Sept. Website was quickly restored to its original format on Friday 23 Sept. The hacker, ML7C, changed the entire homepage and had DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber's Let Me Love You playing on loop. He seems to have been interested in testing the govt websites' online security, as he advices that the website be fixed and had provided an email address to contact him. more..

Ramith pleads guilty on three counts, says not guilty to DUI

June 27 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate suspended the driving licence of Cricketer Ramith Rambukwella following an accident that occurred at Independence Avenue, Colombo 7 recently. Police had put forward five charges against the suspect including Drunken Driving, Negligent Driving, Not Avoiding a Possible Accident, Driving a Vehicle Registered under someone else’s name and driving with a Fake Number Plate. more..

Video: Police panic as drone flies over Lasantha’s grave

June 27 (DM) Police today panicked when a drone attached with a camera flew over the grave of murdered Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga, when it was being exhumed. Even though the Policemen at the scene searched the assembled journalists at the scene they were unable to find the drone or its handler. Wickrematnga’s body was exhumed at the Borella cemetery today following a request by the CID to the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court earlier this month. more..

Saudi court pays blood money for Lankan

June 27 (DN) A court in Saudi Arabia paid Rs. two million, one third of the blood money of a death sentenced Sri Lankan to escape gallows for killing his compatriot in his workplace. Sri Lankan Consul General in Saudi, Faizer Mackeen said that the accused, a man from Seeduwa had stabbed his co-worker Mohammed Intiqab during an argument on some trivial issue. Diplomat said that the murder took place in 2009 and the accused, who was intoxicated at the time, confessed that more..

Sri Lanka wants Panama Papers discussed

June 27 (CG) Sri Lanka has sought a discussion on the controversial Panama Papers at Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) next week. Finance Ministers will gather for the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting on 6 Oct, at the headquarters of the IMF in Washington DC, USA. CFMM has agreed to Sri Lanka’s request and will focus on topical issues arising from the international response to Panama Papers more..

Labour officers end strike action

June 27 (AD) The Public Service Labour Officers’ Union has decided to temporarily suspend the strike action launched by labour officers.  President of the Union I.C. Gamage said that the decision was taken in view of the Labour Minister submitting a cabinet paper for a service constitution to the Cabinet of Ministers.  Labour Minister W.D.J. Senewiratne had presented the relevant cabinet paper today while it is slated to be debated by the cabinet on Oct 4. Union had been engaged in a strike since Sept more..

Int'l conference on Right to Information

June 27 (DN) A two day international conference on Right to Information will be held at Jaik Hilton, Colombo tomorrow and day after under the patronage of President Sirisena to mark International Right to Information Day. Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana said Chairman of 20th Law Commission of India and Chief Justice (Retd) of Delhi High Court Ajit Sha, Speaker Karu Jayasuriyam, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake will participate at the opening ceremony more..

Court of Appeal issues notices on Ravi K.

June 27 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake and 13 other respondents were this morning noticed to appear before Court of Appeal on Oct 12, in connection with a writ petition filed by six Buddhist monks, challenging Finance Minister’s decision to exempt customs import duty amounting to Rs.6 billion on alcoholic products imported by a beer brewery. A Court of Appeal Two-Judge-Bench comprising more..

Minor earth tremor in Galle

June 27 (DM) A minor earth tremor had been experienced in the Galle area this morning, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said the tremor had been recorded at the Seismic Data and Tsunami Alert Centres (SDTAC) at Matara, Hakmana and Pallekelle. However, Richter scale had been recorded as lower than three amplitudes on the tremor.  The tremor had taken place at around 5.30 a.m. more..

India's envoy to Sri Lanka named new High Commissioner to UK

June 27 (NNN) Mr. Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, has been appointed as the country's next High Commissioner to the United Kindom. A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr. Sinha, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1981 batch, was expected to take up his assignment shortly. He will succeed Mr. Navtej Sarna, who has been named as the new Ambassador of India to the United States. more..

'India investments in Lanka not affected by aborted plant Joint Venture'

June 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka's decision to scrap a joint venture coal power plant project will not deter India's future investment plans in the country, Indian govt said today. Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated this at the end of her three-day visit here after meeting SL minister Malik Samarawickrema and other officials. The proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) and issues concerning more..

Sri Lanka and great power relations

Sept 28 (Island) The post-conflict period saw the engagement of two Great Powers in SL affairs. One was India to some degree and the other was China to a much greater degree. With the new administration coming into force starting Jan 8, 2015, US has made a discernable impact on the affairs of SL. Consequently, there are three Great Powers currently pursuing their respective interests in SL. It is reported that other powers such as Japan and Singapore are also likely to engage more..

Sirisena The Diplomat

Sept 28 (SL) Diplomacy has not been the forte of President Maithripala Sirisena who is essentially of a rural background and is still a humble politician expressing his thoughts and views, usually in his mother tongue, sans the highfalutin gobbledygook that usually goes with those aspiring or posing off as diplomats. Yet viewing his achievements during the past one year and nine months in office Sirisena has achieved much for his country and for himself in the field of diplomacy as no other politician more..

Civil society leaders rubbish GMOA elite schools demand

Sept 28 (SO) The mad rush for places in high quality govt schools has taken a new twist recently, with govt doctors resorting to lightning strikes and, other trade union tactics, in their agitation for such a privilege for their children. Led by the GMOA, the doctors have threatened to extend their protest island-wide, if some 200 of their children are denied best schools by Education Ministry. It was the first of a kind, more..

Paradise Lost: The hidden costs of tourism development in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (GV) Sept 27 is World Tourism Day. This year,  the theme is promoting universal accessibility. Groundviews decided to focus on sustainable tourism – and specifically, on how tourism development has impacted local communities. Tourism is a vital driver of income to the local economy – with over a million tourists arriving in Sri Lanka from January to August 2016 alone. It also provides thousands of people with jobs, either directly or indirectly. more..

Analysing President’s bitter pint

Sept 28 (DM) President is nothing if not outspoken, when it comes to gender-sensitive issues. While handing out life-time achievement awards to an NGO  which rehabilitates drug addicts, he said more women were drinking beer, while pointing out the dangers posed by alcohol and drugs to Sri Lakans. If he had deplored the fact more people are drinking beer now, it would have been positive feedback from a leader whom, one assumes, is either a teetotaler or a moderate drinker. more..

'We have now become labourers of the West'

Sept 28 (SL) UPFA MP and member of Joint Opposition Dullas Alahapperuma said the cohabitation govt is ruling the country by deceiving the public. He claims that the govt makes promise after promise, but has absolutely no intention of fulfilling them, since it is merely a ploy to escape from burning issues that they confronts. He said Sri Lanka was a free country that took pride in its steadfast stand. more..

Editorial: Gestapo!

Sept 28 (Island) Those who read yesterday’s lead story in this newspaper about a very serious complaint that the CID had tapped a senior judge’s telephones and hacked his personal email may have wondered whether they were rereading an extract from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty Four, where Big Brother controls everyone and everything. President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya deserves praise for having drawn the attention of the Bar Association of SL more..

Sri Lanka’s sustainable foreign strategy

Sept 28 (DN) The President strongly implied that a democratic society which enhances and protects the rights of the individual was a strong complimentary measure to reconciliation between communities. The President’s strong message was that what was being done in Sri Lanka was of Sri Lankans and for Sri Lankans. He implicitly debunked the theory that Sri Lanka is pursuing reconciliation, democratisation and development as a part of some foreign agenda. President Sirisena was clear that this is what more..

JVP Press conference

Own recipe for reconciliation still, but in no hurry for a new union?

Sept 28 (SL) It’s as much disjointed as it is short. President Sirisena’s address to the 71st session of the UNGA – a second for him – is yet another reiteration of the nation’s aspirations in the post-war era, but with references to his own election 20 months back and the consequent restoration of democracy, alleviation of poverty, creation of a knowledge society, economic development, Theravada Buddhism and the teachings of other religions, all finding a place more..

Judge Wigneswaran and unauthorized Muslims and Sinhalese

Sept 28 (CT) Last week one of my hate mailers, clearly the President of Sri Lankans for Hillary, called me deplorable, if you don't get the basket of deplorables reference well Google it. However, what I found interesting was her email signature was accompanied by a quote by Gregory House MD: "Time changes everything. That's what people say, it's not true. Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were." That's nice; at least we got our love for House MD more..

Video: Govt must make responsible statement on C.V.’s allegations: JHU

Sept 28 (DM) JHU said Govt must make a responsible statement with regard to the false and baseless statements made by Northern Province CM on resettlement of Sinhalese in the North and constructing of places of worship without having backbenches to do so. JHU national organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said govt must make a statement with facts and figures as the international community may be misled more..

Football beyond graves that Channa digs!

Sept 28 (ST) Sri Lanka Football (SLF) got a 2-page spread in the Sunday Times of Aug 21. Whenever SLF gets big coverage in the media, it is either a scandal or, the national team has been drubbed mercilessly! However, the Sunday reading once again brought the abysmal depths that this sport has descended to in spite of the grandstanding by its big guns.  Ex. National Football Captain E.B. Channa for starters, resembles the state of SLF, which is certainly close to the grave! more..

Tea crop dip in August worst in a decade

Sept 28 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tea crop has plunged to a 10-year low in August, further worsening the first eight months’ production. Asia Siyaka Commodities, quoting Tea Board data, said that the crop in August was 23 million kilograms, down by 13% from a year earlier. “This year’s figure is the lowest since 2006 when 21.5 million kilograms was recorded,” produce broker said. However, the August crop was an improvement from July’s take of 1.32 million kilograms. more..

ADB revises down growth forecast for Sri Lanka in 2016 and 2017

Sept 28 (FT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered the economic growth forecast for Sri Lanka Tuesday saying growth prospects for Sri Lanka edge lower on weak industrial performance and fiscal consolidation. In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2016, ADB lowered the GDP growth rate to 5% for Sri Lanka in 2016 from the 5.3% it projected in March this year. more..

National Centre for Aging proposed in new elders’ policy

Sept 28 (ST) Sri Lanka’s population is rapidly aging and according to projections the share of the population aged 60 years and more will increase to 29% by 2050 from 12% currently and 16% in 2020. It will reach its peak at 34% in 2080, according to the Ministry of Health.  In a call for public comments on a National Elderly Health Policy of SL, the proposed policy says that at the same time, there will be a process of aging of the old people, “as the oldest old people aged more than 80 yrs more..

Citrus announces strategic corporate restructure

Sept 28 (FT) The Citrus Group of Companies yesterday announced an overall strategic restructuring plan of its group yesterday. The proposed strategic restructuring, which is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, shareholder approvals and conditions, entails Hikkaduwa Beach Resort Plc (CITH) making a voluntary offer to shareholders of Waskaduwa Beach Resort Plc (CITW) and CITH amalgamating with Kalpitiya Beach Resort Plc (CITK) and Passikudah Beach Resort Ltd. more..

US supports cultural preservation of Galle Fort

Sept 28 (USE) The US has granted $ 100,000 in support of the work undertaken by the University of Sri J'pura to document historic buildings within the Galle Fort, create a strategy for long-term preservation of its architectural characteristics and to formulate a master plan to guide development within the historic area. “We recognize that we cannot ignore the natural and human changes that continue to affect Galle Fort. The grant of $100,000 more..

JKH launches 2nd luxury apartment block

Sept 28 (EN) John Keells Holdings group said it plans to build a second high-rise luxury apartment block after the success of the first one, half of whose floor space has already been sold. Pre-bookings for The Suites at Cinnamon Life, second residential tower to be built as part of a 4.5 million square foot integrated resort by JKH unit Waterfront Properties Limited, have exceeded 15%. The 196 apartments in the second residential tower, which will rise 39 stories to a height of 136 meters, more..

Häagen-Dazs enters Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (Island) Häagen-Dazs, renowned as the world’s finest ice cream recently announced their entry into the Sri Lankan market. The Made in France ice cream has continually offered new flavors with unmatched premium quality, creating exceptional ice cream experiences that goes beyond great taste. The rich, sensual textures and remarkable flavours make the Häagen-Dazs moment an intense, absorbing sensory pleasure. A select range of rich flavours of Häagen-Dazs more..

Only in SL: No resignations for wrongdoing

Sept 28 (DM) Central Province Governor Neluka Ekanayaka said a miscommunication between her and CM Sarath Ekanayaka had resulted in 29 PC members travelling to Russia last morning in violation of presidential guidelines. She said the Chief Minister informed her that the President had verbally approved the foreign trip. Governor said she had instructed Council’s Chief Secretary to conduct a thorough inquiry into the foreign trip by more..

SLT Zero One Awards web launched

Sept 28 (DN) In a bid to recognise and reward all the efforts made by individuals and organisations towards inculcating the digital excellence in their respective fields, Sri Lanka Telecom will be organising the nations’ first ever digital excellence awards SLT Zero One Awards for Excellence 2016. SLT Group Chairman P.G Kumarasinghe said the Zero One Awards initiative will provide a national recognition platform and an impetus for growth and innovation of many sectors in Sri Lanka. more..

Munchee, No. 1 FMCG Brand in Sri Lanka

Sept 28 (DN) SL’s leading biscuit brand Munchee has been adjudged Sri Lanka’s Number One FMCG Brand by Brand Footprint Report, a global study of winning brands in the FMCG space conducted by Kantar Worldpanel. This global ranking reveals the strength of brands in 44 countries around the world, across the Food, Beverage, Health and Beauty and Home Care sectors. Every year, Kantar Worldpanel conducts the most exhaustive study of FMCG brands across the globe. more..