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Rs 11.5B excess liquidity mopped up

Sept 30 (CT) Downward pressure on the exchange rate (ER) continued to be exerted virtually for the eleventh consecutive day in yesterday's trading, with the ER declining sharply by between 25 and 35 Sri Lanka cents to Rs 146.80 to the US dollar in interbank spot trading, market sources said. Pressure on the rupee to depreciate is caused by seasonal demand due to the forthcoming Christmas season. Wednesday (28), the ER closed at Rs 146/45/55 to the dollar in two way quotes. more..

Military releases 454 acres to private owners

Sept 30 (FT) Ministry of Rehabilitation and Resettlement yesterday announced the release of over 450 acres of military-controlled land to private owners, in the latest reconciliation efforts made by the Govt. Ministry of Defence has identified 454.2 acres of land in Thelipallai D.S. Division for release to private ownership as part of an initial phrase, Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy said. “Arrangements are being made to release these lands to pvt ownership as soon as possible. more..

Don’t hatch Constitution on the sly: Wiggy

Sept 30 (CT) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran said that "hatching a Constitution in secrecy with selected members from the Tamil community would not help the Tamils, and when the Constitution is passed we will have no way of making any constructive criticism at that stage." Explaining the reasons which led him to hold a massive really in Jaffna, he said nothing concrete has been done by govt to deliver the rights of more..

Eluga what?

Sept 30 (DM) If the motive behind the Eluga Thamil or Rise up Tamils procession and the rally organized by the recently formed Tamil Peoples Council (TPC) headed by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran in Jaffna on Saturday was to embarrass or pressurise the government over certain problems faced by the Tamil people, the outcome was in the negative. Or, is it too early to predict  the impact of the rally on the Govt’s actions? Time will answer the question as to whether more..

Escape valve called Karma Sexual Violence & Impunity in (Sinhala Buddhist) Sri Lanka

Sept 30 (DM) It is a frightening picture that is drawn on a full canvas by the probing essays in The Search for Justice: The Sri Lankan Papers, edited by reputed academic thinkers Kumari Jayawardene and Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena containing contributions by several well known SL activists and academics.  The volume forms part of a regional series on Sexual Violence and Impunity in South Asia, published by Zubaan, New Delhi, 2015. Editors have used poetry and special narratives more..

Sri Lanka Design Festival unveils theme for 2016: Transformation

Sept 30 (FT) Disrupt! Reinvent! Transform! - The new age paradigm for industry Sri Lanka Design Festival 2016 (SLDF) is scheduled to take place this November with a new age paradigm for industry. Focusing on disrupting old systems, reinventing and transforming as the core philosophy, SLDF's funder Linda Speldewinde shed light on the 2016 focus of the event and what is sets out to deliver for the nation. more..

Panama community continue to suffer even under good governance

Sept 30 (SL) Families from five marginalised villages in the Eastern Part of Sri Lanka expressed their grave concern over the conduct of the Good Governance, claiming that the govt made them a range of promises just to clinch the power. Representing fisher community in the area, K. Ratnamali said that the fisher community was disgusted over the conduct of some politicians of the Mahinda Rajapakse regime. more..

'Don’t leave conservation solely to Wildlife Dept'

Sept 30 (ST) “Sri Lanka has the potential of being the best wildlife tourism destination outside Africa, but only if done the right way,” Department of Wildlife Conservation’s (DWC) former Director General Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya said at a public lecture on Thursday. Delivering the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society’s (WNPS) monthly lecture on the topic, Civil Society’s Role in Conservation Dr. Pilapitiya, who resigned more..

Magistrate says to name ex-DIG as suspect if involved in abduction

Sept 30 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate directed the CID to name former DIG Anura Senanayake - who is now in remand over the killing of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen - as a suspect into the abduction of two persons at Kotahena if the CID investigations reveal his involvement in the incident. Magistrate made this direction to SI Sunil Saranapala of CID following his submissions made in connection with the abduction more..

Take action against Perpetual Treasuries: Bandula to Govt

Sept 30 (DM) UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardane questioned the govt as to what action it would take in connection with the excessive profit of Rs.5.1 billion recorded by Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL) last year by trading Govt Bonds. MP, who said the govt was keen to impose Super Gains Tax to collect an income of Rs.50 billion from well to do business entities, should not hesitate to look into the excessive profits of PTL. more..

Heart operations suspended at three main hospitals

Sept 30 (Island) Heart operations have been suspended in three main hospitals and the lives of patients who had to undergo life-saving surgery are in danger. Cardiovascular perfusionists yesterday warned they would continue their strike despite receiving an assurance from the Health Ministry that their major demands––the rectification of salary anomalies and over-time payments––would be met. more..

Court rejects arrest warrant request for Udayanga

Sept 30 (AD) The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today rejected a request to issue an arrest warrant for Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga. Police requested the court to issue a warrant through Interpol as a statement is needed from Weeratunga, who is currently oversea, in connection with a controversial USD 10 million deal to buy four MiG-27 fighter jets in 2006. more..

Video: Gota, Senadhipathi, three fmr. Navy Commanders before courts

Sept 30 (AD) The Colombo Chief magistrate granted bail to former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi and 6 others on the flaoting armoury case. They were each ordered released on a cash bail of Rs 200,000 and personal bail of Rs 10 million while the court also barred them from leaving the country.  Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Nissanka Senadhipathi & 3 former Navy Commanders more..

Cabinet approves 15% VAT on cigarettes

Sept 30 (AD) Cabinet has approved the proposal to impose 15% VAT on cigarettes plus increase production tax by Rs. 5 per cigarette, Information Department said a short while ago. Surveys have revealed that 15% of persons between 18-69 years are engaged in smoking and about 30,000 die annually due to tobacco related diseases. It has been calculated that government spends about Rs. 72 billion annually to treat such patients.  more..

PM to make first visit to New Zealand

Sept 30 (RNZ) PM John Key is being urged to make strong statements about human rights when he meets the PM of Sri Lanka tomorrow morning. Ranil Wickremesinghe lands in Auckland tonight on the first visit by a Sri Lankan PM to New Zealand. Mr Key said under Mr Wickremesinghe's leadership, Sri Lanka had entered a new phase in its post-civil war development. "He's been PM for just over a year or so, more..

VAT on doctors’ fees, trade

Sept 30 (CT) Govt opens itself to be cheated from collecting legitimate revenue by unscrupulous traders because of the introduction of the deemed VAT input clause in the proposed VAT hike Bill. Cheating the govt is cheating the ordinary people of the country. Nonetheless, deemed VAT from other sectors has been removed. Under the proposed VAT hike Bill, where the VAT rate is planned to be increased from the current 11% to 15% and which will also encompass the wholesale and retail more..

Shares end higher; blue chips lead

Sept 30 (Reuters) Stocks posted a fourth straight session of gains on Friday to end at a near one-month closing high, led by blue chips, while the drop in T-bill yields boosted sentiment. Colombo Stock Exchange ended up 0.1%, or 6.47 points, at 6,534.77, its highest close since Sept 2. The index posted a weekly gain of 0.86%, rising for the second week after four consecutive weekly losses. "Market is up with a rally in blue chips coming into the market," said Dimantha Mathew, more..

Ada Cartoon

Are lacunae in regulatory oversight permitting tax avoidance by primary dealers?

Sept 30 (CT) You are well aware that as a consequence of the tax revenue to GDP ratio in Sri Lanka falling from around 20% in 1990 to around 10% in 2015, the capacity of the State to fund; 1. essential infrastructure; 2. human development (especially investments in health, education and ICT sectors and in focused human capability development meeting tomorrows market needs); 3. research and promote innovation; and 4. specially targeted programmes aimed at alleviating more..

Dredger arrives in Sri Lanka to start port city reclamation

Sept 30 (EN) A dredger has arrived in Sri Lanka to start reclaiming 269 hectares of sea off the capital Colombo. Sri Lanka's Geological Survery and Mines Bureau has issued a license for start mining sand on Sept 26. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the contractor, will install buoys along the dredging zone to guide fishing vessels and the reclamation site will also be demarcated to allow environmental monitoring. Dredging will be restricted to at least four km from the shoreline more..

Secret letter to President, PM from Malwatu Mahanayake

Sept 30 (DM) Malwatu Mahanayake the Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera today handed over a secret letter to Constitutional Reform Committee Chief Lal Wijenayake to be transmitted to President and PM. The letter was handed over when the members of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform met the Mahanayake Thera to present a draft of the proposed Constitution. more..

SLAF remain alert despite absence of threats

Sept 30 (Island) Air Force would be alert even though a 30-years of terrorism had ended and it was committed to protecting the country from any challenges, said new SL Air Force Commander Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathi said. He said whether there was a situation of war or not it was normal in any country for the Air Force to be kept on alert to meet any challenges. AF Commander, who is the 16th officer to head the service, spoke to media after calling on the prelates of Malwatte & Asgiriya. more..

Companies registered in a day

Sept 30 (CT) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that with effect from 3 Oct a company can be registered within a single working day. He said that the Finance Ministry had earlier requested the Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, to take measures to improve the turnaround time for company registrations. In response, Bathiudeen has informed him that with effect from next Monday the company registration process can be completed in the course of a single working day. more..

'Sri Lanka’s ministries should be aligned to be more effective'

Sept 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s budget allocations for national road development are high, but it needs to be attuned to needs, and ministries should be properly allocated, a senior official said. “The problem is that we have fragmented systems, especially transport and highways are two different ministries so it is very difficult for us to agree on one plan,” said Namalie Siyambalapitiya, director planning, RDA. more..

Wigneswaran boycotts National Sports Festival opening ceremony

Sept 30 (AM) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran boycotted the opening ceremony of the National Sports Festival 2016 at the Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna yesterday. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was the Chief Guest of the event and Wigneswaran had also been invited. However, the Northern Province Chief Minister did not take part in the event and his seat was seen vacant. However, NPC Chairman and several other provincial ministers were present at the event. more..

Hakeem urges public not to panic as new constitution has to be passed by parliament

Sept 30 (Island) The Joint Opposition (JO) and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran were making various statements on the new Constitution being government drafted by the govt but the public should not panic as it had to should be passed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament, Minister Rauff Hakeem said yesterday in Kandy. Before its passage anyone could propose amendments, he said. Minister said the new Constitution wouldn’t be harmful to country. more..

Sri Lanka – China bilateral ties will be further strengthened: President

Sept 30 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena says the present Govt is committed to further strengthen the long-standing historic friendship between Sri Lanka and China. He made these remarks addressing a gathering in a ceremony held at BMICH, yesterday (29) to mark the 67th Anniversary of China and the 35th anniversary of Sri Lanka China Society. President also said that at present the friendship more..

Video: One dead, 2 injured in Embilipitiya wild elephant attack

Sept 30 (AD) One person was killed while another two were wounded following a wild elephant attack in the Moraketiya area in Embilipitiya. Two wild elephants had attacked the residential area and were driven off by villagers. One elephant had headed towards Liyanegama while the other had ventured into Hathe Ela area.  Afterwards the two elephants had caused damage to property such as homes, vehicles and crops. Three persons were rushed to hospital following the incident, more..

Professor highlights importance of statistics to industrialists

Sept 30 (Island) Statistics and research were extremely important for industrialists. Therefore, industrialists and statisticians should develop a close interaction, said Professor W.B. Daundasekara, Head of Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science of Uni of Peradeniya in his opening remarks to the operations research day ‘16 at the Post Graduate Institute of Science (PG 15) of the University last week. The importance of statistics and operations had been felt particularly after more..

Consumers warned on impending electric shock after coal plant scrapping

Sept 30 (EN) SL's power consumers, who are already paying high prices will have to shell out even more in the future, after a cheap coal plant which was about to be built was scrapped, engineers at state-run CEB has warned. CEB is now generating coal power at about 4.36 rupees a unit, and the next cheapest source of thermal power from residual oil costs about 17.80 rupees a unit, making a gap of about 13.44 rupees. more..

Video: Hashish worth Rs.160 mn seized in Rajagiriya

Sept 30 (DM) More than 11 kilos of Hashish worth Rs.160 million has been taken into custody in Rajagiriya by the Special Investigations Unit of Colombo Excise Department last night, an official said. He said a 38-year-old woman and two men were arrested during a raid carried out with the help of a decoy. The official said the woman would be produced in the Negombo Magistrate’s Court while the two men would be produced in the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court today. more..

SC rejects Tissa’s petition challenging UPFA national list

Sept 30 (AD) The Supreme Court today rejected the petition filed by Professor Tissa Vitharana challenging the National List appointments of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).  The petition states that appointing candidates who were defeated in the election to the UPFA National List was unlawful and therefore sought a court order annulling the appointments. However, the Supreme Court decided to reject the petition on grounds of insufficient information. more..

Sri Lanka's Sept core inflation picks up slightly, despite tightening

Sept 30 (Reuters) SL's core inflation picked up slightly in September, despite a rate hike by the central bank two months ago. Core annual inflation, which excludes fresh food, energy, transport, rice and coconuts, rose 4.2%, accelerating from 4.1% previous month. It hit a 38-month high of 6.6% in May. Central bank raised its key monetary policy rates by 50 basis points in July, in a third tightening measure since Dec, to curb more..

Sri Lanka gets bids for wind power below Rs12.50 a unit: engineers

Sept 30 (EN) CEB has received bids below 12.50 rupees a unit for two 10MegaWatt wind power plant in Jaffna peninsular, showing that prices now paid are too high, engineers at the utility said. CEB has been paying around 22 rupees a unit for wind, on tariffs determined by the regulator, which some industry analysts said was among the highest prices in the world. Two plants of 10 MegaWatt each had been tendered and bids as low as 12.29% per unit had been received. more..

Bambalapitiya businessman’s murder : GPS technology to trace suspects’ whereabouts

Sept 30 (DN) Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris ordered the Moratuwa University to submit an analytical report on the whereabouts of the suspects using GPS technology over the murder of a millionaire businessman Mohammed Sulaiman. Magistrate made this order following a request by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) that they were searching for suspects’ whereabouts and the vehicle used in the abduction using GPS technology with aid of the mobile phones of the suspects. more..

President opens Suhurupaya

Sept 30 (PSL) President says govt will take actions to strengthen the laws and regulations on the immigration and emigration and the registration of persons. He said action will be taken to establish new laws and regulations on that regard, if there is a requirement. He pointed out that the issue on the immigrants has posed a severe challenge to western countries. “We will take effective actions according to new plans to more..

RTI Commission established

Sept 30 (DM) Mahinda Gammanpila a former Ministry Secretary was appointed as the Chairman of Right to Information (RTI) Commission by President today. Director of Govt Information Department Ranga Kalansooriya said the appointment was made today. According to him, the President had appointed RTI Commission few hours ago and S.G. Punchihewa, T. Selvakumaran, Salim Marzook and Kishali Pinto Jayawardhana had been appointed as the members of Commission. more..

President inspects NSBM Green University construction works

Sept 30 (PSL) President Sirisena made an inspection tour of the construction site of the NSBM Green University, which is the first ever green university town in South Asia, yesterday (27). NSBM green university is being built in Pitipana, Homagama, on 26 acres of land under the supervision of the Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training. The upcoming university will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 10.2 billion and it will have the faculties of computing, more..

Sri Lanka skips SAARC summit over inconducive environment

Sept 30 (IT) SL ministry of Foreign Affairs, in official communication sent to SAARC chair Nepal said, 'Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on Nov 9-10'. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan and now Sri Lanka. Indian campaign to isolate Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri attack has worked with SL becoming the fourth country confirming more..