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An insider dealing probe dusted in 2016

Aug 6 (ST) Two insider dealing probes began in 2016 one of which has been completed with the report pending while the other investigation was at the final stage by the end of the year, SEC annual report for 2016, said without disclosing any names. It noted that the report of another investigation, which commenced in a previous year, was being completed as of end 2016. In 2014, based on the findings of an investigation into market/price manipulation, legal action was instituted by more..

Parliament Mafia: 10% cuts of ministry budgets to give drought and flood relief

Aug 6 (ST) Imposing a 10% cut on ministry expenditure will be among a series of measures aimed at raising Rs 65 billion needed for relief for persons affected by the ongoing drought and the recent floods and landslides.  Treasury Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga said in order to raise funds budgetary measures will be taken. ‘We will also be re-collecting funds which have not been utilized for projects and funds remaining from ministries more..

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe accused of Shielding the Corrupt

Aug 6 (Island) A proposal to establish a separate court to hear corruption cases has got bogged down at the Cabinet, with Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe accused of sabotage. Minister Rajitha Senaratne confirmed that a Memorandum to create a Corruption Court, that would deal exclusively with mega cases had been presented to the Cabinet. With regard to  Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera having accused Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe of preventing passage of Corruption Court more..

Dengue scare hits tourism

Aug 6 (CT) The dengue scare got the better of the Kandy Esela Perahera, usually a tourism draw, with last month's tourism numbers declining by 1.8% to 205,482, latest Tourism Development Authority data showed. Tourism is Sri Lanka's third highest foreign exchange (FX) earner. Such declines were led by Sri Lanka's third and fourth largest tourism markets, the UK and Germany, which suffered a decline of 1.6% to 23,553 and 1.2% to 10,835, year on year (YoY), last month. more..

RK: The belligerent but beleaguered Minister

Aug 6 (ST) Minister Ravi Karunanayake appeared before the Commission probing the bond scam and his testimony plunged a Govt, voted to office on the edifice of fighting bribery and corruption, into its worst embarrassment. During 5 hours of testimony, he denied any knowledge of how the apartment where he lived at Monarch, was acquired on lease for Rs 1.45 million a month. Later it had been purchased for Rs 165 million. more..

Hoisted in Penthouse: 40yrs of open sesame

Aug 6 (Island) The evidentiary revelations about the leaser-dealing over a Colombo penthouse could not have come at a worse time for the govt. It has pushed the wedge between the President Sirisena and the PM even deeper, as there is bound to be disagreement between them about what to do with a minister terrible like Ravi Karunanayake. The penthouse saga has also marred the sycophantic celebrations of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s forty years in public life. more..

Kathmandu revisited

Aug 6 (Island) In Kathmandu this week after over ten years, I was struck by how much worse the city looks and feels from what I recall when I visited last. Google Maps is deceiving. The mushrooming of cafes with interesting names, pubs, restaurants and gastro-bars in various districts along with a wide-range of hotels suggests, on the face of it, a bustling, well-planned and cosmopolitan metropolis. The number of apartments alone suggests a much higher density of population more..

Probe on controversial statement against North Korea

Aug 6 (ST) At last Tuesday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, President raised questions on how the Foreign Affairs Ministry came to issue a statement condemning North Korea’s firing of an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). The President made the point that he, as Head of State and Head of Govt, should at least be informed when another country was being referred to in a statement issued on behalf of his Govt. more..

Amended Inland Revenue Bill in Parliament soon

Aug 6 (SO) The Inland Revenue Bill with amendments made to fall in line with the guidance given by the Supreme Court, will be presented to Parliament without any delay, State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne said. He said that the SC decision is not viewed as an impediment but rather as a means of further bettering the Bill. “The initial drafting of the Bill was done before the minister and myself took office, however, more..

Dead blue sea for Tamil Nadu fishermen as Lanka rolls out new legislation

Aug 6 (ENS) Bullets have failed to stop them, but a new bill adopted by the SL parliament could. After going through phases of conflict and relative peace, the troubled life of fishermen from Tamil Nadu has entered new waters, thanks to SL Fisheries and the Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill that was moved this day last month. According to official figures from the State govt, SL navy firing has resulted in 128 dead & 283 injured, more..

GMOA silent on graduates of Russian and other universities

Aug 6 (Island) SAITM is a Medical College officially approved by the then govt in adherence with required standards to award degrees. There is no logical reason to oppose the effective functioning of this legitimate institution established with the full authority and approval in keeping with due procedure, says Attorney-at- Law T.M.K.B. Tennakoon, chairman, Private Medical College Parents' Society (PMCPS). more..

Police raise alarm over shadow of terrorism in re-emergence of Jaffna violence

Aug 6 (ST) More than 20 youths have been detained following violent attacks challenging the authority of SL police in Jaffna and the police chief has asked for public support to end the re-emergence violence from those linked to the defeated Tamil terrorist group. Many of the youths are below the age of 20, police said. In some instances police constables were slashed with swords. more..

PC powers to vest in House during dissolution

Aug 6 (ST) A 20th amendment to the Constitution which the Govt wants to introduce seeks to vest in Parliament the powers of a Provincial Council when it stands dissolved. 20th Amendment will also enable all PC elections to be held on the same date and for Parliament to determine the date of dissolution of all PCs. This amendment will be made by the insertion of a new Article 154DD to the Constitution immediately after Article 154D. more..

PC elections will not be postponed: Faizser

Aug 6 (ST) Amendments to the Provincial Council Election Act No. 02 of 1988 should be brought about to facilitate the holding all PC elections on a specified date and that there is no question of postponing PC elections, Minister Faiszer Musthapha said. However, Parliament will have to decide whether these constitutional amendments are needed or not. Govt is of the view that elections should not be held on a staggered basis more..

New labour laws with US advice

Aug 6 (CT) Top most trade unions in the country are up in arms over moves to bring in a wide range of changes to the existing labour laws with advice from a US aid agency, it was revealed yesterday. "This is a questionable and draconian move to suppress the rights of the worker that has been mooted by the Ministry of International Trade and Development Strategies with the USAID playing an advisory role. more..

'Govt has selected wrong Chinese company'

Aug 6 (CT) Former President Rajapaksa alleged that the Govt has accepted the bid from China Merchant Port Holdings, been accepted in a backdrop where the other company China Harbour Co. which had submitted the bid in a much more favourable one to lease the free port on a 65-35 equity sharing basis for 50 years with an upfront payment of USD 750 million plus payment of all the charges they had earlier agreed more..

Ravi K and Limits to lying

Aug 6 (CT) UNP strongman, Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, provided his testimony before the Presidential Commission last Wednesday. While it might have been an obvious strategic move, most definitely recommended by his high-calibre attorneys, Minister Ravi Karunanayake's testimony of complete ignorance caught many off guard, as the proverbial rug of Good Governance was pulled out from under them. more..

FUTA sympathy for radical students

Aug 6 (CT) The tone of the recent statement by the Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) bitterly castigating the govt for chasing away militant university students who were squatting like street bums inside makeshift shanties in Lipton Circus and demonstrating there in defiance of a court ruling, suggests that like its disreputable counterpart GMOA, FUTA is also tending to be driven by a political agenda. The statement has seemingly been issued by the FUTA secretary. more..

A look back with fresh hope

Aug 6 (GV) Many Sri Lankans trace the ethnic problem back to the movement for Sinhala Only and the passage of the Official Language Act in 1956. In fact, the problem needs to be traced back to at least the first year of Independence in which over one million people of recent Indian origin but well settled in the plantation districts, were deprived of citizenship and voting rights. Perhaps the conflicts need to be traced further back to the anti-Muslim riots of 1915. more..

One Nation Two Dreams

Bicycles to needy children in Kilinochchi

Aug 6 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army in Kilinochchi facilitated the donation of 75 Push Bicycles to needy students in the region, states Army media. The ceremony to distribute these bicycles among the students was held at the Nelum Piyasa auditorium in Kilinochchi on Wednesday(2). These bicycles had been donated by the Guna Jaya Sathuta Padanama (Foundation of Goodness), which had on many previous occasions donated bicycles to needy children in the North and East. more..

I will vote against Ravi: MR

Aug 6 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would vote in favour of the No-Confidence Motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake submitted by the JO to the office of the Secretary General of the Parliament. Attending a function held at the Galle on Saturday he stated that for the first time after the Unity Govt came to office he was using his vote in Parliament against Minister Karunanayake. The No Confidence Motion signed by 32 JO MPs was handed over more..

India thrashes Sri Lanka in second Test

Aug 6 (CI) India wrapped up a series victory away from home in eight days of Test cricket. And they were only really challenged over the last two. The formalities were completed four minutes before tea with Ravindra Jadeja picking up his ninth five-for in the same match he became the fastest left-armer to 150 wickets. He was far from the only protagonist of an absorbing game in Colombo. more..

Dalada Maligawa gets new Rs 140m Elephant shelter

Aug 6 (ST) Handing over last week of the new Eth Gala (Elephant shelter) for the Dalada Maligawa, took place amidst a distinguished gathering of both clergy and laymen. Minister Champika Ranawaka who supervised the task, handed over the new Elephant shelter. Sri Dalada Maligawa Media Director Krishantha Hissella told Sunday Times of the history of the Eth Gala of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. “The need for an elephant shelter for the Sri Dalada Maligawa was long felt, more..

Two dead in road accident in Badagamuwa Reserve

Aug 6 (NR) Two persons have died in a road accident in the Badagamuwa Forest Reserve along the Kurunegala-Dambulla road. The Police Media Unit stated that three others had sustained critical injuries from the accident involving a head-on collision between a tipper and a motor vehicle. The driver of the motor vehicle and a female passenger were those deceased. Police said they were residents of Pannala. The injured are currently being treated at the Kurunegala Hospital. more..

Jadeja suspended for Pallekele Test

Aug 6 (CI) India spinner Ravindra Jadeja has been suspended from the third and final Test of the series against Sri Lanka after accumulating six demerit points over a 24-month period. Jadeja had come into the Colombo Test with three demerit points, slapped on him for running on the pitch in Indore in October 2016. Now, the ICC have penalised him further after an incident in the SL second innings. more..

SL urged to enhance Seafarer opportunities

Aug 6 (CT) An international maritime organization yesterday called on the authorities to enhance training and facilities for local Seafarers adding that the country is positioned in a strategic shipping lane that could provide huge job opportunities in this sector. "The relevant State authorities must come together with private maritime organizations, including trade unions and concentrate on improving job opportunities for locals and towards this end they could encourage more institutes more..

Daya: Better for Ravi to resign

Aug 6 (DM) The Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage said he personally believed it was appropriate for Minister Ravi Karunanayake to quit his portfolio until his innocence was proved in the allegations against him over obtaining a penthouse from the controversial Central Bank bond dealer Arjun Aloysius. “Such a decision on the part of the Minister will be good for the party Minister Karunanayake and I represent as well as for the Govt,” he said. more..

No room for thieves in the govt: PM

Aug 6 (NR) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe says tough measures will be taken if it is confirmed that anyone attached to the govt is involved in corruption. Speaking at an event held in Maskeliya today, PM said if allegations are confirmed, such persons will be evicted from the party. Premier said the Attorney General now summons and questions Ministers adding that the govt is open to such situations. more..


Aug 7 (CT) The recent plethora of events proves conclusively what many of us have been saying for longer than we care to remember: there is no alternative to the practice of the highest of moral and ethical codes and an unequivocal adherence to principle in governance. Nothing less will suffice. What has emerged from the, oftentimes overstated, pages of what have hitherto been treated as scurrilous scandal-sheets, is increasingly displaying, not merely the ring of truth, more..

Classic dilemma of the unrepentant ministers

Aug 7 (ST) It is an exceedingly disconsolate reflection that key Cabinet Ministers of the unity alliance, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Justice for instance, appear to have a magic cloak around them, affording impunity for acts which should have, to put it bluntly, led to resignations by now. A favorite chorus that members of this Govt love to chant is that there is freedom to criticize now, unlike in dark and dangerous Rajapaksa times. However, to what extent is freedom of speech of any value more..

The perceptions of the Sinhalese should also be understood

Aug 7 (CT) The perceptions of the Sinhalese too should be understood. Many Sinhalese identify the Tamils of North and East with the recent Tamil immigrants from South India during British times during the past 200 years or so. They forget that the Tamils of the North and East occupied our Island even before the birth of Buddha. There had been waves of immigrants from India who added to the indigenous Tamil populations. more..

Why we mustn’t move a millimeter beyond the 13th Amendment

Aug 7 (CT) The great American poet Robert Frost, alluding to the erection of the Berlin Wall, said that before he built a wall he’d ask to know what he was walling in or walling out (Mending Wall).  Similarly, before we devolve power any further, we must realize who, what and where we would be devolving power to, and with what result. Obviously we would be devolving more power to the Tamil majority North and East. More specifically we would be giving more power to the Northern and Eastern PCs more..

Bond probe’s explosive claims threaten to eclipse I know nothing Ravi K’s sun

Aug 7 (ST) Oh dear! Would it not have been a bowl of hot soup that Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake found himself dipping his spoon into last Sunday with the dread of eating porridge on his mind after allegations were made by a witness at the Presidential Commission hearing into the bond scam that he and his family’s eight months stay last year at the 4000 square feet luxurious penthouse suite at the Monarch Residencies next to the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo 3, more..

'High time Sri Lanka developed a comprehensive security and FR policy'

Aug 7 (CT) As Sri Lanka is facing a myriad of security challenges, both traditional and non-traditional, it is high time that the country develops a comprehensive security and foreign relations policy. Ceylon Today met the Director General of Sri Lanka's only security think tank, the Institute of National Security Studies SL, Asanga Abeyagoonasekera to discuss how he feels about the challenges we face. more..

Editorial: Of those winged MPs

Aug 7 (Island) MPs spend more time in foreign capitals than in their electorates. During a spate of natural disasters which left over 200 people dead and hundreds of thousands of others displaced a few moons ago, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe urged his MPs including ministers to go back to their constituencies and be with their electors in distress. Only a few govt & Opposition MPs were considerate enough to brave the extreme weather conditions to help those who had elected them and, more..

Tolerance and Diversity

Aug 7 (Island) Today all the major religions of the world must respond to a double challenge. On one side is the challenge of secularism, a trend which has swept across the globe, battering against the most ancient strongholds of the sacred and turning all man's movements towards the Beyond into a forlorn gesture, poignant but devoid of sense. On the other side is the meeting of the great religions with each other. As the most far-flung nations & cultures merge into a single global community, more..

Adaraneeya Sri Lanka: NuwaraEliya

LOLC’s Riverina to become South Asia’s first Club Med

Aug 7 (CT) In recent months, Club Méditerranée SA, commonly known as Club Med, a French company, has accelerated its strategy of growth and international expansion - and the newest location to come under the Club Med brand umbrella is LOLC Group's Riverina Resort in Beruwela, a media release stated. Scheduled for completion in 2019, Sri Lanka's First Club Med will be the first Club Med in South Asia, giving it a unique positioning in the region, it added. more..

Today is Nikini Full Moon Poya Day

Aug 7 (DM) Just 21 days after the parinibbana of Buddha, Arahant Maha Kassapa decided that a great council must be held with the commencement of the rains retreat for the Sangha. It was held three months after the demise of the Buddha, at Sattapanni Rock Cave in Rajagaha, under the patronage of King Ajasattu. The attitude of Bhikkhu Subhadda who believed that the Buddha had been curtailing their freedom prompted Elder Maha Kassapa Maha Thera to call for it. more..