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Vehicle clearance to shift from Hambantota to Colombo

Aug 9 (DN) Vehicle clearance which is being done in Hambantota port is likely to be shifted to the Colombo port, said Ranjan Peiris, the newly appointed President of the Vehicle Importers’ Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL). Peiris said this was revealed on August 3 by Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at a discussion which was the first meeting he had after taking over as the President of VIASL. more..

Sri Lanka’s Lakshman Athukorala appointed to UN Audit Committee

Aug 9 (LBO) Chartered Accountant Lakshman Athukorala was recently appointed to the Independent Audit Advisory Committee of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in Vienna, Austria as recommended at the 45th session of the Industrial Development Board. This is the first time a Sri Lankan has been appointed to the top UN audit committee. Mr. Athukorala is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of SA and, more..

Final report on outstanding Rs. 35 b from former Govt’s projects submitted to Cabinet

Aug 9 (FT) Final report on the Rs. 35 billion carry forward contract liabilities for 500 public projects started by the previous regime covering 53 ministries was presented to the Cabinet of Ministers in June, a top official confirmed. Based on the 3-member committee report, projects worth around Rs. 8 billion have been recommended for completion according to the agency’s satisfaction. The committee’s final report dated 29 March 2017, which was submitted to Cabinet on 12 June 2017, more..

Regime capable of robbing even the Central Bank: In the name of God, go!

Aug 9 (FT) Yahapalanaya Govt, which was elected to power amidst high expectations, is fast proving itself to be one of, if not the most inept regime that has been chosen to govern this country.  Stumbling from crisis to crisis from the day it was elected, the makeshift alliance has managed to stay afloat only because of the fear of the unknown, or perhaps the past known. Though the apathy of masses & dismally-short memories more..

Jordan receives Sri Lankan Ambassador

Aug 9 (AB) While receiving the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Jordan, Abdul Lateef Lafeer, Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, TAG-Org Chairman, announced that his Organization (TAG-Org), is willing as well as ready to open a new office in Sri Lanka. The new office comes within the Organization’s strategy to expand its network of offices from 85, currently, to 100 offices around the world in 2018; a resolution that has been adopted during TAG-Org 2017 AGM that was held last month in Amman. more..

Pandemonium at NCPC

Aug 9 (Island) At the first meeting of the North Central Provincial Council following the appointment of D. M. Amaratunge as Chairman, a group of Joint Opposition MPs who attended the meeting wearing black bands burnt a copy of the agenda plunging the council into turmoil. The incident occurred when the meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. by the newly elected Chairman. Pandemonium reigned after Joint Opposition member K. H. Nandasena and former Chairman T. M. Siripala said more..

Speaker to reveal fate of no-faith motion against Karunanayake tomorrow

Aug 9 (Island) Speaker Karu Jaysuriya told Parliament that the future course of action with regard to the no-faith motion submitted by the JO against Foreign Minister would be announced on Thursday. There were some legal issues pertaining to the motion and its content and the matter had been referred to the Attorney General, Speaker said in response to queries made by the Opposition. MP Wimal Weerawansa, raising a point of order more..

Dengue epidemic under control: Tourist Board

Aug 9 (CT) Dengue epidemic that was a cause for concern in Sri Lanka in the past few months has been successfully brought under control with measures taken by government authorities and the collective effort of the public, a spokesman for Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) confirmed. Reported cases have dropped by 35-40% since mid-July according to Health Ministry sources. Regular campaigns were implemented to educate, clean-up areas and other preventive measures have been taking place more..

Switzerland calls Sri Lanka to leverage Swiss GSP facility

Aug 9 (Island) As bilateral trade recorded a huge 65% surge, the non-EU but central European nation Switzerland has called Sri Lanka to get on board its historic GSP facility and boost Lankan exports to Swiss market further. Meanwhile, UNCTAD says that a vast array of products from SL including apparels, can enter the Swiss market at virtually zero tariff using the Swiss GSP stream. "Sri Lankan exporters should strive to exploit this facility" said Ambassador of Switzerland more..

Preaching Criminal Justice to the world while robbing the Central Bank at home

Aug 9 (DN) Setting out the govt’s plans dedicated to ensuring capacity building of the Police force, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that a University for Policing and Criminal Justice will be established in SL. PM made the announcement while attending the inauguration ceremony of the Senior Officers Inter Regional Conference on Countering Terrorism and Transnational Crime organised by INTERPOL more..

Everyone enjoys freedom but not me: MR

Aug 9 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said all citizens tasted the freedom as a result of ending the three decade old war except for him as he cannot travel to any foreign country because the international forces are waiting to press charges against him. MP Rajapaksa said when he was abroad on several occasions, he and his delegation underwent inconvenience in certain countries. “When I visited Commonwealth Summit in Australia in 2011 someone had demanded my arrest more..

Thilanga urges Ravi to resign

Aug 9 (Island) Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala said that Minister Ravi Karunanayake should resign immediately to save the honour of the govt. Deputy Speaker Sumathipala, addressing media to present the interim report of the Select Committee of Parliament on the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development, said that he would recommend the resignation of Minister Karunanayake not in his capacity as the Deputy Speaker but as a member of the SLFP. more..

Speaker seeks AG’s advice on no-faith motion

Aug 9 (CT) The much-hyped no confidence motion against Minister Ravi Karunanayake is in limbo, as Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is consulting the Attorney General (AG) on the content of the motion. Speaker Jayasuriya said the House would be informed of the future course of action with regard to the No-Faith motion submitted by JO against the Foreign Minister, tomorrow. He was responding to MP Wimal Weerawansa, who more..

Sri Lanka Tourism global promotional campaign delayed till end 2017

Aug 9 (FT) Sri Lanka’s tourism industry has hit another stumbling block with the much-awaited digital and global promotional campaigns being put off for another few more months due to the heads of the Ministry and promotion bureau being changed. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) originally aimed to kick off the global campaign in May with Rs.3 billion to be utilised for global campaign, while Rs.500 million would be spend on the first-ever digital marketing campaign. more..

Govt to retain large stake in restructured SriLankan Airlines

Aug 9 (DN) Govt would definitely keep a large stake during the restructuring of SriLankan Airlines as the country needs a airline brand in the sky, said Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. “Sri Lanka can only boost of its cricket, tea and tourism in the globe market and the country cannot afford to lose an international band such as SriLankan,” he said. Abeywardena voiced that SriLankan is very strong in its engineering, ground handling and catering areas & these functions should be retained by govt. more..

Perpetual Treasuries capital increased by 400% from bond dealings: CEO

Aug 9 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries, CEO Kasun Palisena giving evidence before the PCoI yesterday said the PTL had made a profit of Rs.816 million in the first six months of secondary market operations. When questioned by Justice Prasanna Jayawardena it was revealed that during this period Ajith Nivard Cabraal was the CBSL Governor and his sister Shiromi Wickramesinghe was a director of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. more..

Holding PC elections on a single day

Aug 9 (DM) It is highly rumoured that the govt is going to amend the Constitution so as to conduct elections to all nine Provincial Councils on a single day, without having them on a staggered basis as done thus far. In spite of the move being said to be aimed at conducting all PC elections on a particular day, civil society organizations including the election monitoring bodies have already expressed their fear that the Constitutional Amendment would be a move to postpone elections to provincial councils more..

Culture gap: A gaping black-hole on earth

Aug 9 (DM) A black-hole is defined as follows: A region of space having a gravitational field so intense that no matter or radiation can escape. In today’s context, Sri Lanka is increasingly drawn towards that cultural black-hole which soaks and sucks every ounce of social decency, financial discipline and passionate idealism that once resided in the sublime hearts and minds of countless inhabitants of this once blessed land. Travelling down the lane of bygone times and history, more..

One-eyed ex-Tiger rebel sees a future through social work

Aug 9 (DM) Memories of the gruesome ethnic conflict would never fade away. While two ethnicities fought for their own freedom, there were those who viewed the conflict with much vengeance and some who supported it. But the stories of those who supported it are seldom heard of. This is the story of Vetrichelvi Velu, Ex-LTTE cadre turned social worker, who is now supporting differently abled women to overcome challenges. more..

CID will question Vijayakala soon: State Counsel

Aug 9 (CT) Kayts Magistrate M.M. Riyal queried the delay in questioning State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran, over video footage submitted to the Court by Defence Counsel of former Jaffna Senior DIG, Lalith Jayasinghe, in connection with the murder of Vithya Sivaloganathan. Responding to the Magistrate, State Counsel Nishanth Nagaratnam said that on the directive of the AG's Department, CID will, in a couple of days, more..

German Tech Principal resigns over sexual allegations

Aug 9 (Island) Minister Chandima Weerakkody told Parliament that the Principal of Ceylon-German Technical Training Institute, accused of seeking sexual favours from students had tendered his resignation. A new Principal would be appointed to the institute in the near future, minister said. Responding to a question raised by UPFA MP Jayantha Samaraweera, Minister said that newspaper advertisements calling for more..

SL's war widows trafficked as slaves to Gulf

Aug 9 (TRF) When Nathkulasinham Nesemalhar took a flight from Colombo to Muscat in March she believed the boarding pass she clutched in her hand was her golden ticket to a better life after decades of war where she lost everything, including her husband. The 54-year-old widow from Sri Lanka's former war zone had been promised work as a maid for an affluent family in the Gulf state of Oman. She would get a nice room, more..

Bond scams: JVP at last points finger at PM

Aug 9 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was directly involved in the Treasury bond scams and he cannot absolve himself of the responsibility for them by scapegoating Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake for the biggest ever fraud in the country’s history, a senior JVPer says. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said: The Central Bank has been under the PM. He is the one who appointed Arjuna Mahendran to the post more..

FM’s urgent marching orders not executed

Aug 9 (Island) Contrary to a recent declaration by Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake that three Ambassadors had been recalled, well informed sources told The Island that none of them had returned to the country. Ambassadors Karunathilake Amunugama (Germany), Tilak Ranavirajah (France) and Y. K. A. Rohanajith (Iran) would be returning later this month after having completed their terms, sources said. more..

Referendum for 20th Amendment: PHU

Aug 9 (DM) The PHU said the govt should go for a referendum to seek people's consent if it were to bring in the 20th Amendment to hold the election for all provincial councils (PCs) in one day. PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila said the sole purpose of the 20th amendment was to postpone the PC elections till 2019. "One clause of the proposed amendment says the election for all PCs should be held in one day and more..

Sri Lankan solidarity as well as different identities should be protected: PM

Aug 9 (GDI) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the country should move forward while protecting the Sri Lankan solidarity as well as the different identities. He said ‘we should be proud to be Sri Lankans and on the other hand we should be proud to be Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, or Christians. He made these remarks addressing the 20th Commemoration Ceremony of the Former Speaker of the Parliament more..

Swiss girl allegedly raped in A’pura shrub, no female JMO to support her case

Aug 9 (ST) The non-availability of a female Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital has denied the rights of a rape victim, a Swiss girl, who had insisted on a female doctor for the medical examination. The hospital was unable to provide a female JMO as the hospital’s JMOs are all male. Hospital Director Dr. Lionel Muhandirange said the hospital had a consultant JMO and three Assistant JMOs more..

Former skipper Ranatunga urges ICC to probe Sri Lanka chief

Aug 9 (AFP) Former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has blamed Sri Lanka's string of humiliating defeats on the country's cricket chief and demanded his investigation by the International Cricket Council. In what could be the opening shots of a new bid to head Sri Lanka Cricket, Ranatunga, 53, told AFP there was no proper discipline in the national team which has had a horror run of results. The team lost by an innings and 53 runs in more..

Malik reiterates he had nothing to do with bond issue

Aug 9 (FT) With reference to the opinion article titled Why should only Ravi resign? Minister Kabir and Malik? , Minister Malik Samarawickrama has sent the following statement. “Please be informed that I had nothing to do with the bond issue as stated by me on several occasions. The article also states that I was in the dealing room on that date. This is totally untrue and is a figment of the ‘Banker’s’ imagination. I believe no outsider is allowed into the dealing room and CB records including CCTV more..

Why should only Ravi resign? Ministers Kabir and Malik?

Aug 9 (FT) State prosecutors who questioned Ravi Karunanayake went beyond their mandate, dragging in personal issues to make him uncomfortable and to sensationalise the entire proceedings. Very similar to the infamous Batalanda prosecution in the 90s; there were a lot of similarities. Unfortunately Foreign Minister responded to the questioning like a kindergarten child. Karunanayake is an accountant by profession. Surely, he could have responded to those questions more professionally. more..

JVP press conference: No confidence motion

Aava Dead: A Red Herring?

Aug 9 (CT) With Tamil terrorism instigated by the then Opposition Leader, TULF Leader A. Amirthalingam elected on the separatist ticket, after the July 1977 Parliamentary Poll getting bad, complemented by the killing of three CID officers and their driver in the Vanni Jungles in April 1978, followed by the destruction of the Avro civilian aircraft four months later, President J.R. Jayewardene appointed his wife Elena's nephew Brigadier Tissa (Bull) Weeratunga as more..

Ravi’s exit delay shows Yahapalana crisis

Aug 9 (CT) I am not interested in the JO motion of no-confidence. That is merely another illustration of Rajapaksa camp trying to play a hypocritical game of fighting for justice and honesty in politics. Ravi Karunanayake himself is in large measure a product of political culture created by decade of Rajapaksa misrule & impunity. Ravi’s miscalculation was that he considered he could act with similar impunity being in the ranks of a govt that rode to power under noble banner of good governance. more..

20th Amendment impinges on sovereignty and franchise: Mahinda

Aug 9 (AD) Former President Rajapaksa stated that the 20th Amendment impinged upon the people’s sovereignty and franchise. He issued a media release expressing his views on the 20th Amendment which has reportedly been gazette by the Govt “with a view of postponing elections to the provincial councils”. Accordingly, he stated that the Amendment would require a referendum, and added that a petition would more..

Discrepancy in follow up investigations by area police

Aug 9 (Island) Police have launched an inquiry to ascertain discrepancy in statements recorded by the STF and the Mount Lavinia police after the former took into custody four persons, including Sameera Manahara, public relations officer of Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on the night of Aug. 5 in the Mount Lavinia police area. A stock of narcotics was found in his vehicle. Sources said that a fresh statement would be recorded from Manahara in this regard shortly. more..

Constitutional Assembly: Withdrawal of NFF MPs has zero impact

Aug 9 (DN) The withdrawal of five NFF MPs led by MP Wimal Weerawansa has zero impact on the legality and proceedings of the Constitutional Assembly (CA), Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced in Parliament today.  MP Weerawansa asked the Speaker’s position over the letter submitted to the latter late last month informing the withdrawal of NFF from the Assembly. “In our letter, we stated that the CA would no longer be valid with our withdrawal, because the resolution more..

Turkey's former PM commends President's leadership

Aug 9 (PMD) Former PM of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu hailed the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena for establishing religious and ethnic harmony, thus setting up an example for other countries. “Malaysia and Sri Lanka are the success stories in Asia, where most countries are grappling with terrorism and militancy due to ethnic and religious tensions,” he said when he called on President Sirisena today. more..

Public institutions to go solar: Minister

Aug 9 (LBO) Cabinet has given the go ahead to budget and establish panels to generate solar power on the roofs of all public institutions. “I have already got the approval for this in the 2017 budget and under the ongoing Surya Bala Sangramaya project, already the temples in the country are being transferred to solar,” minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. “The project also targets to establish solar panels on the roofs of one million households and generate power more..

IUSF Convener granted bail

Aug 9 (NR) Convener of the IUSF Lahiru Weerasekera, arrested and remanded on charges of destructing public property by forcibly entering the premises of the Ministry of Health, has been granted bail. Colombo Chief High Court Judge Manilal Weidyathilake ordered to release the IUSF Convener on a 10,000 rupee cash bail and three surety bails worth 500,000 rupees each. The Judge stated that Lahiru Weerasekera can be bailed out only by a close relative. more..

'India benefit from financial power and IPL'

Aug 9 (HT) India-Sri Lanka Test series is proving to be the biggest mismatch in the history of their rivalry. And for former Sri Lankan batting great, Aravinda De Silva, it is a reflection of the widening gulf between the haves and have nots of the cricket world. Aravinda De Silva feels the Indian team’s strength is related to the cricket board’s financial health. Except for Australia and England, no cricketing nation has been able to more..