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'I was on standby all the time, and not on holiday'

Aug 17 (ST) In the said article, there is a reference to me stating, “Even prior to this, SLC has replaced employees while their full contracts were on. For instance, former Manager Charith Senanayake was replaced by Ranjith Fernando after SL’s tour of Zimbabwe, and Senanayake earned a holiday with full pay till his contract was over.” Since the contents do not describe the actual position with regard to myself, I would be grateful if you can kindly rectify it accordingly. more..

Ten UNDP talents join 1000 global talents in Denmark to solve global challenges

Aug 17 (AT) UNDP staff members from across the globe have joined 1,000 bright global talents at the UNLEASH 2017 Innovation Lab event that is held from the 13th to 21st of Aug in Denmark. Select UNDP talents from country offices, regional offices and headquarters, together with other talents will be competing in seven themes: Water, Food, Energy, Sustainable production &consumption, Education & ICT, Urban Sustainability and Health. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 more..

Video: IGP contemplates legal action against website

Aug 17 (DM) Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said Police Chief Pujith Jayasundare was mulling legal action against a website that published defamatory remarks about him and a video clip depicting him threatening a minor employee of the Police department. The video clip that went viral on social media websites took centre stage at the weekly Cabinet news briefing. Police spokesman tried his best to defend more..

Colombo Investor Forum draws strong interest by local investors

Aug 17 (Island) Following a successful Investor Forum in Negombo, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) conducted the second Investor Forum in Colombo. This forum, held on August 15, 2017 at Hilton Colombo Residences drew the participation of over 250 existing and potential investors. The Chairman of the CSE, Ray Abeywardena, made the opening remarks, followed by a presentation on the Macro- Economic more..

Production of mobile phones, computers necessary for conducting investigations

Aug 17 (Island) These statutory provisions reflect the desirability of permitting a person against whom digital data or digital evidence or electronic evidence obtained from a device is to be used, to examine the process of obtaining that digital data or digital evidence or electronic evidence. Those provisions also show the desirability of ensuring the confidentiality of the information contained in the devices and to ensure that the process of obtaining that digital data or digital evidence or more..

Emirates says wouldn’t turn down a partnership proposal from SriLankan Airlines

Aug 17 (Island) If a positive proposal is put to us to partner with SriLankan Airlines we will never turn it down,  Ahmed Khoori, senior vice president- West Asia and Indian Ocean Commercial Operations of the Emirates Group said. Asked whether the government of Sri Lanka has approached the Emirates Airline with a proposal for partnership with SriLankan Airlines, Ahmed said, "I don't know whether my bosses at higher level more..

Manufacturing activities expand in July

Aug 17 (DN) Manufacturing Sector PMI recorded 54.3 in July which is a decrease of 1.8 points compared to June 2017. This indicates that manufacturing activities expanded, albeit at a slower rate in July 2017, mainly driven by the decrease in the stock of purchases sub-index resulting from the usage of excess stock that was built up in the previous month and decrease in the Employment sub-index due to the difficulties in replacing unskilled employees to account for high labour more..

WPC to become landlord

Aug 17 (Island) Western Provincial Council (WPC) would shift into investments by acquiring expensive lands in Colombo and constructing mega scale apartments for low and middle income families as well as for the rich, Western Provincial Chief Minister Isura Devapriya has said yesterday. Addressing the media, CM Devapriya said the Council would also acquire luxury hotels in Colombo or in any part of the country and it would actively participate in tourism in the future. more..

Talks with India for Mattala JV to take off

Aug 17 (FT) Negotiations on an Indian proposal for a Joint Venture to turn around the Mattala Airport will take off tomorrow with plans by Transport Ministry to renegotiate the terms offered in the initial proposal. Ministry will commence negotiations on a ratio for the sharing of equity, starting at 49:51, for India and SL respectively to counter Indian proposal of 70:30. Ministry will also request a more detailed proposal for JV. more..

Atapattu to mentor Panthers

Aug 17 (TOI) The sixth season of the Karnataka Premier League will not only see Belagavi Panthers with new owners, it will also see the team make a fresh start with former SL skipper Marvan Atapattu roped in as the team mentor. The team will also head to Dubai for a weeklong training stint under the supervision of former New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram. The Panthers squad will be based out of Dubai from Aug 20-26 and train at the ICC Academy. Atapattu will join the squad on more..

Dayasiri says No to  Arjuna’s call for sacking Cricket Chief Thilanga

Aug 17 (Island) Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera responding to calls by Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga to sack Cricket Board Chief Thilanga Sumathipala, said that changes could take place only at the board’s next election. Addressing the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing, Dayasiri pointed out that the Cricket Board had been run by an interim administration for eight years. Polls had been held only after the current govt had come to power. more..

Bond scam probe: Perpetual CEO ordered to reveal what happened to dividends

Aug 17 (Island) Presidential commission ordered CEO of Perpetual Treasuries Kasun Palisena to declare to the Commission what had become of more than Rs. 712 million paid as dividends by it to its owning company over a period of two years. Commission member SC Justice Prasanna Jayawardena told Palisena that as the latter was also a director of Perpetual Asset Management owning company of Perpetual more..

SC dismisses FR petition against 2 ministers

Aug 17 (FT) Supreme Court dismissed a Fundamental Rights petition filed against ministers Rishad Bathiudeen and Gamini Jayawickrama Perera under Articles 17 and 126 of the Constitution for infringing on the fundamental rights of the petitioners by resettling civilians in the Wilpattu Forest Reserve. The three-bench panel dismissed the petition of Rukshan Jayawardena of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society and Shehara De Silva of Environmental Foundation Ltd. more..

Shangri-La Colombo to open doors in Nov

Aug 17 (DM) Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced that Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is set to open on 16 Nov 2017. The hotel will begin taking bookings from 1 Sept 2017 for stays from 1 Dec 2017. Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo will be the second property in Sri Lanka for the luxury Asian hospitality group – joining Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa, which opened in June 2016 – and is anticipated to be one of the most prominent hotel launches in Sri Lanka in nearly 30 years.  more..

Boru shows to fool people: More courts to expedite mega corruption cases

Aug 17 (DN) Govt seeks the establishment of more High Courts to clear the unacceptably long delays in bringing to justice those responsible for huge corruption, Minister Rajitha Senaratne announced. He said the Cabinet discussed the inordinate delays in prosecuting members of the former regime for plundering national wealth and decided there should more high courts as well as trials-at-bar. Minister said there was no bar more..

CID asks Yoshitha: Why was the Defender’s colour changed?

Aug 17 (DN) The CID yesterday interrogated former President Rajapaksa’s second son Yoshitha Rajapaksa on the reason to change the colour of the defender jeep of the Siriliya Saviya Foundation. Information had been received that Yoshitha Rajapaksa had taken the vehicle for his use. The CID investigations into the alleged murder of ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen revealed that the colour of the jeep had been changed after the Red Cross donated it to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation. more..

SAITM controversy: Lalkantha wants PCoI to probe Rajitha

Aug 17 (DM) Provincial councillor K.D. Lalkantha urged govt to appoint a commission similar to that of PCoI on the CB bond issue to investigate Minister Rajitha Senaratne in connection with the SAITM controversy. He said that he had valid suspicions that several politicians had been paid by SAITM owner. “It is necessary to set up such a commission to probe these matters. Instead of establishing a special court to probe corruption, a special court should be set up against these ministers,” more..

Phone recording system does not record time and incoming numbers: PTL CEO

Aug 17 (DM) Perpetual Treasuries CEO Kasun Palisena said the phone recording system placed in the company dealers' room did not record the time or incoming call numbers and as such he was unable to provide the required PTL dealers’ phone conversations regarding specific bond transactions. PCoI also asked him why he did not submit answers in an affidavit as required by the it earlier. However, in the absence of his legal more..

Let us take the high road

Aug 17 (DM) During the past few years, in most cities and suburbs, unprecedented traffic congestion has driven SL into a multitude of crises. Of these the worst is air pollution. Most people are inhaling instead of exhaling carbon dioxide. That is perhaps one of the major reasons why more people are falling sick more often and private hospitals have become big business ventures while public hospitals are crowded like market places.  Another factor is the waste of hundreds of millions of dollars more..

Is Constitutional crisis in the making?

Aug 17 (DM) President’s statement that no party or group can form a Govt without his blessings, even if it is shown that the opposition has 113 members - which is an uphill task - may lead to a constitutional crisis and confrontation in the current political turmoil. Nothing could be ruled out based on the current uncertain trends when bribery, corruption, inefficiency in small and large scales, growing as breath for the disappointed of the citizen living with expectations for a Change and more..

UNP to mull no-faith motion against Wijeyadasa today

Aug 17 (CT) The Working Committee of the UNP will meet this morning at Sirikotha and one of the items up for discussion is a Motion of No-Confidence against one of the party's Cabinet Ministers, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. The motion is being sponsored by a group of UNP back-benchers who say Rajapakshe as Justice Minister is delaying the prosecution of members of the previous regime who are accused of wrong-doing, more..

Colombo among biggest improvers during five years: Global Liveability Report

Aug 17 (LBO) Colombo is among the five biggest improvers during the last five years in terms of liveability, recently released Global Liveability Report 2017 showed. According to the report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Colombo has showed relative improvement during this period, especially after the end of a separatist war. Nevertheless, out of 140 cities, Colombo is ranked at 124th with rating of 51 out of 100 more..

Monks in Politics: Asgiriya Chapter opposes no faith motion against Wijeyadasa

Aug 17 (CT) The Secretary of the Asgiriya Chapter, of the Siam Maha Nikaya, stressed that if Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is interfering with the Attorney General's Department (AG), then it's wrong and they oppose it. "The AG's Department is an independent body. If the Minister of Justice is personally trying to influence the working of the Attorney General's Department, we do not approve of it. more..

First-ever transplant for acute liver failure in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (ST) It was meant to be – with even the tiniest detail falling into place promptly, paving the way for the first-ever liver transplant for acute liver failure in SL. A humble family from Bandiruppuwa in Lunuwila, close to Wennappuwa, believes that for a brief moment in time all the members of the Colombo North (Ragama) Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplant Unit crossed the line between human and divine, more..

'Mahinda Rajapaksa should take a step back and make way for unity in SLFP'

Aug 17 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake spoke about the political situation in the country following the resignation of MP Ravi Karunanayake from his post as Foreign Affairs Minister. Q: In the context of MP Ravi Karunanayake relinquishing his office as the Foreign Affairs Minister, how do you look at the current political situation? A:We have to be thankful to him for resigning from his office without compromising credibility of govt. more..

Echoing Ravi's resignation backbenchers urge corruption cases expedited

Aug 17 (DM) Days after former Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation, UNP, which he represents, is at pain to control the damage to its credibility. It comes out with the argument that even a Minister is now prevailed upon to relinquish office in case corruption charges are framed against him, due to the principles of good governance cherished by it. In parallel to this argument, UNP MPs, mostly newcomers or more..

Eateries threaten closure as polythene ban nears

Aug 17 (SL) Govt has banned polythene lunch sheets from September 1 and certain demands have been made by the restaurateurs. But in the event these demands are not met, all eateries around the country will be closed from Sept 1, said the President of SL Canteen Owners Association Asela Sampath. According to Minister Rajitha Senaratne, this environmentally friendly decision taken by more..

India running Mattala airport far worse than H’tota port deal with China: Wimal

Aug 17 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, alleged that direct Indian involvement in operating SL’s second int'l airport situated at Mattala would be 100 times more dangerous than leasing Hambantota port to China. Sri Lanka entered into 99-year lease agreement with China Merchants Holdings Company Limited on July 29, 2017. He said the proposed Mattala deal would place SL in an extremely vulnerable situation. more..

'Mahinda is exacting a grand scheme of revenge'

Aug 17 (AD) Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently scheming to exact revenge on the general public who voted to oust him from power in 2015 through his attempts misrepresent acts of the current govt. In response to a declaration made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who stated that the people of Sri Lanka are being grossly cheated on through more..

Phase two priority bus lane begins on August 22

Aug 17 (DM) Second phase of the priority bus lane project is scheduled to begin on August 22, the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry said. Updating the media on the project yesterday, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the first day the new regulation had been implemented had yielded positive  results. “We hope to see the project progress to greater heights by the end of the week,” he said.    more..

A State which does not learn from its own mistakes

Aug 17 (CT) Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, or so Karl Marx once wrote. According to Mark Twain, history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. While the rest of the world might witness variations of both these instances, Sri Lanka might be the first and only country to have them both happening at the same time, at any given time, all the time. We have transformed (one cannot say that we have always been this way, history itself stands witness) into a State more..

Why fuss about giving teeth to the Auditor General?

Aug 17 (FT) We are informed by the media that Cabinet has deferred the new Audit Bill for the 24th time. Apparently, the bone of contention is the proposed powers to disallowance and surcharge. All Westminster-style jurisdictions do give firm independent powers to the Auditor General (AG) leaving the latter to perform effectively as the nation’s financial watchdog as far as disbursements out of the public treasury (Consolidated Fund) are concerned. The AG is legally invested with more..

අපේ රටේ ක්රිකට්වලට සිදුවූයේ, කුමක් ද..?

Sri Lanka cuts taxes on small trucks and motorcycles, data

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka will cut excise taxes on small trucks by 300,000 rupees and motorcycles by between 50,000 to 90,000 as part of a program to boost youth entrepreneurship, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. An excise tax on small trucks and single cabs will be cut from the current one million rupees to 700,000 rupees. A 90% tax on motorcycles below 150 cubic centimetre capacity engines will be removed. A new excise dutybased on engine capacity will be imposed. more..

Three arrested for money counting machine fraud

Aug 17 (Island) Kirulapona police have arrested three employees of a company in connection with a racket involving the sale of money-counting machines given for repairs. Kirulapona police arrested a storekeeper and two other employees of a private institution at Kirilapona. Their modus operandi had been to accept for repairs electric money-counting machines from state and private banks and sell them to other institutions at high prices. The racket involves an indication more..

UNP adopt No-Confidence motion against Wijeydasa

Aug 17 (DN) Working Committee of the UNP and its parliamentary group today unanimously adopted a resolution stating they do not have confidence in the conduct of Minister Wijeydasa Rajapakshe. The resolution submitted by MP Ashu Marasinghe and seconded by MP Sydney Jayarathne comprised 5 points. During deliberations - which lasted for close to two hours at Sirikotha today - Minister Wijeydasa is reported more..

Sri Lanka dengue epidemic easing; data may understate extent

Aug 17 (EN) Sri Lanka's 2017 dengue epidemic has started to wane with hospital admissions sharply down, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said, while questions remain over reported data and mortality rates. "Dengue cases have dropped in August and special dengue wards in hospitals are closing," Minister said. According to the Health Ministry 136,468 dengue cases have been reported up to the second week of August 2017 compared to 55,150 for the whole of 2016. more..

Bond scams have had devastating impact on economy: Champika

Aug 17 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawana says, bond scams have dashed the hopes of people who looked forward to good governance. Bond scams should not be taken lightly as it had had a devastating impact on the economy, he added. According to the minister, two bond scams have been exposed. He said Perpetual Treasuries had gained from those rackets. Minister praised the govt for having appointed a special presidential commission to probe the bond scams. more..

Irrigation Dept requests: Use water sparingly

Aug 17 (CT) the Irrigation Department has requested people to use water sparingly, as the water remaining in reservoirs has to be used until the Northeast Monsoon rains begin after 15 Sept. Director of Irrigation Vasantha Palugaswewa said that the water level in the main reservoirs and Tanks in the island increased by only 1%, during the rain experienced on 14 Aug. It was an increase of about 16,000 acre-feet only. more..

Rajitha's statement mere ignorance: JO

Aug 17 (DM) The joint opposition today charged that Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s statement on establishment of a separate court to hear cases involving the Rajapaksa’s, was mere ignorance. Professor G.L. Peiris told a news conference that establishment of such a court would completely violate Section 12 of the Constitution on the right of equality. “It is impossible to establish separate courts aiming on a particular group or family,” he added. more..