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Proposed trials at bar: JO alleges govt functioning as CJ

Aug 18 (Island) Former Minister G.L. Peiris said former President Rajapaksa, his family and the JO wouldn’t run away in the face of politically motivated judicial attempts to target them on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations. He was responding to a query why those who had been accused of what the JO repeatedly called unsubstantiated allegations were reluctant to face judicial process to clear their names ahead of more..

Travis Sinniah to be named new Navy Commander

Aug 18 (DM) Eastern Naval Commander Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah is tipped to be appointed Navy Commander next week. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne who is set to retire next Tuesday would be appointed the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Rear Admiral Sinniah, who joined the Navy in 1982, also holds the post of Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet. He was the senior most naval officer to be in active combat operations at sea during the conflict with the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka minister says concerns over tax on trading stocks will be addressed

Aug 18 (Reuters) Junior finance minister said on Thursday concerns about a possible tax on share trading will be addressed before a proposed revenue bill is passed in the parliament. The island nation's main share index has shed 3.9% since July 27 and declined in 14 out of the past 15 sessions due to a fall in June-quarter profit and speculation that the new tax reform bill will impose a 28% tax on trading stocks. Trading of shares at CSE is subject only to a transaction levy of 1.12% more..

Minister has asked Gurusinha to be sidelined till tour ends

Aug 18 (CT) SLC's cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha's role will come to an end following the upcoming ODI series against India. According to a source close to SLC and Sports Ministry it was revealed that the minister Dayasiri Jayasekara had already informed SLC President Sumathipala to relieve Gurusinha from his position. Minister has informed SLC to do so following several concerns and complaints against Gurusinha's more..

SLFP backs National Economic Council

Aug 18 (FT) The SLFP expressed confidence that the recently approved National Economic Council (NEC) will help facilitate a win-win situation for the two parties in the ruling coalition. However, SLFP ministers were unclear on how the council will exist alongside the existing Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) chaired by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena implied the CCEM would not be needed once the council is established.  more..

Wiggy blasts Thavarajah

Aug 18 (CT) C.V. Wigneswaran claimed that in order to safeguard his position in the NPC, Opposition Leader S. Thavarajah was attempting to show that the Council was incapable of functioning. Speaking at yesterday's Council sittings, Wigneswaran said, "The leader of the Opposition, to safeguard his position in the council, had always tried to show that we are incapable." He added that the Opposition Leader had become unpopular amongst his party membership and was therefore, more..

Wijeyadasa to make a special statement

Aug 18 (DM) Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who was at the centre of controversy after being accused of violating the collective responsibility of the Cabinet by some of his colleagues, is to make a special statement on Monday, UNP General Secretary Kabir Hashim told journalists. He said Mr. Rajapakshe assured the party's working committee and parliamentary group that he will make a statement on Monday more..

Heta Dakina Ranil begins

Aug 18 (DN) Heta Dakina Ranil, (Encounter Ranil), an exhibition depicting special events covering PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s four-decade political journey was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH yesterday. The exhibition will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Sunday, August 20. The objective of the exhibition is to appreciate the national service rendered by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe during his political journey. more..

Call to change Rajapakshe portfolio: Ranjan suggests women’s ministry

Aug 18 (CT) The UNP Working Committee and its Parliamentary Group have no problem in Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe holding a ministerial portfolio, but he should not be given anw important position such as the Minister of Justice, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said yesterday. "There was a lot of pressure on the party leadership from the MPs and it was accepted that there is a need to establish a special Court to hear cases of serious corruption. more..

CEO Palisena admits PTL knew of govt’s acute fund requirement

Aug 18 (CT) The CEO of Perpetual Treasuries (PT) told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing Treasury Bonds issue yesterday, that his company knew that the Govt had an acute requirement of funds and therefore decided to bid for Rs 15 billion worth of Treasury Bonds, instead of the one billion that the Central Bank had earlier called for. CEO Kasun Palisena said that this was for the auction held on 27 Feb 2015. more..

The positives, negatives and realities

Aug 18 (DM) Two years after the decisive general elections which led to the two major parties forming a National Unity Govt for the first time since independence, we need to impartially and realistically reflect on the positives and the negatives.  Whatever the policy differences, disputes and sometimes heated public criticism, most people believe that in the country’s interest it was a positive move for the UNP and the SLFP to sign a MoU to work together in the govt. more..

The big bluff in asking for promises the 6.2 mn voted for

Aug 18 (DM) An organised crowd of around thousand men and women met in the shadow of the Buddha statue in the Vihara Maha Devi Park in the vicinity of the Town Hall on Tuesday (15) to demand this Govt honour its election promise of Good Governance.   This was also to mark the second anniversary of the Unity Govt, which was voted into office by them to rid the country of huge corruption, the hallmark of Rajapaksa rule and to have freedom and democracy.    more..

'Govt to unveil economic vision till 2025'

Aug 18 (DM) State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, speaks about the future economic plan of govt and the current status of the country’s economy. Q: Recently you said the govt would unveil an economic programme. What is the line of economic thinking of the govt for the remaining period?   A: I am not going to talk about the economic programme. President and PM are actually going to unveil it on Sept 4. more..

Govt battles Norochcholai crisis

Aug 18 (SL) The govt is looking to work out a permanent solution to the crisis at the Norochcholai coal power plant as the plant continues to suffer more breakdowns. A Chinese technical team was scheduled to arrive in the country recenly to inspect the plant and rectify some of the issues. Sulakshana Jayawardena, Director at the Ministry of Power said that the technical team will service the coal power plant and carry out maintenance work. more..

New movement critical of Yahapalana govt’s journey

Aug 18 (DM) Present Yahapalana Govt completed a period of two and half years. But as the Govt passed its two-year mark a question of credibility has risen in the mind of the general public against the Govt. Present Yahapalana leaders had overthrown the previous regime by making certain election promises to the people. As the election manifesto of Govt had promised, they were to enforce the law strictly & follow policies of good governance. more..

Please let me go to my country for heart surgery: Captain of Avant Garde vessel

Aug 18 (ST) The ailing Ukrainian captain of the Avant Garde vessel–in remand since Oct 2015–is pleading with the Supreme Court to let him travel to Ukraine to treat a serious heart disease. Gennadiy Gavrylov collapsed in court earlier this month after learning that his next hearing will be next year. SC earlier granted him leave to proceed with a fundamental rights petition challenging his alleged illegal arrest and prolonged detention. more..

One out of 20 MPs in current parliament appointed through backdoor: JO

Aug 18 (Island) JO spokesman MP Dallas Alahapperuma said specific constitutional measures were required to prevent the appointment of defeated candidates through the National List. He was responding to a query whether he was aware that at the behest of former President J.R. Jayewardene, a clause had been surreptitiously inserted into the Article 99A of 14th Amendment to Constitution to enable the appointment of those who more..

President opens Heta Dakina Ranil photographic exhibition

Aug 18 (PSL) President Maithripala Sirisena opened the photographic exhibition titled Heta Dakina Ranil (Ranil who sees the future) depicting the special moments of 40 years in politics of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe at the BMICH, yesterday. The exhibition is open to the public from August 18 to 20 from 10 a.m. to 8.p.m. The President, after opening the Exhibition, joined Mr Wickremesinghe and other guests to view the exhibition. more..

Vice-Admiral Travis Sinniah new Navy Commander

Aug 18 (AD) Eastern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Travis Sinniah has been appointed as the new Commander of SL Navy. He will accordingly be taking over the reigns from his predecessor Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, who formally assumed his duties as Navy Commander on July 11, 2015. His tenure is scheduled to end on Aug 22, and new Commander will assume his duties on the same day. more..

ICT sector welcomes FM’s move to abolish 10% telecom levy

Aug 18 (DN) ICT sector welcomed the move by the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to remove the 10% telecom levy imposed on internet services from Sept 1. Minister Harin Fernando earlier said that he made a representation at the last budget to get this concession but it was not a reality. “Now we welcome this move and it will defiantly hold to increase internet penetration in SL and also increase use of android devices.” more..

Docs threaten to leave SLMC if it is hijacked by Health Minister

Aug 18 (Island) The GMOA yesterday warned that its members would pull out of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) if the govt forced the Council to register medical graduates of the SAITM as well. Addressing the media in Colombo, GMOA Assistant Secretary, Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said the union was seriously considering that move. Dr Zoysa said that as there was a possibility of the govt forcing the SLMC to register medical graduates from more..

National Economic Council established to strengthen country’s economy: President

Aug 18 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena says he decided to establish National Economic Council (NEC) to strengthen the national economy by formalizing the economic management in the country. He said the objectives of NEC are to increase the export income and develop the local industry. He pointed out there is a need for a stronger program for the development of the agriculture. more..

Cleanse those Augean Stables – don’t just bolt the barn doors!

Aug 18 (FT) I am amazed – and amused – by the spate of ministerial responses to Ravi’s exit last week. PM has promised to expedite the backlog of anticorruption cases his administration appears to have shelved for the nonce. Provincial council and local govt minister has undertaken to take down the foreigners only signs that bedevil tourism and give SL hospitality a bad name in the south of our blessed isle. Technocratic Megapolis Minister or some tech-savvy underling has made sure more..

Development & National Lotteries Boards under Finance Ministry

Aug 18 (NR) The Development Lotteries and National Lotteries Board have been taken over once again by the Ministry of Finance. The Boards were previously under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. President Maithripala Sirisena issued a gazette notification ordering the transfer. A gazette notification was issued in June pertaining to the Cabinet reshuffle and the new subjects and institutes that fall under the purview of relevant Ministries. more..

මාලින්ද සෙනෙවිරත්න

Marine resource survey with Norwegian aid

Aug 18 (EN) A Norwegian research vessel, Dr Fridtjof Nansen, is to sail in Sri Lankan waters to assist the island to conduct a stock assessment of marine resources. “The aim of the planned survey is to know the current status of marine resources including fish stocks and to investigate stocks of unexploited/underutilised fishery resources on the continental shelf and slope,” statement said. The last stock assessment for SL has been carried out by the previous Dr. Fridtjof Nansen in 1978-1980. more..

Postponing Polls

Aug 18 (CT) The country's laws allow for either the President or the Minister concerned, as the case may be, to either extend or limit the term of office of a Provincial Council (PC) or a Municipal Council (MC) or an Urban Council (UC) or a Pradeshiya Sabha (PS). Extension or limitation of a timeframe of a PC may be decided by the President by the issuance of a Gazette. In the case of the postponement or limitation of the timeframe of an MC or UC or PS, collectively more..

Chandrika salutes Premier Ranil

Aug 18 (DN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga saluted PM Ranil Wickremesinghe for his 40 years of public service in front of a crowded audience at the BMICH yesterday. Speaking at the inauguration of Encounter Ranil, a photographic exhibition celebrating 40 years of public service by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Kumaratunga noted that she and Wickremesinghe had a history of working together, more..

18-year sentence sought for Sri Lankan man convicted of human smuggling

Aug 18 (CBC) Crown lawyers are seeking an 18-year prison sentence for a man convicted of human smuggling for his role in the voyage of the MV Sun Sea, the dilapidated cargo ship that made the voyage from Thailand to B.C.'s coast with 492 SL Tamils aboard seeking asylum. Kunarobinson Christhurajah was found guilty in May 2017 during a retrial. His first trial ended in a mistrial after a jury couldn't reach a verdict. Christhurajah was tried with three other men who were all acquitted more..

Sri Lanka appoints first Tamil Navy chief after four decades

Aug 18 (PTI) Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah was today appointed as the chief of SL's naval forces, making him the first from the minority Tamil community to head the Navy since the brutal civil war erupted in the country 45 years ago. Sinniah, who played a decisive role in the destruction of the LTTE warships in deep sea during the height of the civil war, was appointed as Navy chief by President Sirisena. "Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah, who has served SL Navy with immense loyalty for many more..

Biscuits are banned in SL dressing room

Aug 18 (PO) Sri Lankan players are not allowed to eat biscuits in the dressing room, according to the team manager, Asanka Gurusinha. Speaking from Sri Lanka on the rumor that the manager had a fight with the players on this issue and they broke the crockery in protest, the manager said, “our physio and trainer are in charge of food at game and they have banned biscuits in the changing room”. “The other day there were biscuits in more..

Video: Ryan Jayalath remanded

Aug 18 (DM) Convener of Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee, Ryan Jayalath, has been remanded until Aug 23. University student union leader had surrendered to the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court this morning, through a lawyer. Jayalath is a suspect in the incident of protesting university students storming the health ministry and damaging public property on June 21. A warrant was issued for his arrest, as well as 4 other members of Medical Faculty Students Action Committee, more..

Sri Lanka need two wins against India for direct World Cup entry

Aug 18 (CI) Sri Lanka, currently ranked eighth in ODIs with 88 points, can secure direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup if they win at least two matches in the upcoming five-ODI series against India, starting Aug 20 in Dambulla. Winning two games will push Sri Lanka's tally to 90 while West Indies, currently placed ninth with 78 points, can at best reach 88 even if they win their six remaining ODIs - one against Ireland and five against England - before the Sept 30 cut-off. more..

Sri Lanka in search of lost glory against well-oiled India

Aug 18 (WI) Copping blows and responding with unpracticed swings to catch nothing but the wind is humiliating enough. Not knowing how or when to put up hands in reaction to a barrage of punches is just embarrassing. Sri Lanka were neither fully prepared nor did they defend during the Test series. Not that India needed an amateur at the other end to show off their reach, tact and power, but it did help that their more..

'70 years rule of the two main parties proves their impotency'

Aug 18 (LT) “The two main parties in our country have ruled the country alternatively for 70 years and have proved they have been unsuccessful. Now, the UNP and the SLFP have jointly ruled for two years and have proved they are unproductive. Ranil – Maithri administration is displaying its impotency,” says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. He said this speaking at the Dhiriya Purawesi summit held at Anuradhapura as part of the series of summits being held by the JVP more..

Chamara Kapugedera pictured with celebrity crush Anushka Sharma

Aug 18 (DC) SL cricketer Chamara Kapugedera witnessed a fanboy moment on Friday when he took a selfie with Virat Kohli’s partner Anushka Sharma in Sri Lanka on Friday. Despite his limited fan following, Kapugedera’s picture with the Bollywood actress went viral after he shared it on Instagram. Stunned by the beauty of the Indian celebrity, Kapugedera had some words of praises for Anushka Sharma which he captioned in the image. He termed Anushka as stunning more..

'Inland Revenue bill to be passed by Aug 25th, all concerns addressed'

Aug 18 (LBO) Inland Revenue bill will presented in Parliament next week and passed by Aug 25th, with most of the concerns raised addressed through amendments, minister Mangala Samaraweera said. “We will need about half a day for the amendments as there are a lot,” he said. “Many of the concerns from the private sector have been addressed in addition to all the concerns raised by the Supreme court.” more..

Lankan charged with seducing married woman in malaysia

Aug 18 (NST) A Sri Lankan was in the dock at the Magistrate’s Court here today facing two charges, issuing death threats and seducing another man’s wife. M. Suventhan, 31, however, claimed trial after the charges were read out to him in Tamil before Magistrate Salamiah Salleh. Initially the accused appeared nervous and failed to understand the charges against him so much so the court interpreter had to repeat them twice. On the first count, he was charged with issuing death threats against more..

Standing Procurement Committee Chairman resigns

Aug 18 (NR) Chairman GS Withanage and another member of the Standing Procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet have resigned from the Committee. Committee member Secretary to Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy Suren Batagoda said the two members resigned citing personal reasons. The resignations have been informed to the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance. Cabinet appointed five members to the Standing Procurement Committee to ensure more..

Parliament Mafia: Govt intentionally delaying Draft Audit Bill: SDAG

Aug 18 (CT) Senior Deputy Auditor General (SDAG) claimed that despite the Draft Audit Bill has been prepared in keeping with professional standards, adopting the Bill is intentionally being delayed due to political needs. He alleged that since surcharge powers have been included in the Draft Bill, to assign more authority to the Auditor General, which will result in theft by MPs and Ministers coming to a halt, Govt is intentionally more..